On December 17, 2014, after announcing their new throwback platform, Darlington released that the track would commemorate its return to Labor Day weekend in 2015 by honoring its storied past while celebrating the future – recognizing past champions of the 1970s.
“With our exciting return to Labor Day weekend in 2015, celebrating our past champions is only fitting. These racing icons helped shape Darlington Raceway into what it is today – NASCAR’s most storied racing facility,” said then-track president Chip Wile.
Best In Show
The Bojangles’ Southern 500 return to Labor Day weekend in 2015 was cherished by many, including the competitors. Of the 43 NASCAR teams competing that Sunday, 31 released special paint schemes that their team would run for the Bojangles’ Southern 500. In accordance, NASCAR held a fan vote to determine the top four paint schemes of Darlington’s throwback weekend. The top four were presented to a panel of NASCAR Hall of Fame members who made the final selection.
The award for Best Throwback Paint Scheme was presented to Kyle Larson and Chip Ganassi Racing, whose throwback paint scheme honored Kyle Petty and Felix Sabates for the Mello Yello scheme from the early 1990s – originally inspired by Tom Cruise in the film “Days of Thunder” in 1990.
Cherishing the Throwback
Later in 2015, it was announced that Darlington Raceway was selected as the National Motorsports Press Association’s 2015 Myers Brothers Award for their impressive throwback campaign. Given annually by the NMPA, the Myers Brothers Award is named in honor of former NASCAR competitors Billy and Bobby Myers. Its purpose is to recognize individuals and/or groups who have provided outstanding contributions to the sport of stock car racing.
Apart from majority of the cars ran in the 2015 Bojangles’ Southern 500 featuring popular paint schemes that honored everything from long-time sponsors to drivers, and several teams got in the act by wearing crew uniforms similar to those worn in the 1970s.
“We felt like if we could get eight or 10 teams on board to really showcase what we’re trying to accomplish, we felt like in 2016 we could get more, in 2017 we would get more and so on. But the response that we’ve gotten from everyone in the industry has been incredible. It was a fully integrated plan that made our event something special for the fans.” – said Wile, after receiving the Myers Brothers Award