Hendrick Motorsports Reveals Their Throwback Paint Schemes

DARLINGTON RACEWAY (1.366-MILE OVAL)

LOCATION: DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE 25 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 6 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, SEPT. 3 (NBCSN/MRN/SIRIUSXM)

No. 5 Great Clips Throwback Chevrolet SS / Kasey Kahne

Driver Kasey Kahne   Hometown Enumclaw, Washington
Age 37                        Resides Mooresville, North Carolina

2017 Season

  • 20th in standings
  • 24 starts
  • 1 race win
  • 0 stage wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 4 top-10 finishes
  • 31 laps led

Career

  • 492 starts
  • 18 wins
  • 27 pole positions
  • 92 top-five finishes
  • 173 top-10 finishes
  • 4,638 laps led

Track Career 

  • 14 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 4 pole positions
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 5 top-10 finishes
  • 353 laps led
DARLINGTON THROWBACK: The NASCAR Cup Series returns to the track this weekend at Darlington Raceway after the final off-week of the 2017 season. Kasey Kahne spent part of his time off out west with his Kasey Kahne Racing sprint car team before heading back to Charlotte, North Carolina. This weekend, Kahne will pilot the yellow-and-white No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS. The throwback scheme was chosen by Kahne and No. 5 team crew chief Keith Rodden. The car is a nod to the No. 5 Levi Garrett Chevrolet driven by Hendrick Motorsports’ first driver, Geoff Bodine, in 1985. The 37-year-old will also sport a replica of Bodine’s firesuit on race day.

KAHNE AT DARLINGTON: Throughout Kahne’s 14 races at the track “Too Tough To Tame,” he has collected four pole awards – in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2011 – which leads all other active drivers in the Cup Series. The Enumclaw, Washington, native looks to capture his first win at one of his favorite racetracks this weekend. He finished seventh in last year’s race at the 1.366-mile track. The Chevy driver has led a total of 353 laps throughout nine races at the venue, which ranks him fifth among current drivers and means he’s led at least one lap in 64 percent of his races at Darlington.

DARLINGTON LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics since 2005, Kahne is eighth in driver rating with an average rating of 95.4. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest laps, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. He ranks fourth in fastest laps run with 234 and he sits sixth among his peers in laps spent in the top 15 with 3,012. He’s eighth-fastest on restarts at 158.341 mph.

BEHIND THE SCENES: This week and next, the No. 5 team will be featured in the Hendrick Motorsports docuseries “Road to Race Day.” The episodes give a behind-the-scenes look at the No. 5 team at last year’s Sonoma Raceway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway race weekends. In addition to racetrack content, viewers will get a look at off-track events, including the annual Hendrick Motorsports pit crew combine. The docuseries can be streamed on go90.

GOING HOME: Darlington is No. 5 team hauler driver Jimmy Parrott’s home track. Parrott hails from Taylors, South Carolina, which is approximately three hours northwest of Darlington.

RACING ROOTS: HendrickMotorsports.com has released a four-part video series on Kahne titled “Racing Roots.” The videos take you from Kahne’s early beginnings in Enumclaw, Washington, to being part of Hendrick Motorsports today. The video series also looks at his passion away from the asphalt track – his dirt car team, Kasey Kahne Racing. The video series can be viewed here.

No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Throwback Chevrolet SS / Chase Elliott

Driver Chase Elliott   Hometown Dawsonville, Georgia
Age 21                      Resides Dawsonville, Georgia

2017 Season

  • 7th in standings
  • 24 starts
  • 0 race wins
  • 2 stage wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 6 top-five finishes
  • 13 top-10 finishes
  • 184 laps led

Career

  • 65 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 3 pole positions
  • 16 top-five finishes
  • 30 top-10 finishes
  • 542 laps led

Track Career 

  • 2 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 1 top-10 finish
  • 0 laps led
Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS, will be available to members of the media on Friday, Sept. 1, at 12 p.m. local time in the Darlington Raceway media center.

NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott will be available to members of the media on Sunday, Sept. 3, at 3 p.m. local time in the Darlington Raceway media center.

GOING RETRO: The NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS will have a retro look this weekend at Darlington Raceway. The light blue scheme that the No. 24 will don is a throwback to NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott’s NASCAR Cup Series career debut at Rockingham Speedway in 1976.

DARLINGTON THROWBACK GEAR: This weekend, as part of the Southern 500’s throwback weekend, Chase Elliott will sport a helmet that looks back on his father Bill’s victories at the historic Darlington Raceway. Elliott’s shoes will also pay homage to his father. The kicks got their inspiration from the penny loafers Bill wore during his 1976 Cup debut at Rockingham. Hendrick Motorsports recently showed off the shoes on its Facebook page.

DARLINGTON STATS: Elliott is set to make his third NASCAR Cup Series start this weekend at Darlington Raceway. In his first two starts, Elliott collected one top-10 finish and averaged a starting position of 16.5 and finishing position of 25.5. Elliott collected a win in his first NASCAR XFINITY Series start at the 1.366-mile raceway in 2014 for JR Motorsports after qualifying second and leading 52 laps. In two NASCAR XFINITY Series starts, he averaged a starting position of 4.5 and finishing position of 12.5.

NEW LOOK IN 2018: Tuesday evening, Hendrick Motorsports announced a new-look, four-car lineup in 2018 with a video on Facebook. The 12-time NASCAR Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports will introduce the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro to its four-car team with Elliott in the driver’s seat. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native raced the No. 9 to the 2014 NASCAR XFINITY Series title, and his Hall of Fame father Bill Elliott memorably drove it to 38 Cup-level wins and the 1988 series championship.

BRISTOL REWIND: The second-year driver raced inside the top 10 for the majority of the Saturday night race at Bristol Motor Speedway until contact from a competitor sent the No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS spinning late in the race. Diligent repair work by the NAPA team allowed Elliott to salvage an 18th-place finish.

SEE CHASE IN DARLINGTON: Elliott will make appearances at several spots this weekend in South Carolina. On Thursday, Aug. 31, at 5 p.m. local time, Elliott is scheduled to visit Jud Kuhn Chevrolet in Little River, South Carolina. On Saturday, Sept. 2, at 11:45 a.m. local time, the 21-year-old driver is scheduled to sign autographs at the merchandise rig at Darlington Raceway, as well as make an appearance at the NAPA AUTO PARTS store in Lake City, South Carolina, at 4:30 p.m. local time.

CHASE U: For the second time this season, Elliott has partnered with Richmond Raceway to bring a unique race day experience to college students called Chase University, better known as Chase U. For $24, college students get a ticket to the NASCAR Cup Series race on Saturday, Sept. 9, with an exclusive pre-race party and an appearance by the driver of the No. 24 himself. Chase U was launched by Elliott in October 2016 and was an immediate success in bringing college students out to the racetrack. The college program combines all the elements of a perfect race day experience with live music, great food and beverages and tailgate games. The Chase U ticket package is available to all college students with a valid student ID and includes a grandstand ticket and access to the exclusive Chase U pre-race party.

No. 48 Lowe’s Throwback Chevrolet SS / Jimmie Johnson

Driver Jimmie Johnson   Hometown El Cajon, California
Age 41                             Resides Charlotte, North Carolina

2017 Season

  • 11th in standings
  • 24 starts
  • 3 race wins
  • 1 stage win
  • 0 pole positions
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 7 top-10 finishes
  • 188 laps led

Career

  • 567 starts
  • 83 wins
  • 35 pole positions
  • 221 top-five finishes
  • 337 top-10 finishes
  • 18,634 laps led

Track Career 

  • 18 starts
  • 3 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 9 top-five finishes
  • 12 top-10 finishes
  • 551 laps led
DARLINGTON THROWBACK EXPLAINED: Jimmie Johnson and longtime partner Lowe’s will race a throwback paint scheme this weekend at Darlington. The No. 48 Chevrolet SS is inspired by Lowe’s trucks from 1986. Click here for the photos.

FLASHBACK TO WIN NO. 200: Hendrick Motorsports is on the cusp of its 250th NASCAR Cup Series win, and it was Johnson who was able to capture the team’s 200th victory. On May 12, 2012, Johnson led 134 laps around the “Lady in Black” and took the checkered flag at Darlington for his 56th career win – the 200th for Hendrick Motorsports as an organization. Johnson’s other wins at Darlington came when the track had two race dates in a single season and he swept the 2004 events.

DARLINGTON DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Johnson has the third-best driver rating at Darlington with a score of 102.1 since 2005. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points and is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.

ROAD TO RACE DAY: The sixth installment of “Road to Race Day,” the eight-part docuseries about Hendrick Motorsports, premiered last Wednesday on go90and focused on Johnson, crew chief Chad Knaus and the No. 48 team. The episode was filmed during the 600-mile race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The series is directed by Cynthia Hill (“A Chef’s Life,” “Private Violence”) and executive produced by Peter Berg (“Friday Night Lights,” “Lone Survivor”). Click here for more info.

No. 88 Nationwide Throwback Chevrolet SS / Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.   Hometown Kannapolis, North Carolina
Age 42                                Resides Mooresville, North Carolina

2017 Season

  • 22nd in standings
  • 24 starts
  • 0 race wins
  • 0 stage wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 1 top-five finish
  • 4 top-10 finishes
  • 24 laps led

Career

  • 619 starts
  • 26 wins
  • 14 pole positions
  • 149 top-five finishes
  • 256 top-10 finishes
  • 8,211 laps led

Track Career 

  • 21 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 4 top-five finishes
  • 10 top-10 finishes
  • 176 laps led
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, will be available to members of the media on Friday, Sept. 1, at 5:20 p.m. local time in the Darlington Raceway media center.

AT DARLINGTON: While Dale Earnhardt Jr. has yet to score a victory at Darlington Raceway, he has come close – finishing in the runner-up spot in 2014, leading five of the final seven laps before getting passed for the win. In each of his last three trips (2013-2015) to the 1.366-mile oval, Earnhardt has recorded top-10 finishes.

DARLINGTON STATS: The driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Throwback Chevrolet SS has been running at the finish of 20 of the 21 races (95.2 percent) he has entered at Darlington. He’s also completed 7,208 of 7,312 laps (98.6 percent) in his 21 starts. According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics since 2005, Earnhardt ranks fourth in average running position (11.552), fifth in green-flag passes with 665 and fifth in quality passes with 352 among active competitors. Quality passes are the number of times a driver passes another car that is running in the top 15 while under green-flag conditions.

THROWBACK SCHEME: Returning to Darlington each year allows the drivers to pay homage to moments in history that have helped shape the sport of NASCAR. Earnhardt is doing just that with his 2017 throwback Nationwide design for Darlington Raceway’s annual Southern 500 on Labor Day weekend. The No. 88 Chevy features Earnhardt’s longtime sponsor, Nationwide, with a tribute to the ACDelco car he drove in what is now known as the NASCAR XFINITY Series. For the veteran driver, the scheme is very personal and represents a pivotal moment in his career. Driving that scheme in 1998 and 1999, Earnhardt won 13 races and back-to-back XFINITY Series championships in his first two years in full-time series competition. Prior to that, the Kannapolis, North Carolina, native wasn’t sure if he would even be in racing the next season, let alone in 20 years; he had lost his sponsor on his Late Model ride the season before and was left searching for anything he could drive.

EVENT HONORING DALE SR.: As part of its throwback weekend, celebrating the 1985-89 era of the sport, Darlington Raceway will honor Dale Earnhardt Sr. and the 30th anniversary of his 1987 Southern 500 victory. On Saturday night, Sept. 2, the track will host “An Evening Honoring Dale Earnhardt Sr.,” which will feature a panel of personalities talking about the seven-time NASCAR champion, including children Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kelley Earnhardt Miller and Kerry Earnhardt, and longtime team owner Richard Childress. “An Evening Honoring Dale Earnhardt Sr.” will take place in the driver’s meeting tent in the Cale Yarborough Cup Series garage from 7:30 to 9 p.m. local time following the conclusion of the Southern 500 parade. NBC lead announcer Rick Allen will serve as emcee for the event. Fans have the opportunity to purchase an admission ticket to the event for $87, which includes two beverage coupons, light hors d’oeuvres and one 1:24-scale Earnhardt Jr. throwback No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS diecast. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.DarlingtonRaceway.com or calling 843-395-8802, while supplies last. A grandstand ticket or infield admission to Sunday’s Southern 500 is required for purchase.

EARNHARDT TOWERS: In celebrating the success of Earnhardt Sr. and honoring Earnhardt Jr. in his final NASCAR Cup Series Southern 500 start, Darlington Raceway is dedicating its Turn 3 suite towers in their names, respectively. Earnhardt Towers will feature an assortment of graphics that depict memorable moments of Earnhardt Sr. and Earnhardt Jr., featured on the backside of each tower. The Earnhardt Towers name will also be proudly displayed on the front of the towers facing the track. As part of the dedication, Darlington Raceway will hold a special ceremony the morning of Friday, Sept. 1, featuring track president Kerry Tharp and Kelley Earnhardt Miller, co-owner of JR Motorsports and daughter of Earnhardt Sr.

Hendrick Motorsports

A NEW ERA BEGINS: In 2018, 12-time NASCAR Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports will begin a new era with four iconic car numbers. The organization will introduce the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro, driven by Chase Elliott, into a four-car lineup that will include rookie William Byron in the No. 24 Chevrolet, Jimmie Johnson in the No. 48 Chevrolet and Alex Bowman in the No. 88 Chevrolet. Click here for more information.

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT DARLINGTON: In 54 events at Darlington Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports has earned 14 wins, seven pole positions, 44 top-five finishes and 74 top-10s. Johnson most recently won at the historic track on May 12, 2012, to claim Hendrick Motorsports’ 200th NASCAR Cup Series victory. Kasey Kahne leads all active drivers at the track with four pole positions. Johnson’s average finish of 10.4 ranks third-best among active drivers at Darlington.

DOUBLE DIGITS: Darlington Raceway is one of 13 tracks where Hendrick Motorsports has accumulated 10 or more wins. Its 14 wins on the 1.366-mile oval are tied with Daytona and Atlanta for the organization’s fifth-most at a track. The Darlington wins have come via six different drivers – Tim Richmond, Ricky Rudd, Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte, Johnson and Mark Martin.

ROAD TO RACE DAY: Hendrick Motorsports has teamed with Complex Networks, Film 45 and Markay Media on an original eight-part documentary series that goes behind the scenes with the organization during the 2016 season. New “Road to Race Day”  episodes premiere Wednesdays on the go90 streaming platform. Watch for free by downloading the go90 app on your Apple or Android device, or view the series at go90.com.

ORGANIZATION STATS: To date, Hendrick Motorsports has totals of 12 championships, 249 race victories, 212 pole positions, 1,022 top-five finishes and 1,722 top-10 finishes in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series competition. Its teams have led 66,799 laps since 1984.

QUOTABLE / 

“I’ve been close to winning there, but haven’t been able to pull it off yet. It’s a tough place because you run so close to the wall and it’s slippery. You have to race the racetrack, you can’t get caught up in racing other people. The racing lanes have changed a lot over the years and they even change throughout the race. It’s one of my favorite tracks and to win at Darlington would be unbelievable.”

Kasey Kahne on racing at Darlington

“Just his history in racing and his success over the years and how long he raced allows us to do cool stuff like this. That wasn’t the car people know him for, so I feel like it’s kind of cool to open people’s eyes to things that maybe they haven’t seen about his career and the history of the Elliott family.”

Chase Elliott on racing his father’s scheme

“I think a couple of things – running up by the wall is one part of it. The track is worn out, so running next to the wall is difficult. You are slipping and sliding, so that can make that hard. Also, one end being so different from the other, having your car balanced to where it drives good on both ends or drives as good as you can get it on both ends is important there. It can be done, it’s just really hard to do.”

Elliott on racing at Darlington

“Darlington commands a ton of respect. To qualify well requires a lot of bravery, to win there you have to be smart. It’s a tough track. I’m pumped to run the throwback scheme again. Every year the garage embraces this more and more. It’s really fun. Also, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Houston. We will be thinking of them this weekend.”

Jimmie Johnson on racing at Darlington

“Basically, Tony (Eury) Sr. went to bat for me and told dad, ‘We’ll take Junior, and me and Tony Jr. will make a driver out of him’ – and that’s what happened. That’s how I found out, just a month before Daytona that I was going to race this car. That’s the way I stumbled into knowing about this job and that I was going to be a full-time racer in ’98. This scheme means a good deal to me and I hope we have as much success at Darlington as we had in this car in ’98 and ’99. We almost won at Darlington in one of those races (in ‘98) – we were door-to-door with Dick Trickle coming to the finish line and lost by a few feet. So, hopefully we can recreate some of that magic. I think that the primary sponsor Nationwide Insurance is a great pairing with this scheme. It went together really well, so I was very happy with what it looked like on the design sheet.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on getting his start in NASCAR and his throwback scheme

“The throwback program is exciting. It’s a great opportunity for teams, drivers, owners and anyone really to sort of see the history. As a fan of the sport, I love seeing the other teams express that knowledge and the history. Darlington is a perfect place to do it because of how long that track has been around and what it means to the sport.”

Earnhardt on Darlington’s throwback program

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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