The top three series in NASCAR head to Darlington Raceway on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for Throwback Weekend. There are several drivers using their paint schemes to honor racing legends during the special schedule. Bubba Wallace will be among this group as he uses the 23XI Racing Toyota Camry to pay tribute to Hall of Fame driver Wendell Scott.
23XI Racing unveiled the race car on Tuesday morning, showcasing a new look for the No. 23 Toyota. Instead of the red color scheme, the car will be all blue with white numbers on the doors and the roof. Root Insurance will be the primary sponsor for the weekend, so the company’s name will cover the hood and the fenders in orange lettering.
— Root Insurance (@root_insurance) May 4, 2021
Scott’s No. 34 Chevrolet featured the same color scheme — blue with white numbers and an orange border. One of his original vehicles featured the text “380 HP” on the hood while another listed the size of the engine. Scott also drove a red race car during his career.
Wallace previously honored Scott’s legacy during a Truck Series race in 2015. He drove the No. 34 Toyota during the 2014 Kroger 200, which featured the powder blue paint scheme and several nods to the Hall of Fame driver. The tailgate prominently displayed the text, “Mechanic: Me.” Wallace won the race and proceeded to celebrate with Wendell Scott Jr.
David Ragan used a similar color scheme during a Martinsville Race
The same year that Wallace drove the No. 34 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott Toyota, a Cup Series driver did the same. David Ragan headed to Martinsville — Scott’s home track — with his own tribute scheme on the No. 34 Ford Fusion. His powder blue stock car featured many nods to the original design, as well as decals celebrating Scott’s induction into the Hall of Fame.
“It’s going to be really cool to have our No. 34 Ford on the track at Martinsville with Wendell Scott’s old paint scheme,” Ragan said in 2014, per The Godfather Motorsports. “I’ve always had an appreciation for the history of our sport and the people who made it what it is today, and Wendell Scott achieved quite a bit in his career, not just for himself but others that followed.”
Ragan did not win at Martinsville while driving the Scott tribute Fusion, but he did turn in his best performance of the season. He started 29th, spun out at one point in the race, but still finished 10th overall.
Scott broke barriers during his stock car racing career
— George Silbermann (@ACCUSmayor) March 22, 2021
The first Black driver to earn his NASCAR license, Scott began racing in the regional circuits in the 1950s, racking up dozens of wins. He made his debut in the Cup Series — known then as the Grand National Series — in 1961 at Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds in Spartanburg, SC.
Scott won his first and only race in the Grand National Series in December 1963. He lined up against Richard Petty and several other top drivers in the 1964 Jacksonville 200, passing The King and never relinquishing his lead. Scott took the checkered flag and become the first Black driver to win at the top level.
While he won the race, Scott did not get to pose with his trophy or celebrate with the thousands of fans in attendance. Officials actually awarded the win to second-place finisher Buddy Baker while Scott drove two extra laps. They initially dubbed Scott as the third-place finisher but later gave him the win, saying that there was a “clerical error.”