Axalta Coating Systems, a leading global manufacturer of liquid and powder coatings, and Pocono Raceway will host 100 Penn State University business and engineering students at Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 race weekend on June 6-7, 2015. As part of a program designed to drive awareness and support for STEM and business education, the event will provide special learning opportunities featuring Axalta, Pocono Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports and NASCAR executives, along with Jeff Gordon and his team at Pocono Raceway.
“Engineering and business education are an integral part of the racing industry, as they translate into practical applications we use every day,” said Charlie Shaver, Axalta Chairman and CEO. “We are proud of our 23-year partnership with Hendrick Motorsports and Jeff Gordon, and are honored to have the opportunity to support Penn State University’s curricula with this special program. It is crucial to many industries, including Axalta’s, to have access to skilled engineers and business leaders, and Penn State is providing the specialized programs needed to prepare them for the future.”
The students arrive early on June 6, where they will be greeted by Axalta executives and employees. Throughout the day, students will have an opportunity to see first-hand the impact that engineers have on racing as they tour the garage to learn more about the technology behind the engineering of the cars. The students will also attend a panel discussion featuring Axalta, NASCAR, Pocono Raceway and Hendrick Motorsports executives. Other activities include the ARCA race and a special VIP dinner hosted by Gordon.
“This is truly a unique opportunity for everyone involved as it brings three major Pennsylvania organizations together for a great educational purpose,” said Brandon Igdalsky, President & CEO of Pocono Raceway. “We look forward to having the Penn State students as our guests for the Axalta ‘We Paint Winners’ 400. I am excited to interact with them and to see Penn State University’s blue and white proudly displayed on the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, driven by Jeff Gordon all weekend long.”
Gordon, a four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, three-time Daytona 500 winner, five-time Brickyard 400 champion, and winningest driver in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition at Pocono Raceway with six victories, has been a champion of STEM education for many years.
“Supporting STEM education and future business leaders is vital to our future,” Gordon said. “I depend on the mechanical engineers on my team to make sure that my racecar is in top form for every race. Everything in my car is tied to engineering – drag and drafting, friction and heat, grip, sound, turning, and load transfer. That’s why linking STEM education to the technology behind successful racing is so important. I’m proud to partner with Axalta, Pocono Raceway and Penn State on this exciting program.”
The students have also been invited to stay for the big race the following day. The “Axalta ‘We Paint Winners’ 400” marks the first time that Axalta will be a title sponsor in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. In addition to being the sponsor of the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, driven by Gordon, Axalta is also the official paint supplier of Stewart-Haas Racing and Hendrick Motorsports.