This weekend at Auto Club Speedway near Los Angeles, Axalta will remember the nine victims of the tragic Jan. 26 helicopter accident with a special one-race-only purple and gold paint scheme on William Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE.
In honor of the victims, Axalta will make a donation to After-School All-Stars, a non-profit organization where NBA legend Kobe Bryant served as a National Ambassador. In addition, proceeds from the sale of die-cast replicas of the car will be donated to After-School All-Stars by Byron, 12-time NASCAR Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports and collectibles manufacturer Lionel.
Bryant, a five-time NBA champion and 18-time all-star, wore No. 24 with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Our thoughts continue to be with the Bryant, Altobelli, Chester, Mauser and Zobayan families,” said Wade Robinson, managing director of global motorsports at Axalta Coating Systems. “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.”
With locations across the country, including Los Angeles and Bryant’s hometown of Philadelphia where Axalta is based, After-School All-Stars provides free, comprehensive after-school programs that keep children safe and help them succeed in school and life. Founded in 1992, it serves students and supports working families in cities across the nation. The organization partners with schools and communities on innovative programs that provide transformative experiences.
“We continue to pray for all of the families,” Byron said. “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.”
Fans can see the tribute paint scheme on Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE in the NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway live on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX.