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In the spirit of Darlington Speedway’s widely popular ‘throwback weekend’ during the Southern 500, CARS Late Model Tour officials have decided to honor stock car history in their own unique way on Saturday, August 5.

The ‘Throwback 276’ will feature special throwback paint schemes by competitors, traditional priced concession items and will honor several legends of the sport in attendance during a special pre-race presentation courtesy of the Hickory Soup Kitchen.

The event will feature 138 lap green flag races for both the Super Late Models and the Late Model Stock divisions. The 276 total laps matches the 1971 and 1972 distance the NASCAR Cup Series ran at the .363 mile track. In addition to the race distance; a special red, white, and blue throwback “CARS Tour Late Model Series” logo will be used on all branding, including special CARS Tour official uniforms and various tour merchandise that will be made availiable.

The most visible aspect of the event will come in the form of special throwback paint schemes that will flashback to stock car racing’s storied past. Through a special partnership with the following graphic entities, several liveries  have already been developed.

Over the coming days each paint scheme will be released to the public:

  • No. 32 Brandon Grosso (LMSC) – Dale Jarrett 1985 Busch Car (ARI Designs)
  • No. 88 Josh Berry (LMSC) – Kelly Earnhardt 1995 Mom N Pops Late Model Stock (The Decal Source)
  • No. 34 Nolan Pope (SLM) – Richard Petty 1972 STP Cup Car (ASM Graphics)
  • No. 3 Deac McCaskill (LMSC) – Dale Earnhardt 1984 Wrangler Cup Car (Graphix Unlimited)
  • No. 27 Tommy Lemons Jr (LMSC) – Rusty Wallace 1990 MGD Cup Car (Graphix Unlimited)
  • No. 4 Brandon Setzer (SLM) – Dennis Setzer 1982-1996 Late Model Stock Car (One Designs Wraps)

The initiative was created to encourage other CARS Tour competitors to also participate in the events festivities via paint schemes and other creative ways. Several cash bonuses will make things special for all parties. Richard’s Painting Company will award $500 cash to the graphics company and team determined to have the “Best Appearing Car” via online vote on throughout the weekend.

An additional $250 cash bonus will be awarded to the “Most Historic Appearing Team” that dress the part, and do things the “old school” way all weekend. Fans will also have their chance to win $100 cash bonus for the “Best Dressed Throwback Fan” of the event.

Fans will be encouraged to arrive early on August 5 as a special pre-race event will take place with several pioneers of the sport prior to the green flag. Historic drivers, car owners, and crew chiefs will all be discussing their mark on short track racing and what they are doing now.

Already confirmed for the event are Harry Gant and Hall of Fame crew chief Waddell Wilson. Gant, often referred to as “Handsom Harry” was a Hickory Motor Speedway track champion in 1969 before going on to win 18 NASCAR Cup races over his twenty-two year NASCAR Cup Series career.

Wilson, who was in the inaugural class for the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction, was a championship wining engine builder before making the move to crew chief with Buddy Baker. Wilson led drivers to three Daytona 500 wins in 1980, 83, 84, and worked with winning drivers such as AJ Foyt, Mario Andretti, Bobby Alison, and Ricky Rudd just to name a few.

Over the weeks leading up to the event in August the CARS Tour will release various competitor paint schemes, honorary pioneers of the sport that will be in attendance, and more event details about the big Throwback 276 weekend. For more information about the event including driver entry forms, event schedule, and to purchase tickets visit

Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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