Don't miss Jeff Gordon's last race at Sonoma—buy your NASCAR Toyota/Save Mart 350 tickets HERE or call (800) 870-7223.

By Joe Menzer

When it comes down to it, Jeff Gordon's hope for how he is remembered in NASCAR is quite modest.

"I definitely am proud of everything I've done on and off the track," Gordon said. "But I guess I like to keep it simple when I think of things like this. I think of my heroes on the track when I was growing up - A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears, Al Unser. ... I loved the fact that those guys won Indianapolis 500s and championships. They were great race car drivers. And quite simply, I will be happy if people recognize me as a great race car driver, because that's all I ever wanted to be."

Yet he is so much more.

Gordon announced on Thursday that the upcoming 2015 season will be his last as a full-time driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The four-time Cup champion first revealed his decision to Hendrick Motorsports employees in the morning and later held a teleconference call along with Rick Hendrick to answer questions from the media.

Gordon grew up in Vallejo, began racing at the age of five and moved to Indiana when he was 14 to further a career that he thought would take place in open-wheel racing. It wasn't until later that he even noticed NASCAR - but once he turned to it, it was full speed ahead.

Gordon said he will continue to remain involved in the sport as the official car owner of the No. 48 Chevrolet that Johnson drives for Hendrick Motorsports, and remains passionate about continuing the charity work he does with the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation, which primarily deals with pediatric cancer research.

Don't miss Jeff Gordon's last race at Sonoma—buy your NASCAR Toyota/Save Mart 350 tickets HERE or call (800) 870-7223.