NASCAR's Throwback Weekend At Darlington Thriving In Year 5
NASCAR on Sunday heads to Darlington Raceway for its annual throwback race, which has been a "smashing success" since its inception five years ago, according to David Caraviello of the Charleston POST & COURIER. If sponsors had "any initial hesitancy, they got over it quickly," as more than 20 "are committed" for Sunday's race. Darlington has started a "popular themed weekend that no other track can match." This year's event features a throwback to the era from '90-94, which includes Richard Petty’s retirement and the beginning of Jeff Gordon’s career. But the track does "not box teams in, a move that was key to gaining their support." For example, the No. 43 of Bubba Wallace will "carry the orange, purple and green scheme the late Adam Petty ran in his ARCA victory at Charlotte" in '98. Track President Kerry Tharp and his staff are "tasked with coming up with new themes and tweaks for each year, and keeping the lines of communication open with teams and industry stakeholders." Darlington officials "continue to meet with race teams on an annual basis, usually in December or January, to share their plans." Sponsors have "found value in the idea, even though their cars are sometimes using older logos or colors not typically associated with the brand." The throwback theme is now a "permanent part of Darlington’s race weekend, and the official designation from NASCAR means no other track can copy it" (Charleston POST & COURIER, 8/26).