Shell Continues Heritage theme in 2016 with Darlington Southern 500 Throwback

Some say heritage is everything and that can ring very true to a brand that has a tremendous lineage in motorsports. Shell is excited to unveil a commemorative paint scheme to run in the 2016 Bojangle’s Southern 500 that celebrates its first NASCAR primary livery.

It has been widely accepted and reported that Darlington Raceway’s “Throwback Weekend” for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2015 was a resounding success. Some called it “one of the most enjoyable race weekends in a long time.” The race teams, drivers, owners, broadcast team, manufacturers and fans alike were all on board for last year’s inaugural event.  

Shell participated in the 2015 festivities with a paint scheme on the No. 22 Team Penske Ford driven by Joey Logano that mimicked a LeMans-winning Porsche piloted by Mario Andretti in the 1980s. The car also carried Shell branding from the 1950s era to coincide with the founding of Darlington Raceway. 

“Last year’s car was a big part of Shell history, so this year we wanted to bring something to Darlington that celebrated our NASCAR roots and one that many fans would remember,” said Heidi Massey-Bong, Sr. Advisor for Motorsports and Sponsorships at Shell. “The Darlington paint scheme is the third commemorative car we are fielding with Team Penske in 2016 to celebrate our heritage in American motorsports.”

Shell, a player in motorsport technology around the world for over 80 years, was relatively new to NASCAR when the company first became a primary sponsor in the mid-1990s. The company is bringing back its first NASCAR paint scheme to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its first win with 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, Bobby Labonte, who piloted the No. 44 Shell Monte Carlo to its first NASCAR victory in 1996 at Nashville Speedway in what is now the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Labonte owned the car himself before bringing the Shell sponsorship to Joe Gibbs Racing where he competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the then Busch Series.

Ironically, Labonte drove the same paint scheme to victory lane at the “Track Too Tough To Tame” in his final win for Shell in 1998. The Darlington scheme that Logano will carry on his No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Fusion ran a number of races in the old Busch Series through the mid to late 1990s. The Darlington “throwback” Shell paint scheme is actually one of three commemorative paint schemes that Shell and Pennzoil will debut in 2016 to celebrate their U.S. motorsports legacy.

“I think it’s a no brainer to help celebrate Shell’s 20th anniversary of NASCAR involvement and run this cool paint scheme at Darlington on Labor Day,” said Logano. “It’s pretty neat that Shell is celebrating 20 years in NASCAR and even cooler that Bobby (Labonte) won at Darlington Raceway with this car, so it’s a huge honor for myself and everyone at Team Penske to run this look. Heritage is a main theme in everything we’re doing this year and it’s been great to have the support from Shell-Pennzoil in running paint schemes to help us commemorate the heritage of our team and the heritage of our sport.”

At the NASCAR All-Star Race last month Logano piloted the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford to victory lane with a special full-body mosaic that featured images of significant Team Penske milestones infused in the livery. Just last weekend, the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet driven by Helio Castroneves ran in the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 carrying the iconic bright yellow colors of the “Yellow Submarine” of the 1980s. All three paint schemes were put on the track to showcase the winning traditions of Shell and Pennzoil over the years in American motorsport.

Sport Dimensions/Shell PR

Speedway Digest Staff

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