Top 5 Throwback Paint Schemes in NASCAR's Darlington Cup Race

Top 5 Throwback Paint Schemes in NASCAR's Darlington Cup Race

NASCAR's Next Gen cars have been painted in tribute to previous generations for NASCAR's throwback weekend.

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Photo: Trackhouse

While the NASCAR’s Next Gen cars are making their first visit to Darlington Raceway this weekend, the teams have dressed the new cars up in tribute to the sport’s past. NASCAR’s throwback weekend has been a perennial highlight of the season since its introduction in 2015. The weekend was paired with the Southern 500 at the famed South Carolina speedway until 2020.

In 2021, the throwback weekend was moved to the revived Spring 400-mile race at Darlington. This year, over half the NASCAR Cup Series field will be racing with a throwback paint scheme in the Goodyear 400. A wide variety of homages have been made to the storied pasts of certain teams, iconic former drivers and active drivers who have been in the Cup Series long enough to throw back to themselves.

I’ve picked out five of my favorite paint schemes that you will see out on track today. Be sure to leave your own top fives in the comments.

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5. - Ty Dillion, #42 Petty GMS Chevrolet

5. - Ty Dillion, #42 Petty GMS Chevrolet

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Photo: Petty GMS

Petty GMS Racing might technically be a new team, but the outfit traces a lineage back to Petty Enterprises. To honor this heritage, Petty GMS is running paint schemes from the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959 on both its cars. Ty Dillion’s #42 is painted in a similar scheme to the one used by Lee Petty, the winner of the 1959 Daytona 500.

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4. - Chris Buescher, #17 RFK Racing Ford

4. - Chris Buescher, #17 RFK Racing Ford

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Photo: RFK Racing

Roush Fenway Keselowski is running paint schemes from the most recent championship-winning period for the team. Buescher’s #17 is painted to resemble the iconic yellow-and-black DeWalt scheme driven by Matt Kenseth during the 2004 season. Earlier this week, 2003 Cup Series Champion Matt Kenseth was elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the first time he was on the ballot.

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3. - Harrison Burton, #21 Wood Brothers Ford

3. - Harrison Burton, #21 Wood Brothers Ford

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Photo: Emilee Chinn (Getty Images)

Speaking of Roush, the legendary Wood Brothers #21 will also be painted in an early 2000s Roush scheme. The Ford Mustang will pay homage to Jeff Burton’s 2000 Exide Batteries Ford Taurus because the #21 is driven by his son Harrison Burton, a Cup Series rookie.

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2. - William Byron, #24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

2. - William Byron, #24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

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Photo: James Gilbert (Getty Images)

Admittedly, I grew up a massive Jeff Gordon fan. Hendrick has painted the #24 in the DuPont flames scheme used on the same numbered car starting in the 2001 season. The tribute is meant to resemble the scheme used during the 2007 Cup Series season when Gordon tied Dale Earnhardt Sr. on the all-time wins list.

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Honorable Mention - Denny Hamlin, #11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Honorable Mention - Denny Hamlin, #11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

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Image: Joe Gibbs Racing

Denny Hamlin will be racing a throwback scheme to pay tribute to Denny Hamlin. In all seriousness, today’s Goodyear 400 is Toyota’s 1,500th race in the NASCAR Cup Series. Hamlin is running a homage to his 2016 Daytona 500 winning scheme to commemorate the milestone. The race win was Toyota’s first Daytona 500 victory.

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1. - Ross Chastain and Daniel Suárez, #1 and #99 Trackhouse Chevrolets

1. - Ross Chastain and Daniel Suárez, #1 and #99 Trackhouse Chevrolets

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Photo: Trackhouse

Yes, my favorite throwback schemes this year are a pair. Trackhouse is running a pair of throwback schemes from the 1998 Coca-Cola 500 exhibition race at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan. The post-season exhibition race was the first time Dale Earnhardt Sr. raced his son Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Both drivers raced with one-off Coca-Cola sponsored schemes for Dale Sr’s red Richard Childress Racing #3 Chevy and Dale Jr’s black Dale Earnhardt Inc. #1 Chevy. Today, Chastain will run the #1 in black, and Suárez will drive the #99 in red. Trackhouse does trace some lineage back to Dale Earnhardt Inc. through its purchase of Chip Ganassi Racing’s NASCAR operations.

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