The Ally throwback paint scheme is to Greg Ives’ late model days
On May 9th, Darlington Raceway will host the annual throwback weekend. NASCAR teams field a wide range of entries featuring paint schemes from the past.
Ally asked Alex Bowman what he wanted to do for the event. Bowman’s idea was to run a throwback to his crew chief, Greg Ives.
The car is a nod to a machine that was actually piloted by Greg Ives himself in the 1990’s. The seafoam green machine looks near identical to the late model that circled the short tracks.
“I think it means a lot to Greg, and it’s really cool for Ally to let me steer the ship on it a little bit,” Bowman said. “Greg definitely had some interesting looking late models, so we’re going to be styling in Darington.”
Ives made his crew chief debut in 2015 with Dale Earnhardt Jr. He’s been working with Alex Bowman since 2018.
“He really started on the bottom end of the totem pole at Hendrick Motorsports and worked his way all the way up,” Bowman said. “Obviously, he was a successful late model driver, but then has been a really successful engineer and crew chief and all the above. I think it’s really neat, and definitely really special. He’s a done a lot for me, so it’s cool to kind of be able to point something back at him.”
Ives was surprised by the paint scheme in a team meeting at Hendrick Motorsports.
“You’re really frustrating to hide things from, you know that,” Bowman said to Ives as he revealed the scheme for the first time.
“I am fully shocked, honestly,” Ives said as he looked at the screen to see the car for the first time.
Ives added in a team release, “I was more than surprised, I was practically speechless there for a little bit.”
“I get emotional, maybe I’m a sentimental guy, I like seeing things classic and old school. Never necessarily thought that was going to be a tribute to me or one of my paint schemes on the car, that’s why I never really thought about it, never thought that was going to be an opportunity to happen.”
“So, when I did see it, initially it shocked me back to that moment when I first saw the paint scheme in 1998. Sometimes, the paint scheme picks you.”
“This was not even a blip on the radar,” Ives said.
“This was something that was truly surprising. Alex, my wife, (car chief) Austin (Konetski), whoever else was in on this, led me to believe that none of this was happening and maybe I led myself to believe that none of this was happening, as well.”
Before Ives, Jim Pagel piloted the machine. He dies in a racing crash back in 1997.
“I try to stay humble in my career and how I grew up,” Ives said.
He concluded, “To think somebody would want my paint scheme in honor of Jim Pagel was something that wasn’t even thought of. A paint scheme sometimes has more meaning than just selling a sponsor or looking good on a racetrack. Sometimes in memory and understanding those who lost their life to give us this great sport that we have today.”
Alex Bowman / Greg Ives
Paint Scheme Reveal
2021 Darlington Raceway
Alex Bowman | Hendrick Motorsports | Darlington Raceway | NASCAR