William Byron will pay tribute to Cole Trickle with his paint scheme for the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway (Sept. 1 on NBCSN).
Yes, Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet will be made up to look like the one of the cars the fictional NASCAR driver drove in the 1990 movie “Days of Thunder.”
Byron unveiled the scheme today on social media with a spoof of the scene that introduced Trickle – played by Tom Cruise – in the movie. In the place of Robert Duvall’s Harry Hogge is crew chief Chad Knaus.
Here’s the original scene in all its Tony Scott-directed glory.
The City Chevrolet sponsorship on Byron’s car is the real deal. It’s a Rick Hendrick car dealership located in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Hendrick Motorsports was heavily involved in the production of “Day of Thunder,” consulting on the film and also providing the cars that were used. Randy Quaid’s character Tim Daland is based on Hendrick.
While the paint scheme getting used for the Throwback Weekend is cool by itself, it being raced at Darlington adds another level to it.
In “Days of Thunder,” Trickle earns his first career win in a race at the track “Too Tough to Tame” with this scheme.
While it’s entirely possible Byron could earn his own first career Cup win in the three races before the Southern 500, there’d be no better way to honor Trickle than by getting it under the lights at Darlington.
Byron won’t be the only driver boasting a scheme from the movie at Darlington.
Over in the Xfinity Series, Jeremy Clements‘ No. 51 Chevrolet will look like the No. 51 Exxon car that Rowdy Burns drove in the movie.
“I grew up watching Days of Thunder all the time especially headed to Buck Creek Speedway in our cube van that my Grandpa Crawford built, and it would really get me pumped up to race.” Clements said in a press release. “I love this movie so much so that’s where I got the No. 51 from and have had it ever since.”