The NASCAR Cup Series is on a blast to the past this weekend at Darlington Raceway, as NASCAR legends of today and yesteryear come together to celebrate Throwback Weekend and the series competes in the 13th race of the 2023 season, the Goodyear 400 on Sunday, May 14 at 3 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Many of the drivers will be paying tribute to the past this weekend with special paint schemes on their cars. For a full detailed list of the paint schemes and cars participating, plus the opportunity to vote on your favorite paint scheme, select this link and visit NASCAR.com’s 2023 Throwback Weekend Gallery.
In addition, to cars on-track having a distinctive look with their paint schemes this weekend, the FOX Sports booth will have some special guests join Mike Joy and Clint Bowyer to call portions of the Goodyear 400.
NASCAR Hall of Famer ‘The King’ Richard Petty and his son former driver Kyle Petty will be first up bringing their vast knowledge of the series. The Pettys will be in the booth during Stage 1 of the race, followed by retired driver Carl Edwards, who was recently named to NASCAR’s 75 Greatest Drivers list, during the second stage and NASCAR Hall of Famer ‘Awesome Bill from Dawsonville’, Bill Elliott, will close out the race in the final stage.
All three of the four special guests in the FOX Sports booth this weekend have won at Darlington Raceway in the NASCAR Cup Series, led by Bill Elliott with five victories (1985 sweep, 1988, 1992, 1994), then Richard Petty with three (1966, 1967 sweep) and Carl Edwards has one (2015).
Historic Darlington Raceway a perfect stage for Throwback Weekend
The industry and fans alike all agree Darlington Raceway is the perfect stage for Throwback Weekend.
The historic 1.366-mile egg-shaped paved oval, known as Darlington Raceway, has hosted 123 NASCAR Cup Series races dating back to 1950.
The raceway was originally built as a 1.25-mile paved superspeedway in 1949-1950 and hosted the first 500-mile race in NASCAR history, and the first on asphalt on September 4, 1950. A total of 75 cars competed in the inaugural event and Curtis Turner won the pole at 82.034 mph. The race was won by Johnny Mantz (Plymouth, 75.250 mph), and took 6 hours, 38 minutes, and 40 seconds to complete.
Since then, Darlington Raceway has undergone some changes through the years. In 1953, the track was re-measured to 1.375 miles. Then in 1970, the track was re-configured to 1.366 miles following the spring race of that season. The track was repaved in 1995 and then again prior to the 2008 season. Over the years the historic facility has become known amongst its competitors as ‘the track too tough to tame.’
In total, the 123 NASCAR Cup Series races have produced 52 different pole winners and 52 different race winners. Six of the 52 NASCAR Cup Series Busch Light pole winners at Darlington Raceway are active this weekend.