DARLINGTON, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — NASCAR is crisscrossing the Carolinas this month, beginning with the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway this weekend. The race, just under a two-hour drive from Uptown Charlotte, has become a favorite among fans because it is the official throwback weekend.
The race will have not only the feel of a throwback but the look as well. The eye-catching moment of the race is the throwback paint schemes drivers and teams come up with.
Darlington Raceway is one of the oldest tracks on the NASCAR circuit, opening back in 1950. It’s only fitting that once a year the track hosts a NASCAR throwback weekend. You can see the different decades displayed courtesy of throwback paint schemes.
This year NASCAR’s most popular driver, Chase Elliott, is throwing it back to 2001. That is the year when his father, Bill Elliott, won in the iconic red #9 Dodge at Homestead-Miami Speedway. That win snapped a 226-race winless streak, dating back to 1994.
Two years later in 2003, Dale Jarrett motored to his 31st career win in his iconic #88 UPS Ford. That paint scheme has been recreated for this weekend and will be driven by Ross Chastain.
While the designs are called paint schemes, very little paint is used. The designs are developed on a computer and get final approval from the sponsor of each car.
“Anybody can design cars, anybody can make things good, but the sponsorship is where the money is,” said the designer of paint schemes for LiveFast Motorsports.
Once approved, the design is printed out and wrapped around the racecars. It’s a big change from the cars we saw in 1999 at Darlington Raceway, when a young Jeff Burton took home the win is his iconic Exide scheme, which was physically painted on the car.
The Exide car has also been recreated for the Goodyear 400 and will be driven by Harrison Burton, paying tribute to his dad.
The Goodyear 400 is this Sunday at 3 p.m. on FS1. All three NASCAR series are participating in throwback weekend. The Xfinity Series race from Darlington is at 1:30 p.m. on FOX Charlotte.