Soon Enough NASCAR Will Lose A Legend.

Nate PowersCorrespondent ISeptember 11, 2008

Since Jeff Gordon's debut to NASCAR in 1992 he has been a center of controversy.  Either you loved the man or despised him, there was no gray area.

Gordon's career stats consist of 81 victories which is sixth all time behind Richard Petty, David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Darrell Waltrip, and Cale Yarborough.

He has four Sprint Cup Championships which is third behind Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt.

He has the highest win percentage of any active driver(15.14%), and is win less in 2008.

Gordon hasn't recorded a championship since 2001.  Since the race for the championship started in 2004 Gordon has led the points going into the ten race playoff only to be beaten by Kurt Busch(2004) and Jimmie Johnson(2007).

If the old system was still in place Gordon would have two more championships under his belt and would be one more championship away from tying Petty, and Earnhardt.

In 2007 Gordon had one of the greats years of any driver in NASCAR's rich history.  In 36 races he recorded six wins, 21 top fives, and 30 top 10s.

That means he finished out of the top ten only six times in 2007(he finished 11th and 12th in two races).

Getting to the facts, Gordon isn't the same young man he was ten years ago.  He is 37 years old and had his first child last year.

Gordon has hinted retirement and he only signed a two year deal with Dupont which expires in 2010.  He was quoted saying, "I started my career with Dupont, and I want to end my career with Dupont."

When Gordon burst onto the NASCAR scene he became instant rivals with Earnhardt(that is why so many people despise him.).

When Earnhardt died in 2001 Gordon's main competition was gone and he didn't feel the push that drove him to success.

It is good to see that he won't stick around like many other drivers way past their golden years(Dale Jarrett, Ricky Rudd, Darrell Waltrip, and Bill Elliot just to name a few), but it will be hard to imagine NASCAR without it's golden boy.