The Rev Racing trio of drivers will feature unique throwback schemes of Tommy Ellis, Ruben Pardo and Geoff Bodine.
“I think the throwback races are a great link between the history of our sport and the future” said Jefferson Hodges, Rev Racing general manager and competition director. “ Without throwback races and the excitement they generate I’m afraid our sports history gets forgotten by the younger generation. We put a lot of work into selecting who we are representing and this is our way of showing respect for that they have accomplished in the sport.”
Rev Racing, which fields drivers for the NASCAR Drive for Diversity driver development program, has all three of its drivers in the top eight in points after seven of 14 events. And all three will pilot cars at Thompson with unique stories behind their paint schemes.
Ryan Vargas, who leads the Rev Racing team in points will show homage to short-track racing legend Tommy Ellis, while making his first appearance at Thompson.
Ellis, who was commonly referred to as “Terrible” Tommy Ellis for his hard-nosed, old-school style of racing won the National Late Model Sportsman Championship in 1981 before it changed to what is now the NASCAR Xfininty Series. Ellis also won the NASCAR Xfinity Series title in 1988 under the old Busch Series banner. He sits fifth all time in series wins with 22. Ellis also made 78 starts over 12 years in NASCAR’s premier series.
“Running a special throwback scheme for the Thompson race is pretty incredible” said Vargas. All of the paint schemes Chase (Cabre) put together for all of the Rev Racing cars look stunning. I’m excited to represent Tommy Ellis on my No. 2 UTI Camry next weekend and I hope to give it a good showing in my first Thompson race!”
Ruben Garcia Jr. will honor fellow Mexican driver, Pardo. In 2006, Pardo, a Mexico City, Mexico native went to victory lane at Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park to become the first Mexican-born driver to win in NASCAR. He was also the first Hispanic driver to win a NASCAR affiliated award after claiming the then-Busch East Series Rookie of the Year in that same year.
Pardo is excited to see his colors back on track and hopes to see Garcia take them to Victory Lane.
“Well to me that you use and represent that design as good as you’ve been doing it, putting it up in Victory Lane” said Pardo. “It obviously gives me a lot of happiness and pride to see those colors back in action.”
Garcia became the fourth Mexican-born driver to win in the series earlier this year at Memphis. He followed Pardo (2006), Rogelio Lopez (2007) and Daniel Suarez (2014). Garcia honored Lopez in this same event a season ago.
“It’s really cool to use the scheme that Ruben (Pardo) used when he won becoming the first Mexican to win in the U.S.” said Garcia. “It makes it even more special because I just won my first race and hopefully we can put those colors back in Victory Lane again next weekend.”
Chase Cabre will throw it back to the 1980s with a tribute to Bodine and the car known as “Emma”. Bodine is an 18-time winner in the premier series of NASCAR and a Daytona 500 champion in 1986.
Bodine says that this scheme is as much as a tribute for him as it is for legendary fabricator, Robert Gee Sr., who designed and built “Emma”.
“Emma was Robert Gee’s mother’s name, so you can imagine that Robert put a lot of love into building this car” Bodine said. “He was one of the best fabricators and friends a guy could ever have. He loved racing and being at the track. Emma was fast and beautiful and Robert moved slow and wasn’t so beautiful but we loved him anyway.”
For Cabre, it is the little things about the throwback process that mean the most. Jimmy Gee, the son of Robert, has been a fabricator at Rev Racing for seven years and had the opportunity to put together the throwback car with his family name on the side.
“It’s definitely been an awesome process for me, from picking the car, designing it, and wrapping it” said Cabre. “Probably one of the first times I’ve seen Jimmy, our fabricator, smile. Having him help me on the details, like “Emma” on the dash, and “Racing Bodies by Gee” on the car, has been something special.”
Cabre, who designed the three throwback schemes for Rev Racing takes some personal pride in the throwback event as one that goes beyond just the race itself.
“This throwback race puts me as the designer up for a challenge but I definitely enjoy doing it. Last year we won the Best Throwback award so hopefully one of our three cars does it again this year.”