FLORENCE, S.C. – You can bet that Francis Marion University student Josh Chandler will be watching the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race from Loudon, N.H., on television this Saturday, Sept. 16.
And he’ll be rooting for the No. 59 HT Motorsports Toyota Tundra driven by Chad Chaffin. That’s because Chandler, a senior marketing major with a minor in graphic design, designed the paint scheme that the truck will be sporting.
The white truck features red flames on the hood, roof and door panels, with the HT Motorsports logo on the hood and bright yellow numbers on the doors and roof.
Chandler’s opportunity came through his employer, K&L Chrome Shop of Florence. K&L provides custom stainless and aluminum fabrication for tractor-trailers, as well as custom paint and design. An avid NASCAR fan, Chandler designs paint schemes for his cars in online racing games. One day, he shared some of his designs with K&L’s owners, Kelvin and April Locklear, who had recently built a custom hauler for HT Motorsports.
HT was looking for a new paint scheme to mark its change from Ford to Toyota trucks, and as a result, Chandler’s red flames will adorn the No. 59 Tundra at New Hampshire and at Las Vegas on Sept. 23. “They want me to come up with two more schemes to run later this season,” said Chandler, a graduate of The King’s Academy in Florence.
Chandler visited the race team’s shop in Martinsville, Va., last weekend to help apply the decals to the Las Vegas truck, and also met the company’s president, James Harris. Chandler explained that the truck schemes are a combination of paint and decals. “In the Nextel Cup Series, it’s all decals,” he said.
After graduating in May, he hopes to parlay his venture with HT Motorsports into a full-time NASCAR career in marketing and graphic design. However, Chandler noted, the race team receives 10 calls per day from people looking for marketing jobs with the team.
Whatever the future holds, Chandler will certainly enjoy watching the truck he designed race around New Hampshire International Speedway this weekend.