The No. 44 car is back on the track this weekend for NASCAR’s Geico 500 race at Talladega and Morehouse will be on the hood. NY Racing, owned by Grambling State alum John Cohen, has run several HBCU paint schemes in NASCAR races this season.
Greg Biffle is behind the wheel once again for the fastest track on the NASCAR circuit. Talladega is a restrictor plate race which features bumper to nose drafting throughout the field. The Superspeedway, located in Alabama, is 2.66-miles around, longer than Daytona which allows higher top speeds.
Morehouse shared an image of the car on Twitter Thursday night. The hood and front quarter panels of the car are painted Maroon with the signature Morehouse “M” on the hood. The car transitions to white and black blocking from the roof to the bumper of the car. The 44 on the side door pops with grey lettering.
Little luck goes a long way at Talladega
Restrictor plate racing evens the field between smaller teams like NY Racing and larger dominant organizations. The manner in which the cars stick together in the aerodynamic draft allows each car to maintain the same relative speed. The cars race in long packs and intentionally bump one another to go faster. But with cars going that fast and so close together, accidents are pretty much a guarantee. Contenders can quickly find themselves out of the race which can increase the chances of the underdogs in the field.
Some drivers prefer to “race in the back” to avoid “the big one” through the majority of the race. Instead they’ll make a charge to the front later in the race. So it comes down to a little bit of luck and the driver’s ability to navigate the field in very close quarters. Biffle hasn’t won at Talladega in NASCAR’s top tier series but he has won a restrictor plate race at Daytona before. He won the summer Daytona race in 2003 and has been a solid driver in restrictor plate racing.
Biffle felt good about the car he had at Daytona until fuel pump issues sent the car to the garage and off the lead lap. Most of the issues that have plagued the No. 44 team during its part time effort this season have been mechanical. The best finish so far this season was a 20th place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Stillman College was featured as the paint scheme for that race.
So far this season the NY Racing Team has featured paint schemes with Grambling, Florida A&M, Stillman College and Norfolk State.
Coverage of the Geico 500 begins at 3pm Sunday on Fox Television.