Top: Photo via Auto Club Speedway. Bottom Right: Photo via Lat Photographic
Per Adam Stern of the Sports Business Journal, Ryan Blaney and William Byron will run paint schemes at Auto Club Speedway this weekend to honor the late Kobe Bryant.
Auto Club Speedway is located in Fontana, California, which is located 48 miles east of the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles, where Bryant played on the Lakers for 18 years.
Byron runs the No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, which the same number Bryant wore for the Lakers after switching from No. 8 following the 2006 season. Both of Bryant’s jerseys were retired by the Lakers and are hung as banners inside the Staples Center.
Team Penske will honor Bryant with the paint scheme on Blaney’s No. 12 car because Blaney has sponsorship with sports energy drink BODYARMOR. Bryant was an investor in the sports beverage.
Stern also confirmed that Auto Club Speedway will be paying tribute to Bryant as well. The facility will paint the No. 24 on the infield turf. Bryant and the others that lost their lives in the helicopter crash will be remembered in the invocation. There will be a memorial display that fans will be able to write on and the track will send the display and donation to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation.
Another driver that could emerge with a tribute scheme for Bryant is Tyler Reddick, who drives the No. 8 car for Richard Childress Racing. However, no word has been made on whether or not RCR will run a scheme for Bryant.
The NASCAR Cup Series will run the Auto Club 400 this Sunday on FOX.