Every year since NASCAR and Darlington Raceway first teamed up in 2015 to introduce the concept of a “throwback” weekend paying tribute to the sport’s past, drivers have embraced the idea by sporting retro firesuits and wheeling cars with old-school paint schemes at the track “Too Tough to Tame.” It’s happening again this year — albeit on Mother’s Day weekend instead of Labor Day weekend.
Included among the throwback cars that will be on-track are Chase Elliott’s No. 9, which will be adorned in a Hooters paint scheme that’s a nod to the one campaigned by Alan Kulwicki in his championship season of 1992. Meanwhile, Michael McDowell’s car will be decked out in a design bearing a striking resemblance to the one Chase’s dad, Bill Elliott, raced on his way to capturing the “Winston Million” at Darlington in 1985. And there are other classic paint schemes, too — like rookie Chase Briscoe’s, which honors the legendary A.J. Foyt.
“A.J. is obviously one of the most iconic names in racing,” Briscoe said. “When you think of racing heroes, he is definitely on top of the list. I think he’s someone that most, if not all, drivers looked up to growing up. He just wanted to race and he was always competitive. For me, that was one thing I always admired and wanted to emulate.”
Ross Chastain, meanwhile, is driving a car that looks like the McDonald’s-sponsored one owned by the late NASCAR legend Junior Johnson and raced at Darlington by Hut Stricklin in 1993. “It’s a really cool car,” Chastain said. “Getting to talk to Mr. Johnson’s family, his wife and son, who is similar to my age, and just get to know them a little bit on a Zoom call makes this paint scheme more special.”