We’re 54 days out from the Sept. 1 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, which will mark the fifth year of NASCAR’s official Throwback Weekend.
That means there will be a multitude of retro paint schemes racing around the 1.3-mile track in Darlington, South Carolina. You’ll be able to see all of them in action on NBCSN.
Here’s your guide to the paint schemes that have been announced so far for the weekend, including schemes for the Aug. 31 Xfinity Series race.
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.
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.
Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Ford – The Team Penske driver will have a scheme inspired by Michael Waltrip’s Pennzoil car from 1991-95.
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.
Corey LaJoie, No. 32 Ford – GoFas Racing’s car will be based on Dale Jarrett’s 1990-91 Nestle Crunch sponsored Xfinity car.
David Ragan, No. 38 Ford – The Front Row Motorsports driver will drive a scheme inspired by David Pearson’s 1969 championship car.
Alex Bowman, No. 88 Chevrolet – Bowman’s Axalta-sponsored car is inspired by Tim Richmond‘s Folger’s Coffee scheme from 1986-87.
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.
Michael Annett, No. 1 Chevrolet – The JR Motorsports driver will channel Jeff Gordon circa the 1992 Xfinity Series season with Gordon’s Baby Ruth paint scheme when he drove for Bill Davis Racing.
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.
Corey LaJoie and GoFas Racing will pay tribute to Dale Jarrett’s Xfinity Series career with their throwback paint scheme for this year’s Southern 500 (Sept. 1 on NBCSN).
LaJoie’s No. 32 Ford will be made to look like the No. 32 Nestle Crunch car Jarrett drove from 1990-91 in the Xfinity Series (then the Busch Series).
Jarrett won five times in that time, including twice at Darlington Raceway.
The Crunch-inspired scheme will have sponsorship from Keen Parts/CorvetteParts.net.
“The car looks great and I’ve always been a fan of Dale, so to carry this scheme around Darlington is awesome,” LaJoie said in a press release. “I think we did a great job keeping the scheme as close to the original as possible while incorporating the CorvetteParts.net logos into it. I can’t thank Tom and TJ Keen enough for allowing us to run this design – it’s one of my favorite schemes. I might even have to shave myself a mustache so I don’t do the car a disservice.”
Ty Dillon — Fourth-place finish was a career-high and marked his first top-five finish.
Corey LaJoie — Avoided the big wreck late and finished a career-high sixth. He had never finished in the top 10 in 74 previous Cup starts.
Kaulig Racing — Organization scored its first Xfinity Series win Friday, sweeping both stages and going 1-2 with Ross Chastain and Justin Haley.
Stephen Leicht — He crossed the finish line sixth but moved up to fifth when third-place finisher AJ Allmendinger’s car was disqualified for failing inspection after the race. That gave Leicht his first top five in the Xfinity Series since 2007.
Brad Keselowski — He delivered his message in practice to William Byron and then saw his race end with an early accident that left him with a 39th-place finish and confused why his car jumped out after he said he got a “real straight push” from Kevin Harvick.
Landon Cassill — His 11th-place finish on his 30th birthday Sunday was his best of the season so it’s hard to be critical of Cassill but he was second during the final caution and followed Busch on to pit road just before the lightning strike that delayed and eventually led to the race ending early. Cassill expressed how heartbroken he was on Twitter.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — This wasn’t supposed to happen. There’s no way this little team could prevail at such a prestigious track that has celebrated the sport’s giants. And this driver? Well, he’d already had a win, at least in his mind, taken away here. So as he held the lead during a delay for lightning and then rain, surely series officials would wait for the weather to clear and run the final 33 laps, especially with seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson lurking in third place.
Yes, this wasn’t supposed to happen.
But the signs told Melissa Dennis that her 20-year-old son, Justin Haley, would win his first Cup race Sunday at Daytona International Speedway. No matter how much she tried, the signs kept pointing to one of the more unlikely victories in recent NASCAR history.
When the race began, Dennis couldn’t get her son’s radio channel on her headphones. Instead, she heard Seals & Crofts’ iconic song “Summer Breeze.”
The smooth melody and lyrics sent Dennis back to her childhood. Her family often heard that song when they spent summer days at an Indiana lake. When Dennis’ mother, Linda Braun, died in 2008, the family was asked to select a song to play at the service. They chose “Summer Breeze” for those memories on the lake.
When Dennis heard the song in her headphones Sunday, her first thoughts were “Are you kidding me mom? Why are you popping up today?”
Dennis said her son’s life changed the day after Linda Braun’s funeral. Haley, who was 9 years old, saw a quarter midget hanging from a family member’s barn and wanted to drive it.
“We pulled it down, let him drive it around the subdivision and couldn’t get him out of it,” Haley’s uncle, Drew Braun said.
After driving the quarter midget, he didn’t have to work hard to convince his mother and stepfather to let him race. His first quarter midget was not a thing of beauty, down to his black spray paint job on the car, but he had fun.
A year later, Haley’s family put him in a faster quarter midget and Dennis said her son “got scared.”
The family huddled.
“We said … we’re either going to go out and really try hard, or we’re just going to go have fun,” Dennis said Haley was told.
“I want to have a career,” Haley said of racing.
Soon, the family was spending more than 40 weekends a year taking him to races.
“We devoted every spare second we had to making sure he was on track,” Dennis said.
Haley moved to North Carolina with his stepfather in 2015 when he ran the K&N Pro Series East Series full-time. His mother and siblings stayed in Indiana. That arrangement lasted less than a year before the family reunited in North Carolina.
“Justin needed to have a family,” Dennis said of joining her son.
The following season, Haley won the K&N Pro Series East championship. He moved to the Gander Outdoors Truck Series in 2017. Haley won three races in 2018 and finished third in the points.
That year also saw him run three Xfinity races, most notably the July event at Daytona. Haley charged under Kyle Larson and Elliott Sadler coming to the checkered flag to cross the finish line first, but NASCAR penalized Haley for going below the double yellow line to make the move. Larson was declared the winner. Haley said at the time it was a “pretty BS call.”
Haley has never watched that race. And he does not intend to do so.
But his family sees that finish differently.
“Last year, we thought dad was the reason he didn’t win,” Braun said, “because we figured dad pushed him below the yellow line, saying, “Hey, this is going to help your career more than if your won the race,’ which we believe it did because it gave him a lot of notoriety by that mistake that he really wouldn’t have got. People have talked about that for a long time. In a lot of ways, it was better.”
Haley, a rookie in Xfinity this season, came close to redemption Friday, finishing second to teammate Ross Chastain.
While Haley’s focus has been on the Xfinity ride, Sunday marked his third Cup start for Spire Motorsports.
His Cup debut came in April at Talladega. He failed to finish because of a crash.
It was with that race in mind that Haley’s focus Sunday was to make sure not to damage the car for the small team.
“Strategically today, I was just riding around,” Haley said, “and I would have been really happy with a lead‑lap finish.”
He rode in 27th when the leaders crashed, triggering an 18-car melee that he drove through.
“I was ahead of (Haley) going through the wreck, and I must have slowed down too much because the sucker passed me,” Corey LaJoie said with a smile after his career-best sixth-place finish.
Haley was seventh when the caution waved. He moved to third when those in front, including Johnson and William Byron pitted. That put Haley behind Kurt Busch and Landon Cassill. When NASCAR stated it would go to green on the next lap, Busch and Cassill pitted, giving Haley the lead.
Lightning was recorded within an 8-mile radius of the track and NASCAR stopped the race at 3:18 p.m. ET with Haley leading.
“We were just on the wrong side of a lightning bolt,” Busch said.
A little more than an hour later, drivers were called to their cars and were strapping in when lightning again was detected within the 8-mile radius, delaying a restart.
Haley sought cover in the drivers meeting room, as officials transformed it into a backup Victory Lane.
“I’ve never been too lucky here,” Haley said as he waited while hearing the rain pelt the building’s roof. “That’s why I’m trying not to get my hopes up.”
Haley concedes he does not show much emotion. He appeared calm as he waited. But he wasn’t. A tongue-tied conversation that ended with a nervous laugh, betrayed his anxiousness. As did his right hand. He rose it to show a friend how much it shook.
“Definitely a lot of stuff going on,” Haley said with a chuckle.
That included his stomach, which he described as a “little turned over” while he waited.
“To be in this position is pretty insane,” Haley said.
The waiting ended at 5:30 p.m. ET when NASCAR declared the race over and Haley the latest winner at Daytona, joining a group that includes those named Petty, Earnhardt and Andretti.
The Haley family celebrated while looking toward Linda Braun.
“I know she had a hand in it,” Drew Braun said. “I know that. No doubt in my mind.”
Dennis said she would deliver a message to her mom once the victory hit, but standing near her son as he had pictures taken with his team and the trophy, the shock was still there.
But Dennis, speaking through tears, knew what she would tell mom.
In one of the most unlikely wins in recent NASCAR history, timing proved to be everything for 20-year-old Justin Haley, who was awarded the victory in Sunday’s rain-shortened Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
Haley led only the final lap of the event, which was red-flagged because of lightning and then rain after 127 of a scheduled 160 laps. After a stoppage of more two hours, NASCAR attempted to dry the track at times, several more waves came through the area, prompting sanctioning body officials to end the event 33 laps shy of its scheduled 160-lap slate.
Hendrick Motorsports teammates William Byron and Jimmie Johnson took the two spots behind Haley, and Ty Dillon made it a sweep of the top four for Chevrolet the top four finishing spots in the 40-car field.