CONCORD, N.C. – You’ve seen the throwback paint schemes, but along with them, the four Hendrick Motorsports drivers are bringing even more retro elements to the racetrack.
Below is a detailed look at the vintage gear that the drivers will sport for the Darlington Raceway, in addition to a closer look at all four throwback cars that will hit the track for the Southern 500.
Up first is Kasey Kahne’s No. 5 LiftMaster Chevrolet SS, modeled after Terry Labonte’s 1982 JD Stacey paint scheme. Both Kahne and Labonte discussed the scheme -- and the overall throwback feel of the Southern 500 -- in depth in a new video, which you can watch here.
Next up is Chase Elliott’s No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Assurance of Quality Chevrolet SS, which mimics the look of a longstanding NAPA delivery truck. It features the company’s 1963 logo, a yellow hood and roof panel, a sleek black lower half and a rear television panel featuring “90 Years Strong” to represent NAPA’s more than 90 years in business.
Jimmie Johnson’s blue-and-yellow No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS is inspired by a 1979 car designed for Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s Chevy, but Earnhardt was injured and NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson served as the substitute driver. Since the scheme honors both Earnhardt and Pearson, Johnson’s helmet – which can be seen in the video as well – is designed to be a combination of the 1979 helmets for both of those drivers.
The No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS – which will be driven by Jeff Gordon as Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss the remainder of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season – features a “Gray Ghost” throwback paint scheme. The design honors Buddy Baker’s scheme – one of Earnhardt’s favorites – which was made famous when he won the 1980 Daytona 500. The design features colors and logos used by Nationwide during the same time that Baker was on the track, including an orange Nationwide Insurance logo used in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Take a look below.