Jeff Gordon: Helicopters on standby as baby's due date nears

06/16/2007 at 08:34 PM ET

Jeffandingridgordon As his 9-months-pregnant wife Ingrid prepares herself for labor and delivery in North Carolina, NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon is preparing himself to race next weekend in northern California — and the very real possibility that he’ll be making a cross-country dash in order to attend the birth of his daughter. 

I don’t want to miss out on an opportunity for a win, but the most important time is the birth of your child.  I’m not going to miss that.  We’re prepared for every contingency.  Helicopters, you name it.  This child is costing me a lot of money before she’s even born.  And it won’t stop there.

Friend and racing enthusiast Patrick Dempsey, himself father to Tallula, 5 1/2, and 4-month-old twins Darby and Sullivan, says that Jeff — who jokes that he can change a diaper in 7.3 seconds — is in for the ride of his life. 

Children will change his life profoundly.  I think he’s probably in the best place he’s ever been, not only just in his career but personal as well and his interests outside of racing.

The child will be the first for Jeff and Ingrid, who were married last year. 

Source:  Marin Independent Journal


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Lilliness on

I don’t know, but this makes me a little upset. “I don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to win…” Uh, Jeff, this is the birth of your child! You shouldn’t even be racing! I’m sure people would understand if he said, “Nope guys, can’t do it this week, the little woman is about to pop.”

My husband says “Typical.” (He’s a Junior fan, lol)

That aside though, I really think he should be in NC and not in California, that’s the way I would want it if I were her.

Sarita on

I agree with Liliness.

Statements like this make feel that this man is not mature enough to be a father. I’m glad he is planning on being there but there is no way of knowing how fast the delivery will go and he could miss out on it, which would be a shame.

Bernie on

I think you are looking at it from a “Can’t have your cake and eat it too.” The fact of the matter is Jeff CAN have his cake and eat it too! If you had the money to own a Rolls Royce and later just had to have a Ferrari but still had a deep passion for the Rolls you always loved you wouldn’t put the Rolls in storage and drive just the Ferrari. If you can afford to have both of them insured, etc. and used regularly you likely would drive both. I realize we’re talking about apples and oranges here but my point is he has the money to have both and I think it shows he will stop at nothing to have whatever he has true passion for. I commend him for doing whatever it takes to achieve his dreams. We all should have that same passion!

preesi on

Lilness? We all know Jeff cant even change his own oil…

Megan on

Maybe I am just a little hard on these new dads–or soon-to-be dads but I don’t understand statements like that…the real WIN should be seeing your child come into this world–I mean it’s wonderful that he is going to have helicopter ready, but if it’s that close–why even risk it? Why not be by your wife’s side…helping her and being her HUSBAND.

And I am tired of hearing…”oh it’s important that he do this and blah blah blah” there is NOTHING more important than being there for the birth of your children…some of these guys act like it’s an inconvenience…not that they won’t be good dads, but this is the first test of that…and if you CHOOSE not to be there–which is what they are doing if they risk it like this–then you are saying that your SPORT…your GAME is more important than your wife and child at that moment–Lebron and Jeff and everyone else are great atheletes and their work is important–but there is NO other work more important than your children…PLAIN AND SIMPLE…there should be no QUESTION as to where they’d be at this moment…but it seems to be a normal thing to be gone–and simply because your an athlete or celebrity–doesn’t give you a pass…

ok, done ranting now…I will just say that some of these athletes should take notes from Tiger Woods…who seems to have his priorities as straight as can be and doesn’t seem to see the birth of his child as an inconvenience to his WORK.

Lilliness on


*** Beth *** on

As a huge NASCAR fan (not Jeff Gordon, but I don’t HATE him!) I’d like to say that I feel like he is doing all that he can to ensure that he will be there when his little girl is born. Everybody is saying that he is taking the racing thing too far & that he shouldn’t even be thinking about it…IT’S HIS JOB!!!

***DISCLOSUER: I LOVE OUR MILITARY*** Does anyone complain when a soldier comes home on leave & his wife/girlfriend gets pregnant & he goes back overseas? He may not be able to get home for the birth of his child, but he has a job to do.

I’m not saying that NASCAR racing is as important, but what about dad’s who are over the road truckers? Or business men who travel out of state or overseas as part of their job. The only reason people are upset is because of who he is & the sport that he’s in. He has made it clear that he has ever intention of being there when the times comes. He works for one of the largest organizations in NASCAR & has many resources at his disposal to ensure this happens.

I wish them the best of luck with the birth of their new daughter. I hope that all goes smoothly. In a perfect world she would go into labor on a non-race weekend or early in the week 🙂

Lilliness on


As a military wife I take offense to that comment! Jeff has the choice to race or not to race, my husband didn’t have a choice when he was sent to Iraq when I was 5 months pregnant. He didn’t have the choice to come home when our son was born. Nascar is fun yes, but it is NOT as important as our military. How dare you compare the two in such a way. And on that note, Nascar drivers make A LOT of money, my husbands USMC Ssgt salary…not so much. Jeff doesn’t NEED to work, he just WANTS to.

Yes he has the means, but as Megan pointed out, something could happen, something he should be there for and not 3000 miles away. Have you ever been pregnant? When you’re nearing those 40 weeks you’re a nervous wreck! Yes having family close by helps, but its not like having your husband there at your side.

He’s his own person, he can do what he likes, I just think his priorities are mixed up.

*** Beth *** on

Lilliness, as I stated in my post I am in no way comparing what Jeff does to what your husband or any other military person does for our country. No offense was meant, but I felt like I made that point in my comment.

As to your question – yes, I have 3 children (6, 4, & 2) with twins girls due in about 8 weeks. I know that importance of having my husband & family here.

As to the “something he should be there for…” he has already said that he will be there for it. He wants to be there for it. Sometimes even the best laid plans don’t work out the way we choose. Life is proof of that.

And to step on more toes (I seem to be good at that) – Megan, your comment that Tiger Woods has his priorities straight…his story on June 13th from this site says (and this is paraphrasing) that his wife is due in July…the British Open starts July 19th…hopefully the baby will be on time so he’s not sure if he will compete. To me that means that if the baby isn’t here yet, he won’t go Europe, but if the baby is here he may have plans on going. He’s going to possibly leave his wife & new baby to play golf! What makes it any different?

I’m not on here to fight with anyone. I come to this site to get my daily fix of baby news, just like most eveyone else. All I’m saying is that until you’ve been in a specific situation or know the people involved personally (and I’m not claiming I do by any means – just going by info given out by Jeff to the media) it’s hard to do more than speculate on their home life or intensions. I will now step off of my soap box 🙂

Meagan on

What’s the big deal? What if she doesn’t even have the baby that week? He could get a lot of fallout for not showing up & doing his job especially if she doesn’t show up. She isn’t having a c-section or anything so at least he is prepared but just like everybody else there is no way of knowing when the baby is coming.

Karen on

I am not or will never be a Jeff Gordon fan. That being said I don’t understand why everybody is upset about his comment. I believe you are all missing out on this part of the quote “the most important time is the birth of your child. I’m not going to miss that.”

Racing isn’t just something he does for fun on the weekends, it is his job. NASCAR is a billion dollar industry and his sponsors are paying big bucks for him to drive his car. He is under contract to be at that race however he has gone through all the necessary steps he so he will be able to miss the race if he needs to. He has helicopters, planes, and a back-up driver all ready to go if he needs it.

And to the person that said he should take notes from Tiger Woods, Jeff Gordon is saying the EXACT thing that Tiger Woods has been saying. Which is the birth of their child is more important but if everything works out they can be at the birth and still not have to miss out on their sport. It was only Lebron James who said he wouldn’t miss a game for the birth of his child.

Melissa on

Okay people, Jeff Gordon( I am a big fan) loves racing and he loves his wife. Those are the two most important things in his life. BUt you have to understand racing is his job that is what keeps food on the table, and he has a little girl comming and he needs to put a little more money in the bank to keep the diapers on the baby. so when it somes to making money and your wife is in labor you dont have a choice. You need to make money. He can always fly there as soon as she goes into labor and make it for the birth. EVERYBODY needs to stop ragging on him he is going through alot of stuff in his life and how would you feel if you heard some of the stuff that was being said. I know i would fell like crap. So…finally lay of the father to be what he does is what he does.

*** Beth *** on

Thank You Meagan, Melissa, & Karen for echoing the point that I was trying to make. Babies come early, babies come late. You never know. She’s gonna get here when the time is right for her & that might mean while Jeff is in California, New Hampshire, Daytona, or at home in North Carolina with Ingrid.

And just because he makes LOTS OF MONEY like someone said, could it be possible that he has grown accustom to that lifestyle? That a baby might mean an adjustment to his financial future? Just because he has lots of money doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have to work.

Just my 2 cents this morning.

Kelli on

To the people who are saying that Jeff should be home with his wife and not racing; you need to realize that Jeff is being paid to drive that car. NASCAR does not allow for substitute drivers; the actual driver MUST start the race if he wishes to get the points for it. I am sure that his wife is just fine with it; I would be, that is part of marrying an athlete…they have other commitments as well. If she goes into labor during a race; all they have to do is get him out of the car and have him fly home. And why should he be taking the race off? Who is to say that she would even go into labor on a Sunday? So if she ends up being 3 weeks overdue then he should just sit by her side, not race and lose all chance of winning the championship, sponsors, money and who knows what else? I think that what he is doing is just fine and I hope that he makes it in time for the birth if he does happen to be away.

Dana Sullens on

Jeff Gordon is a fantastic race car driver. To put up with what people say and to keep win raceing. I am happy for him he & Ingrid will be great parents. Can’t wait to see pictures. Me as a die hard fan I would of been ok with him missing a race. But Jeff know it is important for him , family and his fans. Take care