NASCAR driver Ed Pompa celebrated Clemson University’s national championship when he competed in the General Tire 200 at Alabama’s Talladega Superspeedway just a few weeks ago. While any Clemson fans in attendance may have quietly cheered the Clemson car, it was also a poke in the eye to wounded Alabama football fans.
Many people customize the inside of their vehicles. In fact, it’s possible to find car carpet for vehicles dating back to the 1940s. But Pompa’s race car was decked out a little bit differently.
The car not only incorporated Clemson’s orange and purple school colors throughout, it sported a giant tiger paw logo on the hood as a tribute to the school’s recent national championship title in college football.
“I realize Alabama may not be the best place to run a Clemson scheme but it’s all for a good cause and we get a ton of exposure at Talladega,” Pompa told AL.com.
Clemson beat the Crimson Tide with a final score of 35-31 in last year’s College Football Playoff title game. But Pompa’s plans were all for a good cause.
The New York-based driver has supported several charities throughout his life, but his longest-standing connection is to the Double H Ranch for Kids. This organization provides both summer and year-round programs for children with life-threatening illnesses.
After the race, Pompa’s car hood was auctioned off, along with a few other selected hoods from various race cars. While almost 83% of coaches rate mental toughness as the most important aspect of competitive success, after the race it was clear Pompa was focused on having a good time and raising money for a charity he cares about.
“[We] set aside hoods to be auctioned off for charity. The Daytona hood is being donated to the Clemson Foundation, and the Talladega hood is going to the Double H Ranch,” he said. “In the end we hope the kids will ultimately be the big winners.”
Overall, the weekend was described by many people as a huge success. According to Norris McDonald of TheStar.com, the entire event was “plain, old-fashioned, ordinary fun, which is what auto racing, down and dirty, is all about.”