NASCAR's Jeff Gordon Unveils No. 24 Car on CNBC
NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon, who will race in the Poconos on Sunday with a brand-new look, revealed his car's updated paint scheme exclusively to CNBC.
His No. 24 car, covered in red and orange flames, was created by Axalta Coating systems, formerly DuPont Performance Coatings. (The Carlyle Group bought the DuPont unit in February for $4.9 billion and changed the name.)
Gordon and Axalta have one of the longest relationships in sports: 21 years. The four-time Cup Series champion and Hall of Fame racer also told "Squawk on the Street" on Thursday that Axalta has announced the renewal of its sponsorship until 2016.
How much influence does Gordon have over the car's appearance? Quite a bit, evidently, as the inspiration came from a helmet he used to have when he was 7.
"When I was a kid, I had a helmet that was black with flames," Gordon told CNBC. "I said, 'One day I want to have a race car that matches this in the Cup Series.' "
On Sunday, Gordon will be at the Party in the Poconos, where he'll race for the first time sporting the new paint scheme. Despite a downpour at last year's event, he took the lead and hung in for the win—his first of the season.
"The Poconos has been very good for me on the luck side," Gordon said. "It's been a great track for us the last three years."
Brandon Igdalsky, president and CEO of Pocono Raceway, is betting on Gordon, and as part of the "Pocono's President's Pick" is putting $100,000 on No. 24. Ten fans will have the opportunity to be $10,000 richer if Gordon wins.
"He has the most wins of any active driver; he's won here six times," Igdalsky said. "I don't know why, but he's traditionally run really well at the Pocono's 400."
With 701 consecutive starts, Gordon said he won't be retiring anytime soon. Though NASCAR's winningest driver turns 42 in August, he still enjoys racing.
"I've always said that if I'm happy, healthy and enjoying what I'm doing, I'm not going anywhere," he said.
— By CNBC's Jessica Golden