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Thursday, June 6, 2013
Axalta extends sponsorship of 24 car

By David Newton
ESPN.com

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Four-time champion Jeff Gordon has a primary sponsor through the 2016 Sprint Cup season should he choose to drive at least that long.

Axalta Coatings System, formerly DuPont Performance Coatings, which has been with the Hendrick Motorsports driver for 21 years, announced a three-year extension to remain on the No. 24 car.

Axalta will be the primary sponsor for 10 races in each of the next three years and an associate sponsor for the remaining races.

"They've been with me since the beginning and I look forward to a lot more racing, some more wins and hopefully another championship with them before it's all over," Gordon said in a statement Thursday. "The newly rebranded Axalta company is still comprised of the same people I've been working with for more than two decades and I can't imagine my career without them.

"I'm so excited that they're moving forward with us."

Gordon, who will turn 42 in August, has been noncommittal on how many years he will stay in the sport other than to say he wants to remain relevant.

"I just look at what are our sponsors and how they signed, and how am I feeling and how competitive am I, and does Rick [Hendrick] want me in the seat, and am I valuable to the organization?" he said last month at Darlington. "Once you get those questions out of the way during the offseason, then you just go and drive the wheels off of it and do your best as a driver.

"So I pretty much look at one year at a time at this stage. So I don't know if that's going to take me five more years or one more year. I really don't know."

Gordon currently is 11th in the Cup standings, only eight points behind reigning champion Brad Keselowski for the 10th and final spot guaranteed a position in the Chase.

Sunday's race at Pocono will be the first the Axalta logo will appear on the hood of Gordon's car with the familiar "firestorm" paint scheme.

"This has truly been one of the most effective and iconic relationships in sports marketing," said Hendrick, the owner of HMS. "We celebrated 20 years together with a win at Homestead [in 2012] and all of us look forward to many more successes with Jeff and the No. 24 team."