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Inside Groove

That time Leo DiCaprio met Jeff Gordon, didn't know who he was

Leonardo DiCaprio

The mid-nineties belonged to four-time NASCAR premier series champion Jeff Gordon.


From 1995-98, the recently retired Hendrick Motorsports driver amassed a whopping 40 wins, three titles and one runner-up finish in the points standings. 


That don't mean nothin' to Romeo.


Gordon released a second excerpt from his upcoming book, "Jeff Gordon: His Dream, Drive & Destiny" on Friday, detailing an encounter from Vanity Fair's 1996 post-Academy Awards party in Los Angeles. There he met Leonardo DiCaprio, who was coming off "Romeo & Juliet," and Tom Cruise, who gave a speech recognizing Gordon at last fall's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards.



From the sounds of it, Gordon had an instant fan in Cruise (and Nicole Kidman, who was married to Cruise at the time), but Leo was not as impressed with the future NASCAR Hall of Famer's accolades. 


Mainly because the then-22-year-old had never heard of Gordon, just 24 (both in age and car number) at the time.


"He had these purple sunglasses on, two glasses of champagne," Gordon noted in the book. "I said, 'Leonardo, I know you're probably not a NASCAR fan, but I'm a NASCAR driver and I love your work, and congrats on everything.'


"I'll never forget, he looks at me and goes, 'Ah, man, I don't follow NASCAR, but if you're in here, you must be somebody.' "

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