Gordon To Spotlight National Guard

This weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon will trade in the bold orange, yellow and black hues that have adorned the hood of his No. 24 Chevrolet so far this season for the opportunity to spotlight one of the National Guard's community programs.

Gordon will bring awareness to the National Guard's community-related initiatives this season during eight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, starting with Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500. This weekend, the hood of his No. 24 DuPont/National Guard Chevrolet will feature the National Guard Youth Challenge program. The race will air live on FOX this Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET.

The voluntary, 17-month program, which is funded by federal and state partnerships, is available at no cost to participants who are at-risk teens between the ages of 16-18. The program provides them with job training, life skills and the confidence to tackle life successfully, as well as a glimpse into the life of National Guard soldier. Visit www.ngyouthfoundation.org for more information.

"The National Guard is about more than just protecting us," said Gordon, who has scored four wins, 13 top-five finishes and 21 top-10s in 33 Cup starts at the 1.54-mile racetrack. "It gives high school students opportunities such as tuition for school and also job opportunities. The more I get to learn about the National Guard and what they have to offer, the more impressed I am with what they are doing. It makes me proud to represent them."

In addition to this weekend's Sprint Cup Series event at Atlanta, Gordon will partner with the National Guard in seven other races this season and help bring awareness to some of its special programs and benefits. These races include Texas Motor Speedway on April 5; Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on May 9; Michigan International Speedway on June 14; Chicagoland Speedway on July 11; Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on Sept. 12; New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 20; and Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Oct. 25.

"I'm really excited about having the National Guard on board this season," Gordon said. "They've been a great addition to Hendrick Motorsports, having them on the No. 88 team and seeing what they've done there. Obviously, we've gotten an introduction. The people are great to work with. I think it really ties to our fans.

"Obviously, (Dale Earnhardt) Jr. has a different fan base than I have, but I think both of us really have a connection with our fans and that connection can transfer over to the National Guard and be fantastic. With our sport being as patriotic as it is and all-American, I think it makes perfect sense."

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