Stewart-Haas Racing unveiled their No. 14 Darlington 2017 throwback paint scheme this morning at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and it’s a tribute to NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin.
Martin, a Batesville, Arkansas-native won 40 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races, finished second in the championship standings five times and notched five titles in the IROC Series during the course of his 31-year career.
He was inducted this year into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and also was famous for his proficiency in NASCAR’s secondary series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series, winning a total of 49 races and 30 poles.
No. 14 Darlington 2017 Throwback Paint Scheme
Driver of the No. 14 Ford, Clint Bowyer and his whole team will honor Martin at the 2017 running of the Southern 500 at Darlinton Raceway with a throwback paint scheme from when Margin drove a Carolina Ford Dealers Ford Thunderbird for Bill Davis Racing in 43 XFINITY Series races between 1988 and 1991.
Martin earned three Xfinity Series victories and scored 11 top-five finishes in that blue, white and red Carolina Ford Dealers Thunderbird, with his top Darlington Raceway result in the car at second in the 1989 Country Squire 200. Margin finished a mere .37 of a second behind race-winner Geoff Bodine.
Eventually, Martin earned eight Xfinity Series wins at Darlington to complement his two Southern 500 victories in 1993 and 2009.
“If you want to associate yourself with a winner and all that’s good about our sport and its history, then you aren’t going to do any better than Mark Martin,” said Bowyer.
In 2012 and 2013, Bowyer, while in the No. 15 at Michael Waltrip Racing, raced with Martin in the No. 55 primarily sponsored by Aaron’s.
“I’m proud to say I got to race with and against Mark in my career, and it’s an honor to have him join us at Darlington in September,” Bowyer said.
“When the folks at SHR and Carolina Ford Dealers came up with this idea, I was pretty pumped up for it. Then I saw the paint scheme and I knew it was going to be one of the best in Darlington.”
Martin, whose 49 Xfinity Series victories ranks second all time, drove a Carolina Ford Dealers paint scheme to victory at Rockingham Speedway on March 5, 1988; Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 25, 1989 and Myrtle Beach Speedway on June 30, 1990.
“Carolina Ford Dealers won in the state of South Carolina almost 30 years ago, so I think they’re probably due for another win in South Carolina this September with Clint,” laughed the 58-year-old Martin, whose last Cup race came at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 17, 2013 in SHR’s No. 14 as he subbed for an injured Tony Stewart.
“Seriously, this is a really cool deal and brings back a lot of memories. This was a good time and I hope the race fans enjoy it as much as I will seeing it out on the track. Darlington is one of my favorite places on earth and I’m not going to miss this one.”
The 1.366-mile Darlington track and its Labor Day race weekend host “The Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR” when the industry honors the sport’s history. Last year, 36 Cup Series teams competed with throwback paint schemes in the Southern 500, the most in any single NASCAR event in the sport’s history.
Bowyer, an eight-time NASCAR Cup Series winner, is in his first year driving SHR’s No. 14 Ford Fusion after replacing three-time champion Stewart, who retired as a NASCAR driver at the end of the 2016 season. Bowyer is battling for a berth in NASCAR’s playoffs, which begins two weeks after the Southern 500.
Bowyer said he might put Martin to work at Darlington.
“Mark has as much experience as anyone there. I won’t hesitate to lean on that wisdom. As this playoff battle heats up, I’ll be glad to take any advice from Mark,” he said. “I’ve leaned on him before and I’ll do it again.”
The Southern 500 can be seen live on NBCSN beginning at 6 p.m. EDT and heard live on MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. To experience the Southern 500 and its throwback weekend in person, purchase tickets at DarlingtonRaceway.com or by calling 866-459-7223.
Source: Stewart-Haas Racing – Clint Bowyer’s Darlington Throwback Paint Scheme Honors NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin