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Chris Graythen, Getty

Hendrick Motorsports wouldn't be the team it is today had it not been for Jeff Gordon, and starting in 2022, he will yet again play a major role in Hendrick's continued success.

On Wednesday, Hendrick Motorsports announced that Gordon has been named the vice chairman of Hendrick Motorsports, a role which he will formally assume on January 1, 2022. Gordon will be the second-ranking official on the team, reporting directly to car owner Rick Hendrick and working alongside team president Marshall Carlson and general manager Jeff Andrews. Gordon will also join Hendrick on NASCAR's team owner council while assuming Hendrick Motorsports' seat on the sanctioning body's diversity, equity, & inclusion committee.

"I cannot put into words what Hendrick Motorsports means to me," Gordon said in a statement released by the team. "In many ways, it's my home and the people here are my family. I've never lost my passion for the organization, for our sport, and for the sheer challenge of racing and winning at the highest level. Being part of the competition is where I'm happiest and feel I can make the biggest contribution to the continued, long-term success of the team.

"Rick and I have a shared vision, which is based on the values he's instilled, the culture he's built and our desire to be the very best in all categories, on and off the track."

In a Hall of Fame career spanning over two decades, Jeff Gordon elevated Hendrick Motorsports into a NASCAR empire, and his 93 career wins account for a significant chunk of Hendrick's total as the winningest race team in NASCAR history. 

After making his Cup debut for Hendrick Motorsports in the 1992 season finale, Gordon became one of the greatest and most iconic drivers in NASCAR history behind the wheel of the team's No. 24 Chevrolet. In 805 career Cup starts, Gordon earned 93 career victories (third on the all-time wins list) and won the Cup Series title four times in 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2001. Gordon also scored 325 Top 5s, 477 Top 10s, and 81 career poles.

Gordon drove Hendrick's No. 24 full-time from 1993 to 2015, and then closed out his career in eight races as a substitute driver in Hendrick's No. 88 during the 2016 season.

While Gordon's new role will be his most prominent yet within the organization, he has served as an equity owner of Hendrick Motorsports since 1999, and for many years was listed as the owner of the team's No. 48 Chevrolet -- long driven by Jimmie Johnson.

In the five seasons since his retirement from full-time racing, Gordon has also worked as a broadcaster for Fox Sports, serving as a color analyst for the network's Cup Series broadcasts as well as other programming. In taking his new role with Hendrick, Gordon will leave Fox Sports at the conclusion of the 2021 calendar year.