CONCORD, N.C. – This weekend will not be just any race weekend. This weekend, drivers and crew chiefs will take on Darlington Raceway -- the track many nicknamed “Too Tough to Tame.”
The 65-year-old historic racetrack holds many NASCAR traditions and memories. To help memorialize some of the special moments the raceway holds, Sunday’s race will feature a throwback theme, which will include paint schemes, retro graphics and more.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing all of the throwback paint schemes. There’s going to be a lot of things the fans are going to enjoy,” Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet SS, said.
Catch the unique throwback race held at one of NASCAR’s most historic tracks this Sunday night at 7 p.m. ET. But before you do, here is what you should know and watch for:
BROADCAST INFORMATION: Sunday's race will air live on NBC at 7 p.m. ET. Can’t make it to a television? Tune into MRN or SiriusXM to catch the Darlington radio coverage. This weekend’s qualifying session will take place Saturday afternoon on NBC Sports Network. Tune in to this weekend’s two practice sessions also on NBC Sports Network this Friday. Here is the full broadcast schedule:
Friday, September 4:
11 a.m. ET, Sprint Cup Series Practice, NBC Sports Network
4:30 p.m. ET, Sprint Cup Series Final Practice, NBC Sports Network
Saturday, September 5:
1:45 p.m. ET, Sprint Cup Series Qualifying, NBC Sports Network
Sunday, September 6:
7 p.m. ET, Sprint Cup Series Race, NBC/ MRN/ SiriusXM (7:20 p.m. ET green flag)
THIS WEEK’S PAINT SCHEMES: This weekend, Kasey Kahne will compete in a throwback No. 5 Hendrick Ride Along Chevrolet SS, while Jeff Gordon returns to the No. 24 3M Chevrolet SS. Teammates Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson and Earnhardt will also race throwback paint schemes of the No. 25 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS, No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS and No. 88 Valvoline Chevrolet SS, respectively, in this Sunday’s race under the lights.
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT DARLINGTON: In 52 events at Darlington Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports has earned 14 wins, seven pole positions, 44 top-five finishes and 71 top-10 finishes. Johnson most recently won at the historic track on May 12, 2012, to claim Hendrick Motorsports’ 200th Sprint Cup victory. Gordon leads all active drivers with seven wins, 19 top-five finishes, 23 top-10 finishes, a 6.8 average start and 1,744 laps led at the 1.366-mile oval. Kahne leads all active drivers there with four pole positions. Johnson’s average finish of 8.4 ranks third-best among active drivers at Darlington.
KAHNE AT DARLINGTON: In the past 10 Sprint Cup races at Darlington Raceway, Kahne leads the field in pole positions having earned the pole award three times during that span. His career total of four pole positions at the track leads all active drivers. In 111 Cup races run at Darlington Raceway, 20 have been won from the pole position.
GORDON AT DARLINGTON: The 44-year old driver ranks first among active drivers in the following statistical categories at the South Carolina track: wins, top-five finishes, top-10 finishes, laps led and average start (6.8).
THE FINAL 2015 DOUBLE-DUTY WEEKEND: Elliott will first compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday at Darlington Raceway, where he’ll have the chance to win $100,000 in the XFINITY Dash4Cash program if he places higher than Ty Dillon, Brian Scott and Daniel Suarez all before making his final Sprint Cup start of 2015 in the No. 25 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS on Sunday in the Southern 500.
ELLIOTT AT DARLINGTON: Last season, Elliott went from sixth to first in a two-lap sprint to the checkered flag to claim a dramatic victory at the track “Too Tough to Tame.” In his rookie XFINITY Series season, the 18-year-old driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet for JR Motorsports, led 52 laps en route to claiming his second consecutive victory of 2014 after winning at Texas Motor Speedway the week before. In the process, Elliott became the youngest driver to ever win a NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the legendary track and became the first NASCAR Xfinity Series regular to win at the “Lady in Black” since Brian Vickers on Aug. 30, 2003.
JOHNSON AT DARLINGTON: On May 12, 2012, Johnson led 134 laps around Darlington Raceway and took the checkered flag for not only his 56th career win, but the 200th for Hendrick Motorsports. Johnson’s other wins at Darlington came when the track had two race dates in a single season and he swept the 2004 events. In the past two races at Darlington, Johnson has finished fourth and third, respectively.
EARNHARDT AT DARLINGTON: Earnhardt scored his best Darlington finish last April, when he crossed the finish line second. Previously, Earnhardt matched his best Darlington finish in a Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in 2008 after scoring a fourth-place result. He also finished fourth there in March 2002.