Overhaulin' is the Word for Gordon and Foose as No. 24 Hot Hues' "Heat Waves and Flames" Car Takes to the Track at California FONTANA, Calif. (Feb. 21, 2006) -- This weekend at California Speedway, Jeff Gordon will run a "Heat Waves and Flames"...
Overhaulin' is the Word for Gordon and Foose as No. 24 Hot Hues' "Heat Waves and Flames" Car Takes to the Track at California
FONTANA, Calif. (Feb. 21, 2006) -- This weekend at California Speedway, Jeff Gordon will run a "Heat Waves and Flames" DuPont Hot Hues' custom-colored paint scheme designed by Chip Foose, renowned custom car designer and host of the popular television program "Overhaulin'." Where Foose confiscates cars from unsuspecting enthusiasts and has his team turn them into works of custom car design art on The Learning Channel, Gordon's team is overhauling its No. 24 Chevrolets in a much different way.
When Team DuPont missed the 2005 "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup," they used the final 10 races as a precursor to the 2006 season. Steve Letarte was promoted to crew chief and he aggressively attacked the team's primary weakness -- its 1.5-mile and two-mile program. Those changes were almost immediately apparent with a second-place showing at Atlanta and a ninth-place finish at Homestead. In the offseason, new team members were introduced into the fold, including a revamped "over-the-wall" crew.
"In the long run, missing the Chase probably helped us," Gordon said. We struggled on the mile-and-a-half and two-mile tracks last year, and missing the Chase allowed us to try some different things with the car. I think those changes have us going in the right direction.
"I wasn't always comfortable in the car at these types of tracks last year. There's a certain feel I'm looking for in a car, and sometimes that wasn't there with the setups we were using. Even though my teammates were having success with similar setups, we're all looking for that 'feel' that best suits our driving style.
"The changes we made to the cars toward the end of last season led to me being more comfortable with the handling characteristics of the DuPont Chevrolet. We had a strong run and finished second at Atlanta, and we led some laps and ran well at Homestead.
"I don't think all our problems are solved, but I'm really looking forward to this weekend's race to see how we stack up against the competition."
Gordon has won three races at California Speedway and is the only driver with multiple victories here. His 12.3 average finish is best among the 13 drivers who have competed in all 11 Cup events at the two-mile track. In addition, he has led 410 laps -- the most of any driver -- and his five top-five finishes tops the list at the Southern California track.
"We're really honored to partner with Chip Foose this weekend," Gordon said. "He is the best in his business and if the car goes half as fast as it looks, we'll be in good shape."
Foose Design specializes in illustration, graphics, surfacing and complete construction of automobiles and automotive related products. Foose was inducted into the Darryl Starbird Rod & Custom Car Museum Hall of Fame in 2002, Grand National Roadster Show Hall of Fame in 2003 and the San Francisco Rod, Custom and Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2005. Throughout his career, Foose received the Goodguys Street Rod of the Year Award seven times and won the coveted Ridler Award in 2002, 2003 and 2005.
"I am excited to partner on this project with DuPont Hot Hues' and Jeff Gordon, two of the biggest names in the custom finishing and racing industries," said Foose. "On recent project vehicles, I have used Hot Hues' colors and was impressed with the variety, versatility, and quality of products in the offering."
Team DuPont is working hard and hopes to change the word from "Overhaulin'" to "Overhauled!"