Hendrick Motorsports

William Byron to drive Jeff Gordon’s ‘Rainbow Warriors’ scheme in Southern 500

Leave a comment

CONCORD, N.C. — One of the most famous paint schemes in NASCAR history will ride again in the Sept. 2 Southern 500.

The rainbow paint scheme Jeff Gordon drove for the first eight years of his Cup career will be resurrected for William Byron and the No. 24 Chevrolet.

The scheme was announced Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway in a presentation with Gordon, Byron and artist Sam Bass, who designed the scheme that debuted in the 1992 season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race was Gordon’s series debut.

Gordon drove the scheme full-time from 1993-2000 when he was sponsored by Du Pont. He drove it one last time in the 2015 Bristol night race during his final full-time season.

The scheme was used by Dylan Lupton in last year’s Xfinity Series race at Darlington.

Gordon, now an analyst for Fox Sports, never dreamed his paint scheme would be used in a throwback fashion decades later.

“I was just a young kid that was anxious to get out there and show what I could and excited about the opportunity to be at Hendrick Motorsports and hoped that I would be able to do my part and go on and win a race, let alone 93 of them,” Gordon said. “I certainly never looked far enough ahead that I would have ever thought we were creating something that would be part of NASCAR history or a throwback to the history at Darlington with a 20-year-old kid behind the wheel that wasn’t me.”

The four-time champion is a nominee for the 2019 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class. The class will be announced Wednesday.

Byron, 20, is in his rookie season with Hendrick Motorsports and will compete in his first Southern 500.

“Jeff’s got a huge history in the sport and to follow that and be able to carry his legacy and hopefully have success with it is my goal,” Byron said.

Byron is 19th in the point standings through 12 races.

Bass told the story of how he came to get the job of designing Gordon’s car in 1992.

“(Jeff Gordon’s crew chief) Ray Evernham came over to my shop looking for a birthday present for Jeff,” Bass recalled. “He picked up a print, he was getting ready to leave and wanted to pay me for it. I said, ‘No, I don’t want your money. I want you to give me a shot to design the race car for Jeff Gordon.’ I didn’t really think he would do it, but he called me back in a couple of weeks and said, ‘Hey, you got a shot.’ I worked on three designs and had two of them done the day it was due. On the way driving to work, I kept thinking in my mind Du Pont had said they wanted a rainbow of color. They wanted to car to show that they could produce a rainbow of colors.

“I went back to the shop and started working on something, and I knew when I got it done that if they would paint it that way it would definitely be different. I thought the guys in the body shop were gonna kill me when they saw it because they knew how difficult it was going to be to paint. To their credit, they did it and they were so proud of it.”

 

Kasey Kahne celebrating 10th anniversary of All-Star win with throwback scheme

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Leavine Family Racing announced a throwback paint scheme for Kasey Kahne on Tuesday, but you won’t have to wait until the Southern 500 to see it in action.

Kahne’s No. 95 Chevrolet will get the retro treatment this weekend in the Monster Energy All-Star Race.

The scheme celebrates the 10th anniversary of Kahne’s lone win in the exhibition race.

Kahne won the 2008 edition of the event when he drove the No. 9 Dodge owned by Ray Evernham.

Kahne won the event only after he was voted in by fans following the Open. He remains the only driver to win the race after being the winner of the fan vote.

“It was so awesome that the fans voted us into the All-Star race back in 2008,” said Kahne in a press release. “It really was special to get voted into the race, and then to have a great car to be able to drive our way to the front in order to make strategy calls that put us in position to win.  Our paint scheme for this weekend looks so similar to that scheme we ran in 2008’s event, that it’s been cool to see it in the shop as the guys have been getting ready for this weekend.  I’m looking forward to racing it this weekend, and hopefully the paint scheme can bring us the same result we had ten years ago.”

Kahne’s participation is the race this year is Leavine Family Racing’s first time in the main event.

Dumont JETS will sponsor Kahne. It is the first time the company will be a primary sponsor in the Cup Series. It will also be a primary sponsor for the playoff race at Dover International Speedway.

Kevin Harvick’s Darlington scheme revealed

Lionel Racing
Leave a comment

Kevin Harvick will race like it’s 1996 with his paint scheme for the Sept. 2 Southern 500.

His No. 4 Ford will be sponsored by Busch Beer and the car’s look will be based on the beer’s can design from 20 years ago.

Harvick, who won the 2014 Southern 500, has been sponsored by Busch and Budweiser in the three throwback themed races at Darlington Raceway so far, with Budweiser on the car in 2015.

Harvick’s paint scheme joins a short list of those that have been announced so far. Those include schemes for Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Matt DiBenedetto and Ryan Blaney.

Here’s each of Harvick’s throwback schemes so far.

2015

2016

2017

 

Ryan Blaney honors father with Southern 500 paint scheme

1 Comment

Ryan Blaney‘s throwback paint scheme for this season’s Southern 500 is personal.

The Team Penske driver will pay tribute to the NASCAR career of his father, former Cup driver Dave Blaney, in the Sept. 2 race at Darlington Raceway.

The No. 12 Ford will look like the No. 77 Jasper sponsored Ford the elder Blaney drove in the 2003 Cup season.

The car was revealed on NASCAR’s Facebook Live page. 

That year, Dave Blaney earned his first of two career Cup poles and his first of four top fives. The top five came in the spring race at Darlington.

Dave Blaney made 473 Cup starts from 1992 through 2014.

His son, in his first full-time season with Penske, will make his fourth Southern 500 start. His best finish is 13th in 2016.

Ryan Blaney is eighth in the Cup points standings through nine races.

MORE: Matt DiBenedetto pays tribute to Jeff Burton with Darlington scheme

Michael Annett, DJ Kennington to honor victims of Humboldt Broncos bus crash

Gaunt Brothers Racing
Leave a comment

This weekend DJ Kennington and Michael Annett will pay tribute to the 16 players and staff of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team who have lost their lives as a result of an April 6 bus crash.

The bus was carrying 29 members of the junior-A Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team which is based in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Kennington is a native of St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, and both drivers have played hockey.

Kennington, who drives for Gaunt Brothers Racing, will have the team’s logo on the hood of his No. 96 Toyota this weekend in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Annett, who drives for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series, will have the logo above the B pillar on his No. 5 Chevrolet.

The logos are the latest in a series of tributes in memory of the victims and the first in NASCAR.

“I remember riding buses when I played hockey,” Annett said in a press release. “It was part of the game, traveling together to away games. In NASCAR, we use planes and motorhomes, but none of us as players had the ability to do that. You went as a team.

“This is a terrible tragedy, and my heart goes out to the families and fans of the Humboldt Broncos.”