Four-time Sprint Cup Series champion and FOX NASCAR analyst Jeff Gordon visited the University of Michigan on Wednesday to announce a new research partnership between the school, Axalta Coating Systems and Hendrick Motorsports.

The partnership is a five-year agreement will allow students of the Walter E. Wilson Student Team Project Center to explore the professional racing world, as well as conduct research involving the coating industry.

The research will be financially supported by Axalta, which will give students the chance to learn more in-depth about various elements of coating technology.

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The partnership will be officially launched when NASCAR visits Michigan International Speedway in August. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will also drive a special Michigan Wolverines-themed paint scheme sponsored by Axalta for that race weekend.

During his visit, Gordon not only spoke to members of the Michigan Student Business Association at the Ross School of Business and toured various facilities, but he also met up with Michigan's head football coach Jim Harbaugh and the school's softball team.