The Xfinity Series drivers celebrated Throwback Weekend on Saturday with a trip to Darlington Speedway. Several used the opportunity to honor NASCAR legends from history, including Dale Earnhardt Jr. The 15-time Most Popular Driver led the pace laps while driving his father’s iconic Chevy Nova.
The No. 8 Nova led the field onto the track surface Saturday afternoon while displaying the classic GM Goodwrench decals on the rear fenders and the orange, black, and silver color scheme. This is the same stock car that Dale Sr. drove on multiple trips to Victory Lane at Darlington Raceway. To make the day even better, Earnhardt wore a special t-shirt honoring his father.
While Earnhardt paced the field, he joined another driver honoring the seven-time Cup champion. Justin Allgaier, who races for JR Motorsports, headed to the track in a bright red No. 7 Good Humor Chevrolet Camaro. This scheme threw it back to the Tazmanian Devil scheme that Dale Sr. used during the 2000 Daytona 500. Although Allgaier’s version had the Good Humor Man on the hood instead of the cartoon character.
Similarly, Jeffrey Earnhardt drove the No. 0 Chevrolet Camaro that featured a red, white, and blue color scheme. The design referenced a one-off scheme that Dale Sr. ran during the All-Star Race. He promoted the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. The car featured an Olympic torch and rings on the hood and an American flag on the sides.
Earnhardt put considerable effort into the rebuild ahead of Throwback Weekend
Earnhardt first highlighted the restoration process on Twitter back in 2019. He posted a photo of the race car sitting on jack stands, stripped down to the frame. He confirmed that Robert Gee Jr. would take care of the build while simultaneously sparking excitement among NASCAR fans.
Earnhardt continued to post updates throughout the process. Some showed the race car’s bare metal body while others highlighted the interior. One, in particular, showed the engine come to life for the first time.
More than a year later, Earnhardt provided a major update. He showed the race car put back together and featuring a fresh coat of paint. He posted another photo days later that showcased the No. 8 decal on the door and the roll cage dominating the interior of the car.
Following the visual update to the race car, Earnhardt avoided posting updates until March 2021. It was at this point that he showed off the mechanical adjustments made in preparation for Throwback Weekend. Earnhardt provided in-depth details about the work done to the race car before finally showing it taking some test laps around a North Carolina neighborhood and later at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The constant posts on social media created anticipation for Throwback Weekend among NASCAR fans, leading to Saturday’s celebration. Those in attendance at Darlington showcased their excitement as Earnhardt headed around the track in a truly classic race car.
Kyle Weatherman honored another seven-time champion
While Earnhardt and Allgaier honored Dale Sr. with their respective vehicles, another Xfinity Series driver opted for a different legend. Weatherman, who drives for Mike Harmon Racing, headed to Darlington in the No. Chevrolet Camaro. The vehicle featured a special red and blue paint scheme that honored “The King” Richard Petty.
Sponsor Pit Viper helped Weatherman showcase this paint scheme on Saturday, and the sunglass company provided some stylish shades for pre-race festivities. Weatherman showed up to pit road wearing an autographed Petty hat — complete with feathers on the front — and some Pit Viper sunglasses.
The King continues to wear the iconic hat and his sunglasses while making appearances at NASCAR events. Though his particular sunglasses are more subtle than the Pit Viper versions.