Tony Stewart to run iconic Bobby Allison scheme in Southern 500

“The Real Thing” at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway is set to ride again.

Tony Stewart to run iconic Bobby Allison scheme in Southern 500
Darlington atmosphere
Tony Stewart, throwback Bobby Allison scheme
Bobby Allison, poses after Lowe's Motor Speedway officials announce Allison will be the Grand Marshal for the 50th Anniversary of the Coca-Cola 600
Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing
Press conference: Bobby Allison
Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing

On Wednesday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, three-time Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart announced his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet will don the iconic red-and-gold Coca-Cola colors made famous by NASCAR legend Bobby Allison in the Sept. 4 Southern 500.

Allison, now a member of the Hall of Fame, drove the paint scheme to back-to-back dominant victories at Darlington in 1971 and 1972. He won from the pole in each race and led 558 of a possible 734 laps in the two races.

With Coca-Cola’s advertising slogan of that era, “The Real Thing” emblazoned on the car, the authentic look from Allison’s car has been recreated on Stewart’s No. 14 all the way down to gold-colored wheels and cubic-inch displacement on the hood.

“I’ve been a member of the Coca-Cola Racing Family for my entire NASCAR and have been part of some pretty cool and unique promotions, but this one is definitely my favorite,” Stewart said.

“The ‘throwback’ weekend Darlington has created makes it the perfect place to run a scheme that has a ton of history with Bobby Allison and Coca-Cola.”

Stewart, in his final season as a fulltime competitor in NASCAR, has 49 career Cup series victories. Allison won the 1983 championship and earned 85 career wins.

“From 1970 through 1975, Coca-Cola was on my car and we won a lot of races,” Allison said. “We won 11 races in ’71, the most I ever had in a single season, and then we came back to win 10 more in ’72.

“And that first win at Darlington – it was such a tough track and such a long race – it meant so much.”

Darlington remains one of just two tracks currently on the Cup schedule on which Stewart has never won. His best finish was third – in both 2009 and 2012.

“If you can say you won a race at Darlington – that’s a feather in your cap because you conquered something that’s hard to obtain. That’s something to be proud of, knowing you’re in a group of drivers with names like Allison, and Pearson and Petty – the pioneers of our sport.”

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