A Classic Kurt Busch Scheme Returns for Throwback Weekend

Jon Ferrey/Allsport via Getty Kurt Busch races at Martinsville Speedway in 2001.

Throwback Weekend will feature numerous standout schemes honoring NASCAR history. One, in particular, will focus on Kurt Busch’s rookie season as an Xfinity Series driver pursues his first career win.

According to an announcement made on April 25, Sam Mayer will head to Darlington Raceway with Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions as his primary partner. There will be a significant change as the company adjusts its logos to mirror the Sharpie/Rubbermaid car that Busch drove during the 2001 Cup Series season.

The scheme features the same flat black base with stylish blue stripes. The Accelerate logo has been altered to be closer to the Sharpie logo. The Professional Talent Solutions text mirrors the image of the Sharpie that sat on the hood of Busch’s No. 97 Ford Taurus.

Like the stock car from the 2001 season, there is a large red logo on the rear fenders. The big difference is that it says Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions instead of Rubbermaid.

This scheme is the one that Mayer will use as he makes his fourth career Xfinity Series start at Darlington Raceway. A brake issue disrupted his debut in 2021, but he finished fifth and 11th in the two races at The Lady in Black in 2022.

Busch will actually be on hand to see this tribute to his No. 97 Ford. He and Ricky Craven will both be honorary starters while celebrating the 20th anniversary of their legendary Darlington finish in 2003.

Busch’s Rookie Season Featured Some Solid Performances

GettyKurt Busch’s team pushes the No. 97 to the grid at Talladega Superspeedway.

The Las Vegas native turned heads in the early 2000s by making an unprecedented move. He made his national NASCAR series debut in 2000 with a full-time run in the Craftsman Truck Series, and he finished second in the championship standings after winning four races. He also made seven starts in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Busch then moved directly up to the Cup Series in 2001 instead of making a stop in what is now the Xfinity Series. He took over the No. 97 Ford Taurus while becoming teammates with Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, and Matt Kenseth.

This rookie season did not feature Busch celebrating in Victory Lane. He kicked off the year by finishing 41st in the Daytona 500 and 36th the following week at Rockingham Speedway. Though he then finished 11th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and 10th at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

There were some struggles in 2001 that led to seven total DNFs. Four, in particular, were due to mechanical issues. Busch still secured the first six top-10 finishes and three top-fives of his career. He also started from the pole for the first time during the Mountain Dew Southern 500.

JR Motorsports Has Released 2 Throwback Schemes

GettyHut Stricklin races at Darlington Raceway in 1996.

The Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway draws ever closer. The next event on the schedule takes place at Dover Motor Speedway on April 29. The Xfinity Series is off the following week while the Craftsman Truck Series and Cup Series drivers head to Kansas Speedway. It will then return to action on May 13 for Throwback Weekend.

JR Motorsports has set up the trip to Darlington Raceway by releasing two throwback schemes, as of April 25. Mayer’s tribute to Kurt Busch was actually the second.

The first scheme released is for the No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro of Josh Berry. The Tennessee native will have a red, black, and gray scheme that honors veteran driver Hut Stricklin.

This particular look is from the 1996 season when the Alabama native drove the No. 8 Circuit City Ford for Stavola Brothers Racing. He went winless in the entry, but he finished second overall behind Jeff Gordon in the 1996 Southern 500.

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