CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory surprised NASCAR champion and North Carolina resident Jeff Gordon by awarding him with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest award the governor can bestow, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
McCrory celebrated Gordon’s achievements and the contributions of the motorsports industry to North Carolina at a banquet with nearly 400 business leaders, elected officials and members of the motorsports community.
“Jeff Gordon has been a tremendous ambassador of motorsports, NASCAR and North Carolina,” said McCrory. “We are not only recognizing Jeff tonight for his performance on the racetrack, but also for his philanthropic work in communities across our state and nation.”
Gordon has achieved 93 career NASCAR Cup victories and four NASCAR Cup Series championships.
Off the track, Gordon’ philanthropic efforts supported pediatric cancer research, treatment and patient support programs through the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation and the Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital in Concord.
McCrory also discussed the contributions of the motorsports industry to North Carolina’s economy.
“NASCAR and the motorsports industry are a major part of our state’s identity and our economy,” said McCrory. “In fact, the motorsports industry has a $6 billion economic impact on North Carolina and employs more than 25,000 people in our state.”
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