Race Weekend Central

NASCAR 101: Who’s Running What for NASCAR’s Throwback Weekend?

For the second straight year, NASCAR is holding an official Throwback Weekend coinciding with the Sprint Cup and XFINITY series races at Darlington Speedway.

The gist, for those who don’t recall: As the Cup Series takes to Darlington for the Southern 500, one of the more tradition-laden weekends of the season, a majority of its teams are running throwback paint schemes to go along with the festivities, which will also include a portion of the NBC broadcast being called by veteran announcers Ken Squier and Ned Jarrett alongside Dale Jarrett.

It seems, as the now-official nature of the weekend continues from year to year, that more and more teams get into the spirit — so much so that it’s extending to the XFINITY Series, where multiple teams are presenting their own schemes for the Saturday afternoon race.

It can all be a little overwhelming, quite frankly. Not that it’s a poor idea and concept by any stretch of the imagination — it gives even more prominence to what’s already considered one of the better weekends of the NASCAR season. But keeping up with each and every paint scheme, knowing what’s being honored, even finding one’s own driver in a sea of unfamiliar color combinations? (Hey, keep the spotters in your thoughts this weekend, y’all.)

So, for those of us who don’t have such a steel-trap memory that we can remember each and every dedication and special scheme this weekend, here’s a little cheat sheet.

Sprint Cup Series

Jamie McMurray: Bill Elliott’s McDonald’s Mac Tonight scheme from the 1990s

Brad Keselowskiretro scheme honoring the Miller Lite beer cans of the early 1970s

Austin DillonRichard Childress Racing’s Piedmont-sponsored cars, 1980s

Kevin HarvickCale Yarborough’s No. 11 Busch Beer car

Kasey KahneTerry Labonte’s JD Stacy-owned No. 44 car, 1980s

Trevor BayneMark Martin’s No. 6 Valvoline car, 1990s

Regan SmithAlan Kulwicki’s No. 7 Hooters car

Danica PatrickRetro scheme using traditional colors of sponsor Nature’s Bakery

Denny HamlinBudweiser schemes of Junior Johnson-owned cars, 1980s

Casey MearsSmokey Yunick, 1960s

Tony StewartBobby Allison’s Coca-Cola-sponsored No. 12

Clint BowyerBenny Parsons’ No. 72

Greg BiffleHooters-sponsored NASCAR teams

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.Darrell Waltrip’s No. 17

Kyle BuschInterstate Batteries No. 18 for Joe Gibbs Racing

Carl EdwardsTony Stewart’s Home Depot-sponsored No. 20

Matt KensethTide-sponsored NASCAR teams

Ryan BlaneyDavid Pearson’s No. 21 for Wood Brothers Racing

Joey LoganoShell-sponsored NASCAR teams

David RaganDr. Pepper’s advertising from late ’70s

Chase ElliottScheme based on 1960s NAPA delivery trucks

Paul MenardAl Unser, Jr. and Valvoline

Josh WiseDale Earnhardt’s No. 30 ARMY car

Ryan NewmanRicky Rudd’s 1983 Richard Childress Racing car

Jeffrey EarnhardtWrangler-sponsored NASCAR teams

Chris BuescherLove’s Travel Stops aesthetic, early 1980s

Landon CassillJD McDuffie

Kurt BuschRetro Haas scheme

Kyle LarsonEddie Cheever’s open-wheel ride when Target first sponsored Chip Ganassi Racing

Aric AlmirolaRichard Petty’s No. 43

Brian ScottNot participating

Michael AnnettRetro Pilot Travel Centers scheme

AJ AllmendingerBruce Hill’s No. 47

Jimmie JohnsonDavid Pearson/Dale Earnhardt

Reed SorensonNot participating

Martin Truex, Jr.Retro scheme for Auto-Owners Insurance’s 100th anniversary

Matt DiBenedettoOrange Crush scheme

Jeff GordonBuddy Baker’s No. 28

Michael McDowellRichard Childress’ No. 3


Cole WhittLeeRoy Yarbrough’s No. 98


Elliott SadlerCiti Financial throwback scheme

Paul Menard, Ty Dillon, Brandon Jones and Brendan GaughanRetro-inspired schemes

Ross ChastainJoe Henry Thurman’s No. 4 (here)

Darrell Wallace, Jr.Mark Martin’s Folgers No. 6

Justin AllgaierThrowback Brandt’s scheme

Blake KochMountain Dew-sponsored No. 11

Ryan ReedBobby Allison, 1970s

Dakoda ArmstrongDavey Allison’s No. 28


Ryan SiegDale Jarrett’s No. 88

Kyle Larson: Marty Robbins’ No. 42

Jeremy ClementsBuck Baker’s No. 87

Joey GaseCar owner Jimmy Means’ No. 52

Derrike CopeCope’s Daytona 500-winning No. 10

Mike HarmonNeil Bonnett

David StarrAJ Foyt

Garrett SmithleyCharlie Blanton

Ryan PreeceButch Lindley (here)

Ray Black, Jr.Car owner Bobby Dotter

About the author


Rutherford is the managing editor of Frontstretch, a position he gained in 2015 after serving on the editing staff for two years. At his day job, he's a journalist covering music and rock charts at Billboard. He lives in New York City, but his heart is in Ohio -- you know, like that Hawthorne Heights song.

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