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This NASCAR driver won’t add flames to his car out of respect for Kobe Bryant

The car is a tribute to Kobe Bryant. Flames won’t be included

William Byron before the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
William Byron before the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Chris O’Meara, Associated Press

NASCAR driver William Byron will drive a new car to honor Kobe Bryant but he won’t include any flames on it out of respect for the victims of the January helicopter crash.

What’s going on?

  • Adam Stern of the Sports Business Journal reported that Byron will drive a No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro during the Auto Club 400 event this Sunday. The car will pay tribute to Kobe Bryant by including the No. 24.
  • But, Stern reports, the car will not include flames so that the team can honor Bryant.
  • Stern said the team “did not use flames on the No. 24 Kobe Bryant tribute scheme out of respect for those lost in the helicopter tragedy, per sources.”

More details:

  • According to Yahoo! Sports, the car will honor Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant and the seven others who died in the helicopter crash on Jan. 26.
  • Axalta managing director Wade Robinson said in a statement: “Our thoughts continue to be with the Bryant, Altobelli, Chester, Mauser and Zobayan families,” Axalta managing director Wade Robinson said in a statement. “Kobe Bryant was a legend in many ways, namely through his remarkable athletic ability but also due to his great work in the community and his philanthropic endeavors. He touched people around the world and in every walk of life. Axalta is honored to be a part of the No. 24 tribute benefiting After-School All-Stars and to remember Kobe, Gianna, Payton, Sarah, Alyssa, Keri, John, Christina, and Ara.”
  • Byron said: “We continue to pray for all of the families. It’s humbling to be able to run such a special car, especially in the Los Angeles area. I’m a huge sports fan and followed Kobe’s career really closely like so many other people. He left a legacy that goes beyond basketball and has reached across all of the sports world and into many different communities where he gave back. I’m very happy that Axalta wanted to do this, and I hope to make everyone proud in the No. 24 on Sunday.”