THE TOM KIRKLAND COLLECTION
OLD SCHOOL ARMY CAR
Most folks are familiar with Ryan Newman's Army sponsored car these days, but through a little research, we were able to track down several other drivers and teams that had that branch of the military's backing.
Of course, Mark Martin, Regan Smith and Joe Nemechek had the Army deal in recent years. Going back a little bit, though, there was Jerry Nadeau and, after Nadeau's career-ending accident in 2003, Jason Keller, Boris Said, Mike Skinner and Mike Wallace.
Wait. There's more.
Alan Kulwicki had sponsorship from the Army during 1991's Operation Desert Storm. That's where research truly kicked into high gear. Buddy Baker and team owner Bud Moore were sponsored by the Army in both 1975 races (that car is shown here). Baker was back with the Army, this time with owner M.C. Anderson, in both 1978 races at Darlington.
According to Jim Hunter, former Darlington track president and current vice president of communications at NASCAR, "Back in the early days, many of the teams would use the Army or some other service for a one-race deal, not a lot of dollars. Tracks would sometimes give the service branches tickets for their constituents and the service in turn would pay teams to put their logoes on cars for a one-race deal."
Such deals also led to Army sponsorship at Darlington for David Pearson, Donnie Allison, Neil Bonnett, Sam Sommers, D.K. Ulrich, Lennie Pond, Dave Marcis and Slick Johnson.