Jeff Gordon, NASCAR's Four-Time Champion, Goes Commercial

Mary Jo BuchananSenior Writer IJanuary 24, 2009

Economic times are certainly tough for everyone in this country today. But probably no one would have expected that four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon would have to ground his jet just to save costs.

Yet, Jeff Gordon has done just that. According to Auto Racing Daily, Jeff has decided that even he needs to save some money this year.

During the offseason, instead of jetting off whenever or wherever he wanted in his private jet, he has decided to fly commercial instead. Gordon estimates that he has saved over $100,000 by doing just that.

Jeff revealed that his commercial airline of choice is US Airways. In fact, he flew the airline from La Guardia to Charlotte the day before the crash into the Hudson River.

Gordon said, "I've always hated spending money on private planes and traveling, that's why I've taken commercial flights and am going to take more of them this year. You are going to see me on your flight going to some races this year."

So, what does the average Jeff Gordon fan think of all this? Let's face it, you have to give the guy some credit for trying to economize, as we all are, during these tough financial times.

But come on, Jeff. There is no doubt that you are up there in first class on your commercial flights, while most of us race fans are back in coach, probably way back breathing the engine fumes and the bathroom smells.

And for many race fans, there is no way we can even afford to fly to the track anymore. In fact, many of us will either be driving or will not be able to go at all this year.

So we will give some kudos to Jeff Gordon for making the effort by flying commercial like the rest of us.  But please Mr. Gordon, just remember that race fans are making even deeper cutbacks simply to make their mortgage payments and put food on the table.

Here's my special idea for you, Jeff. Fly commercial for sure, but buy an extra seat on the plane as you head off to the track.

Then, raffle off that seat to a fan who then gets to sit next to you for the flight. For a $50 or $100 chance, a fan could have the thrill of a life time, with all the proceeds going to help needy children through The Jeff Gordon Foundation.

That would truly make Jeff Gordon's flying commercial more than just cost-effective for everyone involved, including needy children as well as the most dedicated Gordon fans.

Photo Credit:  Jason Whitebird and