By David Morgan, NASCAR Writer
After the wildly successful throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway for the return of the Southern 500 to Labor Day last season, the track and teams are joining forces once again with a plethora of throwback schemes set to grace the track’s high banks in September.
On Monday, the No. 17 Roush-Fenway Racing team, piloted by Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., unveiled their entry into the throwback race, electing to honor another legend of the sport. Last season, Stenhouse and Roush-Fenway ran a blue and gold David Pearson throwback, but this go around the team will be honoring NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip with their Darlington paint scheme.
The scheme will be reminiscent of the same scheme that Waltrip first ran at Nashville Speedway in 1975, where he scored his first win after putting the field two laps down. Waltrip scored his 84th and final victory of his career behind the wheel of the No. 17 at Darlington in 1992.
“Darrell Waltrip is one of the icons in our sport and has helped build NASCAR into the sport it is today,” said Stenhouse. “It is a huge honor to be able to run the 1975 throwback paint scheme of Darrell’s at Darlington. Darrell’s last win was at Darlington so only seems fitting that we get his throwback paint scheme in victory lane on Labor Day weekend and have Darrell celebrate with us.”
“It’s an honor to have this car run in the Southern 500,” said Waltrip. “I got my first win at Nashville with that paint scheme but I got my last win in Darlington so it will be a special race weekend for me. I missed the throwback weekend in Darlington last year and regretted it. You can bet I won’t miss this one and I’ll be rooting for the 17!”
In three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Darlington, the “Lady in Black” has not been kind to Stenhouse, with finishes of 18th, 20th, and 38th in the past three years at the track.
The Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington is scheduled for Labor Day weekend once again in 2016, with the historic race taking place on Sunday, September 4th this year.
Image: Roush-Fenway Racing