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Gordon honored by NASCAR Illustrated

NASCAR Illustrated magazine recently announced that it has named Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Gordon as its 2011 Person of the Year.

"We are thrilled to name Jeff Gordon the 2011 NASCAR Illustrated Person of the Year," magazine Editor Jay Pfeifer said. "In addition to scoring his 85th win, third-most in NASCAR history, he took his philanthropy to a new level. By expanding his fight against pediatric cancer to Africa, Gordon showed that compassion can extend across borders and around the world. We salute Jeff for his incredible achievements."

During an off-week on his race schedule, Gordon headed to the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the Clinton Global Initiative.

The Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation also announced an initiative this year to help fund accessible cancer treatments to children of Rwanda, setting a goal to raise $1.5 million in the next three years for the project.

"It's very rewarding to be named the 2011 Person of the Year, and I am just so thankful for all the opportunities I have been given," Gordon said. "The Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation has been able to accomplish a lot since its inception in 1999 in the battle against pediatric cancer, but that battle continues nationally and globally."

Gordon's No. 24 car also often carries the message of AARP's Drive to End Hunger Program.

"It's been an eye-opening experience learning about the more than nine million older Americans with hunger issues," Gordon said. "We've been able to make an impact this year with the help of the NASCAR community and fans, but that battle continues as well."

With this year's honor, Gordon becomes the first third time winner of the award, his first time as sole honoree. He shared the award with Darrell Waltrip in 1997 and with the team he has raced for his entire Cup career, Hendrick Motorsports, in 2004.

Previous honorees include Joe Gibbs, Mark Martin, Kyle Petty and Tony Stewart.

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Photo by Amanda Vincent



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