Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman has just revealed a special throwback scheme for the Darlington Cup Series race on May 8. He will run a design paying tribute to Hall of Famer Mark Martin.
Ally Racing and Hendrick Motorsports revealed the new design on April 12. They showed off the red, white, and blue No. 48 Chevrolet featuring Ally graphics on the hood and sides. This design, which will debut during Throwback Weekend, bears a striking resemblance to the Valvoline scheme that Martin ran on the No. 6 Ford Thunderbird during his career, including the 1993 season.
“I’m very proud of this. Thanks @Alex_Bowman and @allyracing. Now go after that trophy,” Martin tweeted after seeing the updated version of his classic scheme.
The 1993 Cup Series season featured some early struggles for Martin. Mechanical issues led to DNFs in four of the first 13 races, but he rattled off four consecutive wins at Watkins Glen International, Michigan International Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, and Darlington Raceway. He added a fifth win at Phoenix Raceway in the penultimate event to help him secure a third-place finish in the championship standings.
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Bowman Has History in a Valvoline Car
The Arizona native has something in common with Martin. He has reached Victory Lane multiple times in the Cup Series, and he has contended for wins while working with Valvoline as his primary partner.
Prior to taking over the No. 48 in 2021, Bowman spent three full-time seasons in the No. 88 Chevrolet. He had Valvoline among his primary partners, and he achieved some success with the company on his stock car. This list includes an eighth-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2018, a fifth-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway in 2019, and a ninth-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway in 2020.
While 27 of Martin’s Cup Series wins took place with Valvoline as a primary partner, Bowman did not reach Victory Lane with the motor oil as a primary partner. Five of his seven wins have featured Ally Racing while he won one race each with Cincinnati and Axalta.
Bowman will bring back the Valvoline colors for Throwback Weekend while pursuing his eighth career win, which would break a tie with Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney. Though he will have Ally Racing logos instead of the massive “V” on his No. 48.
Bowman Has 9 Career Starts at Darlington Raceway
Bowman has won at some of NASCAR’s most difficult tracks during his career. This list includes Dover Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, and Richmond Raceway. However, he has yet to tame The Lady in Black.
Bowman has made nine starts at Darlington Raceway during his career. He has completed every race but has only posted two top-10 finishes. He finished sixth overall in the 2020 Southern 500 and second in the 2020 Real Heroes 400. Bowman’s other starts have resulted in finishes outside of the top 15.
The 2022 season has featured some strong performances from Bowman. He has adjusted to the Gen 7 car while posting four top-10 finishes, a win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and a runner-up behind Ross Chastain at Circuit of the Americas.
Bowman has also finished inside of the top 15 in every race since a 25th-place run at Auto Club Speedway on February 27. Now he will try to keep this consistency while taking on Darlington Raceway in the Martin tribute scheme.
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