A tribute given to a NASCAR star has sparked some debate in North Carolina.
Jeff Gordon has become the latest racing icon to have part of a Charlotte highway named in his honor. Local politicians approved a plan to rename part of I-85 for Gordon in tribute of his 85 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins.
"Jeff Gordon Expressway" will run from the Queen City limits to the next county line, according to WBTV.com.
NASCAR originally cooked up the idea and proposed it to the Mecklenburg County board, according to WCNC-TV.
WBTV reports a number of local residents are outraged that the 40-year-old driver is getting the distinction. Some tell the station the highway naming accolade should instead go to a fallen soldier from Iraq or Afghanistan.
Gordon is, as always, graceful under fire.
"It's very exciting," he said before the news became official late last night. "We'll see how the vote goes, but I do drive up and 85 all the time, to the Hendrick shop, home, even my parents' house that's now in North Carolina. That would be a tremendous honor to be recognized in that way."
The pride of Vallejo, California, has 85 career wins, 70 poles and 391 top ten finishes in a NASCAR career that began with rookie of the year honors in 1993. In addition to driving really fast, Gordon has gotten a taste of
Charlotte is the racing capital of the United States and Gordon is just the latest driver to receive the highway distinction. Richard Petty (highway 220), Benny Parsons (highway 241) and Dale Earnhardt (his own boulevard and highway) have also been given the privilege. But Gordon has never quite felt the same affection from race fans, despite his unquestioned ability.
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