Over Labor Day weekend, NASCAR fans will be transported back in time to an era when life was simpler and the sport was experiencing an unprecedented amount of growth.
With drivers like Cale Yarborough, Buddy Baker and Darrell Waltrip in the prime of their careers and Dale Earnhardt and Ricky Rudd just starting out, the late 1970s and early 1980s saw NASCAR’s popularity soar with intense on-track competition and iconic paint schemes.
On Sunday, September 4, Darlington Raceway will channel the excitement and energy from that era by bringing back its wildly popular throwback campaign after its successful debut last season. With even more drivers participating in this year’s program, the on-track action isn’t the only thing fans will be paying close attention to. They’ll be staring at the nostalgic designs that whisk them back to yesteryear, from Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s “Gray Ghost” tribute to Baker, to Austin Dillon and Ryan Newman’s homage to Rudd’s first win.
Lionel Racing is getting in on the fun, too. In addition to producing 1:24-scale Darlington throwback die-cast, the company is also offering many of the throwback paint schemes in 1:64-scale as part of its NASCAR Authentics line.
The first 15 cars are set to hit select Walmart and other mass retail stores shortly after the Bojangles’ Southern 500 with additional throwback 1:64-scale die-cast included in future waves.
Coming in Mid August!: For stories and photos on each throwback paint scheme, please visit throwback.lionelracing.com.
Below is a list of the throwback cars scheduled to arrive on store shelves shortly after Labor Day weekend.
- Austin Dillon’s No. 3 American Ethanol/Ricky Rudd Tribute
- Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 Busch Darlington/Cale Yarborough Tribute
- Trevor Bayne’s No. 6 AdvoCare/Mark Martin Tribute
- Regan Smith’s No. 7 Nikko/Alan Kulwicki Tribute
- Danica Patrick’s No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Special
- Casey Mears’ No. 13 GEICO/Smokey Yunick Tribute
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s No. 17 Fastenal/Darrell Waltrip Tribute
- Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Interstate Batteries/Dale Jarrett Tribute
- Carl Edwards’ No. 19 ARRIS Throwback
- Chase Elliott’s No. 24 NAPA Throwback
- Paul Menard’s No. 27 Valvoline Throwback
- Ryan Newman’s No. 31 Caterpillar/Ricky Rudd Tribute
- Aric Almirola’s No. 43 STP/Richard Petty Tribute
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Nationwide/Buddy Baker Tribute