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My Favorite Darlington Throwback Paint Schemes

Todd Gilliland, driver of the #38 E-Bikes Ford, Michael McDowell, driver of the #34 StageFront.VIP Ford, and Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 LLumar Throwback Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Cup Series Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway on May 14, 2023 in Darlington, South Carolina. Darlington

Darlington hosts NASCAR’s throwback weekend and the Goodyear 400. Here are my picks for the ten best throwback paint schemes racing this weekend.

Your favorite driver’s racecar might look a little different this weekend. Gone are the familiar colors of our time and in are some paint schemes celebrating racing history. Here are my top ten favorite throwback paint schemes, across Trucks, Xfinity, and the Cup Series in no particular order.

Chase Elliott’s Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2014 National Guard Throwback Paint Scheme:

Dale Earnhardt Jr’s 2014 Season was one of his best. Started with his second Daytona 500 win, swept at Pocono, and finally got himself a Martinsville Grandfather clock. Chase Elliott honors his former teammate and Xfinity Series car owner’s 2014 season with this faithful tribute to the red, white, and blue National Guard Chevrolet SS.

Hailie Deegan’s Dale Earnhardt Sr. 1982 Wrangler Scheme:

Driving a #15 Ford just like Dale Earnhardt Sr. in 1982, Hailie Deegan honors the Intimidator’s only drive in a blue oval. Her paint scheme honors the #15 Thunderbird he drove, adapting her sponsor, Airbox, into the iconic yellow and blue of Wrangler.

Ryan Ellis’ Cole Trickle City Chevrolet Scheme:

Celebrating one of the most iconic racing movies of all time. Ryan Ellis and Team Alpha Prime are running a throwback to Cole Trickle’s City Chevrolet Lumina stock car from the movie “Days on Thunder”.

Tanner Gray’s NHRA Pro Stock Scheme Darlington throwback:

A little-known fact about Tanner Gray, he is the youngest ever NHRA Champion, winning the 2018 Pro Stock Champion. It is normally frowned upon to throwback to yourself, but this was TRICON Garage’s choice, without Tanner knowing, and honoring a different form of motorsports.

Kyle Larson’s Terry Labonte 1996 Kellogg’s Scheme:

This is a perfect throwback. The Hendrick Cars logo adjusted to the font of their logo to match the Kellogg’s logo, the colors, and even with the number being towards the A post of the car, this is a perfect throwback. As Terry Labonte said “Put it in victory lane”. I’m rooting for a Kyle Larson back to back win this weekend.

Shane Van Gisbergen’s Scott Ambrose’s 2012 Watkin Glen Scheme for Darlington:

Two V8 Supercars legends and Cup Series winners, Shane Van Gisbergen will honor Marcos Ambrose’s victory at Watkins Glen in 2012.

Daniel Dye’s Kyle Petty 1989 Peak Throwback Paint Scheme:

When a throwback paint scheme can get the original sponsor on the car, or in this case, the truck, it make it even more special. Daniel Dye honors Kyle Petty’s 1989 Peak Pontiac, with the sponsor Peak Antifreeze returning.

Ross Chastain Retro Busch Light Scheme:

While not throwing back to any paint scheme in particular, Ross Chastain’s throwing back to an old school Busch Light logo for the throwback weekend.

Alex Bowman’s Jimmie Johnson rookie season Darlington Scheme:

Continuing on the Hendrick theme of honoring those who came before, Alex Bowman will honor the driver who made the #48 an every week contender. He will drive a throwback to Jimmie Johnson’s rookie season paint scheme.

Ryan Preece’s 2013 Modified Championship Throwback Paint Scheme:

When I first saw the graphic, I was not very impressed by this paint scheme. But when I saw the car wrapped in the shop, I loved it. The Dayglo Orange and Blue look fantastic on that Ford. My only complaint, honoring an open wheel car is hard to translate into a Cup Series car.

These are my picks for the best throwback paint scheme for this weekend’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway. The Truck Series will race the Buckle Up South Carolina 200 at 7:30 PM ET. Xfinity races the Crown Royal Purple Bag Project 200 on Saturday at 1:30 PM ET, and finally the Goodyear 400, Sunday, at 3:00 PM ET.


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