updated 08/28/2008 AT 4:00 PM ET
•originally published 08/31/2008 AT 11:25 AM ET
A daredevil on the racetrack, Jeff Gordon credits his wife, Ingrid, for being the rock in his family life.
“She’s an amazing wife and mother,” Gordon, 37, told PEOPLE at Wednesday’s Pepsi 500 Running Wide Open party in Hollywood, which he cohosted with Pharrell Williams. “You’ve got to have a wife that’s very understanding. I’m lucky to have that.”
He explains, “It’s because she wakes up everyday at 7 a.m. and does everything that she possibly can for her little girl – our little girl – and for me.”
Gordon’s model/actress wife, Ingrid Vandebosch, gave birth to their daughter, Ella Sofia Gordon, in June 2007.
Gordon told reporters that the best part of fatherhood is “waking up every morning and seeing her look in your face. The love, there’s nothing like it.”
In the midst of racing season, Gordon will compete in Sunday’s Pepsi 500 race in California, after a successful contest recently at Bristol.
As for their home life, Gordon says Vandebosch picks up the slack when he’s busy with work. “We try to travel together. I do everything I can to get home as often as I can. She’s the greatest mom on the planet.”
Asked if they want more kids, Gordon said, “Maybe!” And even though he’s had a year of practice being a dad, he’s still open to words of wisdom on the subject. “Everybody I know that becomes a parent reads every book they possibly can,” he said. “Any advice I get, I’m going to take it.”