Commissioners OK plan to name part of I-85 for Jeff Gordon - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Commissioners OK plan to name part of I-85 for Jeff Gordon

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Tuesday night the Mecklenburg County Board of County Commissioners approved a plan to rename a section of I-85 for NASCAR star Jeff Gordon.

The "Jeff Gordon Expressway" would run from the Charlotte city limits to the Cabarrus County line.

Commissioners will now ask the North Carolina Department of Transportation to make it official.

King Richard Petty has a stretch of highway 220 named in his honor, Benny Parsons name is on highway 421 in Wilkes County, and Dale Earnhardt has his own boulevard and highway in Cabarrus and Iredell, so what about naming part of I-85 in honor of Jeff Gordon?

NASCAR made the proposal as a way to honor Gordon's 85th win, his charity work, and the fact that he and his family now live in Charlotte. 

"I think that would be fantastic for a driver that's competitive the way he is."

We ran into Gary Ingram at the Hendrick Motorsports Museum, he loves the idea.

At Charlotte Motor Speedway we found Carl Tompkins of Mooresville who also agreed with Ingram.

"I think it might be a good idea," Tompkins told WBTV.  "He's a pretty good guy, been around a long time, his charity work is wonderful, he ought to have something named after him."

But what about across the county line?  Cabarrus County is Earnhardt Country, but even die hard Earnhardt fans said they liked the idea.

"Yeah, think that's a great idea, he's accomplished a lot," said George Taylor, in town from Canada to look at the Dale Earnhardt statue near downtown.

"Jeff Gordon has done a lot for the community, for the hospital, Northeast, built the Jeff Gordon children's wing," added Gina Corl of Kannapolis.

And that's the idea behind the proposal, according to NASCAR. A way to honor Gordon's 85 win that puts him third all time, but also his charity work.

And while no one told WBTV on camera they didn't like the idea, dozens on the reporter's Facebook page reacted.  Many hate the idea, others love it, and some have very different ideas, like naming it for a service member who died in the Iraq or Afghanistan wars.

So what does the object of all the attention think?  WBTV's David Whisenant asked Gordon about directly late Tuesday afternoon during a NASCAR teleconference.  Gordon smiled, and said it would be a great honor.

"It's very exciting," Gordon told WBTV.  "We'll see how the vote goes, but I do drive up and 85 all the time, to the Hendrick shop, home, even my parent's house that's now in North Carolina. That would be a tremendous honor to be recognized in that way."

Copyright 2011 WBTV.


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