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The Most Obscure Darlington Throwback Paint Schemes

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Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

Throwback Weekend at Darlington is coming up, and one of the defining elements of the weekend is the Throwback paint schemes. Many fans adore seeing iconic paint schemes from the past on the track once again. However, the more obscure ones paint interesting stories about drivers that fans may have never heard. These are the most obscure Darlington Throwback schemes.

  • For this list, we will look at schemes that were either not thrown back to the NASCAR Cup Series or were a more forgotten Cup Series scheme. The iconic schemes that everyone knows about will not be included.
  • Obscure schemes tell very unique stories that other NASCAR fans may otherwise not hear. Through these schemes, fans learn about a driver’s past or just fun facts about NASCAR history.
  • Fans love the iconic throwbacks, but, the random ones are interesting too. These are the best of that bunch.

2017: Denny Hamlin Ray Hendrick Throwback

Denny Hamlin paid tribute to modified legend Ray Hendrick in the most perfect way possible in 2017, by winning the Southern 500. Nicknamed “Mr. Modified”, Hendrick won an estimated 700+ NASCAR-sanctioned races in his racing career. The flaming 11 on the side was a staple of the lower divisions during his era.

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Hamlin paid great tribute to this scheme, and having the Number 11 on the side made it that much better. The scheme ended up in the place where it was most familiar, Victory Lane.

2017: Chase Elliott Bill Elliott First Career Start Throwback

Chase Elliott has a large inventory of iconic paint schemes due to his dad, Bill. In 2017 at Darlington Chase took it all the way back to the beginning, to Bill’s first NASCAR start in 1976. Bill finished 33rd in his first career start, but, it launched a Hall of Fame career.

As far as how Chase did, he did much better finishing 11th in the 2017 Southern 500. Now, Chase has a Championship of his own.

2016: Paul Menard Al Unser Jr. Daytona 500 Throwback

Many younger fans may not know that IndyCar legend Al Unser Jr. attempted the Daytona 500 in 1993. Paul Menard, who grew up near Indianapolis, decided to throw back to the legend in 2016. While Unser did make the race in 1993, he finished 36th.

Menard did much better in this scheme in 2016. He finished 16th after qualifying 24th.

2024: Harrison Burton Leonard Wood Throwback

Now, we take a look at a 2024 throwback scheme. The Wood Brothers run a throwback scheme almost every week with that iconic red and white No. 21 car, but they went way back for this one. This black scheme came from Leonard Wood’s first race in 1953.

The Wood Brothers are NASCAR’s longest-standing race team. They’ve had the same look for so long, but, throwing it back to their roots is perfect for a “Grassroots” themed Throwback weekend.

2022: Chase Briscoe Tony Stewart 2001 Indy 500 Throwback

Chase Briscoe paid tribute to his boss, Tony Stewart, in 2022. This one honors Stewart’s 2001 Indianapolis 500 run, the second attempt at the Double for Stewart. Stewart had a great day at Indianapolis, finishing 6th and leading 13 laps before heading to Charlotte and finishing 6th in the Coca-Cola 600.

Briscoe had a more forgettable day, finishing 20th in this scheme. However, it was cool to see this scheme back on track once again.

Which obscure schemes will continue to be added to the list this season?

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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