“I know Jeff didn’t want his final year to be the ‘Rocking Chair Tour,’ where we celebrate him with a rocking chair. So we decided to give him a wonderful family vacation at the hotel with the world’s largest porch and the world’s largest number of rocking chairs,” MIS President Roger Curtis said.
Curtis and the team wanted Gordon and his family to have a Pure Michigan vacation – and there is no better place than beautiful Mackinac Island, where motorized vehicles are prohibited.
This year is Gordon’s final full-time season in NASCAR’s premier series. He’ll head to the FOX broadcast booth in 2016, serving as an NASCAR analyst.
In 45 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Michigan, Gordon has three wins (2014, 2001 and 1998) and six poles, including the track qualifying speed at 206.558 mph. He’s the defending winner of the Pure Michigan 400.
“It was too long ago for me to remember (my first race at Michigan),” Gordon said. “I just remember from the beginning from the first time I came here I just enjoyed this track. I enjoyed the multiple grooves and I always felt like this was, even though it takes a lot of power and a car that grips well through these long corners, I felt like it is a driver’s track. Because you have options of how you enter the corners whether you enter shallow or right through the middle or arc in late. How you use the brakes you can find different grooves in the race. I mean we used to run up against the wall in (Turns) 3 and 4.”
Gordon may take his Grand Hotel vacation anytime he wants.
Having opened in 1887, the Grand Hotel is a summer retreat for vacationers from around the world.
The track will also recognize Gordon’s final start by giving away 1,000 “24” foam fingers to guests at pre-race driver introductions; “24” is painted in the tri-oval grass; and the speedway will salute him on Lap 24 with a graphic on the Sprint Vision screens.Gordon’s final Pure Michigan 400 is Sunday. Tickets are available at 800-354-1010.