CONCORD, N.C. – With Memorial Day in the rearview mirror and temperatures here in North Carolina creeping into the 90s, it’s safe to say summer has unofficially arrived.
All season long, HendrickMotorsports.com is bringing a series that will act as your summer guide to everything from tailgating to merchandise. Each week, we’ll feature a Hendrick Motorsports team member and his or her recipes, games, memories, tips, and advice for the best tailgate.
And each edition of the #HendrickSummer series will also feature summer-related discounts at the on-campus and online Team Store.
To get things started with the very first guide, we turn to a Hendrick Motorsports team member with a unique favorite cookout recipe that has a little bit of a backstory to it.
BUFFALO AND BARBEQUES
Meet Travis Gordon -- fueler for the No. 24 Chevrolet SS driven by Chase Elliott as well as a shop supervisor in the Nos. 5 and 24 race shop.
To kick off the #HendrickSummer guides, he shared with us his top three essentials for the perfect tailgate.
1) Buffalo burgers and brats
2) Cornhole bean bag toss
3) Lots of friends
To understand the inclusion of buffalo, we have to dive a little deeper into Gordon’s family business based out of Wisconsin.
Although it’s a big time commitment, racing isn’t all our pit crew members are interested in. Some have their hands in many different undertakings.
Gordon’s in-laws own Hansen’s Bison Farm, which provides 100 percent organic bison meat to local areas in Rock County, Wisconsin.
“I had never personally eaten any or tried it but after eating it and going up there and visiting, I decided I wanted to buy in,” Gordon said.
He and his wife currently own 17 buffalo that his father-in-law takes care of for them. Gordon is looking to purchase more land in North Carolina so he can move his buffalo south, with the goal being to supply local farmer’s markets and restaurants with the meat.
Needless to say, Gordon’s bison meat is popular among his coworkers and he buys product from his father-in-law to sell in North Carolina.
“A buffalo is a lot like a cow, so you get all the normal cuts,” Gordon explained. “You can get ribeyes and T-bones. We do it in ground, brats and then we actually sell pre-packaged one-third pound hamburger patties.”
So it’s no secret that bison meat is one of Gordon’s must-haves for a summer cookout. He said the best part is that you can grill or cook it just like any other type of meat, however, he does have one tip:
“The biggest thing with buffalo that you have to remember is it’s very low in fat and that’s what makes it so healthy,” he said. “There’s very little fat, very little cholesterol and high protein. You just have to cook it slow. Because there’s no fat, it will burn, so low and slow is always the way to go with that.”
MEMORIES OF BRISTOL
Gordon recalled one of his favorite tailgating memories from just last year. He and a friend bought a travel trailer and he made the trip to Bristol Motor Speedway with his brother and a group of friends for the 2015 fall race.
“That was the first time I’ve actually been to a race and kind of camped out and done all that stuff,” he said. “We got to tailgate and grill and hang out. I had to go to work so the rest of them got to stay and hang out but that was pretty cool to go experience that from the fans’ perspective and not just from working in the sport.”
Gordon will be back in action with the No. 24 team this weekend at Michigan International Speedway.
TEAM STORE SUMMER DISCOUNTS
Beginning today and lasting until next week’s edition of the #HendrickSummer guide, you can receive a special summer discount on all No. 24 team Chase Elliott hats in both the Team Store and the online store. Simply use the code HENDRICKSUMMER at checkout to receive your 10 percent discount.
Make sure to check out next week’s edition for brand new stories and a brand new discount -- and don’t forget to share with us how you’re enjoying your summer with Hendrick Motorsports, including your favorite tailgating this weekend, using the hashtag #HendrickSummer. You could be featured in a future edition of the guide!