It’s throwback weekend.
Every year when? NASCAR Darlington rolls in for their spring race, the sport uses it as an opportunity to pay tribute to the sport’s history—and the teams can break out some tough throwback paint schemes.
Seeing all these old-school paint schemes is pretty cool, and if you’re a longtime NASCAR fan, they’re sure to spark some hardcore nostalgia from some of your favorite drivers and their iconic rides. And if you’re new to NASCAR, the throwback weekend is a great way to learn about the history of the sport.
In addition to all the throwback paint schemes, NASCAR legend Richard Petty will wave the green flag to start the Cup Series race, and Bill Elliott (who is Chase Elliott’s father, of course) will serve as grand marshal. Both Petty and Elliott, along with Bobby Labonte, will also join Mike Joy and Clint Bowyer in the TV booth.
Richard Little. Bobby Labonte. Bill Elliott.
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) May 1, 2022
So with all this nostalgia, let’s check out some of the best paint schemes we’ll see on the track this weekend:
LaJoie honors the country singer turned NASCAR driver Marty Robbins with his throwback scheme that pays tribute to the bright pink and yellow color scheme Robbins ran in the 1970s.
Brad will be making a return to Mark Martin’s early 2000s Viagra car. And Brad is now a co-owner of Martin’s former team, Roush Racing.
— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) May 6, 2022
Buescher’s #17 car will also pay tribute to its former driver with a return to Matt Kenseth’s DeWalt livery.
My Mustang for Darlington pic.twitter.com/nTHOLAv2Ao
— Chris Buescher (@Chris_Buescher) May 3, 2022
The driver who took over Jeff Gordon’s drive will pay tribute to Gordon’s 2007 livery in the #24 car.
Ready to go back to the big @JeffGordonWeb this weekend!
— William Byron (@WilliamByron) May 6, 2022
Jones will drive the iconic #43 car in a throwback look in honor of Richard Petty, complete with the iconic “Petty blue” livery.
— Little GMS (@PettyGMS) May 6, 2022
And with the other Petty GMS Racing car in the field, Ty Dillon will be putting on a throwback look in honor of Lee Petty, Richard Petty’s father who competed in the first-ever NASCAR race.
What a great retrospective! I am so grateful to be able to honor Lee Petty’s Hall of Fame career! pic.twitter.com/o6F9VxyZmQ
— Ty Dillon (@tydillon) May 4, 2022
Ross Chastain & Daniel Suarez
The Trackhouse Racing teammates will be honoring another legendary father and son duo and throwing it back to the paint schemes executed by Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. the first time the two ever race against each other. The race was an exhibition held in Japan that featured both Senior and Junior driving in Coca-Cola paint schemes – and Junior was even in the #1 car, the same number Chastain will be driving this weekend in the recreated Coke paint scheme .
— Dirty Mo Media (@DirtyMoMedia) May 4, 2022
Busch and his #45 23XI Toyota will use a McDonald’s color scheme that takes it back to Bill Elliott’s 1996 ride.
— Kurt Busch (@KurtBusch) May 7, 2022
Bowman will be making a return to Mark Martin’s 1993 Valvoline paint scheme, the same scheme that drove Martin to victory that year at Darlington.
— Ally Racing (@allyracing) May 7, 2022
Custer will pay tribute to the late Jason Leffler this weekend with his #41 Stewart Haas Racing Ford. Leffler, who died tragically in a sprint car race in 2013, Haas CNC Racing (which later became Stewart Haas Racing) took its first win at a Busch Series race in Nashville.
This one is for you, LEFturn. pic.twitter.com/bbsVxK1xdE
— Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) May 4, 2022
Matt Di Benedetto
Matty D replayed last night’s Truck Series race, honoring Sterling Marlin’s “Silver Bullet” livery from his early 2000s Cup Series drive.
— Daniel Kriete (@DanielKriete4) May 6, 2022
NASCAR’s most popular driver takes a NAPA color scheme and throws it back to the car driven by Jimmy Means in 1993.
If you want to look good @TooToughToTame then you must look tough. @chaseelriott throws it back to ’93 with a look inspired by Jimmy Means’ old NAPA car.#darlingtonthrowback #NASCARthrowback pic.twitter.com/Qw8GibFqys
— NAPA Racing (@NAPARacing) April 21, 2022
Denny throws it back to… herself. His livery is the same one he used in his 2016 Daytona 500 win.
THROWBACK @ToyotaRacing celebrates its 1,500th race in #NASCAR with special throwback schedules on @TooToughToTame to commemorate the milestone. @dennyhamlin will lead the campaign with a return to his 2016 #DAYTONA500 to win @FedEx color scheme. pic.twitter.com/ybGWPzQ3bX
— Joe Gibbs Racing (@JoeGibbsRacing) May 2, 2022
For M&M’s final season in NASCAR, Kyle Busch will be driving a throwback schedule that pays tribute to Ernie Irvan’s 1998 M&M’s car.
We have counted the votes and the people have spoken… @KyleBusch will be the 1998 . to take @mmschocolate Throwback car to @TooToughToTame† It’s a great car and we can’t wait to see it in Victory Lane. Thanks to everyone who voted! pic.twitter.com/a3md6qjl7R
— M&Ms (@mmschocolate) Apr 14, 2022
This one might be my favorite just because of all the memories of looking at that old Jeff Burton paint scheme at the time. Harrison Burton will honor his father with a return to the 2000 Exide ride.
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) Apr 20, 2022
Allgaier’s #7 Xfinity Series car will pay tribute to Dale Earnhardt’s 1984 Wrangler livery – and it’s only fitting that Allgaier now drives for JR Motorsports, the team owned by Earnhardt’s son Dale Jr.
— JR Motorsport (@JRMotorsport) March 29, 2022
Reddick is doing double duty this weekend, driving the Xfinity Series race this return to the legendary Bobby Allison livery of the 1972 Southern 500 at Darlington.
Let’s go!!! Can’t wait for double work this weekend! https://t.co/S2tzFRw3YH
— Tyler Reddick (@TylerReddick) May 3, 2022
Gibbs will be making a return to Bobby Labonte’s 2002 Interstate Batteries car, a livery Labonte used for Joe Gibbs Racing – owned by Ty’s grandfather, of course. This also happens to be Labonte’s livery the year Ty Gibbs was born, and damn, now I feel old.
We have flashbacks to 2002. Britney and Justin broke up, and @TyGibbs_ was born. It was also the year that @Bobby_Labonte ran the @interstatebatts ‘Shark’ car. The classic scheme goes back to @TooToughToTame with Ty behind the wheel!#TeamInterstate pic.twitter.com/GosXiaBYXt
— Joe Gibbs Racing (@JoeGibbsRacing) April 29, 2022