Darlington Raceway took NASCAR by storm after a historic 2015 throwback campaign. The track took that momentum into the following year when they announced that their 2016 celebration would honor the 1975-84 era of the sport, which was a time of exceptional growth and exposure for NASCAR.
“We had tremendous response from the industry last season, which included the race teams, NASCAR, NBC, Goodyear and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, to name a few. This is a fun and unique way to honor the history and heritage of NASCAR racing at one of the sport’s most iconic tracks on Labor Day weekend.” – said then-Darlington Raceway President Chip Wile
Stewart 'Smokes' Best In Show
Of the 40 NASCAR cup cars competing in the event, over 35 of the race teams competed with throwback paint schemes – the most in any single NASCAR event in the sport’s history.
Tony Stewart, who raced in his final Southern 500 in 2016, paid tribute to Bobby Allison, replicating the popular Coca-Cola paint scheme made famous by Allison in the early 1970s – Allison ran that paint scheme during his back-to-back Southern 500 wins in 1971 and 1972.
In The Details
The throwback paint schemes weren’t the only recognizable differences on the track that were in accordance to the throwback celebration – for the second year in a row, the use of NASCAR’s famed “NASCAR International” logo was beloved by the teams. In addition, Goodyear once again put the original white lettering on its race tires, specifically for the Bojangles’ Southern 500.
Truex Takes Home The Crown Jewel
Martin Truex Jr., who ran with the dark blue paint scheme of Auto-Owners Insurance, throwing back to the 100th anniversary of the sponsor, took home the 2016 Bojangles’ Southern 500.
The weekend was also a moment to celebrate the 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees - Rick Hendrick, Richard Childress and Mark Martin as they served as the Bojangles' Southern 500 grand marshals.