Bowyer pays tribute to Mark Martin with Southern 500 throwback scheme

There are few drivers Clint Bowyer has respected as much as Mark Martin.

Bowyer pays tribute to Mark Martin with Southern 500 throwback scheme
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Mark Martin
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Mark Martin
Mark Martin, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet

On Tuesday, Bowyer unveiled his 2017 Southern 500 livery honoring the Hall of Famer’s impressive NASCAR career.

Bowyer’s Darlington Raceway paint scheme on the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford is reminiscent of the Carolina Ford Dealers Ford Thunderbird Martin piloted in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for Bill Davis Racing from 1988 to 1991.

“When the folks at SHR and Carolina Ford Dealers came up with this idea, I was pretty pumped up for it,” Bowyer said. ‘Then I saw the paint scheme and I knew it was going to be one of the best in Darlington.”

Martin won the 1993 and 2009 Southern 500s. On the NXS side, Martin collected eight victories and eight poles at the Track too Tough to Tame in 29 starts. His 49 victories in the Xfinity tour rank second to Kyle Busch. 

Martin was a fierce competitor for Bowyer, who came to appreciate the veteran even more when the drivers teamed up at Michael Waltrip Racing during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

“If you want to associate yourself with a winner and all that’s good about our sport and its history, then you aren’t going to do any better than Mark Martin,” Bowyer said. “I’m proud to say I got to race with and against Mark in my career, and it’s an honor to have him join us at Darlington in September.”

Martin scored 40 Cup wins and finishes second in the standings five times throughout his illustrious 31-year career. He also earned five IROC titles during his tenure. The Batesville, Ark. native, who finished his career at SHR in 2013 subbing for Tony Stewart, is looking forward to returning to Darlington for the 2017 Southern 500 on Sept. 3.

“Carolina Ford Dealers won in the state of South Carolina almost 30 years ago, so I think they’re probably due for another win in South Carolina this September with Clint,” Martin said. “Seriously, this is a really cool deal and brings back a lot of memories.

“This was a good time and I hope the race fans enjoy it as much as I will seeing it out on the track. Darlington is one of my favorite places on earth and I’m not going to miss this one.”

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