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Johnson’s Darlington ride unveiled

CONCORD, N.C. — When the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Darlington Raceway for the Southern 500, the No. 48 Lowe’s for Pros Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will feature a paint scheme familiar to Jimmie Johnson fans.

Monday, the scheme was unveiled — a black Kobalt Tools ride with white racing stripes. It’s the car Johnson piloted to Hendrick Motorsports’ 200th NASCAR Cup Series win in 2012 at Darlington.

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Jimmie Johnson’s Darlington scheme is a throwback to the car he drive at Darlington in 2012, securing Hendrick Motorsports’ 200th win. Team Lowe’s Racing

“I love flat or matte-colored cars,” Johnson said, recalling the 2012 scheme. “I think (No. 48 team crew chief) Chad (Knaus) changed the direction of the paint scheme. I think it was supposed to be a glossy finish. He felt the matte would look a little better, a little rougher, a little racier. He was able to sell that back through and Lowe’s and Kobalt agreed to it. I think it’s one of the very few matte cars that I’ve actually had on the racetrack. It looked really good in Victory Lane. We hope to take it back.”

Johnson recalled just how meaningful it was when he earned that milestone win in the black-and-white scheme. Now, Hendrick Motorsports is on the verge of its next milestone, currently holding 249 NASCAR Cup Series victories.

“To see (Hendrick Motorsports owner) Rick (Hendrick)’s face and the excitement, to have all of my teammates there, the other team members there, that picture hangs proudly inside of the race shop now,” Johnson said. “I can’t help but look at it every time I walk through the shop and smile. Big moment.

“To contribute and be the guy that won the 200th win for them was really special.”

— Hendrick Motorsports —