Four-time Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon will run his final full-time season in 2015, he announced on Thursday.
Gordon, 43, has raced in the Cup Series since 1992 for Hendrick Motorsports. He had four wins, three poles and 14 top-fives en route to finishing in sixth place in the Chase last season.
He declined to say he is retiring, because he remains open to racing on a limited basis after this season.
Rare Photos of Jeff Gordon
NASCAR great Jeff Gordon turns 40 on Aug. 4, 2011. The four-time Sprint Cup champ has collected 84 career wins since his debut at the Hooters 500 in 1992 and seems poised to add to that total in his fifth decade. Here, Gordon celebrates his victory in the 2004 Brickyard 400. The win made him the first driver to win the race four times. He has not won the race since, though, while Jimmie Johnson has won it three times in the past six years.
The 2002 DuPont Day featured a cake shaped like Gordon's No. 24 race car.
In 2005 Gordon became the fifth driver in history to win the Daytona 500 three times.
Gordon holds a $1 million paycheck after winning the Southern 500 race in 1997 for the third year in a row.
A costumed dance group performed at the opening ceremony for the Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital in Concord, N.C., in 2006.
Gordon's daughter Ella Sofia admires her father's car before the 2008 LifeLock 400 at Michigan.
Gordon, in his rookie year, watches qualifying for the 1993 Pepsi 400 with Dale Earnhardt. Gordon went on to win the Rookie of the Year award but did not get his first career victory until 1994.
Fans ask Gordon for autographs before the start of practice in 2007.
Gordon and his wife, Ingrid Vandebosch, make an appearance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala in 2009.
Gordon used a pair of pistols to celebrate his victory at the 2009 Samsung 500 at Texas.
Gordon talks with fellow driver Jimmie Johnson in 2007. At that time, Johnson had just won his first Sprint Cup title. Johnson now has five Sprint Cup championships, one more than Gordon.
Gordon jumps from the roof of his car after winning the Winston Cup championship at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1997.
Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. talk before qualifying at the 2006 Sylvania 300.
Jeff Gordon and his wife took their children to New York to celebrate the launch of Gucci's "Children Collection" in 2010.
Gordon and his then-fiancee Brooke Sealey celebrate Gordon's win of the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994. The couple divorced in 2003.
Jeff Gordon celebrates winning his third Winston Cup by standing atop his car in Times Square as part of the lead-up to the 1998 NASCAR annual awards show.
Gordon poses with his parents at the grand opening of the Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital in Concord, N.C.
Gordon takes a pit stop during the 2007 Subway 500.
Gordon poses with Britney Spears, who was the grand marshal for the 2001 Pepsi 400 in Daytona.
Gordon and his wife Ingrid, Vandebosch, pose at the premiere of the film Valkyrie in New York.
"As a race car driver, much of what I've done throughout my life has been based on following my instincts and trying to make good decisions," Gordon said. "I thought long and hard about my future this past year and during the offseason, and I've decided 2015 will be the last time I compete for a championship. I won't use the ‘R-word' because I plan to stay extremely busy in the years ahead, and there's always the possibility I'll compete in selected events, although I currently have no plans to do that.
"I don't foresee a day when I'll ever step away from racing. I'm a fan of all forms of motor sports, but particularly NASCAR. We have a tremendous product, and I'm passionate about the business and its future success. As an equity owner in Hendrick Motorsports, I'm a partner with Rick (Hendrick) and will remain heavily involved with the company for many years to come. It means so much to have the chance to continue working with the owner who took a chance on me and the incredible team that's stood behind me every step of the way.
Gordon won his first championship as a 23-year-old in 1994 and also won titles in 1997, 1998 and 2001. His 92 Cup wins and 77 poles are each No. 3 all-time.
He won the inaugural Brickyard 400 at Indy Motor Speedway in 1994 and has won the event a record five times. He is also a three-time Daytona 500 champion.
- Paul Palladino