May 8 , 2022: during at Darlington Raceway in Darlington,  SC, .  ,  .  .   .  (HHP/Andrew Coppley)
Darlington Raceway. (HHP/Andrew Coppley)

Best Of: Darlington Throwbacks

This weekend at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, the cars on track will display an eclectic collection of throwback paint schemes, paying homage to the days and drivers of old. SPEED SPORT writers scrounged Twitter to find some of the best designs from some NASCAR notables. 

Iconic Wins & Moments

Chase Briscoe is tipping his hat to Stewart-Haas Racing team owner Tony Stewart with a flaming-hot paint scheme on his No. 14 car, honoring Stewart’s Turkey Night Grand Prix triumph in 2000. 

Christopher Bell will be busy throwing it back to Matt Kenseth with his design on the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing entry. The yellow-and-black paint scheme, adorned with the DEWALT logo, pays tribute to the Hall of Fame driver and his 2003 NASCAR Cup Series championship. 

Meanwhile, it’s a victory-themed weekend for SHR, as Aric Almirola’s No. 10 Ford will feature the paint scheme from Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s 2001 win at Daytona Int’l Speedway in his No. 8 entry. 

Defending Cup Series champion Joey Logano will run a red, white and blue paint scheme on his No. 22 Ford Mustang, which is taken from 1973 when Team Penske captured its first NASCAR win with Mark Donohue.

Rick Ware Racing will commemorate Ryan Newman’s part-time return to the Cup Series with a throwback scheme taken from Newman’s first trip to victory lane, which came at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2002.

Does this one count as a throwback? Richard Childress Racing and Kyle Busch have decided to run the Lucas Oil-sponsored paint scheme that was featured on the No. 8 Chevrolet when Busch collected his first win with the team — on Feb. 26, 2023. 

In Honor Of Dad

Ryan Preece is one of a few drivers honoring their “first heroes” — their fathers. His cool blue-and-white design on the No. 14 SHR entry pays homage to his dad’s No. 4 late model paint scheme. 

Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney joins Preece in this category, as the No. 12 is also honoring his dad, Dave Blaney — a 95-time World of Outlaws winner and 1995 WoO champion.

A personal paint scheme will also adorn Chase Elliott’s No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports entry, as the Chevrolet driver honors his father, Ray Evernham, with a red-and-white wrap on his typically blue, white and yellow colored Cup car.

Childhood Heroes

Cole Custer is taking is back to his childhood with his design for the No. 00 Ford Mustang in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Custer is honoring Jason Leffler’s Xfinity Series scheme from 2004.

Lost Art, Legends & More

Kevin Harvick is displaying the design that “almost was” in 2001, which he planned for his Cup Series debut.

Ty Gibbs will feature the paint scheme Bobby Labonte ran on his No. 18 entry during the 1996 DieHard 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, which was originally meant to honor Joe Gibbs’ induction into the NFL Hall of Fame. 

Riley Herbst will honor action sports star Ken Block, who recently passed, on his No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing entry. The design is based on Block’s iconic Gymkhana 3 scheme. 

Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman will continue his trend of paying tribute to the people who have aided his Cup Series campaign. The No. 48 Chevrolet will honor the past driving days of his current spotter, Kevin Hamlin.  

Ross Chastain’s No. 1 Trackhouse Racing brown, white and yellow paint scheme will pay homage to Dale Jarrett’s No. 88 livery and their shared partner — UPS.