Landon Cassill will enter Darlington Raceway’s Southern 500 in a car that will honor the memory of J.D. McDuffie, the scrappy but respected independent racer who competed for 28 years in the Sprint Cup Series before losing his life in a crash at Watkins Glen International.
Cassill unveiled the throwback paint scheme of the No. 38 Ford Fusion today during a Facebook Live broadcast on NASCAR’s Facebook page. The blue and gold scheme replicates a design McDuffie drove in the 1970s and 80s. McDuffie sponsors Rumple Furniture and Bailey Excavating will be featured on the car as part of the tribute during the Sept. 4 race.
Despite being an independent owner/driver without the resources of a larger team, McDuffie competed in 653 Cup races, collecting 106 top-10 finishes and a pole position, and finished in the top 20 in points 14 times in his career. Even though he holds the record for making the most starts without ever reaching Victory Lane, he won the respect of fans and fellow competitors in the sport.
A 52-year-old McDuffie was on Lap 5 of the 1991 race at Watkins Glen when a mechanical failure resulting from contact with another car sent him into the Turn 5 tire barrier without brakes. He died instantly.
Cassill and Front Row Motorsports are proud to pay tribute to a competitor who was known for his blue-collar ethic.
“J.D. was a guy who just kept scrapping, week after week, and earned a lot of good finishes as a result,” Cassill said. “Bob Jenkins likes to say that Front Row Motorsports is the team that does more with less. You can definitely say that J.D. McDuffie did the same thing, and we’re proud to honor his memory at Darlington.”
The Darlington Raceway event will celebrate the decade spanning 1975 to 1984 at this year’s race with throwback paint schemes on all 40 entries. The Bojangles’ Southern 500 will air live on NBC Sept. 4 at 6 p.m. ET.