Retro Rundown 2018: Paint schemes for the 69th Southern 500

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The 69th Southern 500 might seem like it’s a long way aways, but you only have to wait 53 days for the Sept. 2 race at Darlington Raceway, which will air on NBCSN.

That night, the latest batch of throwback paint schemes will race for our affections and the win.

Here’s a roundup of the nine paint schemes that have been announced so far.

No. 2 – Brad KeselowskiWill drive Rusty Wallace’s paint scheme from the 1990 Cup season.

Team Penske

No. 4 – Kevin Harvick: Will drive a scheme based on Busch Beer’s can design from 1996.

Stewart-Haas Racing

No. 9 – Chase Elliott: The Hendrick Motorsports driver will have a scheme based on one driven by his late cousin, Casey Elliott. He passed away from cancer in 1996.

Photo: Dustin Long

No. 12 – Ryan Blaney: Will drive a scheme based on the car his father, Dave Blaney, raced in the 2003 Cup season.

No. 14 – Clint BowyerBowyer will driver a paint scheme based on the car NASCAR Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett drove to a win in the 1965 Southern 500.

No. 21 – Paul Menard: Wood Brothers Racing will pay tribute to Cale Yarborough’s win in the 1968 Southern 500, which was the first for the team and Yarborough.

No. 24 – William Byron: Will drive Jeff Gordon‘s iconic DuPont “Rainbow Warriors” scheme he raced full-time from 1993 -2000.

Hendrick Motorsports

 

No. 32 – Matt DiBenedetto: Will drive Jeff Burton‘s paint scheme from the 2000 Cup season.

 

No. 41 – Kurt BuschWill drive his own paint scheme from the 2003 season when he was part of one of the closest finishes in NASCAR history at Darlington Raceway, losing to Ricky Craven by 0.002 seconds. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the race.

 

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Wood Brothers Racing honoring Cale Yarborough with Southern 500 scheme

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Wood Brothers Racing announced Wednesday it will celebrate Cale Yarborough’s 1968 win in the Southern 500 in this year’s race at Darlington Raceway (Sept. 2 on NBCSN).

The paint scheme on Paul Menard‘s No. 21 Ford will be based on the 1968 Mercury Cyclone Yarborough drove to a win over David Pearson and Buddy Baker.

Yarborough’s win was his first of five in the Southern 500. The three-time Cup champion is from Timmonsville, South Carolina, located just 13 miles south of Darlington.

“He’s one of the original heroes of our sport,” team co-owner Eddie Wood said in a press release. “He got his first Southern 500 victory in our car and had a great career winning 83 races and three championships.”

Yarborough’s victory was the first of eight for the Wood Brothers at Darlington and the first of four in the Southern 500.

Details on the car include “396 Cubic Inches” lettering on the hood. At the time, NASCAR required teams to prominently post the engine size on the car.

Joey Gase’s Darlington scheme pays tribute to father’s racing career

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Joey Gase is using his paint scheme for the Sept. 1 Xfinity race at Darlington Raceway to honor the racing career of his father, Bob Gase.

Through a fan vote last week, The Go Green Racing driver allowed his followers to choose between two paint schemes inspired by his father’s career when he raced at their home track of Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

They could choose between a 2003 Purple & Black Modified scheme or a 1994 Blue & White Late Model.

Go Green Racing

When the vote was closed, the 2003 Black & Purple Championship Modified scheme won out.

“I couldn’t be happier to be running this scheme,” Gase said in a press release. “This is the scheme I think of the most when I think of my dads old racing days and I had a lot of fans reaching out to be saying the same.”

Gase is competing full-time this season. Through 13 races he is 20th in the standings.

His best finish is 16th at Bristol and Auto Club Speedway.

William Byron to drive Jeff Gordon’s ‘Rainbow Warriors’ scheme in Southern 500

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CONCORD, N.C. — One of the most famous paint schemes in NASCAR history will ride again in the Sept. 2 Southern 500.

The rainbow paint scheme Jeff Gordon drove for the first eight years of his Cup career will be resurrected for William Byron and the No. 24 Chevrolet.

The scheme was announced Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway in a presentation with Gordon, Byron and artist Sam Bass, who designed the scheme that debuted in the 1992 season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race was Gordon’s series debut.

Gordon drove the scheme full-time from 1993-2000 when he was sponsored by Du Pont. He drove it one last time in the 2015 Bristol night race during his final full-time season.

The scheme was used by Dylan Lupton in last year’s Xfinity Series race at Darlington.

Gordon, now an analyst for Fox Sports, never dreamed his paint scheme would be used in a throwback fashion decades later.

“I was just a young kid that was anxious to get out there and show what I could and excited about the opportunity to be at Hendrick Motorsports and hoped that I would be able to do my part and go on and win a race, let alone 93 of them,” Gordon said. “I certainly never looked far enough ahead that I would have ever thought we were creating something that would be part of NASCAR history or a throwback to the history at Darlington with a 20-year-old kid behind the wheel that wasn’t me.”

The four-time champion is a nominee for the 2019 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class. The class will be announced Wednesday.

Byron, 20, is in his rookie season with Hendrick Motorsports and will compete in his first Southern 500.

“Jeff’s got a huge history in the sport and to follow that and be able to carry his legacy and hopefully have success with it is my goal,” Byron said.

Byron is 19th in the point standings through 12 races.

Bass told the story of how he came to get the job of designing Gordon’s car in 1992.

“(Jeff Gordon’s crew chief) Ray Evernham came over to my shop looking for a birthday present for Jeff,” Bass recalled. “He picked up a print, he was getting ready to leave and wanted to pay me for it. I said, ‘No, I don’t want your money. I want you to give me a shot to design the race car for Jeff Gordon.’ I didn’t really think he would do it, but he called me back in a couple of weeks and said, ‘Hey, you got a shot.’ I worked on three designs and had two of them done the day it was due. On the way driving to work, I kept thinking in my mind Du Pont had said they wanted a rainbow of color. They wanted to car to show that they could produce a rainbow of colors.

“I went back to the shop and started working on something, and I knew when I got it done that if they would paint it that way it would definitely be different. I thought the guys in the body shop were gonna kill me when they saw it because they knew how difficult it was going to be to paint. To their credit, they did it and they were so proud of it.”

 

Kasey Kahne celebrating 10th anniversary of All-Star win with throwback scheme

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Leavine Family Racing announced a throwback paint scheme for Kasey Kahne on Tuesday, but you won’t have to wait until the Southern 500 to see it in action.

Kahne’s No. 95 Chevrolet will get the retro treatment this weekend in the Monster Energy All-Star Race.

The scheme celebrates the 10th anniversary of Kahne’s lone win in the exhibition race.

Kahne won the 2008 edition of the event when he drove the No. 9 Dodge owned by Ray Evernham.

Kahne won the event only after he was voted in by fans following the Open. He remains the only driver to win the race after being the winner of the fan vote.

“It was so awesome that the fans voted us into the All-Star race back in 2008,” said Kahne in a press release. “It really was special to get voted into the race, and then to have a great car to be able to drive our way to the front in order to make strategy calls that put us in position to win.  Our paint scheme for this weekend looks so similar to that scheme we ran in 2008’s event, that it’s been cool to see it in the shop as the guys have been getting ready for this weekend.  I’m looking forward to racing it this weekend, and hopefully the paint scheme can bring us the same result we had ten years ago.”

Kahne’s participation is the race this year is Leavine Family Racing’s first time in the main event.

Dumont JETS will sponsor Kahne. It is the first time the company will be a primary sponsor in the Cup Series. It will also be a primary sponsor for the playoff race at Dover International Speedway.