With the Auto Club 400 taking place in Fontana, California, it was expected that there would be several tributes to the late Kobe Bryant. Driver William Byron and Axalta revealed concept footage of his No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro earlier in the week, but the actual design didn't see the light of day until Friday. Byron's car was shown at the track, complete with the tribute color scheme.
NASCAR reporter Bob Pockrass showed off footage of the freshly-painted car with a video posted to Twitter. The No. 24 Chevrolet was shown being pushed to the garage by Byron's crew. A close-up look of the vehicle's trunk area showed that the After-School All-Stars logo was present, bringing light to an organization for which Bryant served as a national ambassador.
"Honored to be driving for Kobe, Gianna, Payton, Sarah, Alyssa, Keri, John, Christina, and Ara. Continued prayers for their families," Byron wrote on Twitter Tuesday afternoon.
The No. 24 of William Byron has the Kobe Bryant tribute colors. pic.twitter.com/dSxi3zrLCF— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) February 28, 2020
"Great looking car!" one NASCAR fan wrote. Others said they hoped the tribute scheme would help Byron secure a victory in the Auto Club 400. This is his third year in the Cup Series, but the young driver does not have a win to his name. The fans are hoping to see this trend change on Sunday.
While there were many fans on social media excited to see the new Bryant paint scheme, there were others decidedly less so. Several users on Twitter wanted to point out that the color scheme did not look exactly right to them. In fact, they believed some errors had been made.
"They botched the colors. Doesn't even look purple," one Twitter user wrote. A few others chimed in to say that Axalta "can't match the real color." These NASCAR fans were concerned about the Bryant tribute paint looking blue on the screen instead of purple.
The confusion could have been caused by the actual paint or the lighting, but the NASCAR fans still appreciated that Byron was trying to pay tribute to the late NBA icon following his death in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash. The drivers did not have to honor an athlete from a different sport, but they still chose to do so in Southern California.0comments
The NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 will be televised on FOX starting at 2:50 p.m. ET. The green flag starting the race is set to be waved at 3:30 p.m. ET.
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