I almost let March slip by without posting a NASCAR Special Paint Scheme of the month. It's been a little hectic this month, to be honest, I nearly forgot. But, I will get it in before the wire!
For this month's post, I will highlight a card and scheme from the new 2017 Donruss set. It features an entire subset based on special paint schemes, and I really like the concept, of course. The one I've chosen to highlight today is Ryan Blaney's #21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford, which features the Throwback scheme run at Darlington.
The Throwback program from Darlington is one of the best things NASCAR has done lately; 2016 was the second year of the project and they have already announced it will continue into 2017. Darlington was the first paved track to remain in NASCAR, it held it's first race in 1950, which was also the first 500 mile race in NASCAR history. It had held the Memorial Day weekend date from 1950 to 2004, when NASCAR took the race away and gave it to California Speedway, a move that was very unpopular with fans. They gave the traditional date back to Darlington in 2015 and that's when the idea of throwback schemes was launched.
In 2016 39 of the 40 cars ran a throwback paint scheme, making it the most number of special paint schemes in a single race in NASCAR history. Only the #44 of Brian Scott, owned by Richard Petty, did not...certainly someone they could have pulled a throwback scheme to.
The #21 Wood Brothers team has a great history, as the oldest team in the sport, in operation continually since 1950. The peak era of Wood Brothers dominance was the 1970s with David Pearson behind the wheel, and that's what this car harkens back to- Pearson's name is even on the door, which is where it used to be before moving to the roof in the 1980s. It's only unfortunate that Ford closed the Mercury brand down, as the original car was a Mercury.
Blaney finished 13th after starting 20th in this car's only race. He was unable to lead a lap but a rookie not leading at Darlington, known as one of the toughest tracks on the schedule, is no surprise.
This card, and its 10 parallels, are the only cards it appears on.
Blaney, like the Wood Brothers, comes from a racing family. His father Dave was a long-time Cup competitor and was a champion Sprint car racer before that. Dave's brother Dale is also a successful sprint car driver and was even drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers, although he chose not to pursue an NBA career. Their father Lou was also a noted Sprint car driver/builder but I am not very knowledgeable about pre-1990s sprint racing so I am unsure of the extent of his career highlights.
It should be noted that the standard scheme for the Wood Brothers is in itself a throwback to the 1963 Daytona 500 car, or based largely upon it. (That car had dark metallic red, instead of solid bright red, and scallops on hood and trunk). They have run this paint scheme mostly unchanged since 2011, when Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500 in only his second start- my favorite Daytona 500, in actuality.
Don't be too surprised to see one of these 2017 Donruss cards pop up in this project again!
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