2021 24 Valvoline Throwback
William Byron's Darlington throwback scheme will honor the Valvoline scheme that Neil Bonnett drove. Image from Hendrick Motorsports.

William Byron to honor Neil Bonnett with Darlington throwback scheme

William Byron will be sporting a familiar paint scheme when he hits the track at Darlington Raceway for the throwback event on Mother’s Day this year.

The 23-year-old driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE will have the crisp red, white and blue Valvoline scheme that legendary driver Neil Bonnett drove over 30 years ago. It’s the first time Byron has had Valvoline on board his Chevrolet, though it has been a primary partner for his teammates in recent years.

“It means a lot, I think, to have Neil Bonnett’s scheme (with) all that he accomplished in the sport, and just to touch on the legacy of the sport, in general, is really cool,” Byron said. “I enjoy those things and I enjoy the throwback weekend. I think it’s a great racetrack to have it on and it’s really a throwback racetrack (with) the way we have to drive it. It’s a lot of fun.”

Byron is excited to honor Bonnett, who was one of the top NASCAR Cup Series drivers in the 1980s. He became an iconic sight on the track after he paired up with Valvoline as a sponsor in 1987.

“What’s cool about Neil is that he won the 1981 Southern 500, which is obviously a huge race and has always been,” Byron said. “It would be awesome to win the Southern 500 this year and just try to have success, in general, at Darlington knowing that we go there in the playoffs.”

On Tuesday, Hendrick Motorsports announced Valvoline would run as a primary sponsor in 2021 and 2022 with Byron and teammate Kyle Larson. After the throwback race at Darlington in May, Larson will sport the scheme at Nashville Superspeedway, Daytona International Speedway and for the playoff race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Byron then will don the Valvoline colors for the playoff race at the Charlotte Roval in October.

“It’s great to have Valvoline on board,” Byron said. “Obviously, I’ve had contact with them in the past and done some stuff on iRacing, so it’s cool to have one of their paint schemes. I’ve always enjoyed the way their cars looked. They’ve been in racing for as long as I can remember. It’s going to be awesome to support them and have them on the car and, hopefully, we can get them the win.”

The throwback race at Darlington Raceway will be Sunday, May 9 at 3:30 p.m. ET on FS1.

— Hendrick Motorsports —