#NASCARThrowback Saved The Southern 500, Imagine What It Would Do For Dirt Modified Racing
Story & Photos By: Pete MacDonald/RacersGuide.com
A few years ago the Southern 500 was just about dead in the water. Stripped from its traditional Labor Day weekend and moved to April, the event became just another NASCAR race. What once was one of the “Crown Jewel” events on the calendar that twice in the sports history paid the “Winston Million” bonus to a driver that swept The Daytona 500, Winston 500 at Talladega, Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, and The Southern 500, was diminished to just another race on the long 36 race schedule. For the 2015 season, it was announced that The Southern 500 would again return to its tradition of being held on Labor Day Sunday evening.
Enter the throwback paint schemes.
Many NASCAR drivers got together last year after the date was announced and figured it would be cool if they could get their teams to re-wrap their cars as historic machines from throughout NASCAR history since they were returning to the Southern 500 tradition.
It was a HUGE success that became an even bigger success this past year as all but one or two cars participated in the program. Even sponsors such as Busch and Gatorade changed their billboards around the track to an early 1990’s look and tire supplier Good-Year took part by changing the look of the tires to resemble what they were many, many years ago dating back to the 1970’s.
Last year at the “Finale at the Fairgrounds” at the NYS Fairgrounds, many teams as a salute to the last Super DIRT Week held at “The Moody Mile,” utilized throwback paint schemes and again had much success. As a fan I thought it was cool as hell seeing the Troyer Mud Buss driven by Jimmy Phelps, the Justin Haers No.1 made up as a Doug Hoffman tribute and Billy Decker in the Bugchaser No.91 again. Decker’s car made me think a lot about 1998 again, the first year I got to see the Super DIRTcar Series in person at New Egypt.
It got me thinking.
Since the NYS Fairgrounds are gone, what other “big” Dirt Modified race do you think should feature throwback paint schemes? The only one that really stands out to me is the Eastern States 200 held at the Orange County Fair Speedway. It’s one of the last few “Crown Jewel” races left that race Northeast Dirt Modifieds. What about the new home of Super DIRT Week, may it be Oswego or Central New York Raceway Park or wherever its held? Another one might be the Freedom 76 held at Grandview Speedway. Of course there is a lot of cost involved in putting a new body on a car and then rewrapping them. But I still really think it would be cool to see Brett Hearn in a red and white No.3 or maybe Tim McCreadie in a Kinney Drugs No.9 look alike or even Ronnie Johnson in a Jack Johnson orange and yellow 12a.
The possibilities could really be endless.
What Throwback paint schemes would you like to see? If you had to pick one race, what race would you like to see a full field of throwback looks charging off of Turn-4 to the green flag be?
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or found on Twitter @PMacDonald51. Thanks for reading!