Last week, Richard Petty Motorsports announced that Winn-Dixie would join Sam Hornish Jr. and the No. 9 team as the team's primary sponsor at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. Winn-Dixie's history in NASCAR dates back to 1980, making their debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as the primary sponsor for Lake Speed. Since then, they've proven their support to the world of NASCAR in more ways than one.
Winn-Dixie is most commonly known as the sponsor for Mark Martin's No. 60 car in the XFINITY Series throughout the 1990s. During a nine year span, Martin and Winn-Dixie visited Victory Lane 39 times, eight times at Darlington alone.
This year, Hornish looks to continue the successful legacy that Martin and Winn-Dixie have created as he wheels the retro black and gold paint scheme once driven by Martin. Between NASCAR's top two series, Hornish has six starts at the 1.36-mile track known as "The Lady in Black". He earned his best finish of fourth at the track in the 2012 XFINITY Series race.
This weekend, @SamHornish looks to continue @WinnDixie success at @TooToughtoTame. #NASCAR #TheTraditionReturns
This weekend, @Sam Hornish looks to continue @Winn-Dixie's success at @Darlington Raceway with retro black and gold paint scheme.
"Darlington is going to be a fun weekend. Not only will everyone have retro paint schemes, but NASCAR is bringing the same low-downforce package that we ran at Kentucky. From what I could tell, most of the drivers really liked the rules package. We saw a lot of passing. All-in-all, it produced great racing. Darlington is a lot different than Kentucky. Kentucky isn't a wide racetrack by any standards, but in comparison to Darlington, there is a little bit more room to move around there. At Darlington, the speed is generally up by the wall, and hopefully, the low-downforce package will bring it back to what it was before the repave where we'll be sliding around and the tires wear more.
"Getting the opportunity to race at Darlington was one of the reasons I wanted to race stock cars. It's going to be a pretty cool and nostalgic weekend for most of us, bringing back the retro paint schemes. I'm really excited to have Winn-Dixie on board this weekend. They've been a huge ambassador for NASCAR. I think they've been involved in the sport in every way possible. They had a lot of success in the 1990s with Mark Martin, especially at Darlington with eight XFINITY Series wins, and I'm looking forward to continuing that success here with them."