Throughout the summer, NASCAR teams and drivers have been unveiling their throwback paint schemes for Sunday’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.
For the third year, the race will honor a series of years in the sport’s history, and this weekend, the theme is 1985-1989. Drivers were encouraged to honor a classic car from that time with their paint schemes this weekend, and some of them will excite fans and make them nostalgic.
On a totally subjective list, here are the eight best throwback paint schemes for the Southern 500, based on aesthetics, inspiration and historical significance.
8. Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Chevrolet
— Hendrick Motorsports (@TeamHendrick) July 18, 2017
Junior’s paint scheme here is a nod to the car he drove in 1998 and 1999 when he won back-to-back XFINITY Series championships. It doesn’t match Darlington’s time period theme, but it’s his last race at the track, so he can do what he wants. Although his unveiling was met with mixed reviews, it’s a classic-looking paint scheme honoring a career highlight.
7. Derrike Cope’s No. 55 Chevrolet
— Nascar/Indy Central (@NascarIndy) August 8, 2017
There is no question this paint scheme is one of the most eye-catching, but Cope gets extra points for its inspiration and history. According to NASCAR, he’ll be the only one to drive his own throwback car with the original color scheme. He drove this car back in 1994.
6. Aric Almirola’s No. 43 Ford
— Darlington Raceway (@TooToughToTame) July 12, 2017
Almirola is honoring the car Richard Petty drove to his 200th win, and who doesn’t like a good tribute to The King? It also has a nice, classic look to it.
5. Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) August 15, 2017
This paint scheme definitely has a good ’80s retro vibe to it that is reminiscent of a white Miami Vice suit with the sleeves pushed up. It was inspired by a 1986 Lowe’s delivery truck, so while it didn’t originate with a stock car, it kept the time period and ’80s look.
4. Brad Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford
— Darlington Raceway (@TooToughToTame) June 12, 2017
This car is almost identical to Rusty Wallace’s early 1990s paint scheme – same colors, same sponsor, same everything. Black paint schemes aren’t rare, but this one is so dominantly black is looks smooth, sleek and cool. Although it’s a little bit newer than Darlington’s late ’80s theme, it makes up for it in aesthetics and its hat tip to the Hall of Fame driver.
3. Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota
— Joe Gibbs Racing (@JoeGibbsRacing) August 30, 2017
This paint scheme just has a phenomenal look to it (although it kind of makes you want Big Red gum over a haircut). Via NASCAR.com:
Hamlin’s throwback paint scheme is the “Flying 11,” which was inspired by Ray Hendrick and Hamlin’s short track roots. Hendrick was known as “Mr. Modified” for scoring over 700 short track victories. He also made starts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series as well as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, earning a combined five top-five finishes.
A+ for creativity in a historical context that embraces Hamlin’s early racing days.
2. Chase Elliott’s No. 24 Chevrolet
— Lionel Racing (@Lionel_Racing) July 27, 2017
This car is the same beautiful powder blue color of the No. 9 Ford Torino his dad, Bill Elliott, drove back in 1976. It’s a touching tribute to his old man – Chase also will drive the No. 9 next season for Hendrick Motorsports – and there will be no other car on the track that even remotely resembles this one. It’s simply nice to look at and will definitely stand out in the best way.
1. Austin Dillon and Ryan Newman
RCR's throwback schemes for Darlington this year, honoring the 30th anniversary of Earnhardt's Southern 500 win in… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…—
Save A Click NASCAR (@RacingClickSave) July 05, 2017
These two Richard Childress Racing drivers have the same paint scheme for the Southern 500, so it’s only fair to include them both. This old school Dale Earnhardt Sr. look has been mimicked before – including by Junior – but for NASCAR fans, recognizing their beloved, late driver will never get old.
Plus, this year is the 30th anniversary of Senior’s first Southern 500 win with the iconic paint scheme, despite winning three races overall at Darlington before that. In 1987, he won both Darlington events on his way to an astonishing 11 victories that season and the championship. This is the best paint scheme for the throwback weekend, and fans get to see double on the track.
Honorable mention: Landon Cassill’s No. 34 Ford
— @OutlawFan41 #NFB (@OutlawFan41) August 21, 2017
This paint scheme has more of a 1970s vibe than late ’80s, but it’s cool and memorable.
Source : http://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/08/nascar-best-throwback-paint-schemes-southern-500-darlington-dale-earnhardt-jr-brad-keselowski-jimmie-johnson-racing