On Thursday, Aug. 23, four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon and defending winner of the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, visited the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta to host a dolphin race between two of the aquarium’s resident dolphins.
The two dolphins, nicknamed “Jimmie” and “Dale” for the event, went head-to-head to determine which one was the fastest dolphin in Atlanta. Gordon waved the green flag to signal the start of the race and “Jimmie” claimed victory with Gordon waving the checkered flag. Gordon awarded “Jimmie” with a trophy full of fish for his win. He also asked “Jimmie” if he’d be ready to race against 42 other dolphins, which was answered with an emphatic shake of his head, “no.”
The event at the Georgia Aquarium was to promote the upcoming AdvoCare 500 at AMS. Gordon explained why he loves racing at Atlanta to the media attending the event. “I think one of the reasons so many drivers and teams love Atlanta is the track does have a lot of grip, a lot of banking, a very fast race track, especially when you look at the qualifying speeds,” said Gordon. “But when you see what happens in the race, it’s very fast but it has a lot of fall off, so the tire wear is significant, the balance of the car changes throughout a run. As a driver, you have to drive through those things and it puts on one of the best races because its three and four wide grooves, and so many different grooves that can make the car run faster through one end of the racetrack versus the other. So I know it’s a favorite of mine for all those reasons, and that’s the case for a lot of other drivers. It’s an older surface, but we find today that those older, abrasive surfaces seem to be one that offers some of the best racing in the series.”
If Gordon can log another win next weekend at AMS, he will tie Bobby Labonte for the most Cup wins at the track among active drivers. Dale Earnhardt, Sr. still holds the record for most Cup wins with nine victories.