Germain Racing Unveils Smokey Yunick Black/Gold No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS for Darlington Raceway’s “Bojangles’ Southern 500”
(Mooresville, N.C. – May 10, 2016) Building on the efforts of Darlington Raceway to salute racing’s yesteryears, Germain Racing unveiled their “throwback” paint scheme for the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS tonight on “NASCAR America” on NBCSN. In the “Bojangles’ Southern 500” the black and gold colors made famous by car owner Smokey Yunick and bearing the logo of his Daytona Beach business, will race again with driver Casey Mears behind the wheel. Yunick, an Army Air Corps pilot in World War II, embodied the grit, ambition and creativity of the workers who founded and developed America, as well as NASCAR. The 367-lap Labor Day weekend event in Darlington, S.C., is the perfect setting for seeing Yunick’s black and gold No. 13 Chevy race “again.”
“My dad loved racing at Darlington, tire problems and gnats alike. It’s so special to us to have him remembered in this way. The Germain Racing car looks great. I look forward to seeing the black and gold 13 on the track again. I am thrilled that Smokey's legacy is getting a chance to be in front of the next generation of NASCAR fans and hope it encourages renewed interest in his story,” said Trish Yunick, daughter of Smokey Yunick.
"That paint scheme is memorable because it stood out. Nobody used number 13, it had no sponsors, and it was gold and black. It was an attention-grabber,” said Mario Andretti, who raced the Chevrolet for Yunick in 1966. “That car, with Curtis Turner driving, was on pole in 1967 when I won the Daytona 500. It will be fun to see the No. 13 black and gold Chevrolet race again. The stories behind that car, including stories about Smokey and Curtis Turner are worth revisiting. Race fans will enjoy it for sure. There will be a lot of reminiscing. Very special for Darlington to have that car in the race.”
Germain Racing team owner Bob Germain Jr. is looking forward to seeing the car race, “The whole Darlington Raceway 'Tradition Returns' program is very fun and exciting. It's great to have the chance to throw back to NASCAR's roots, and certainly, NBC and NASCAR have embraced this campaign and it's really becoming one of the season highlights. Smokey Yunick's famous number 13 Chevrolets are part of those roots. He raced many car numbers, but it's my understanding he enjoyed the mysterious or daring nature of the 13 number. Our fans have really spoken up on Twitter asking us, GEICO, Casey and Bootie to race this paint scheme. The GEICO logo looks great on the black and gold Chevy and I can't wait to see it on the track at Darlington."
“It’s a terrific opportunity for us to more deeply engage NASCAR fans and the heritage of the sport. As GEICO celebrates 80-years as a company, the timing is good for us to participate in this popular throwback promotion on Labor Day weekend, especially as we honor NASCAR legend Smokey Yunick and his legendary paint scheme,” said Ted Ward, GEICO Vice President of Marketing.
“Obviously, it’s very exciting to be running a Smokey Yunick paint scheme on our GEICO Chevrolet SS,” said driver Mears. “Out of all the history of NASCAR I’d have to say he’s probably one of the top five most innovative people in the sport. We feel fortunate to be able to run a paint scheme that has so much meaning and cool history in NASCAR. Hopefully, we can go to Darlington and do a good job with that car in the ‘Bojangles’ Southern 500’ and Smokey’s family will be proud.”
Smokey Yunick is beloved by many that knew him as being a natural engineer. He seemed to see “problems” as opportunities and built his reputation on creating solutions. Yunick was a driver, crew chief and two-time NASCAR “Mechanic of the Year” whose first Southern 500 was Darlington Raceway’s second. Yunick built the race-winning Hudson for Herb Thomas.
"It's going to be so exciting! I just think it's a beautiful car and Daddy liked it, too,” said Margaret Sue Turner of the No. 13 Chevrolet that her father, Curtis Turner, raced for Yunick. “Daddy was not superstitious but he told me a lot of people were. He said some people don't even think green should be on a race car but Daddy never minded driving the number 13."
On regular race weekends, crew chief Bootie Barker makes the calls for the No. 13 GEICO Chevy which features both green striping and the number 13.
If you can’t wait until Darlington to get your chance to see the beautiful black and gold paint scheme honoring the No. 13 Smokey Yunick Chevrolet driven by 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Curtis Turner, get to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Take a moment to explore Glory Road. It features 18 historic cars that tell the story of NASCAR from its beginnings to present day. They have been driven and built by some of the sport's most celebrated drivers, owners and mechanics. Visit nascarhall.com for more information.
Germain Racing is looking forward to playing its part in #TraditionContinues at Darlington Raceway (@TooToughtoTame) come Labor Day weekend. Keep the conversation going with us @GermainRacing or on Facebook.com/GermainRacing.