Philly-based Axalta, Jeff Gordon restore rainbow paint scheme for one last race

Philadelphia-based paint manufacturer Axalta Coating Systems and NASCAR star Jeff Gordon said Tuesday the racer will use the iconic rainbow paint scheme for the final time on Aug. 22 in Bristol, Tenn.

A four-time champion in stock car racing's best circuit, Gordon plans to retire after this season. He gained most of his fame driving a car with a multi-colored rainbow on the hood. The rainbow wrapped around the word "DuPont," which was his team's main corporate sponsor.

The Carlyle Group bought Wilmington-based DuPont's performance paint division in 2013 and renamed the company Axalta.

NASCAR fans are often very loyal to certain drivers, their corporate sponsors and keep track of which paint schemes drivers use. This weekend, NASCAR broadcasts return to NBC, which is part of Philadelphia-based Comcast. NBC has shared broadcast rights with Fox.

In the June 7 race at Pocono Speedway, Axalta used its position as a Gordon sponsor and chose to paint the car in the blue and white of Penn State University.

With Gordon's retirement approaching, his fans were hoping for one more run under the rainbow. Four of Gordon's wins at the half-mile Bristol track were in the rainbow paint scheme.

"It's cool this paint scheme will appear on the No. 24 Axalta Chevy SS one more time," Gordon said in a statement. "Ever since it was announced this year was my final season, the fans have been vocal on social media wanting us to run it again."

dsell@phillynews.com

215-854-4506

@phillypharma