The late NASCAR champion Bobby Hamilton of Mt. Juliet will be honored with a throwback paint scheme in his memory in the May 7 Camping World truck series race at Darlington (SC) Raceway.

The blue-and-yellow colors Hamilton carried to the 2004 truck series championship will be on the truck of Rackley WAR (Willie Allen Racing).

Allen, who owns the team in partnership with Lebanon’s Curtis Sutton, says Hamilton was inspirational, both on and off the track.

“I looked up to Bobby big-time,” Allen says. “He is a NASCAR icon, especially here in Middle Tennessee. Not only was he a great racer, he was an industry innovator who was always looking for a way to improve his race car.”

Hamilton, who died in 2007 after a battle with cancer, won a track championship at Fairgrounds Speedway, as did Allen.

Hamilton had built a racing team headquartered in Mt. Juliet and competed in the truck series as an owner/driver, winning 10 races along with the championship. Prior to that he won four NASCAR Cup races and one Xfinity race.

Allen’s race team is based in Centerville – like Hamilton’s, one of a very few NASCAR teams not headquartered in the Carolinas.

“Our team reminds me a lot of the original Bobby Hamilton Racing team,” Allen says, “a small team with a lot of passion. Bobby started a small team in Middle Tennessee, and with hard work and passion he built it into a championship team. Our goal is to do what Bobby did.”

Interestingly, Rackley WAR’s driver, Timothy Peters of North Carolina, made his Camping World debut with Bobby Hamilton Racing in 2005.

Also, the team’s crew chief, Chad Kendrick, held various positions on Hamilton’s team from 2004-07, and says: “As soon as I heard our team was paying tribute to Bobby with a throwback paint scheme, I got goosebumps. He was like a second father to me, someone who shaped me so much, and that it makes it extra special. Bobby Hamilton was a class act and I miss him every day.”

Lori Hamilton Rollins gave her approval to carry the racing colors of her late husband.

“It is so great that people who were friends with Bobby would want to honor him,” she said. “To know him was to love him. Many people viewed him as a second dad. He never liked the spotlight and always pointed it towards his employees. It is a blessing to remember one of the greats, and to honor him this way.”

The Rackley WAR team will compete at Nashville Superspeedway in the June 18 Rackley 200 truck race. Sutton’s company, Rackley Roofing, is the race sponsor.

NSS NOTES - The Cat Rental Store at Thompson Machinery has been named the “preferred equipment partner” at Nashville Superspeedway.

Middle Tennessee’s first NASCAR Cup Series race in nearly four decades will be the Ally400 Sunday, June 20 - Father's Day 2021.

Tickets are available online at oss.ticketmaster.com/aps/nss/EN/buy/flexplan or by calling 1-866-RACE-TIX.