Four-time Dover International Speedway winner Jeff Gordon spent the day exploring downstate Delaware yesterday while in town to promote the Sept. 28 “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Dover.
Joined by Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Brewery and ambassador for Coastal Delaware for the day, Gordon visited the famous Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, Del. before heading to Rehoboth Beach for a public question-and-answer session on the bandstand at the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk.
Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, was joined by Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, Del., for a free question-and-answer session on the bandstand along the Rehoboth Beach, Del. boardwalk on Aug. 20. Mike Bagley, of the Motor Racing Network and host of The Morning Drive on SiriusXM NASCAR radio, hosted the Q&A, which was attended by approximately 400 fans.
Throughout the tour of the brewery, which included a glimpse inside the brew house and bottling line, Gordon and Calagione were able to find similarities in their respective trades, comparing the art of brewing beer to the mechanics that go into making a great racecar.
“When I look at this, I think somebody’s going to buy that beer, or buy that by the case, and for us, we have a facility that buys our engines and engine parts but we don’t link it to a person, we link it to a performance,” Gordon said.
“There are so many little things you can do to affect how the car handles,” continued Gordon. “It’s kind of the same with making beer. One small amount of an ingredient can change the entire outcome of the taste.”
Calagione then compared his brewery to Gordon’s team, Hendrick Motorsports, and both companies desire to be at the top of their game so they can keep their support structure in place.
“I’d say both of our companies are equally obsessed with engineering and performance,” he said.
Gordon also said he sees a great benefit in getting to see the inner workings of an operation like the Dogfish Head Brewery, as it always serves as motivation to help him take his craft to the next level.
“You can always draw from these experiences,” said Gordon. “Seeing how people go about their work and how passionate they are about what they do truly inspires you to turn around and perform at your highest level.”
Jeff Gordon and Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Brewery, toast to a new friendship in the tasting room of the Milton, Del. brewery.
Following the brewery tour, Gordon and Calagione headed to Rehoboth Beach, where they met with approximately 400 fans for a question-and-answer session hosted by Mike Bagley, of the Motor Racing Network and host of The Morning Drive on SiriusXM NASCAR radio.
Gordon talked about everything from the new Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series format to his visit earlier in the day to the brewery. The duo concluded the event with the newest social trend, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Designed to help raise awareness and funds for those living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, the challenge sees a participant pour a bucket of ice cold water over their head, and subsequently make a donation to the ALS Association.
Gordon poured the bucket over Calagione’s head to the delight of the crowd, a fitting close to the day as earlier Gordon had met with Jamie Melvin, a fan living with ALS. They dedicated their challenge to Melvin.
“ALS is such a big topic right now with all the attention it’s getting,” Gordon said. “It’s very powerful to be able to meet someone who is actually affected and see what the awareness for the cause can really do for a person. I’m honored to have met Jamie.”
Helping raise money and awareness for the ALS Association, Jeff Gordon helped Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Brewery participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in front of a crowd of approximately 400 people on the Rehoboth Beach, Del. boardwalk bandstand.
Gordon’s visit to Delaware comes just three races ahead of the newly formatted Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and five races before the first-ever “knockout race” at the Monster Mile, the Sept. 28 “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The field of 16 championship contenders will be reduced to 12 by raceday’s end in Dover.
With the new format, Gordon is hoping to put himself in a position to win one of the first two Chase races, which would guarantee advancement in the championship field beyond Dover.
“You hope that you do your job ahead of the elimination round so that you don’t have that added pressure,” Gordon said. “But we are very capable of performing at a high level and winning those key races…I think with the new Chase format, the best team will win, and I do think that is our team.”
NASCAR returns to Dover International Speedway Sept. 26-28, 2014 for the Sept. 28 “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the third event in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the Sept. 27 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the Sept. 26 “Drive Sober 150” presented by the Delaware Office of Highway Safety NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race.
For tickets or more information, call 800-441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com. You can also keep up with the Monster Mile at Facebook.com/DoverInternationalSpeedway or on Twitter at @MonsterMile.