DARLINGTON PAINT SCHEME PREVIEW: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year contender Chase Elliott will pilot a retro-themed NAPA AUTO PARTS paint scheme for this weekend’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. The black-and-yellow scheme mimics a longstanding NAPA AUTO PARTS delivery truck. The design will feature a yellow hood and roof panel sporting NAPA AUTO PARTS’ 1963 logo – the last version before the yellow-and-blue design seen today. The logo introduced in 1963 was meant to remind customers that NAPA was nationwide and represented quality with knowledgeable employees. The lower half of Elliott’s Chevrolet is sleek black with the current NAPA design emblazoned on the quarter panels as well as the deck lid next to a bright white No. 24 on the door panels. The rear television panel features the current logo design next to white script reading “90 Years Strong” as NAPA AUTO PARTS has been in business for over 90 years.
— Hendrick Motorsports (@TeamHendrick) September 1, 2016
BACK TO THE BEGINNING: NAPA AUTO PARTS was founded in April 1925 during one of the first automobile booms in the United States. A group of 28 men – each owners of individually operated Continental Motor Parts Stations – focused on automotive repairs, specifically distributing replacement parts. Thus, they founded the National Automotive Parts Association – NAPA. Today, NAPA is recognized as one of the most reliable automotive parts distribution systems in the world. Motor sports has also played a major role in NAPA’s identity and brand awareness. The company first tested out motor sports partnerships in the 1970s, increasing the company’s footprint in the 1990s when NAPA jumped into driver and team sponsorships. This weekend in Darlington, the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team pays tribute to NAPA’s storied history on both the distribution and motor sport aspects through the retro NAPA AUTO PARTS Assurance of Quality paint scheme.
2014 FLASHBACK: While this weekend marks the resurgence of retro paint schemes at the Southern 500, NAPA AUTO PARTS’ 1963 nostalgic logo is only a throwback of a few years for Elliott. In 2014, the retro logo adorned the No. 9 NASCAR XFINITY Series Camaro that he tested for JR Motorsports, owned by teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., in preseason testing at Daytona International Speedway.
SEASON STANDINGS: Elliott currently sits 11th in the standings with 628 points. The rookie trails leader Kevin Harvick by 171 markers. The 20-year-old is younger than any other driver currently inside the top 16 – the amount of drivers NASCAR takes into its playoffs – while also being the highest ranked rookie.
TOP-RANKED ROOKIE: Elliott leads the 2016 Rookie of the Year contender standings heading into Darlington Raceway by 51 points over second-place Ryan Blaney and 78 points over third-place Chris Buescher. Elliott has accumulated a total of 259 rookie points this year through the first 24 points-paying races.
CHASE UNIVERSITY: Elliott is asking collegiate students to enroll in “Chase University” at Charlotte Motor Speedway later this year – a ticket-package program for collegiate fans looking to join in a unique NASCAR experience. “Chase University” will feature concerts, food, beverages and tailgating games before, during and after the Bank of America 500. The 20-year-old driver will make an appearance on race day taking part in a cornhole challenge with select ticket holders. Students with a valid college ID can enroll in “Chase University” with a special $24 party pass available online at CharlotteMotorSpeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267).
Driver Quotes | Chase Elliott
“I’m looking forward to Darlington for sure. There’s a lot of cool schemes running that weekend. It will be fun to keep up with that. I’m excited about ours. I think NAPA did a good job coming up with their scheme and I’m excited to wear their colors. They’ll be different colors, but it will be pretty cool.” –Chase Elliott on Darlington Raceway
NASCAR Darlington Raceway TV Schedule (all times ET)
Friday, September 2
1:30 pm – Sprint Cup Practice on NBCSN
3:30 pm – Sprint Cup Final Practice on NBCSN
Saturday, September 3
1:30 pm – Sprint Cup Qualifying on NBCSN
Sunday, September 4
6:00 pm – Sprint Cup Race on NBC
Founded by Rick Hendrick in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports is the winningest team in NASCAR Cup Series history. At the sport’s premier level, the organization holds the all-time records in every major statistical category, including championships (14), points-paying race victories (291) and laps led (over 77,000). Headquartered in Concord, North Carolina, the team fields four full-time entries in the NASCAR Cup Series, including the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driven by 2020 champion Chase Elliott.