For Jeff Gordon, fatherhood couldn’t have come at a better time. In a recent interview, the 37-year-old NASCAR driver says that being an "older" dad to Ella Sofia, 15 months, enables him to "appreciate [fatherhood] much more" than he would have at the beginning of his career. Conversely, Jeff feels that if he "had a child early on," he might not have been as successful at the track. It’s important to Jeff — given the nature of his job — that the two entities remain separate, however.
"When I’m at work, my mind is focused on my job, on driving. If you have a great weekend, you’re on a high. When it’s a bad day, you just want to get away from the track. But no matter how good or bad my day was, coming home, it’s all put aside. You don’t have a choice. I’m a realist. It’s tough. So is racing."
Since welcoming his daughter, Jeff says he’s gained a new perspective on how leisurely his pre-baby life really was. "You think you are busy until you have a child," he says. "It turns out that my life was not busy until Ella came along."
Ella is Jeff’s daughter with model Ingrid Vandebosch, whom he wed in 2006.