The 24 car has had a long and storied history in NASCAR, with many drivers taking the wheel over the years. But have you ever wondered who used to drive the 24 car? You won’t believe who it was!
For those who may not know, the 24 car is most commonly associated with Jeff Gordon, who drove for Hendrick Motorsports from 1992 to 2015 and won four championships behind the wheel of the iconic Chevy. However, before Gordon took over the ride, another driver piloted the 24 car.
That driver was none other than NASCAR Hall of Famer, “The King,” Richard Petty!
If you think that’s surprising, just wait until you hear more about Petty’s stint with the number 24. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the details of Petty’s time driving the car and explore some lesser-known facts about the legendary driver’s career. Keep reading to learn more!
The Legend Behind The Wheel
His Early Years In Racing
The man who used to drive the 24 car was none other than Jeff Gordon. Born on August 4, 1971, in Vallejo, California, Jeff began racing go-karts at the age of five and showed immense potential from a young age.
In his teenage years, Jeff progressed to sprint cars before moving up to stock cars in the Busch Series where he won Rookie of the Year honors in 1991. He quickly caught the attention of car owner Rick Hendrick, who signed him to drive for his team in the Winston Cup Series by 1992.
Jeff’s passion and dedication to racing were clear even early on, and many saw great things ahead for the talented driver.
His Rise To Fame
Over the course of his career, Jeff Gordon went on to become one of the most successful and popular drivers NASCAR has ever seen. From 1995 to 1998, Jeff dominated the series, winning four championships in just five years.
He became known for his aggressive yet calculated driving style and his ability to adapt and excel on any type of track. Jeff’s success extended beyond his driving skills as well; he quickly became a household name and one of the sport’s most marketable athletes.
“I never wanted to be the next Richard Petty or Dale Earnhardt – I wanted to be the first Jeff Gordon.” – Jeff Gordon
During his illustrious career, Jeff amassed an impressive 93 wins and over $152 million in prize money. Beyond his on-track accomplishments, he also established the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation which aims to help children with life-threatening illnesses.
Although retired from full-time competition since 2015, Jeff Gordon will always be remembered as one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history.
The Success of The 24 Car
The Number’s Significance
The No. 24 car is engraved in the hearts and minds of NASCAR fans everywhere, and for good reason. It was made famous by Jeff Gordon, who drove it from its debut in 1992 until he retired after the 2015 season.
Gordon won four of his seven Cup Championships driving the No. 24 car. But there’s more to this number than just his success.
The number itself has an interesting history within NASCAR. It first became associated with sports legend Hershel McGriff in the early 1950s before being picked up by Cecil Gordon and eventually given a permanent home with Jeff Gordon.
The Numerous Wins
Even beyond Jeff Gordon’s tremendous success behind the wheel, the No. 24 car continued to dominate under other drivers, winning championships and races alike.
In 2016, Chase Elliott took over as driver of the famed car, inheriting big shoes to fill. And sure enough, Elliott delivered, earning numerous victories and even nearly landing himself a championship title in 2020, ultimately finishing second to fellow young gun Kyle Larson.
All in all, the No. 24 has earned a total of 216 wins throughout its many years of racing – certainly nothing to sneeze at.
“There’s no denying the legacy that Jeff Gordon built with the No. 24 car,” said longtime NASCAR journalist Bob Pockrass.”But with guys like Elliott carrying on the tradition and continuing to rack up wins, we know that this car will be remembered among some of the most iconic in NASCAR history.”
The Transition To A New Driver
The Retirement Decision
For years, the 24 car was driven by one of the greatest drivers in racing history. However, even legends must retire eventually. Fans were saddened when they learned that
“Who used to drive the 24 car?”would no longer be seen on the track after decades of racing. It was clear that it was time for this driver to step down and make way for new blood.
The decision to retire is never an easy one. Athletes must come to terms with their age and physical limitations, but also consider other factors such as family life and personal health. The driver of the 24 car knew it was time to pass the torch, and began the search for a new driver.
Retirement didn’t mean the end of a legacy though. The 24 car will always hold a special place in the hearts of fans everywhere, and the driver’s contributions to the sport will never be forgotten.
The Search For A New Driver
The search for a new driver who could fill the shoes of the legend who used to drive the 24 car wasn’t an easy task. Every contender was heavily scrutinized, and fans anxiously awaited news of a successor.
After weeks of evaluation, interviews, and test drives, a young racer was chosen as the replacement. Many doubted whether anyone could live up to the expectations created by the original driver, but over time it became apparent that the new driver had the skills to carry the 24 car forward into the future.
The selection of a new driver brought excitement and hope to the team behind the iconic race car. They looked forward to seeing the results of their collaboration and how they would fare against other powerhouse teams on the track.
The Announcement of The Replacement
Opinions on the new driver were divided among fans, but one thing was certain – race enthusiasts everywhere couldn’t wait to see what would happen during the new season with
“Who used to drive the 24 car?”
All eyes were on the announcement that named the replacement. People tuned in from all over the world as news broke that a young driver would take over the mantle and wear the iconic number 24. Fans waited patiently for his first appearance at the next race.
Excitement filled the air as everyone prepared to witness this new phase in the history of the legendary race car. Though it had been a hard decision for the original driver to retire, the announcement of a worthy successor made it clear that the legacy of the 24 car would live on for years to come.
The Legacy Left Behind
The Impact on Racing
Who used to drive the 24 car? Many NASCAR fans know that legendary driver Jeff Gordon piloted this iconic number for the majority of his illustrious career. However, when he retired in 2015, many wondered what impact this would have on racing as a whole, and more specifically, the legacy of the #24.
Gordon left an indelible mark on the sport during his time behind the wheel of the 24 car, winning four Cup championships and amassing 93 victories before passing the torch to current driver William Byron. The impact on racing has been significant, with many young drivers citing Gordon as an inspiration to pursue their own dreams of stock car glory.
Even though Gordon is no longer driving the 24 car, his influence can still be felt throughout the sport. His success and popularity helped transform NASCAR into a mainstream phenomenon, paving the way for future stars like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Chase Elliott to capture the hearts and minds of fans everywhere.
The Fans’ Reaction
When Jeff Gordon announced his retirement from full-time competition in 2015, fans were understandably saddened by the news that they would no longer see him driving the #24 Chevy week after week. For many diehard supporters, Gordon was more than just a talented driver – he was a symbol of everything good about NASCAR.
Despite their disappointment, however, fans have continued to support the 24 car through thick and thin. Even after a tough start to the 2020 season, which saw Byron struggle to keep up with the competition, supporters stuck by the team, knowing that success could be just around the corner.
This unwavering loyalty speaks to the power of the #24 brand and the deep connection that fans have formed with the team over the years. No matter who’s driving the car, it will always be a part of NASCAR history – and the hearts of millions of devoted followers.
The Continued Success of The 24 Car
Although Jeff Gordon may be gone from behind the wheel of the #24, his legacy lives on in the continued success of the team. Under the guidance of Hendrick Motorsports, the car has remained one of NASCAR’s most competitive entries, with drivers like Chase Elliott and William Byron regularly vying for wins and championships.
In recent years, the team has also made strides to honor Gordon’s contributions and legacy by incorporating throwback paint schemes reminiscent of his early days as a driver. These tributes serve as reminders to current fans of just how important he was in shaping the sport they love today.
As new faces continue to emerge in the world of stock car racing, the future of the #24 looks bright. With an unwavering fan base and talented drivers eager to follow in Gordon’s footsteps, this iconic number is sure to remain a fixture in NASCAR lore for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who drove the 24 car in 2020?
In 2020, the 24 car was driven by William Byron for Hendrick Motorsports. Byron took over the car after the retirement of NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon and had a successful season, earning his first Cup Series win at the Daytona International Speedway.
Who was the most successful driver of the 24 car?
Jeff Gordon is the most successful driver of the 24 car, having won 93 Cup Series races and four championships while driving for Hendrick Motorsports. Gordon is considered one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history and helped make the 24 car one of the most recognizable and respected in the sport.
Who raced for Hendrick Motorsports in the 24 car?
Several drivers have raced for Hendrick Motorsports in the 24 car, including Jeff Gordon, William Byron, Chase Elliott, and Jimmie Johnson. The team has a long history of success in NASCAR, and the 24 car has been one of its most iconic and important entries.
Who was the first driver to win a race in the 24 car?
The first driver to win a race in the 24 car was Geoff Bodine, who drove the car for Hendrick Motorsports in the 1980s. Bodine won several races in the car, including the 1986 Daytona 500, and helped establish the 24 car as a successful and competitive entry in NASCAR.
Who replaced Jeff Gordon as the driver of the 24 car?
William Byron replaced Jeff Gordon as the driver of the 24 car after Gordon’s retirement from full-time racing in 2015. Byron was a highly regarded young driver who had already won championships in lower NASCAR series, and he has since established himself as a talented and promising driver in the Cup Series.