With Darlington’s Throwback Weekend just a few months away, one of the first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series throwbacks has been revealed, honoring a Class of 2021 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee.
Driver Austin Hill will pilot a special No. 16 United Rentals Tundra, throwing it back to NASCAR Modified legend Mike Stefanik, a nine-time NASCAR champion.
— Hattori Racing (@Hattori_Racing) March 17, 2021
Stefanik is hailed as one of the most dominant drivers of his time in the series, including being named one of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s Top-10 Greatest Drivers in 2003. He also won the NWMT Most Popular Driver Award seven times.
“It’s awesome to be going back to Darlington for the second year in a row,” Hill said in a media release. “Being able to participate in Throwback weekend by celebrating Mike Stefanik’s career as a Hall of Famer is an honor. We’re working nonstop trying to get our first championship this year, so looking back on his career and him winning seven modified titles and two more in Busch North was incredible. He’s a great example for racers like myself to follow with how dedicated and competitive he was for such a long period of time. Not many drivers are able to keep winning races late in their careers like Mike did in this paint scheme, so it’s cool for United Rentals to allow us to celebrate his career like this.”
The connection to Stefanik actually goes deeper than many might realize. He had many connections to current Hattori Racing members including General Manager Mike Greci. Stefanik was a back-to-back Busch North Series Champion in 1997 and 1998, in an entry owned by Greci.
“To see him honored with a spot in the Hall of Fame is really special to so many people,” Greci said. “We miss having him around and had a ton of success racing together over the years. We had so much fun back in those days racing together and this is an awesome way to celebrate his career, and recognize the accomplishments that made him a Hall of Famer. We’re extremely grateful to our partners here at HRE, especially United Rentals, for allowing us to run this scheme and look forward to his induction next year.”
Darlington Throwback Weekend commences on Mother’s Day Weekend in 2021, starting on May 7th with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.