Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. often called Bryan Clauson one of his best friends, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver will pay tribute to his fallen friend with a special paint scheme similar to the one Clauson raced during the 2008 NASCAR XFINITY Series season.
“It will be a huge honor to run the same Fastenal scheme that Bryan raced in 2008,” Stenhouse said. “This past week has been difficult for many but it has been great to see the racing community join together to support Bryan’s family, friends and Lauren. Bryan was one of my best friends and hopefully we can ‘parked it’ in victory lane on Saturday for Bryan.”
Clauson passed away on August 7, 2016 after injuries sustained in a violent crash at the Belleville Nationals, a USAC Midget race.
The late racer was a Chip Ganassi Racing development driver where he raced for Ganassi in the XFINITY Series. In 2008, Clauson ran 21 races for the team, which were primarily sponsored by Fastenal. Fastenal, now a sponsor for Roush-Fenway Racing in the Sprint Cup Series, will adorn the hood of Stenhouse’s car at Bristol Motor Speedway, and both Stenhouse and Fastenal thought the most fitting tribute for Clauson would be to run a replica paint scheme that he ran in his rookie campaign.
“Ricky approached us last week about the opportunity to honor Bryan at Bristol by running the paint scheme we ran with him in 2008,” said Brooke Mlsna, vice president of marketing. “We thought it was an admirable tribute to someone we looked at as a valued member of the Blue Team.”
The tribute paint scheme isn’t Stenhouse’s first way of honoring his friend. Stenhouse paced the field in Clauson’s No. 17w on qualifying night for the 56th annual Knoxville Nationals.
Stenhouse hopes to honor his friend with a win, and Bristol might be the perfect track for that. Stenhouse’s best career finish of second came at Bristol in 2014. He also has a fourth-place finish at the World’s Fastest Half Mile.