Texas Motor Speedway

Texas Motor Speedway

A Peek Over the Wall

A Peek Over the Wall with Travis Gordon – No. 24 Drive To End Hunger team engineer; primary fueler

by TMS Admin | Feb 19, 2013

Travis Gordon started with Hendrick Motorsports in the summer of 2003 when he was just out of high school and about to start his first year of college at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte (UNCC). Gordon had applied for an internship with Hendrick Motorsports not knowing what kind of job he would get. He knew it could be learning about engines, building cars or just sweeping floors, but he also knew this was a great chance to get his foot in the door.

Gordon was that aggravating kid that called every single day for a few weeks to see if they had made a decision to hire him. It got to the point that the secretary knew his voice on the phone. At the time, Alan Gustafson (currently crew chief of No. 24 Chevrolet) was a race engineer on the No. 5 car driven by Terry Labonte and when he was asked about an intern he said he would like to have one. He then heard about this one kid that called every day and was driving the hiring people crazy. Luckily, Gordon was the one he chose.

Gordon started out entering Alan's race notes into the computer – a little better than just sweeping floors. Soon after that he learned how to build shocks. That became his part-time job with Hendrick Motorsports and Alan Gustafson's teams for the next couple of years before he transferred into a role with the engineering department. Upon graduating college in May 2007, he began his full-time job as "Data Guy."

While attending college at UNCC, Gordon was a walk-on for the 49ers men’s basketball team and was with the team for two NCAA appearances and one NIT appearance. He managed to juggle a full course load with mechanical engineering, basketball and working at the race shop when he wasn’t on the court or in the classroom. “I didn’t play very much during my four years, and this earned me many nicknames around the shop that have stuck with me to this day,” Gordon said.

In 2013, Gordon moved up to the primary fueler on the No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS driven by Jeff Gordon.

“This is a big jump as I only began fueling two years ago, but I have watched and learned from Brad Pickens (previous No. 24 team fueler),” Travis said. “A lot of people prepare for races and sporting events differently. I don’t really have any pre-race rituals that I do, but I always get a little bit nervous before the first stop of the race. But as soon as I step off the wall, the adrenaline kicks in and from there it's "easy sailing. This sport has allowed me to continue to compete at a very high level, and it’s what I love to do.”

Travis worked at Hendrick Motorsports for almost seven years before officially meeting Jeff Gordon. “Since we do share the same last name, I get asked repeatedly if we are related at the race track – and some fans are actually disappointed when they learn we are not!”

Travis recently married Kirby Johnson Gordon who also works in NASCAR in the Nationwide Series. No kids just yet but they have two dogs, a 25-pound puggle named Oakley and a 70-pound bit bull named Zeke. Gordon spends his spare time outdoors where he enjoys hunting, sport shooting, working on his cars or trying to find time to get down to the beach.

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