CONCORD, N.C. – William Byron will honor the late Neil Bonnett with his throwback scheme when the NASCAR Cup Series visits Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Mother’s Day weekend.
Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE will feature the red, white and blue Valvoline colors that Bonnett sported more than 30 years ago. It will be the first time this year Valvoline has appeared on Byron’s Chevrolet.
“It means a lot, I think, to have Neil Bonnett’s scheme (with) all that he accomplished in the sport, and just to touch on the legacy of the sport, in general, is really cool,” Byron said. “I enjoy those things and I enjoy the throwback weekend. I think it’s a great racetrack to have it on and it’s really a throwback racetrack (with) the way we have to drive it. It’s a lot of fun.”
Bonnett was one of the top NASCAR Cup Series drivers in the 1980s. Bonnett paired with Valvoline in 1987 and was sponsored by the company for two seasons.
“What’s cool about Neil is that he won the 1981 Southern 500, which is obviously a huge race and has always been,” Byron said. “It would be awesome to win the Southern 500 this year and just try to have success, in general, at Darlington knowing that we go there in the playoffs.”
On Tuesday, Hendrick Motorsports announced Valvoline would run as a primary sponsorin 2021 and 2022 with Byron and teammate Kyle Larson. After the throwback race at Darlington in May, Larson will sport the scheme at Nashville Superspeedway, Daytona Int’l Speedway and for the playoff race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Byron then will don the Valvoline colors for the playoff race at the Charlotte Roval in October.
“It’s great to have Valvoline on board,” Byron said. “Obviously, I’ve had contact with them in the past and done some stuff on iRacing, so it’s cool to have one of their paint schemes. I’ve always enjoyed the way their cars looked. They’ve been in racing for as long as I can remember. It’s going to be awesome to support them and have them on the car and, hopefully, we can get them the win.”