Tom Cruise Makes a Surprise Appearance to Introduce Emotional Jeff Gordon at NASCAR Awards
The annual NASCAR awards Friday night in Las Vegas, which unofficially doubled as the climax of Jeff Gordon‘s farewell tour, added a surprise name to its star-studded list when Tom Cruise walked on stage to introduce the retiring championship racer.
In his two-minute introduction of Gordon, 44, during the Sprint Cup Series Awards Banquet, Cruise, 53, sang his praises both on and off the track.
A visibly emotional Gordon began to cry at the introduction’s conclusion, which cited NASCAR CEO Brian France’s one-word description of Gordon.
“Transcendence: A few reach it – he did,” Cruise said. And although many of us want to say, ‘We’ll miss you,’ what we really mean is: ‘We thank you.’ ”
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Joining him on stage, Cruise and Gordon hugged before Gordon gave his own speech, which was no less emotional.
“It’s been absolutely amazing, and I couldn’t have ever imagined how my life would turn out,” Gordon said. “Now here I am, 25 years later, stepping away from one of the most prestigious series in all of motorsports and a fulfilling career that can only truly be described as remarkable.”