MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Germain Racing pay tribute to Smokey Yunick with a special black and gold No. 13 paint scheme during the Bojangles Southern 500 on Sept. 4 at Darlignton Raceway.
Yunick was an Army Air Corps pilot in World War II and embodied the grit, ambition and creativity of the workers who founded and developed America, as well as NASCAR. 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.
“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,” said Germain. “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 Casey 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.”
“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.”