NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year contender Chase Elliott honors the 90 years of NAPA® history with a car design inspired by the company's first fleet of delivery trucks.
With its "retro cool" yellow and black scheme, Elliott's car captures the look of the NAPA® delivery truck logo, which was introduced in 1963.
"The logo was actually on one of their delivery trucks in the 1960s, and we modeled the entire paint scheme off of that truck," Elliott said. "I think it turned out really good. I like it, and I'm excited about running it in Darlington."
Smokey Yunick was a two-time NASCAR Mechanic of the Year and won two NASCAR Cup championships.
But he may be best remembered for "Smokey's Best Damn Garage in Town" - the shop he ran in Daytona Beach, Fla. for four decades.
This year, in the Bojangles' Southern 500, the black and gold colors made famous by car owner Yunick and bearing the logo of his famous Daytona Beach business, will race again with driver Casey Mears behind the wheel.
Yunick, a World War II Army Air Corps pilot, embodied the grit, ambition and creativity of the workers who founded and developed America, as well as NASCAR.
"My dad loved racing at Darlington, tire problems and gnats alike. It's so special to us to have him remembered in this way," said Trish Yunick, Smokey Yunick's daughter. "I look forward to seeing the black and gold 13 on the track again. I am thrilled that Smokey's legacy is getting a chance to be in front of the next generation of NASCAR fans and hope it encourages renewed interest in his story."
"That car, with Curtis Turner driving, was on pole in 1967 when I won the Daytona 500. It will be fun to see the No. 13 black and gold Chevrolet race again. The stories behind that car, including stories about Smokey and Curtis Turner are worth revisiting. Race fans will enjoy it for sure. There will be a lot of reminiscing. Very special for Darlington to have that car in the race."
Last September, before signing 500 of his 1965 Abingdon Ford Galaxie die-cast in a cozy building on his property that he calls "The Kitchen," NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough sat down with us and answered some questions about his life and career.
One of those questions was about his infamous flight over the Darlington Raceway fence during the 1965 Southern 500.
Yarborough was battling Sam McQuagg for first place in the last few laps of the race when they got tied up.
Yarborough's car flew so far over the guard rail that it landed in the parking lot. He claimed he was still trying to drive it when he saw grass. At that point, he knew he was in big trouble, because the race track didn't have any grass on it.
"They couldn't even get an ambulance around there, so I had to climb back up the bank and get picked up."
He and his Ford had fallen 50 feet down the embankment. Miraculously, Yarborough was unhurt.
As a rule though, the South Carolina native's Darlington races didn't end in catastrophe. During his NASCAR Cup Series career, he scored five wins and 17 top-10 finishes at his home track.
Despite winning the Southern 500 race five times, Yarborough said the Darlington track, nicknamed "The Track Too Tough to Tame" and "The Lady in Black," was "one of the toughest places anybody ever raced on."
They just don't make drivers like Buddy Baker anymore.
Baker, who passed away in August of 2015, was a second generation racer and a bona fide legend. He was also a man of firsts.
Baker was the first driver to go 200 mph during NASCAR® competition; and the first to win the four major races - Daytona, Talladega, Darlington, and Charlotte.
And in the 1969 Daytona 500, Baker's lead foot and his Ray Fox-owned No. 3 Dodge Charger powered him to the pole position, where he led the field in "The Great American Race."
The next year, Baker won the 1970 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. He followed that up with a repeat victory in 1971.
Baker was also known for what many say is the best paint scheme in NASCAR history - his iconic "Gray Ghost" Oldsmobile which is the inspiration for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s 2016 Darlington ride.
NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Brendan Gaughan will let it all ride at Darlington Raceway in a retro version of his No. 62 Chevrolet Camaro.
The design is inspired by the racing career of Gaughan's father, Michael Gaughan, who began competing in offroad races in 1969.
As part of the track's throwback weekend, the Richard Childress Racing driver's South Point Casino-sponsored car will run a paint scheme reminiscent of 1970s Las Vegas and the Royal Inn Casino. Michael Gaughan drove a similar paint scheme in the High Desert Racing Association and SCORE Desert Racing Series.
Matt DiBenedetto will definitely have his Orange Crush at Darlington Raceway when his No. 83 Toyota Camry sports a scheme that features a retro Orange Crush design.
The Orange Crush logo on the BK Racing driver's car will remind fans of the 1960s, when bottles of the orange-flavored carbonated beverage featured a similar look.
The 1971 and 1972 Southern 500s were owned by Bobby Allison. The legendary racer from Hueytown, Ala., proved he was indeed "The Real Thing" at Darlington Raceway, driving his red-and-gold Coca-Cola machine to emphatic, back-to-back victories at the tough and gritty South Carolina track.
Allison dominated from start-to-finish in both races at the 1.366-mile oval. He started from the pole each time and led 558 of the 734 laps available (76 percent). He paced the field for all but 38 laps in the 1971 Southern 500 and led a race-high 229 laps in the 1972 Southern 500. The victories were the first of five premiere series wins Allison earned at Darlington.
Tony Stewart will try to emulate Allison's 1971 and 1972 performances when he competes at Darlington on Sept. 4 in his final Southern 500. Driving a No. 14 Coca-Cola Chevrolet that will match the paint scheme Allison drove to those epic wins, Stewart will certainly look the part. With Coca-Cola's tagline of that era, "The Real Thing", emblazoned on the car, the authentic look from Allison's race-winning cars has been recreated on Stewart's Chevrolet SS, right down to the gold wheels and cubic-inch displacement boast on the hood.
"Those red-and-gold Coca-Cola cars were very good to me," said Allison. "From 1970 through 1975, Coca-Cola was on my car and we won a lot of races. We won 11 races in '71, the most I ever had in a single season, and then we came back to win 10 more in '72. And that first win at Darlington - it was such a tough track and such a long race - it meant so much.
"Tony Stewart is a real racer who would've fit right in during the time I raced in NASCAR. He's a perfect fit for this Coca-Cola Chevy."
COCA-COLA, COKE, the Contour Bottle Design, and the Dynamic Ribbon Device are trademarks of The Coca-Cola Company. ©2016 The Coca-Cola Company. All rights reserved.
In 1972, when the Miller Brewing Co. first obtained the rights to start producing what is known today as Miller Lite, the cans featured the word "Lite" in script and a few of the ingredients necessary to make the company's now famous beer.
That design disappeared from cans in 1974, but it will reappear at Darlington Raceway on Brad Keselowski's No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion.
Darrell Waltrip's NASCAR Hall of Fame career began at what's now Talladega Superspeedway in May 1972. That's when Waltrip rolled onto the track in his No. 95 1971 Mercury Cyclone, prepared by the legendary Holman Moody racing organization.
Waltrip's car already had a winning pedigree, as it was built on the same 1967 Ford Fairlane chassis driven to victory in the 1967 Daytona 500 by Mario Andretti.
But for his first Cup start, Waltrip (who was also the car owner) was sponsored by Terminal Transport of his hometown, Owensboro, Ky. Waltrip entered five races that season.
A later iteration of this groundbreaking Waltrip car is the inspiration for Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s 2016 Darlington ride.
In the beginning of the 1972 season, South Carolina native David Pearson was hired to be the full-time driver of the Wood Brothers' famous No. 21 Ford Mercury. The combination of Pearson's driving skill and the horsepower supplied by the Wood Brothers resulted in one of the most successful pairings in motorsports history.
During an eight year period from 1972-79, Pearson and the Wood Brothers dominated the superspeedways, entering 143 races and capturing an impressive 43 victories and 51 pole positions, including a staggering 11 consecutive poles at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
"All around, Pearson was just the best," says Eddie Wood, who grew up watching Pearson drive the Mercury race cars built by his father, Glen Wood and uncle, Leonard Wood. "He was a natural for sure. He was always in control. He was a winner, and winners are like that. He had a poker face and a poker attitude. You never knew what he was thinking. He always kept something in reserve. He was just that good."
Pearson was so good, in fact, that he won the May 1973 NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway by an incredible 13 laps!
"I'm not going to tell you that David Pearson was the best driver in NASCAR," Richard Petty said when introducing Pearson during the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony in May 2011. "But I am going to tell you that he's the best driver I ever raced against."
Pearson's response? "I can't argue with that."
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s Darlington ride isn't just a throwback for a throwback's sake.
The Roush Fenway Racing driver personally chose the paint scheme he would race in the Southern 500 to honor one of his own NASCAR heroes - Darrell Waltrip.
"Darrell Waltrip is one of the icons in our sport and has helped build NASCAR into the sport it is today," said Stenhouse.
The car Stenhouse will drive at Darlington is inspired by the now-famous No. 17 Terminal Transport Chevrolet that Waltrip raced to his first win at Nashville Speedway on May 10, 1975. Waltrip won the race from the pole position.
Stenhouse's tribute replicates the bright orange and blue livery, but with sponsor Fastenal marks on the hood.
"When Ricky first suggested the throwback paint scheme, we were excited to support his idea," said Dan Florness, Fastenal CEO. "NASCAR fans of all ages know Darrell Waltrip, and what better way to honor that legacy than with a tribute to his first win."
Bobby Allison is a five-time winner at Darlington Raceway.
And one of those victories came in his No. 16 AMC Matador.
Allison ran the No. 16 AMC Matador scheme in 1975 when he bested fellow NASCAR Hall-of-Famer and racing legend Richard Petty for the Southern 500 win at Darlington, and that car is the inspiration for Ryan Reed's throwback Lilly Diabetes/American Diabetes Association throwback Ford Mustang that will run this year at Darlington.
"It's awesome to honor Bobby Allison - someone who's done so much for NASCAR," Reed said. "But it's also special to have Sam [Bass] as a part of the program. I'm glad they have him painting the decklid, and not me."
Like Reed, Bass lives with type 1 diabetes. The first officially-licensed NASCAR artist, he will also play a special role for the team at Darlington Raceway and helped the team with the adaptation of the paint scheme. After inspection is complete on Friday of the race weekend, Bass will paint the Lilly Diabetes 140th Anniversary logo on the deck-lid of Reed's No. 16 Ford.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year contender Ryan Blaney will wheel a tribute to one of the greatest drivers in stock car racing history at Darlington Raceway.
The design of his No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion is a tribute to the 1976 Mercury Montego that David Pearson drove to the unofficial NASCAR triple crown four decades ago.
With Hall of Fame crew chief Leonard Wood calling the shots from the pit area, Pearson grabbed the triple crown by winning the Daytona 500, the World 600 at Charlotte and the Southern 500, and added seven other victories that season.
"We are so excited that we were able to work with Motorcraft, Quick Lane and Ford Performance to make this paint scheme happen," said Eddie Wood, co-owner of the Wood Brothers Racing Team. "It's hard to believe that it's been 40 years since all that happened."
The scheme includes Pearson's name on the door honoring the winningest driver in the Wood Brothers' storied 66-year history.
The iconic No. 21's Darlington paint scheme includes an image of a Motorcraft oil filter on the C pillar just as there was for Purolator in 1976.
Also at Darlington this year, driver Blaney will wear a fire suit patterned after the suit Pearson wore in 1976.
"When I first started driving for the Wood Brothers last season, I knew it was going to be a special experience," Blaney said. "But being able to drive the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion with a paint scheme that really highlights the team's great history is truly an honor."
During the Bojangles' Southern 500 race weekend, Wood Brothers crew members will also be wearing uniforms - complete with white pants with a blue stripe down each leg - that match those worn by their predecessors 40 years ago.
One of the most catchy soft drink jingles of the late 1970s gets new life on David Ragan's No. 23 Dr Pepper Toyota Camry at Darlington Raceway.
The BK Racing driver's car will prominently feature the popular Dr Pepper slogan, "I'm a pepper," which was a line in the brand's famous tune that first appeared in a 1977 commercial advertising the soft drink.
Dr Pepper used the slogan - which is now a part of pop culture history - until 1983.
1979 was a banner year for NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty.
"The King" started the year with a Daytona 500 win. And he ended it with a championship title.
That's why, at Darlington Raceway, Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola will commemorate The King's historic season with a No. 43 STP Ford Fusion that throws back to Petty's famous 1979 STP car.
"There are so many great STP paint schemes over the years, which makes it special for our team to run throwbacks," Almirola said.
After the groundbreaking 1979 Daytona 500, Petty went on to win at Martinsville, Michigan, Dover and Rockingham. With his fifth-place finish at Ontario Motor Speedway, Petty claimed his seventh NASCAR Cup Championship.
"That was our last championship, so it was a breakthrough year of sorts after not winning the year before," Petty said. "Having the car throwback to that year is special because it was a good year for us."
Some cars have stories.
This car IS the story.
The car Kevin Harvick will drive during the Southern 500 honors one of the cars that started it all. It was the race that put NASCAR on the map. And the driver who made everyone in the country sit back and take notice was Cale Yarborough in his 1979 Busch Oldsmobile.
Last September, Yarborough told us that the real story behind the most famous fight in NASCAR and the 1979 Daytona 500 finish was that he had Donnie Allison beat. He and Allison tangled on track and slid through the mud, tearing up their cars, causing Yarborough to lose the race.
The fightin' side of Yarborough didn't last though. He made amends with Allison and the rest of The Alabama Gang the next day.
Harvick, who has also been known to fight back hard when a race was on the line, will drive his own version of Yarborough's 1979 No. 11 Busch Oldsmobile - only his will be a 2016 No. 4 Chevrolet SS.
NASCAR legend Yarborough drove the No. 11 Busch car during the 1979 and 1980 seasons, racking up 10 total wins with the Busch logo on the hood.
Busch also served as the title sponsor of NASCAR's minor league circuit - now the XFINITY Series - from 1984 through 2007 and was the "Official Beer of NASCAR" from 1988 through 1997.
After Dale Earnhardt Sr., the full-time driver of the No. 2 car, was injured in 1979, David Pearson was tapped to fill in. In four races as a substitute, Pearson posted four top-10 finishes, including a win at Darlington Raceway.
The car Pearson piloted in the Talladega 500, the first race of his temporary assignment, ran its standard blue and yellow paint scheme and it was sponsored by Lowe's.
Pearson finished second in that event, and then went on to win the Southern 500 at Darlington in the same scheme - albeit without Lowe's on the hood in that particular race.
The look of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet that Jimmie Johnson will drive at Darlington Raceway is based on Pearson's No. 2 scheme from 1979.
The No. 11 car has been in Victory Lane 208 times - more than any other stock car in NASCAR history.
And a large chunk of those wins came courtesy of NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Darrell Waltrip.
During the Bojangles' Southern 500, Denny Hamlin's No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota Camry will be carrying a tribute to Waltrip - one of the most successful drivers of the sport's most victorious car.
It's a throwback paint scheme that Hamlin chose himself.
Between 1981 and 1986, Waltrip raced to 43 wins in the No. 11 car while driving for legendary team owner Junior Johnson. Two of those 43 wins came at Darlington Raceway.
"Denny Hamlin®," "#11®" and "Sport Clips®" licensed under authority of Joe Gibbs Racing, Huntersville, NC. "TOYOTA AND ALL ASSOCIATED MARKS, EMBLEMS AND DESIGNS ARE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS OF TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION AND USED WITH PERMISSION."
Dale Earnhardt Jr. resurrects the famous "Gray Ghost" at Darlington Raceway - a car known for its speed, stealth, and success.
A ninja with an engine, the silver car sliced through the field and blew by the race leaders without them ever seeing it coming.
The car was so stealthy and fast, that Baker wheeled the Gray Ghost to a win from the pole in the 1980 Daytona 500, and set a record average speed of 177.602 mph while doing it. That record still stands today.
After his competitors complained the car's paint job gave Baker an unfair advantage because it blended into the Daytona pavement, NASCAR required the team to add Day-Glo strips to the front of his car.
For Earnhardt, it's the best paint scheme in NASCAR history.
Earnhardt's No. 88 Nationwide Gray Ghost Chevrolet SS will feature a throwback Nationwide logo on the hood, and a few other changes from Baker's original, but the end result is a powerful throwback to a legendary driver and his iconic car.
He is a NASCAR icon and a hero to millions.
And as part of Darlington Raceway's throwback weekend, Dale Earnhardt will be honored by his grandson Jeffrey Earnhardt with a very special car.
For his first start at the historic track, Jeffrey will pay tribute to Dale Earnhardt with a car inspired by his grandfather's No. 2 Pontiac.
"People look at Superman or Batman; well, my grandpa was that to me. To be able to have the opportunity to be behind the wheel of a car that has a very similar paint scheme to what he ran back when he was getting going and really taking off in the sport is a big honor."
The GoFas Racing driver's blue and yellow Keen Parts ride replicates the original paint scheme his legendary grandfather drove during the 1981 NASCAR season.
That year, the elder Earnhardt scored a sixth-place finish in the Southern 500 at the "Track Too Tough to Tame."
Kasey Kahne and Terry Labonte joined LiftMaster at the NASCAR Hall of Fame to unveil the throwback paint scheme that Kahne will pilot at Darlington Raceway.
During the Bojangles' Southern 500, Kasey Kahne will drive a tribute to Terry Labonte's 1982 JD Stacy Buick paint scheme that also corresponds with sponsor LiftMaster's entry into designing products that make home access entry easy.
The scheme was unveiled through an interactive virtual reality experience, allowing guests in attendance to virtually go back to 1982 and see the car as Labonte drove it, while also seeing Kahne's tribute version.
"Darlington's throwback weekend is one of the coolest programs any track does all year," Kahne said. "I'm glad that LiftMaster is participating in the program to celebrate their start of the garage door opener business. I appreciate the opportunity to honor Terry Labonte with our throwback paint scheme at one of my favorite tracks."
The date was June 5, 1983 and the driver was a 26-year-old Ricky Rudd.
Rudd and his No. 3 team were coming off a disappointing string of three finishes of 24th or worse. However, it was clear Rudd and the No. 3 Piedmont Airlines Chevrolet would be in contention for the win at Riverside International Raceway.
It did not take Rudd long to make his way to the front, doing battle with Tim Richmond for second and staying hot on the heels of pole sitter Darrell Waltrip as they traversed the winding road course. By the second lap, Rudd was in second. Two laps later, the No. 3 Piedmont Airlines Chevrolet worked under Waltrip to take the lead for the first time.
Showing the way for a total of seven laps early on, Rudd and the No. 3 team settled in to the top five and kept the race leaders in sight throughout the day. Just before the halfway mark of the race, the No. 3 Piedmont Airlines Chevrolet retook the lead from Harry Gant on Lap 37.
For the next 18 laps, Rudd, Gant and Tim Richmond did battle around the twists and turns of the road course, with the No. 3 Piedmont Airlines Chevrolet finally getting the advantage and the top spot for good on Lap 55.
As other competitors fell by the wayside, the No. 3 Piedmont Airlines Chevrolet remained the best car in the field and never gave up the lead. Despite a late-race restart with Waltrip putting on the pressure, Rudd kept the car out front and pulled away from the competition.
Taking the checkered flag with a seven-second margin of victory over Bill Elliott, Rudd gave RCR the team's first NASCAR Premier Series win in dominating fashion, leading 57 of the 95 laps. As the No. 3 Piedmont Airlines Chevrolet crossed the start-finish line, the crew erupted into celebration on pit road.
"We're just tickled to death with it," Rudd said of the win standing in Victory Lane. "We've been waiting a long time for this and really just tickled to death that it's come. It really just hasn't sunk in. It's hard to believe that this Piedmont Airlines/A&W Trucking Co. car held together all day long. It was the strongest car on the racetrack. The guys back home did a great job on the motor."
After a total of 241 career NASCAR Premier Series starts, team owner Richard Childress finally saw one of his cars take the checkered flag to earn the organization's first victory.
In the 2016 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, Childress's grandson Austin Dillon and veteran driver Ryan Newman will both drive cars reminiscent of the one that brought the NASCAR Hall of Fame owner his first win.
For 20 years, an entire generation of racing fans cheered for the iconic "Tide Ride." Driven by some of the sport's legendary figures, including Darrell Waltrip, Ricky Rudd and Ricky Craven, the car amassed 20 total wins from 1987 to 2006. Each driver contributed a fabled chapter to the Tide Ride story-Waltrip's famous victory lane dance following his Daytona 500 win in 1989; Rudd gutting out a win at the 1997 Brickyard 400; and Craven capturing the closest win in the sport's history (.002 seconds) at Darlington in 2003.
As the newest driver to compete for Tide, Matt Kenseth brings nearly 20 years of experience in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, including 38 wins and the 2003 series championship.
Both Tide and Joe Gibbs Racing are also celebrating substantial company anniversaries this year, further strengthening the significance of the partnership and return of the iconic brand to NASCAR.
"This is a thrill for us," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "Not only is this a throwback paint scheme that we know the fans will be excited for, but it is with a sponsor that has a tremendous history in our sport. This is our 25th Anniversary season at Joe Gibbs Racing and I know it is the 70th Anniversary of Tide. They really are a historic brand in our country and their new partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing for Darlington is a real honor."
"Matt Kenseth®," "#20®" and "Tide®" licensed under authority of Joe Gibbs Racing, Huntersville, NC. "TOYOTA AND ALL ASSOCIATED MARKS, EMBLEMS AND DESIGNS ARE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS OF TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION AND USED WITH PERMISSION." "Tide" is a registered trademark of The Procter & Gamble Company and is used with permission.
While many cars during the Darlington Raceway throwback weekend will run paint schemes inspired by historic races, Kurt Busch's No. 41 Chevrolet SS will pay tribute to the legacy of his owner Gene Haas' company - Haas Automation.
The paint scheme on Busch's car will feature the logo of Haas Automation's VF-1. The name of the first vertical machining center, the VF-1 was produced by Haas Automation in 1988. As a matter of fact, VF-1 stands for "Very First One" and the VF-1 was designed to perform such tasks as milling, drilling, tapping and boring.
Busch's ties to Darlington Raceway are strong, as he and former driver Ricky Craven still hold the record there for the closest finish in NASCAR history. The unforgettable run to the checkers took place in March 2003 with a photo finish that gave Craven a 0.002 margin of victory.
Target has been a major sponsor in motorsports since 1990, the year the national retailer first sponsored a car in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
As part of the throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway, Kyle Larson's No. 42 Chevrolet SS will run a paint scheme inspired by Target's Indy car from 1990.
Larson's retro ride celebrates his team's long-standing relationship with Target and also team owner Chip Ganassi's Indy car racing roots.
Target has served as Larson's primary sponsor since the California native's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in 2013. Darlington's Bojangles' Southern 500 will mark Larson's 100th series start.
Regan Smith's No. 7 Chevrolet SS pays tribute to 1992 NASCAR Cup champion Alan Kulwicki during Darlington Raceway's throwback weekend. The No.7 Road Rippers/Toy State design echoes the familiar paint scheme that Kulwicki drove to Victory Lane in three of his five career wins.
Kulwicki, who like Smith drove the No. 7 for an independent team, was killed in a plane crash on April 1, 1993 while travelling to Bristol Motor Speedway.
Honoring Kulwicki on his own car brings back childhood memories for Smith.
"It is a neat deal for me, I grew up watching him, Davey (Allison) and Bill (Elliott) battle it out for the '92 championship," Smith said. "I am really looking forward to getting the No. 7 Road Rippers/Toy State Chevrolet on track Labor Day weekend."
Smith has a record of success at Darlington Raceway, with a 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at the "Track Too Tough to Tame."
In 1993, the Joe Gibbs Racing team's second year in NASCAR competition, NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett drove his No. 18 Interstate Batteries car to a win at the biggest race of them all - the Daytona 500.
It was the first win for the newly formed team and just the second victory for future NASCAR champion Jarrett.
No one expected Jarrett to win that day. And what longtime NASCAR fans remember most about the race may be Dale Jarrett's father, Ned Jarrett, calling his son across the finish line from the CBS broadcast booth.
Even though he was on the air, Ned Jarrett couldn't contain his excitement as his son battled the great Dale Earnhardt for the win,
It's this emotional moment in time that reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kyle Busch will commemorate at Darlington Raceway when he drives a paint scheme inspired by Jarrett's Daytona 500-winning ride.
©2016. Kyle Busch® and No. 18® licensed under authority of Joe Gibbs Racing, Huntersville, N.C. Interstate Batteries trademarks used with permission. Toyota and all associated marks, emblems and designs are property of Toyota Motor Corporation and used with permission.
Paul Menard's No. 27 Chevrolet will pay homage to IndyCar legend Al "Little Al" Unser Jr.'s first and only stock car race of his celebrated career - and one which he, in the end, was prevented from finishing.
In 1993, Unser aligned with Valvoline to make his Sprint Cup debut at the Daytona 500. His single car paint scheme gave a nod to Valvoline's synthetic oil, which at that time was packaged in a black, red and white bottle.
The Richard Childress Racing driver's Darlington paint scheme will mimic this specific car concept, which never saw the Daytona 500 track due to a wreck in preliminaries.
Mark Martin is having a stellar year.
In May, he was named to the Class of 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees. In September, Roush Fenway Racing will honor his contribution to the team with a special "throwback" paint scheme.
At Darlington Raceway, Trevor Bayne's No. 6 AdvoCare Ford will carry the same red, white and blue design as Mark Martin's No. 6 Ford did during the 1996 and 1997 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series seasons.
"It's an honor any time you are mentioned alongside Mark Martin," said Bayne.
"Our team has been working really hard and running well this season, so I'm hopeful that we can make Mark proud."
This paint scheme just happens to be one of Martin's all-time favorites.
"It's going to be really cool to see that car on the track again at Darlington," said Martin. "We had a lot of good times taking that car to victory lane and leading a lot of laps during that time. I look at it as a tribute to all the guys that put the hard work in on those cars and gave us the opportunity to go out and compete each week."
Shell-Pennzoil is bringing a winning paint scheme to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its first victory with 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, Bobby Labonte.
Labonte piloted the No. 44 Shell car to its first NASCAR victory in 1996 at Nashville Speedway in what is now the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
Ironically, Labonte drove the same paint scheme to victory at the "Track Too Tough To Tame" in his final win for Shell in 1998. The Darlington scheme that Logano will carry on his No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Fusion ran a number of races in the old XFINITY Series through the mid to late 1990s.
"I think it's a no brainer to help celebrate Shell's 20th anniversary of NASCAR involvement and run this cool paint scheme at Darlington on Labor Day," said Logano.
"It's pretty neat that Shell is celebrating 20 years in NASCAR and even cooler that Bobby (Labonte) won at Darlington Raceway with this car, so it's a huge honor for myself and everyone at Team Penske to run this look."
Bill Elliott was named NASCAR's Most Popular Driver a record 16 times and he drove one of the most popular paint schemes of the 1990's.
This year at Darlington Raceway, the Mac Tonight car will ride again, this time with Jamie McMurray behind the wheel of the Mac Tonight Chevrolet SS.
Elliott wheeled the special McDonald's paint scheme five times in 1997. His best showing in the car came at Martinsville Speedway, where he finished fifth.
When the next chapter of NASCAR history is written, Tony Stewart will go down as a legend.
Brash, bold, and with driving talent the likes of which may not be seen again, Stewart got his NASCAR start as a 28-year-old rookie with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Stewart's groundbreaking first season - in which he clinched three victories - will be commemorated by Joe Gibbs Racing and Carl Edwards when the No. 20 Toyota Camry takes the track at Darlington Raceway.
To celebrate the team's 25th anniversary and honor Stewart's incredible contribution to the sport, Edwards' ARRIS paint scheme has been redesigned to replicate the first No. 20 car from Stewart's rookie year.
"Carl Edwards®," "#19®" and "ARRISTM" licensed under authority of Joe Gibbs Racing, Huntersville, NC. ©1995 - 2016 ARRIS Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. "TOYOTA AND ALL ASSOCIATED MARKS, EMBLEMS AND DESIGNS ARE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS OF TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION AND USED WITH PERMISSION."
Last year, she was in the "Lady in Black" for the first annual Darlington throwback weekend.
In 2016, Danica Patrick will drive a throwback version of her Nature's Bakery Chevrolet SS during the Bojangles' Southern 500.
Patrick's standard blue-and-white No. 10 ride gets a vintage treatment that features more brown tones as an ode to Nature's Bakery Double Chocolate Brownies - a vegan snack made with real dates.
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Darlington Raceway's historical significance, as the original paved superspeedway in NASCAR, is unparalleled. It's a place of history where fans reminisce about the past, but create lasting memories of the present when NASCAR roars into Darlington Raceway each year.
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