Jeff Gordon has his very own highway! On Friday, North Carolina and Mecklenburg County officials dedicated a 1.6-mile section, or about the distance Gordon had left to win Martinsville this year before getting taken out, of Interstate 85 in Gordon's honor. The section of the highway will run from the city of Charlotte to the Cabarrus County line.
"I'm going to have a big smile on my face because I travel on that road every week," said Gordon, who was the first non-North Carolina native NASCAR driver to have a state road named in his honor. "Every time I see that sign, I'm going to smile and be very proud of this moment. … Not every day you have an expressway named after you."
Gordon joins Richard Petty, Junior Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, and Benny Parsons as NASCAR drivers with North Carolina roads or highways named in their honor. How awesome would it be if he got a speeding ticket on his own highway?
And now, since we're an environmentally sensitive blog, we're going to recycle some of the jokes from the first time we ran this story. Join us, won't you, in speculating what the highways named for other drivers would look like. For instance:
• The Tony Stewart Expressway, naturally, would run right through the drive-thru of a Burger King.
• The Jimmie Johnson Freeway would actually be the fastest, most efficient route to get to your destination, but people would still bitch and say that the old-timey cracked-pavement roads were much better.
• The Dale Earnhardt Jr. Expressway would start out smoothly enough, but strangely, your exit that's only supposed to be a mile away never seems to get any closer ...
• The Kurt Busch Freeway would get you almost to your destination, then put you right into a wall and force you to rent a far cheaper car to go the distance.