Erik Jones became the latest driver Wednesday to unveil his throwback scheme for Labor Day weekend’s event at Darlington Raceway — and this one hits close to the heart of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team.
Jones will pilot a Sport Clips scheme inspired by his spotter, Rick Carelli, who has spotted for Jones since last year. The 22-year-old driver showed Carelli the scheme in a video unveiling the look.
— Joe Gibbs Racing (@JoeGibbsRacing) August 8, 2018
“Sport Clips let us pick our scheme this year, so I was trying to figure out what I was going to do so we decided to find a good throwback to you,” Jones told Carelli in the video.
During his driving career, Carelli made 145 starts in all three of NASCAR’s major series from 1992 to 2003, earning four victories and 60 top-10 finishes in the Camping World Truck Series. He’s also won nine races in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. The Arvada, Colorado, native was inducted in the Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2011.
“That scheme means a lot to me,” Carelli said in the video. “It’s going to be something that’s going to be pretty exciting to see for myself and all the fans in the past that used to watch that truck roll around there.”
Off the track, Carelli is known for his signature hair style — something Jones and his former mullet can relate to — and he and Jones have a special bond with one another.
Earlier Wednesday, Jones’ JGR teammate Denny Hamlin also unveiled his throwback scheme inspired by J.D. Gibbs for the Xfinity Series race at Darlington.
This year’s event at Darlington celebrates “Seven Decades of NASCAR,” paying tribute to the best schemes over a 70-year period.