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Fans will help decide Kyle Larson’s Southern 500 paint scheme

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For the first time since the Throwback Weekend began at Darlington Raceway, fans will have a say in the retro paint scheme a team races in the Southern 500 (Sept. 2 on NBCSN).

That opportunity is being made possible by Chip Ganassi Racing and Kyle Larson.

Between now and June 11 at midnight, fans can submit potential retro paint schemes for Larson’s No. 42 DC Solar Chevrolet on social media. Using #TeamLarson, they must include a picture of the original car.

Larson has made four starts in the Southern 500 with his best result, third, coming in 2016.

Here are the throwback paint schemes Larson has used the last three years:

2015

(Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)

2016

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2017

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

Hendrick Motorsports
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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.”

 

Kevin Harvick’s Darlington scheme revealed

Lionel Racing
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Kevin Harvick will race like it’s 1996 with his paint scheme for the Sept. 2 Southern 500.

His No. 4 Ford will be sponsored by Busch Beer and the car’s look will be based on the beer’s can design from 20 years ago.

Harvick, who won the 2014 Southern 500, has been sponsored by Busch and Budweiser in the three throwback themed races at Darlington Raceway so far, with Budweiser on the car in 2015.

Harvick’s paint scheme joins a short list of those that have been announced so far. Those include schemes for Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Matt DiBenedetto and Ryan Blaney.

Here’s each of Harvick’s throwback schemes so far.

2015

2016

2017

 

Ryan Blaney honors father with Southern 500 paint scheme

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Ryan Blaney‘s throwback paint scheme for this season’s Southern 500 is personal.

The Team Penske driver will pay tribute to the NASCAR career of his father, former Cup driver Dave Blaney, in the Sept. 2 race at Darlington Raceway.

The No. 12 Ford will look like the No. 77 Jasper sponsored Ford the elder Blaney drove in the 2003 Cup season.

The car was revealed on NASCAR’s Facebook Live page. 

That year, Dave Blaney earned his first of two career Cup poles and his first of four top fives. The top five came in the spring race at Darlington.

Dave Blaney made 473 Cup starts from 1992 through 2014.

His son, in his first full-time season with Penske, will make his fourth Southern 500 start. His best finish is 13th in 2016.

Ryan Blaney is eighth in the Cup points standings through nine races.

MORE: Matt DiBenedetto pays tribute to Jeff Burton with Darlington scheme

Brad Keselowski to drive Rusty Wallace’s 1990 scheme in Southern 500

Lionel Racing
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Rusty Wallace is synonymous with driving the No. 2 for Roger Penske during his NASCAR Hall of Fame career.

But there was a time when Wallace was winning Cup races with a different numeral and a different team.

Brad Keselowski will pay tribute to that era of Wallace’s career in this year’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. After sporting Wallace’s famous “Midnight” scheme in the race last season, Keselowski will drive the scheme that preceded it.

The No. 2 Ford will resemble the No. 27 Miller Genuine Draft Pontiac that Wallace drove in 1990 for owner Raymond Beadle.

That year, Wallace won two races including the Coca-Cola 600. He finished the season sixth in the standings.

See the scheme below.

MORE: Kurt Busch’s Southern 500 paint scheme