Race Weekend Central

NASCAR 101: Here Are the 2018 Darlington Throwback Schemes

NASCAR is back at Darlington Raceway, and that can only mean one thing.

Well, OK, multiple things. Including throwbacks!

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and XFINITY Series take to the track this weekend at Darlington, and many of the teams entered will sport paint schemes that recall bygone eras of NASCAR. Some of those are recent; Jimmie Johnson, for instance, is tricking out his No. 48 in honor of his 2012 Southern 500 victory. Others go back to the earliest days of the sport.

Not everyone gets into the festivities — and some only field retro-themed throwbacks rather than ones specifically tied to something — but for those who are in 2018, we’ve got you covered with the rundown of Cup and XFINITY series throwbacks this year, with brief explanations of what’s being thrown back to. If they’re not listed here, a team is either not running a throwback scheme or hasn’t announced one at press time.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Jamie McMurray

Throwback: Bill Elliott‘s No. 94 McDonald’s ride from 1998, when NASCAR celebrated its 50th anniversary. The team is using the paint scheme to denote the 50th birthday of the Big Mac.

Brad Keselowski

Throwback: Rusty Wallace’s Miller Genuine Draft-sponsored No. 2.

Austin Dillon

Throwback: Not yet announced but reportedly coming before the race.

Kevin Harvick

Throwback: Busch Beer throwback

Matt Kenseth

Throwback: Oscar Mayer scheme celebrating the brand’s previous sponsorship of Roush Fenway Racing in the early 2000s

Chase Elliott

Throwback: Casey Elliott’s 1993 NASCAR scheme

Aric Almirola

Throwback: Retro-themed Smithfield Helping Hungry Homes scheme

Denny Hamlin

Throwback: Hamlin’s first racecar in 1997

Ryan Blaney

Throwback: Dave Blaney’s 2003 Cup Series paint scheme, No. 77.

Ty Dillon

Throwback: GEICO and Germain Racing’s 2009 Cup paint scheme

Clint Bowyer

Throwback: Ned Jarrett’s 1965 Southern 500-winning car

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Throwback: Chad Little’s 1998 John Deere-sponsored No. 97

Kyle Busch

Throwback: Ernie Irvan’s 1998 Skittles No. 36

Erik Jones

Throwback: Rick Carelli’s No. 6 in the Camping World Truck Series

Paul Menard

Throwback: Cale Yarborough, 1968 Southern 500

Joey Logano

Throwback: Steve Park’s No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet, 1998

Joey Gase

Throwback: Bob Gase’s modified, 2003

William Byron

Throwback: Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet

Ryan Newman

Throwback: Neil Bonnett’s No. 31 for RCR, 1993

Matt DiBenedetto

Throwback: Jeff Burton’s Exide Batteries No. 99

Michael McDowell

Throwback: Retro scheme for Love’s first truck stop location in Texas

Chris Buescher

Throwback: Retro-themed scheme celebrating 110 years of Bush’s Beans

David Ragan

Throwback: Dale Jarrett, 1993

Kurt Busch

Throwback: Busch’s 2003 Southern 500 No. 97

Kyle Larson

Throwback: Davey Allison’s No. 28 Texaco Havoline Ford

Bubba Wallace

Throwback: Original STP NASCAR scheme, 1972

AJ Allmendinger

Throwback: Robert Pressley and Stacy Compton’s ST Motorsports No. 59 in the XFINITY Series

Jimmie Johnson

Throwback: Johnson’s 2012 Southern 500-winning scheme

Timmy Hill

Throwback: Darrell Waltrip’s No. 66, 2000

Corey LaJoie

Throwback: Randy LaJoie’s XFINITY Series No. 74, late 1990s

Kasey Kahne

Throwback: Kahne’s No. 9 for Evernham Motorsports, 2006

Jeffrey Earnhardt

Throwback: Dale Earnhardt’s Cup No. 96, 1978

Derrike Cope

Throwback: Cope’s Bojangle’s-sponsored Cup No. 98

Landon Cassill


Throwback: Bobby Allison’s Miller High Life car


Matt Tifft

Throwback: Dave Marcis’ No. 2, 1976

Ty Dillon

Throwback: Dillon’s ARCA Racing Series championship-winning No. 41, 2011

Garrett Smithley

Throwback: James Hylton’s No. 4 number font

Michael Annett

Throwback: Retro-themed Pilot paint scheme

Tyler Reddick

Throwback: Tim Richmond’s Old Milwaukee-sponsored No. 27, mid-1980s

Ryan Truex

Throwback: Martin Truex Jr.‘s 2004 Darlington scheme in the XFINITY Series

BJ McLeod

Throwback: Michael Waltrip’s No. 15, not yet revealed

Ryan Reed

Throwback: Greg Biffle’s Darlington-winning No. 16, 2005

Brandon Jones

Throwback: Darrell Waltrip’s No. 11, 1983

Christopher Bell

Throwback:  Original Rheem logo and lettering font style created in 1925.

Daniel Hemric

Throwback: Walker Evans’ No. 21 truck

Chase Elliott

Throwback: Davey Allison, No. 23 Miller Buick, 1985

Joey Gase

Throwback: Bob Gase’s modified, 2003

Alex Labbe

Throwback: Owner Mario Gosselin’s No. 10

Ryan Sieg

Throwback: Bobby Labonte’s Folgers-sponsored No. 22, 1993

Jeremy Clements

Throwback: Rex White

Austin Cindric

Throwback: The first front-engine Ford Mustang GTP, 1983

Timmy Hill

Throwback: Benny Parsons’ No. 72

Spencer Boyd

Throwback: Bob Dotter’s ARCA No. 76, 1980s

Brandon Brown

Throwback: Dick Trickle, No. 90, 1989

Kevin Harvick

Throwback: Harvick’s No. 75 truck, 1998

Vinnie Miller

Throwback: The car will feature the name of short track driver Charlie Blanton, who ran three Cup races in the 1970s. Not yet revealed.

Cole Custer

Throwback: AJ Foyt’s No. 00 Vel’s Ford Galaxie, q965

Landon Cassill

Throwback: Cassill’s No. 01 when he once drove full-time for JD Motorsports in the mid-2010s. Not yet revealed.

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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