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Regan Smith will drive the colors of Alan Kulwicki in Southern 500

Regan Smith

Regan Smith and Tommy Baldwin Racing will honor former Sprint Cup champion Alan Kulwicki with Smith’s paint job in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

Smith drives the No. 7, the same number Kulwicki used from 1987 - 1993.

Smith’s car in the Southern 500 will look like the Hooters-sponsored Ford that Kulwicki drove to the title in 1992. The only difference with Smith’s car will be the sponsor on the hood, Road Rippers.

“It’s an honor for us to pay tribute to a true champion of our sport,” said team owner Tommy Baldwin in a team release. “Sharing the car number is a great way to celebrate his accomplishments. It is even more special because Alan achieved success as an independent team. We’re grateful to Darlington Raceway and NASCAR for giving us such a special platform.”

Alan Kulwicki

1993: Alan Kulwicki, driver of the #7 Hooters Ford Thunderbird competes during a race in 1993. (Photo by Bill Hall/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Before his death in a plane crash on April 1, 1993, Kulwicki made 207 starts in the Sprint Cup Series and earned five wins.

In his championship year, the Greenfield, Wisconsin, native won twice, earned 11 top fives and 17 top 10s on the way to beating Bill Elliott by 10 points.

The Southern 500 is scheduled for Sept. 4 on NBC.