Reed Sorenson

Retro Rundown 2019: Southern 500 paint schemes

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It’s here!

After all the waiting it’s almost time for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway (6 p.m. Sunday on NBCSN).

The fifth year of NASCAR’s official Throwback Weekend celebrates the 1990-94 era of the sport but there are paint schemes from various eras that we’ll be seen competing on the track “Too Tough to Tame.”

Here’s your guide to the retro paint schemes that have been announced so far for this weekend, including schemes for Saturday’s Xfinity Series race.

Landon Cassill, No. 00 Chevrolet – The StarCom Racing car will honor Sterling Marlin with his early 2000s “Silver Bullet” scheme.

Kurt Busch, No. 1 Chevrolet – The Chip Ganassi Racing driver’s car will be made to look like his personal 1969 Chevy Camaro.

Chip Ganassi Racing

Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Ford – The Team Penske driver will race Rusty Wallace’s 1996 Cup Series scheme.

Austin Dillon, No. 3 Chevrolet – Dillon will boast a paint scheme that was driven by his grandfather and team owner Richard Childress in the late 1970s.

Ryan Newman, No. 6 Ford – With Oscar Mayer taking the place of Valvoline, Newman’s car will take its cue from the scheme Mark Martin raced in 1993, when he earned Roush Fenway Racing’s first Southern 500 victory.

Via Roush Fenway Racing

Daniel Hemric, No. 8 Chevrolet – Hemric will drive a car inspired by the design of CAT equipment and the logo used on them from its launch in 1925 until 1931.

Chase Elliott, No. 9 Chevrolet – Elliott will boast the scheme his father, Bill Elliott, claimed his first Cup pole with in 1981 at Darlington.

Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Toyota – Hamlin’s car will evoke Darrell Waltrip’s Western Auto paint scheme from the 1990s.

Joe Gibbs Racing

Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Ford – The Team Penske driver will have a scheme inspired by Michael Waltrip’s Pennzoil car from 1991-95.

Kyle Busch, No. 18 Toyota – Busch will pilot a Snickers-sponsored car based on Bobby Hillin Jr.s 1990 No. 8 Snickers scheme.

Martin Truex Jr., No. 19 Toyota – The Joe Gibbs Racing driver will throwback to himself with the Bass Pro Shops paint scheme he drove during his 2004 Xfinity Series championship campaign. That year he drove for Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s Chance 2 Motorsports.

Erik Jones, No. 20 Toyota – To mark his 100th Cup Series start, Jones will boast a scheme based on his rookie late model car.

Paul Menard, No. 21 Ford – Wood Brothers Racing will pay tribute to late team founder Glen Wood with the paint scheme Wood drove himself in 1957, including in his only appearance as a driver at Darlington.

Joey Logano, No. 22 Ford – The Team Penske driver will have the Pennzoil paint scheme Kevin Harvick used to win the 2007 Daytona 500.

William Byron, No. 24 Chevrolet – Byron will drive one of Cole Trickle’s paint schemes from the 1990 Tom Cruise movie “Days of Thunder.”

Corey LaJoie, No. 32 Ford – GoFas Racing’s car will be based on Dale Jarrett’s 1990-91 Nestle Crunch sponsored Xfinity car.

Michael McDowell, No. 34 Ford – The Front Row Motorsports driver will have a paint scheme that pays homage to the career of long-time owner and driver Jimmy Means, who was once partnered with FRM owner Bob Jenkins.

Front Row Motorsports

Matt Tifft, No. 36 Ford – The rookie driver will pay tribute to his father. The car is based on a Dirt Late Model car his father owned, which was driven by David Hilliker.

David Ragan, No. 38 Ford – The Front Row Motorsports driver will drive a scheme inspired by David Pearson’s 1969 championship car.

Kyle Larson, No. 42 Chevrolet – Larson’s car will resemble Ricky Craven’s Kodiak scheme from his Cup Series Rookie of the Year season in 1995.

Bubba Wallace, No. 43 Chevrolet – Wallace’s car will be a tribute to the late Adam Petty and his 1998 ARCA win at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Richard Petty Motorsports

Ryan Preece, No. 47 Chevrolet – Preece will have a tribute to modified racing legend Ron Bouchard. The scheme is based on the No. 47 Majik Market/Hawaiian Punch car Bouchard drove at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway in 1984.

Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Chevrolet – Johnson will throwback to his off-road racing days with a scheme from 1995.

Ally Racing Twitter

BJ McLeod, No. 51 Chevrolet – The car is inspired by one that Burt Reynolds’ character raced in the movie “Stroker Ace.”

JJ Yeley, No. 52 Chevrolet

Garrett Smithley, No. 54 Chevrolet – The Rick Ware Racing car will pay tribute to Lennie Pond’s 1976 ride.

Reed Sorenson, No. 77 Chevrolet – The Spire Motorsports car will pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Motor Racing Network and the 11 radio affiliates that have broadcast NASCAR races since its inception in 1970.

Motor Racing Network

Alex Bowman, No. 88 Chevrolet – Bowman’s Axalta-sponsored car is inspired by Tim Richmond‘s Folger’s Coffee scheme from 1986-87.

Matt DiBenedetto, No. 95 Toyota – The Leavine Family Racing car will be a tribute to the GTO Celicas that won the IMSA GTU title in 1987.

Stewart-Haas Racing – In celebration of co-owner Tony Stewart’s election to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, three SHR drivers will have paint schemes based on the cars Stewart raced to his three Cup Series titles. Aric Almirola‘s No. 10 Ford will be based on Stewart’s 2002 car, Daniel Suarez‘s No. 41 Ford will be based on the 2005 season and Clint Bowyer‘s No. 14 Ford will look like the car Stewart drove to his 2011 title.

Xfinity Series

Cole Custer, No. 00 Ford – The Stewart-Haas Racing driver will have a throwback to Buckshot Jones’ 1997 Xfinity Series car.

Gray Gaulding, No. 08 Chevrolet

Garrett Smithley, No. 0 Chevrolet

Michael Annett, No. 1 Chevrolet – The JR Motorsports driver has Jeff Gordon’s Baby Ruth paint scheme from the 1992 Xfinity season when he drove for Bill Davis Racing.

Via JR Motorsports

Tyler Reddick, No. 2 Chevrolet – Reddick’s scheme is inspired by Kyle Petty’s 7-Eleven paint scheme from the late 1980s.

Richard Childress Racing

BJ McLeod, No. 4 Chevrolet – McLeod’s car is designed after the No. 44 Slim Jim car Bobby Labonte drove in the Xfinity Series in 1992.

Justin Allgaier, No. 7 Chevrolet – Allgaier’s scheme will be based on the No. 90 Truxmore Chevrolet Ricky Rudd drove in the 1979 season.

JR Motorsports

Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 8 Chevrolet – Earnhardt will pilot the scheme his father, Dale Earnhardt Sr., drove in his first Cup start in the 1975 World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Justin Haley, No. 11 Chevrolet – Kaulig Racing will boast Jeff Burton’s 1994 rookie Cup paint scheme with matching sponsorship from brake parts company Raybestos. It also serves as a tribute to team owner Matt Kaulig’s father and team chief financial officer, Bob Kaulig, who served as a vice president of Raybestos from 1985-2008.

Via Kaulig Racing

Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Ford

Stephen Leicht, No. 15 Chevrolet – The JD Motorsports driver’s scheme is based on Ken Scrader’s mid-1990s Budweiser car.

Denny Hamlin, No. 18 Toyota – Hamlin will have a scheme based on Bill Elliott’s No. 11 Budweiser car.

Brandon Jones, No. 19 Toyota – The Joe Gibbs Racing driver will have Bubby Baker’s “Gray Ghost” paint scheme.

Joe Gibbs Racing

Austin Cindric, No. 22 Ford – The Team Penske driver will race the paint scheme Roger Penske had for his one and only NASCAR win as a driver.

Joey Gase, No. 35 Toyota – Gase’s throwback is based on the 1997 Tabasco paint scheme raced by Todd Bodine.

Jeremy Clements, No. 51 Chevrolet – Like William Byron, Clements will pilot a “Days of Thunder” paint scheme. He’ll be using Rowdy Burns’ No. 51 Exxon scheme.

Brandon Brown, No. 86 Chevrolet – Brown’s scheme is inspired by Terry Labonte’s 1993 Kellogg’s Cornflakes scheme.

Chase Briscoe, No. 98 Ford – Briscoe will pilot a scheme based on the No. 98 Ford Parnelli Jones won the 1963 Indianapolis 500 with.

Stewart-Haas Racing

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Spire Motorsports honors Motor Racing Network’s 50th anniversary at Darlington

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Spire Motorsports will recognize the 50th anniversary of the Motor Racing Network with its paint scheme for this weekend’s Southern 500 (6 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN).

The team’s No. 77 Chevrolet, which will be driven by Reed Sorenson, will be covered in the radio network’s trademark blue and logos commemorating MRN’s founding in 1970.

Also, the front quarterpanels of the car will list the original 11 affiliates who have broadcast NASCAR races since MRN’s inception.

“Our radio partners are the original ambassadors of Motor Racing Network and this sport,” said Cheryl Knight, MRN’s Director of Radio Partnerships in a press release. “Every one of our 600 stations has played a significant role in MRN’s growth and success. Having 11 stations air our broadcasts consistently since 1970 is remarkable and we are proud to honor them this weekend by placing their call letters on the No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet.”

Here is where the 11 affiliates are located:

WBKR-FM 92.5 – Owensboro, Kentucky

WBTR-FM 92.1 – Carrollton, Georgia

WDEV-AM 550 and FM 96.1 – Waterbury, Vermont

WESC-FM 92.5 – Greenville, South Carolina

WJCW-AM 910 – Gray, Tennessee

WMMY-FM 106.1 – Boone, North Carolina

WMTN-FX 93.3 and AM 1300 – Morristown, Tennessee

WNDB-FX 93.5 and AM 1150 – Daytona Beach, Florida

WSLM-FM 97.9 and AM 1220 – Salem, Indiana

WUSQ-FM – 102.5 – Winchester, Virginia

WWGP-FX 95.1 and AM 1050 – Sanford, North Carolina

Entry lists for NASCAR at Darlington

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The Lady In Black. The Track Too Tough To Tame.

Whatever you call Darlington, one thing is for certain: it’s one of the most difficult tracks in NASCAR.

This weekend, the Cup and Xfinity Series will both be challenged by Darlington’s 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval.

The Gander Outdoors Truck Series is off this weekend. It returns to action at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 13.

Here’s the entry lists for Cup and Xfinity at Darlington:

CUP — Bojangles’ Southern 500 (6 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN)

There are 39 cars entered for this race.

Joe Nemechek will be in the No. 27 Premium Motorsports Chevrolet.

BJ McLeod is in the No. 51 Petty Ware Racing Ford.

JJ Yeley is in the No. 52 Rick Ware Racing Ford

Garrett Smithley is in the No. 54 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet.

Joey Gase is in the No. 66 Motorsports Business Management Toyota.

Reed Sorenson is in the No 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet.

Click here for the entry list.

Xfinity– Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 (4 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC)

There are 38 cars entered for this race.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will make his lone start of the year in the JR Motorsports’ No. 8 Chevrolet

Ryan Blaney will be in the No. 12 Team Penske Ford.

Denny Hamlin will be in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Joe Nemechek is listed as the driver in the No. 17 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet.

Stefan Parsons makes his third career start (and of the season) in the No. 99 B.J. McLeod Motorsports Toyota.

Click here for the entry list.

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Martin Truex Jr. to start at the rear at Michigan

Photo: Dustin Long
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BROOKLYN, Mich. – Martin Truex Jr. will make his 500th career Cup start from the rear of the field after his car failed inspection twice before Sunday’s race at Michigan International Speedway.

Truex was to have started 15th in the 38-car field. The team also had an engineer ejected.

Also starting in the rear will be Garrett Smithley for a driver change. Reed Sorenson drove the No. 77 car the past two days while Smithley was at Mid-Ohio for the Xfinity Series.

The cars of Corey LaJoie and Matt Tifft will go to the rear for transmission changes.

They’ll join Austin Dillon and Daniel Hemric in the rear. Both Richard Childress Racing cars had their qualifying time disallowed after failing inspection after qualifying on Friday.

Kurt Busch posts fastest lap in final Cup practice at Pocono

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Kurt Busch had the fastest lap in Friday’s final Cup practice session at Pocono Raceway.

Busch ran a lap of 172.712 mph. He was followed by Brad Keselowski (171.798 mph), Kyle Larson (171.612), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (171.018) and Kyle Busch (170.849).

Click here for practice report

Busch had the best average over 10 consecutive laps at 170.042 mph. He was followed by Keselowski (169.548 mph) and Chase Elliott (169.482).

Joey Logano ran the most laps at 43. He was 13th on the speed chart with a top lap of 170.148 mph.

Matt DiBenedetto will start at the rear of the field Sunday after his team changed engines Friday. He was one of four drivers who did not get on track in the final practice session. Also not running in the session were Quin Houff, Reed Sorenson and Ross Chastain.

Qualifying is Saturday. The race is Sunday.