William Byron to drive Kobe Bryant tribute No. 24 car at Auto Club Speedway

William Byron has driven the No. 24 car in the Cup Series since he was a rookie in 2018. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

William Byron’s No. 24 car will sport a Kobe Bryant tribute paint scheme on Sunday.

As the NASCAR Cup Series heads to southern California this weekend, Byron’s car will be purple and gold in honor of the Lakers star who died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26. Bryant, as you know, wore No. 24 as a member of the Lakers.

The car will honor all nine people who died in the helicopter crash and Byron’s sponsor Axalta will make a donation to the After School All-Stars nonprofit.

“Our thoughts continue to be with the Bryant, Altobelli, Chester, Mauser and Zobayan families,” Axalta managing director Wade Robinson said in a statement. “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.”

Byron has driven the No. 24 car since he came into the Cup Series in 2018. A memorial service in honor of Bryant and his daughter Gianna was held on Monday, Feb. 24.

“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.”

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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