Gordon is the first three-time recipient of the award, but this marks the first time he is the sole recipient. Gordon and Darrell Waltrip were named co-persons of the year in 1997. Gordon also shared the title when Hendrick Motorsports was named Persons of the Year in 2004. Other past recipients include Joe Gibbs, Mark Martin, Kyle Petty and Tony Stewart for their influence on the NASCAR community, as well as admirable charitable efforts.
Gordon has made three trips to Victory Lane with his No. 24 team during the 2011 season and on the third and final off-week of the 38 weekend NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule, a trip around the world to the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the Clinton Global Initiative, a special program created by former President Bill Clinton to improve the lives of 43 million internally displaced persons and refugees around the world.
In May, the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation announced its new initiative to bring accessible cancer treatment to children of Rwanda and has committed to raising $1.5 million over the course of three years in order to do so. DuPont, a global company that has sponsored the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet since 1992, also has been a longtime and loyal supporter of the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation since Gordon founded it in 1999.
Gordon has also contributed to feeding millions of America’s elderly through sponsor AARP and their Drive to End Hunger program, which adorned the hood of the No. 24 Chevrolet for the first time this year. More than $12 million in donations and more than 3.7 million meals have been provided to senior citizens struggling with hunger issues in America through the Drive to End Hunger program.
“It’s very rewarding to be named the 2011 Person of the Year, and I am just so thankful for all the opportunities I have been given,” Gordon said.
“The Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation has been able to accomplish a lot since its inception in 1999 in the battle against pediatric cancer, but that battle continues nationally and globally.
Hendrick Motorsports Press Release