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Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Shawn Windsor: Jeff Gordon brought excitement, fans to NASCAR

BROOKLYN, Mich. Jeff Gordon once hosted "Saturday Night Live." That might be hard to believe, a NASCAR driver as a front man for a pop-culture institution. But Gordon was everywhere then, when hosting "SNL" meant you'd made it, when stepping from NASCAR's insular world into a wider swath of Americana didn't seem as far-fetched as it does now. This fall, when Gordon retires he raced for the last time in Michigan on Sunday NASCAR will have a large hole to fill. Matt Kenseth, anyone? He won the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, but he will never be confused with anyone's idea of a crossover star. How about Kevin Harvick?...

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