Regan Smith and Tommy Baldwin Racing will honor former Sprint Cup champion Alan Kulwicki with Smith’s paint job in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.
Smith drives the No. 7, the same number Kulwicki used from 1987 – 1993.
Smith’s car in the Southern 500 will look like the Hooters-sponsored Ford that Kulwicki drove to the title in 1992. The only difference with Smith’s car will be the sponsor on the hood, Road Rippers.
“It’s an honor for us to pay tribute to a true champion of our sport,” said team owner Tommy Baldwin in a team release. “Sharing the car number is a great way to celebrate his accomplishments. It is even more special because Alan achieved success as an independent team. We’re grateful to Darlington Raceway and NASCAR for giving us such a special platform.”
Before his death in a plane crash on April 1, 1993, Kulwicki made 207 starts in the Sprint Cup Series and earned five wins.
In his championship year, the Greenfield, Wisconsin, native won twice, earned 11 top fives and 17 top 10s on the way to beating Bill Elliott by 10 points.
The Southern 500 is scheduled for Sept. 4 on NBC.
COTA Xfinity starting lineup: AJ Allmendinger takes pole
Tyler Reddick posted the fastest lap in Friday’s Cup practice at Circuit of the Americas.
Reddick, who won two road course races last season, topped the field in his 23XI Racing Toyota with a lap of 92.989 mph. Kyle Larson was next, posting a lap of 92.618 mph around the 3.41-mile road course.
Ross Chastain, who won this race a year ago, was third on the speed chart in practice with a lap of 92.520 mph. He was followed by Kyle Busch (92.498 mph) and Daniel Suarez (92.461 mph).
Jordan Taylor, subbing for the injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports, was 10th on the speed chart in practice after a lap of 92.404 mph.
Former world champion Jenson Button, driving for Rick Ware Racing, was 28th in practice with a lap of 91.759 mph. Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen, driving the Project 91 car for Trackhouse Racing, was 32nd in practice after a lap of 91.413 mph.
Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, driving in his first race for Legacy Motor Club since the Daytona 500, was 36th in practice after a lap of 91.072 mph. IndyCar driver Conor Daly was last among the 39 cars in practice with a lap of 90.095 mph.
Cup qualifying is Saturday. The series races Sunday.
Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Circuit of the Americas
(All times Eastern)
START: The command to start engines will be given at 5:08 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled at 5:19 p.m.
PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 2 p.m. … The invocation will be given by Jordan Thiessen of Pit Boss Grills at 5 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by recording artist Payton Keller at 5:01 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is 46 laps (156 miles) on the 3.41-mile track.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 14. Stage 2 ends at Lap 30.
TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 5 p.m. … NASCAR RaceDay airs at 4 p.m. on FS1. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. and can be heard at goprn.com. …SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.
FORECAST:Weather Underground — Mainly sunny. Temperature of 82 at race time. No chance of rain.
LAST TIME:AJ Allmendinger won last March’s Xfinity race at COTA. Austin Hill was two seconds behind in second place. Cole Custer finished third.