When the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns to Pocono Raceway later this month, race fans who double as Philadelphia Eagles fans will find themselves in friendly territory. And they will also find themselves cheering for the Eagles in a completely new way.
On Friday morning, Philadelphia-based Axalta Coating Systems unveiled a special paint scheme that will be driven by Alex Bowman in the Gander Outdoors 400 at Pocono on July 29th. Bowman’s No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet will be adorned in midnight green, as the Philadelphia Eagles and Axalta collaborate to promote their “All-Pro Teachers” campaign. The rear bumper of the car will feature the likeness of the World Champion Eagles, with the “Fly Eagles Fly” mantra located on the roof behind the No. 88.
â€” Axalta Racing (@AxaltaRacing) July 13, 2018
“The exposure that the Axalta All-Pro Teachers program will receive thanks to Alex Bowmanâ€™s No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will showcase the campaign to a national audience,” said Axalta chairman and CEO Charlie Shaver in a press release issued by Hendrick Motorsports. “We thank the Philadelphia Eagles, Alex Bowman and Hendrick Motorsports for their dedicated support of such a worthwhile program.”
The partnership between Axalta, the Eagles, and Hendrick Motorsports is a year in the making. As noted by Matthew Mayer of CBS Sports, the three were supposed to partner for an Eagles-inspired paint scheme to be driven at Pocono Raceway last year by Dale Earnhardt Jr., but the paint scheme violated an NFL rule stating that club marks could not be used in connection with other sports. During the offseason, it was reported by Adam Stern of SportsBusiness Daily that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell apologized to Shaver for the incident, and the paint scheme is now expected to hit the track without any further issues.
Another issue with the Eagles’ 2017 foray into NASCAR was the driver: Earnhardt, the former driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet, is a diehard Washington Redskins fan. Earnhardt retired from racing at the end of the 2017 season, and his replacement, Arizona-born Bowman, has no such allegiances in the NFC East.
After substituting for Earnhardt as he was suffering from concussion symptoms in 2016, Alex Bowman was chosen to take over as the full-time driver of Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 88 in 2018. So far this season, Bowman won the pole position for the season-opening Daytona 500, and has followed that up with one top five finish and seven top 10 finishes with a best finish of fifth at Bristol Motor Speedway in April. Entering Saturday night’s race at Kentucky Speedway, Bowman is riding a wave of consistency, as he has earned three consecutive top ten finishes. Bowman is still searching for his first career victory.