James Buescher wins the Fan Appreciation 200 Presented by New Holland at Iowa Speedway.
Photo credit -- Chase Elliott 's Instagram @chaseelliott9 RELATED: Series standings At only 19 years old, Chase Elliott already has a NASCAR XFINITY Series championship, is currently contending for a second one and has a pretty sweet job lined up next year taking over the iconic No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for retiring four-time Sprint Cup Series champ Jeff Gordon . Not only has Elliott's racing career taken off, he has too -- literally -- having just earned his private pilot license on July 23. And the view from above is something he's wanted his whole life. It seems Elliott got more than the racing gene from his father, NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott , as he has inherited the flying bug from his dad, an accomplished and avid aviator. "He's been flying a long time so I've always been around it since I was little," Elliott said of his father. "I've watched him fly for years and years and been fortunate enough to have access to his planes and sit up front and watch him fly them so I've always definitely interested in it. "It's one of those things where the more you do it, the more you become interested in it. And the more you get into it, the more intriguing it becomes. I learn something new every time I fly. "It's definitely tough to (master all the necessary lessons). A lot of things come along with it. But flying is a privilege and something you can't take lightly ever." A lot of the same traits -- discipline, smarts and dedication -- Elliott put into his burgeoning racing career he used to earn the pilot license. He actually started taking lessons while still in high school but it was such a busy time between school, racing and flying lessons that Elliott put off finishing his license until a few months ago with the support of his dad. "It's something you work hard for to achieve," Bill Elliott said. "I see so many people who have gone through a lot of the flying part and the learning curve but never went on and got their pilot licenses and they always regretted it. I told Chase, 'You need to go on and get this done.' "I'm glad he did. That's something he'll carry with him regardless of where racing takes him." The Elliotts join an impressive list of NASCAR drivers who have secured private pilot licenses including Carl Edwards , Greg Biffle , Matt Kenseth and retired drivers Mark Martin , Rusty Wallace, Cale Yarborough and Ricky Rudd. Ryan Newman 's wife Krissie flies helicopters. Similarly, Elliott figures having the ability to pilot an airplane can be as much a practicality as it is a luxury. His father helped secure him a Cessna 182 single-engine, four-seater to use and Elliott is eager to start flying to races closer than home. Last week, he flew to Bristol. He has also posted a photo of himself practicing grass landings on Instagram. "Absolutely, it's a major convenience if you need to go somewhere, you can turn a four-hour drive into an hour-and-a-half flight," Elliott said. "Time is valuable for anybody and any chance to make up time like that is great." Elliott wasn't sure if he would fly himself to this weekend's XFINITY Series race at Road America , but he is looking forward to the stand-alone road race regardless. It's the third road course race in the last four weeks for the series and Elliott is one of the series regulars who embraces the opportunity to turn right. He is on a six-race run of top-10 finishes in his No. 9 NAPA Chevy and currently trails championship leader Chris Buescher by 23 points in the standings. He has finishes of seventh (Watkins Glen) and fifth (Mid-Ohio) in the two road races this year and finished fourth at Road America last season. "I thought last year was a good learning experience," Elliott said. "I was really pleased with Watkins Glen. I'm still learning on my end, but thought we had good cars this year and that's a big step in right direction." For Elliott, that direction is up.
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Eldredge's Pre-Race Concert Will Take Place On Sunday, Sept. 20 Joliet, Ill. -- Country music sensation and Illinois Native, Brett Eldredge, as the pre-race concert act for the myAFibRisk.com 400 -- the first race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup on Sunday, Sept. 20. Eldredge hails from Paris, Ill., approximately 180 miles south of Chicago, and released his new single, "Lose My Mind," last Tuesday. The CMA New Artist of the Year plans to release his sophomore album later this year. His debut album, Bring You Back, yielded the No. 1 hits "Don’t Ya," "Beat of the Music," and "Mean to Me." The 29-year-old Eldredge was a student at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst before moving to Nashville to chase his dreams. "Over the past several years we've had an opportunity to host some of the premier performers within the country music industry, and we're looking forward to Brett Eldredge continuing that tradition," said Scott Paddock, president of Chicagoland Speedway . "Including an artist of Brett's caliber as part of our weekend festivities is an exciting addition for our track, NASCAR and particularly our fans, and the fact that he's from our own backyard makes it even more special as we kick off the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup ." Special packages are available for Eldredge’s biggest fans, including a $99 ticket upgrade which guarantees a place in the front row for Brett's concert and also includes a Fan Zone Pit Pass (grandstand ticket not included). The Fan Zone Pit Pass is required to enter the infield for the concert. For $75, fans can purchase a grandstand ticket and Fan Zone Pit Pass, which puts them in close proximity to the concert and provides access to driver introductions, a red carpet walk and the Infield Fan Zone. All fans with grandstand tickets will have the ability to view the concert from their grandstand seat. Tickets can be purchased online at ChicagolandSpeedway.com , by calling 888-629-RACE, through the Chicagoland Speedway mobile app, or by visiting the Chicagoland Speedway Administrative office Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend at Chicagoland Speedway , Sept. 18-20, will begin with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series American Ethanol e15 225 under the lights on Friday night. On Saturday, Sept. 19, the NASCAR XFINITY Series will hit the track with the Furious 7 300 as the precursor to Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series showdown, the first race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . In addition to the racing action, fans can enjoy live musical entertainment, Champions Park, tailgating and more. Tickets start at just $25 with kids tickets (12 and under) $25 OFF, and parking is always free at Chicagoland Speedway . Buy Chicagoland Tickets
RELATED: Complete race results " Updated standings ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- The decision to compete in Saturday afternoon's NASCAR XFINITY Series sixth annual Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville at Road America (Wisconsin) paid off in a huge way for Paul Menard , who scored his third career XFINITY victory at his hometown track. Menard, a native of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, started eighth and saw a decision to stay out after pitting on Lap 24 work to his advantage as he edged out a relentless Ryan Blaney by 0.573 seconds at the 14-turn road course. After the contest, Menard said had the race extended a lap farther, he would not have collected his first XFINITY win since Michigan International Speedway last June. "I've been really fortunate to win at some of the coolest tracks, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Road America is right there," Menard said. "These guys called a great race. We didn't have the fastest car. We had a really good short run car. We really burned off the rear tires as we ran, but the Richmond Water Heaters/Menards Chevrolet was fast and (crew chief Danny) Stockman made a hell of a call at the end." If wondering about running out of fuel wasn't enough, Menard also had to fend off a hard-charging Blaney. "I was definitely concerned," added Menard on both circumstances. "I was saving as much as I could under caution, but then when we fired off I was just chattering the left rear tire really bad. It took a couple of laps for it to come in, then the (No.) 22 started burning his stuff up, but it just didn't fire off very good in the end, but it came to us." After inclement weather forced the cancellation of Coors Light Pole qualifying, Ben Rhodes earned the top starting spot based upon turning the fastest lap at the 4.048-mile road course in the first XFINITY Series practice session Friday afternoon. Rhodes, a NASCAR Next alum, would find himself under pressure from the drop of the green flag when JR Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott made the move for the lead in Turn 1. Quickly, though, the field would be under the first full-course caution of the day when Tomy Drissi found himself stuck in the gravel trap in Turn 5. Racing resumed on Lap 4 with Elliott checking out from the field and before the first round of green-flag pit stops. The reigning champion stretched his lead to over 10 seconds, when he relinquished the top spot on Lap 11 for a routine pit stop. Championship contender Ty Dillon inherited the lead when Elliott pitted. Dillon, who finished 10th, stretched his fuel run an extra lap to earn a crucial bonus point toward the championship picture. When pit stops cycled through, Elliott reclaimed the point on Lap 16 and built a 13.7-second lead over second-place Brian Scott at the halfway mark. On Lap 22, the second caution waved for fluid on the track, erasing Elliott's substantial advantage. Despite half of the field electing to come to pit road for service behind them, Elliott and his JRM team stood firm on their plan and stayed out. On the restart, Elliott withstood a challenge for Brian Scott and Ryan Blaney , but in Turn 14 and through the frontstretch, Scott mounted the pressure and made the move on Elliott to take the lead on Lap 27. Unable to make it to the end on fuel, Scott pitted under green on Lap 29 handing the lead to defending race winner Brendan Gaughan . Three laps later, though, Gaughan pitted, handing the lead to hometown hero Paul Menard who pitted during the second caution with 13 laps remaining. Planning to stay out till the end, Menard in saving mode purposely gave up the lead to Blake Koch ,who led with 10 laps remaining when pole-sitter Rhodes found himself stuck in the gravel trap in Turn 7 issuing the third full course caution. During the extended caution, Koch lost power, putting Menard back at the point. On the Lap 41 restart, Menard withstood challenges from Darrell Wallace Jr . and Blaney to seal the win in his 197th career start. Next up for the NASCAR XFINITY Series is a trip to the track dubbed "Too Tough To Tame" at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway for the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 on Sept. 5 (3:30 p.m. ET on NBC).
RELATED: Rules review on differences between new rules packages In the summer months, NASCAR introduced new rules packages for a handful of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. A new aerodynamic package with less downforce on the cars to create more side- by -side competition and put more in the hands of the driver was used at Kentucky Speedway in July. A similar package will be used at Darlington Raceway on Labor Day weekend for the Bojangles' Southern 500 on Sept. 6 (7 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM). A high drag rules package was used at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last month and will be used again this weekend at Michigan International Speedway for the Pure Michigan 400 (Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM). This rules package reduced the speeds a bit in an effort to create more pack-style competition and drafting. Drivers have been vocal about their opinions on each new package immediately after using it in a race. And if the drivers have an opinion, surely we do as well. NASCAR.com's Kenny Bruce and RJ Kraft are back to debate which rules package has been better: The high-drag setup or the low downforce package? DRIVERS GIVE REVIEWS: Kentucky package " Indianapolis package Kraft: Well, from our last H2H Kenny , you know I was no fan of tweaking the rules even for one race but I was converted after watching the Kentucky race last month. That race had a track-record number of green-flag passes (22) for the lead and a total of 2,665 green-flag passes overall, creating the exact effect the sport's governing body wanted: More side- by -side competition and more passing. The racing itself was tremendous and the late-race duel between Joey Logano and Kyle Busch was the best racing we've seen all season. The high-drag package did not seem to have any real effect on passing and there wasn't much drafting to speak. Frankly, if Kyle Busch didn't score his third straight win, the Indianapolis race doesn't stand out for any reason. And we can't forget that the setup on the cars seemed to have a major effect on how hot it got inside the driver's seat. While a change has been made for an additional NACA duct to be mounted on the right-side window for Michigan, we still need to see if that has a cooling effect greater than what we saw at Indianapolis. RELATED: Impact of heat at Indy causes slight change to cars for Michiga n Bruce: You want cool drivers or better racing, RJ? Truthfully, I do realize the heat generated is a concern, but nothing a few tweaks here and there likely won't eliminate. I don't think officials expected the changes to have an immediate impact on the racing on the track -- a slight improvement was probably more hoped for or anticipated. There's a lot of real-time data to digest that otherwise wouldn't have been acquired. You can't get to Point B without going through Point A first. And don't forget the tire situation -- while the Kentucky package seemed to provide better racing even without tires that were built for the low downforce package, those built for Indy weren't tested with the high drag package either. Just another piece of the puzzle that's still being built. TECH TALK: High drag package built specifically for Michigan Kraft: How about the driver reaction? Despite limited practice time with the low downforce package at Kentucky, pretty much all the drivers loved it and were quite vocal about how much they enjoyed racing with that particular rules package. Drivers liked the fact that they had more control and that there was more passing. As a fan it was exciting to see how often there were cars three-wide and four-wide in that race. And if the drivers are happy and pleased with the rules that are in place, that speaks volumes. While some wanted further tweaks with the low downforce package, the garage seemed to think the Kentucky results were one heck of a first step. That wasn't the case at Indianapolis after the high-drag package was run. I suppose we should wait until it's run a second time this weekend before we condemn it, especially since officials have said this package was specifically built for Michigan. Bruce: There is a world of difference in Kentucky and Indianapolis. Just because the high drag rules didn't totally change the action at Indy is no reason to toss it out. No doubt some things were learned from the weekend. Michigan is a much wider track with better opportunities to work in another racing groove. Maybe it wasn't the final answer for Indy, but let's give it a chance before say it won't work elsewhere. As Jeff Gordon noted, as long as drivers have room to maneuver around the cars in the turns the package has potential. As teams get more opportunities to work with the different set-ups, some will be able to make them work faster than others, and that's always been the case. It may not be the final answer, but it might be a step. And we won't know until we see it in action some more.
Much like their fellow NASCAR drivers who are deservedly spending the season's final off-week relaxing on a beach or jet-setting to some exotic location, Landon Cassill and Josh Wise are using the rare downtime to travel and enjoy the scenic Austrian Alps. The difference, however, is that these two Sprint Cup drivers won't be sightseeing or taking leisurely day hikes. They will be experiencing one of the world's most beautiful regions while competing in the elite Ironman 70.3 World Championships at Zell am See-Kaprun outside Salzburg, Austria on Sunday. Their breathtaking views will be just that as they swim 1.2-miles in Lake Zell, bike 56 miles through the glacier-tipped Alps and then finish with a 13.1-mile run along the lakeshore and through the area's small villages in one of the world's most grueling and prestigious physical competitions. "When we looked at the schedule both of us had aspirations to qualify for the 70.3 or Kona (Ironman 140.6 in Hawaii)," explained Wise. "The Worlds happened to fall on our last off weekend and there was a qualifier on the next to last off weekend. "It looked like this is a once in a lifetime chance. It's a bucket list goal just to qualify, but to have opportunity to do Austria was super special and it just felt like it was meant to be." But not without a lot of work. Anyone who still dismisses the athletic ability of NASCAR drivers would have a losing argument when it comes to the training regimen of Cassill, 26, and Wise, 32, who have taken their dedication to fitness and competition to a new level. RELATED: Johnson: 'If you want to be fast, you've got to suffer' More often than not, these two drivers show up at the race track having already swam, biked or run for miles and hours before some of their competitors have even rolled out of bed. Their dedication and commitment means a 5 a.m. wake-up call even on race weekends and using a special "Swim Radar" app to find a public pool near the race track that's open early enough and will allow them to swim. They've done their laps everywhere from the small town YMCA to the pool at Ohio State University. They strategically place their long bike rides as well and that can be tricky -- both finding a safe route close to the track and "not getting lost," Wise joked. They did a 60-mile bike ride after qualifying at Indianapolis this summer and squeezed in a 20-miler between practices at Pocono. Last week at Bristol, the two swam a mile and a half and ran five miles before the night race. Cassill did his World Cup qualifier in Muncie, Ind. during NASCAR's Kentucky Speedway race weekend, flying to Muncie after the Friday night XFINITY race, competing in the 70.3-mile triathalon Saturday morning then returning to Kentucky Speedway for the Cup race that night. "That was a little test of endurance," Cassill said. "Saturday morning I got my qualifying slot and flew back and raced Saturday night (at Bristol). I felt pretty good." Both Cassill and Wise say that competitive spirit lift is an important motivation for both. Driving for small, lower-funded Sprint Cup Series teams, they are admittedly not contending for wins every week. Success in the triathalons not only is a huge fitness benefit to them both, but gives them a sense of accomplishment and success. "I think a big part of the inspiration to do this has to do with obviously with the benefit of what it does for us in the car, but for us, we drive for small teams and we don't have a chance to win every race in a car and when you're doing that for 38 weeks in a row, it can get taxing," said Cassill, the 2008 XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year who now drives the No. 40 Hillman-Smith Chevrolet in the Cup Series and the No. 01 JD Motorsports Chevy in the XFINITY Series. "This is something for us, we can control and it really just helps that confidence in the garage just to know what we're capable of with our bodies and pushing ourselves to the limit. To me, it's a confidence builder." Wise, who scored a career-best 10th at Talladega in May driving the No. 98 Ford, agreed. "It's an amazing competitive outlet," he said. "There's not a lot of things that you can do that you have so much control over. It goes back to the alarm clock. Are you going to get up and get the swim in and the running before you go to work? It's your choice. With the sport we're in, people don't realize all the external factors there are that you can't control." "When our cars aren't driving right or we're communicating with our crew in the midst of battling with someone, I feel the mental gain from the type of work we do off the track even beyond the physical. "I'm far beyond physically where I need to be, but mentally I can still continue to push myself, my body and my brain to dig deeper. When you can overcome every cell in your body shutting you down and you have to mentally force your legs to pick up and move in a run, there is a mental strength that comes from that. "I feel there's a real specificity to what we do that applies to our type of racing." The benefits go beyond just them personally. "My team has so much confidence in me that although they may not see me during the week, they don't have a doubt in their mind that I'm still working; that I’m trying to make myself the fittest race car driver, the best race car driver I can be, focused and prepared," Cassill said. "It's important because when teams are fighting for sponsorship, tough finishes the wheels can come off and you want to instill in your team that you're doing everything you can." Their pursuit is not only recognized by their team members but in the garage and bigger NASCAR community as well. While these two drivers don’t typically generate the same racing headlines as their good friend and frequent training partner, six-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson , they do have his great respect -- especially with this weekend's Ironman in Austria. "My hat is off to Josh and Landon," Johnson said. "They've put in the hard work. I've watched them get very serious about it. They are both faster than me (smiling) and I'm so proud of them." All three drivers are confident that this kind of extreme cross training will be more prevalent on the starting grid in coming years. It's a visibly growing group of cyclists that join Johnson, Wise and Cassill on the bike rides during race weekend downtime or meet up at a nearby public pool for some laps. " Jimmie Johnson , in my opinion, sparked that fire by winning six championships and being the fittest driver the sport has ever seen," Cassill said. "We are in some ways just copycatting what he did. Eventually, a lot of the drivers that have the skill -- and have had the success in the past -- but aren't consistently getting the success now are going to start getting pressure from their owners and sponsors that will say they're sick of getting of their butts kicked from these fit drivers, you need to do something. "I think in the next five to 10 years you're going to see a lot more of our drivers getting fitter and fitter," Cassill continued. "I think our sport is going to go through similar transition that golf saw and I compare our sport to golf because it's a skill sport. It takes a certain skill and technique to swing a golf club and it takes a certain skill and technique to drive a race car. It doesn't necessarily take athleticism to drive a race car or hit a golf ball, but athleticism enhances that skill." This weekend Cassill and Wise will be representing their sport on a world platform and just qualifying for the world championship in the midst of a busy and demanding NASCAR season is already a huge accomplishment. "There are a lot of cyclists in the garage and people that know what's going on. I had a lot of people asking me about this weekend at the Bristol race and crew members wishing me good luck," Cassill said. "Obviously a lot of text messages from my team wishing me good luck." "I'd love to set a new PR (personal record), I feel like I try to do that at every race. But just another finish would be a win. This is a very challenging event and this is a world championship event so the competition is a lot tougher than I've competed against."
Tony Stewart claims he did not see fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr. walking down the track until just before Stewart's car struck the driver during a sprint car race last year in upstate New York, according to court documents. Stewart's view of the incident -- in which Ward was killed -- was made public Friday in a legal response to the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Ward's parents earlier this month. In an Aug. 9 event at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, Ward climbed out of his car following a wreck and walked down onto the track to apparently confront Stewart under caution. Stewart's car struck the 20-year-old, who was killed. An Ontario County (N.Y.) grand jury ruled last September that Stewart would not face criminal charges. Friday's filing by Stewart's attorney Brian Gwitt in part reads: "Stewart did not see Ward Jr. exit his vehicle and was not aware that Ward Jr. had exited his vehicle. Stewart was not aware that anyone had exited the vehicle. "Stewart did not see Ward Jr., or anyone else walking on foot on the track until just prior to contact, and did not know the identity of the person walking on the track until afterwards." The document also notes the initial toxicology report that found Ward had marijuana in his system, which the district attorney said last year impaired the driver's judgment, in its counter to the claims by Ward’s parents.
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- A State of the Sport presentation drew a capacity crowd of industry stakeholders and media to the Osthoff Resort on Saturday evening, when IMSA announced a new entitlement sponsor for its top series, a 10-year extension of partnerships with TUDOR Watch USA and Rolex Watch USA, and 2016 schedules for its top two series. The biggest news was the introduction of WeatherTech as the entitlement partner in a multiyear agreement for IMSA's top series, which now will be called the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship effective November 1, 2015. TUDOR Watch USA moves from entitlement partner to "Official Timepiece of IMSA" in a 10-year extension of its partnership with the sanctioning body. Rolex Watch USA, announced an extension of 10 years of its partnership as an official sponsor at Sebring International Raceway, after announcing a 10-year extension of its entitlement sponsorship of the Rolex 24 At Daytona earlier this year. In addition to the major partnership news, 2016 schedules for both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge also were unveiled. The entitlement partnership was made by WeatherTech Founder and CEO David MacNeil, and his son, Cooper MacNeil, who drives a Porsche in the GT Daytona class of what will become the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. IMSA executives pointed to WeatherTech's advertising and marketing prowess as a key component to the entitlement partnership. "I am proud to announce that WeatherTech will become the entitlement partner in 2016 for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship," said David MacNeil. "We want this to be the new golden era of sport car racing in America, and I want WeatherTech to be a big part of it. "It is my intention to use our marketing horsepower to elevate the awareness of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship to the general public. We want to increase our fan base for the betterment of the teams, the sponsors and finally the drivers." "WeatherTech is the perfect choice to serve as our new entitlement partner as we further expand the marketing activation and exposure of what now will be known as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship," added IMSA CEO Ed Bennett. "David MacNeil's enthusiasm and personal passion for our sport, along with his proven success at growing the WeatherTech brand through brilliant, high-quality manufacturing and aggressive product marketing, will pay dividends for all involved." The 2016 WeatherTech Championship schedule will include a total of 12 events and opens with the 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona in Daytona Beach, Florida on Jan. 30-31. It will be the first event in the new Daytona International Speedway motorsports stadium following the completion of the $400 million DAYTONA Rising project. The WeatherTech Championship schedule will be anchored by four Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup events, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in Sebring, Florida on March 19, the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen in Watkins Glen, New York on July 3 and the season-ending Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia on Oct. 1. Other WeatherTech Championship events include the Grand Prix of Long Beach (California) on April 16, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California on May 1, Detroit's Belle Isle on June 4, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario on July 10, Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut on July 23, Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on Aug. 7, VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia on Aug. 21 and Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas on Sept. 17. The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge will run as companion events to the WeatherTech Championship at all 2016 races except for Long Beach and Detroit.
Framed, autographed photo of father left anonymously Dale Earnhardt Jr . tweeted that he was "grateful" for a gift from a fan Sunday at Michigan International Speedway -- even if he doesn't know who left it. An anonymous fan left this at the hauler for me. I'm so grateful. @WranglerJeans pic.twitter.com/VFYwYPUFM8 — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) August 16, 2015 The classic photo of father Dale Earnhardt in front of his Wrangler-schemed car even came with an autograph. Quite a gift for Junior, who is still represented by the jeans company. It was nice timing, too, considering the Earnhardt image was promoting the 1982 Southern 500. Current drivers have been revealing their own throwback schemes in anticipation of this year's Bojangles' Southern 500 , which returns to the Labor Day weekend at Darlington Raceway. MORE: Buy tickets for this year's Darlington race