This week Jeff Gordon discovered the power of the Twelfth Man as his team turned the No. 24 Axalta Chevy Texas Aggie maroon and white to represent the Texas A&M School of Engineering. Gordon will be starting - fittingly enough - from the 12th spot in today's Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
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"I just think it is a great partnership. Charlie Shaver, the CEO from Axalta, is here and he is an alumni from Texas A & M, so connecting the engineering that goes on within one of the largest coatings companies in the world, as well as the engineering that happens within the teachings of engineering that happens over at Texas A & M as well as how that connects to motorsports, it just makes sense," said Gordon.
In addition, 25 students of TAMU School of Engineering are at the track this weekend.
"We are going to have a lot of those students out here this weekend who won the opportunity to be our 12th man. Just the incredible support we’ve gotten just representing them. I feel like I've gotten some extra pressure on me to go out there and perform as well," said Gordon.
Saturday, students watched from the Axalta suite, and got to listen to crew chief Alan Gustafson and Hendrick consultant, three-time Cup champion crew chief Ray Evernham talk about engineering's importance to NASCAR.
“We have tapped into engineering schools and students probably a little bit more around the Carolinas and in the Midwest, but I’m not so sure that we have tapped into schools like Texas A & M," said Gordon. "I think a lot of it is because maybe they just don’t realize that could be a potential path for them. As well as the tie to Axalta and the coating systems and all the engineering that goes into what makes their brand and their product so successful and why engineers are so important to them as well.”
Gordon was impressed by the intensity of the students and by the school as a whole.
"What an impressive facility that they have, the whole campus is just amazing. A lot of construction going on too, so it’s only growing.”
Janine, aka Lisa or LJ, Cloud, a fifth-generation Texan, lives in Houston and considers Texas Motor Speedway her home track. She graduated from the University of Houston-Clear Lake (Go Coogs!) with a degree in Theater Arts.
She's been a part of the Skirts and Scuffs team since May 2011, going from contributor to media rep, photographer, and associate editor covering both NASCAR and IZOD IndyCar. Janine considers it a privilege to represent the site at the track and to share with readers the excitement of the world of motorsports.