RELATED: Vote for your favorite paint scheme May 6: Harvick unveils paint scheme, talks schedule adjustment NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader Kevin Harvick was the first of many drivers to unveil his Darlington throwback paint scheme. His No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet will feature a nostalgic Budweiser look. " Read the full story May 27: SHR reveals Stewart's throwback Darlington Look Tony Stewart was the second SHR driver to reveal his car's paint scheme for the throwback weekend at Darlington. The No. 14 Chevrolet will have a retro look to it for the Bojangles' Southern 500 . " Read the full story June 9: SHR unveils Busch's Darlington paint scheme SHR continued to unveil its drivers' throwback looks, this time with Kurt Busch 's car being on display. His No. 41 Chevrolet will pay tribute to past Haas-Automation schemes run at "The Lady in Black." " Read the full story July 8: RCR reveals Newman's Darlington throwback look See Ryan Newman 's paint scheme set for the Bojangles' Southern 500 . Newman's No. 31 Chevrolet honors Caterpillar's history. " Read the full story July 21: Danica's Darlington paint scheme revealed NASCAR's leading lady, Danica Patrick , will appropriately honor the track nicknamed "The Lady in Black" with black livery for her No. 10 Chevrolet. " Read the full story Aug 4: Wood Bros. reveals Blaney's Darlington throwback scheme The No. 21 Ford of Ryan Blaney has quite a historic throwback look as it includes more than 2,000 photos of the Wood Brothers team's history, dating back 60 years. " Read the full story Aug 15: Jimmie Johnson 's Darlington scheme revealed Jimmie's No. 48 Chevrolet is one of the many cars set to rock a vintage look for the Bojangles' Southern 500 . The three-time Darlington winner will have a Lowe's Home Improvement logo on his car that was used throughout the 1940s and '50s. " See Jimmie's paint preview Aug 18: Stenhouse Jr. reveals Darlington throwback look Ricky Stenhouse Jr .'s No. 17 Ford is getting a new (or rather old) paint scheme. The look will honor David Pearson, 105-time winner in NASCAR's premier series and Darlington's all-time winner with a total of 10 wins. " See Stenhouse Jr.'s paint scheme Aug 18: Ragan's Darlington look to honor his father David Ragan is taking the opportunity to honor his father, Ken Ragan, during the Bojangles' Southern 500 . His No. 55 MWR Toyota will feature a paint scheme that his father often featured on his cars. " Read the full story Aug 18: Gallery: Darlington's throwback paint schemes With drivers fully embracing the throwback theme that Darlington has to offer, NASCAR.com made it easy and put all the paint schemes in one place. " See the full gallery Aug 24: Bowyer's Darlington throwback look unveiled Clint Bowyer is one of many to be rocking an old-school look to his car. The No. 15 Toyota will sport a dedication to two NASCAR greats -- Bud Moore and the late Buddy Baker. " Read the full story Aug 25: BK Racing unveils Jeb Burton throwback, driver swap In this driver swap, Burton will be taking over the No. 23 of J.J. Yeley, who will be driving Burton's No. 26 Toyota. The No. 23 will honor Jeb's father, Ward Burton. " Read the full story Aug 27: Two JGR teams to serve practice penalties at Darlington Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth will serve penalties for the practice rounds at Darlington due to failed pre-qualifying and pre-race inspections at Bristol. " Read the full story Aug 27: Aric Almirola 's throwback paint scheme for Darlington revealed Aric Almirola 's No. 43 Ford is the latest to get a vintage makeover before the throwback weekend begins. The No. 43 will be sporting a Richard Petty-inspired look. " Read the full story Aug 27: Terry Labonte to be Southern 500 grand marshal Two-time Sprint Cup champion Terry Labonte will serve as grand marshal for the Bojangles' Southern 500 . Labonte won at Darlington when the race was last held during Labor Day weekend. " Read the full story Aug 27: Darlington Paint Scheme: Brad Keselowski Take a look at the paint scheme Brad Keselowski 's No. 2 Team Penske Ford will be sporting, paying homage to the Darlington throwback weeeknd. " Watch the video Aug 27: Darlington Paint Scheme: Denny Hamlin Glimpse Denny Hamlin 's retro scheme that is paying tribute to NASCAR legend Cale Yarborough. " Watch the video Aug 27: Darlington Paint Scheme: Chase Elliott Check out the original paint scheme that Chase Elliott will be honoring at Darlington Raceway . " Watch the video Aug 27: Darlington Paint Scheme: Austin Dillon Keeping it in the family, Austin Dillon will be honoring his grandfather and will be using a paint scheme patterned after Richard Childress's No. 3. " Watch the video Aug 30: Complete schedule for Darlington Don't miss any of the exciting action. Check out the complete schedule to find out when on-track action begins. " Read more Aug 31: Drivers, officials, fans pumped for Darlington throwback weekend Everyone is geared up and ready for the throwback weekend at Darlington for the Bojangles' Southern 500 . " Read more Sept. 1: Not a typical throwback NASCAR.com's Kenny Bruce explains why Darlington is different, with help from legends like Cale Yarborough. " Read more Sept. 2: Kahne's look revealed The scheme for Kasey Kahne 's No. 5 gives a nod to Geoff Bodine and Hendrick Motorsports ' beginnings. " Read more Sept. 2: How Darlington's distinctive design was made Darlington Raceway was designed back in 1949, preparing for the first 500-mile NASCAR race to be held at "The Lady in Black" in 1950. " Read more Sept. 2: Behind-the-scenes at the Mello Yello shoot Kyle Larson and Kyle Petty team up for the Mello Yello shoot where Larson gets a pretty interesting makeover. Do you like his new look? " See more Sept. 2: 1970 Southern 500 Promo The throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway is bringing back a lot of retro looks with the abundance of paint schemes. Take a look into our archive and see what teh 1970 Southern 500 race was all about. " Watch the video Sept. 2: Chase-clinching scenarios at Darlignton With two races away before the Chase, drivers who have yet to clinch a spot are in panic mode. See how drivers need to perform at Darlington if they want to be on the Chase Grid. " Read more
See what's coming this week to NASCAR.com Here's what you'll see on NASCAR.com this week: MONDAY: Senior writer Kenny Bruce discusses the origins of the Darlington throwback program ... George Winkler and Maggie MacKenzie debate about which driver is most likely to crash the Chase field, and which one is most likely to fall out. TUESDAY: Kyle Larson gets honest about his Chase chances ... We'll talk about the Southern 500 returning to Labor Day weekend ... Then with football season quickly approaching, RJ Kraft draws up some great comparisons and talks about which drivers are similar to some of the NFL's quarterbacks ... We will revisit all the throwback paint schemes set for Darlington in a gallery ... @nascarcasm drafts up a Facebook page using his wit and comedic puns. WEDNESDAY: Paint schemes will be on display this weekend at Darlington Raceway , and we'll have them all in Paint Scheme Preview ... As Kevin Harvick holds the points lead and has secured himself a Chase berth, senior writer Holly Cain wonders if he is even better this year than he was last year ... High 5 presents the best NASCAR content from around the web. THURSDAY: Driver Reports is back this week and highlights the 16 drivers who currently have a spot in the Chase ... Kathy Sheldon drafts up some Darlington dreams from drivers before they are set to hit the track on Friday for practice. FRIDAY: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR XFINITY Series gets on track at Darlington Raceway with a couple of practices ... 8 Tweets highlights the best from social media in the past week. Also coming this week: Kenny Bruce will cover Bill Elliott getting inducted into the NMPA Hall of Fame on Thursday.
NASCAR.com's Kenny Bruce compares Jimmie Johnson to the 'Intimidator' RELATED: Johnson wins at Dover for 10th time The greatest NASCAR driver of all time is … Jimmie Johnson ? That's the word on the street, or in this case the voice on the radio, and since the bluegrass channel was on a commercial break I decided to stick around long enough to hear how that particular conclusion was reached. Such comparisons are inevitable – it's the sort of thing that arises when one is chasing legends. No different than when Jeff Gordon was piling up victories and championships in pursuit of Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. No different than when Earnhardt was piling up victories and championships in pursuit of Petty. And no different than when Petty began piling up wins and titles on his way to overtaking a host of former champions, including his father, Lee, the first to win three NASCAR premier series championships. What the 39-year-old Johnson has managed to accomplish in little more than 13 full seasons in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series certainly puts him in the same league with Petty and Earnhardt, NASCAR's only seven-time champions. There's no doubt that Johnson, fit and trim and now only two wins away from matching Earnhardt's career win total of 76 victories, is one of the sport's greatest drivers. But is he No. 1? From a numbers standpoint, the Hendrick Motorsports driver will undoubtedly surpass Earnhardt's win total, and it's likely he'll eventually capture a seventh championship. He could, in fact, become the first driver to win more than seven titles. That would make him the most successful driver from a championship standpoint (neither he nor anyone else will come close to Petty's mark of 200 career wins), but will that make him NASCAR's greatest driver? No. That designation, without question, belongs to Earnhardt. Statistics are a great way to gauge success. But it takes more than numbers to measure greatness. Johnson has managed to excel during what some claim is the most competitive era in the history of NASCAR. Yes, there are more winners, on average, today. But there are also more races on the schedule, thus also more opportunities. A larger number of teams run the full schedule today, although that doesn't necessarily mean there are more "better" teams competing. Earnhardt never ran a season consisting of 36 points races; Johnson's never run in fewer than 36. Earnhardt never had the opportunity to compete at Kansas, Chicago or Kentucky; but by the same token, Johnson never raced at North Wilkesboro or Riverside. I have a strong feeling both could have won at those tracks given the chance. I'll argue that the talent pool Earnhardt often faced was just as deep – with lineups including drivers such as Petty and Darrell Waltrip, Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough, Buddy Baker, Neil Bonnett, Geoff Bodine and Harry Gant. Eventually Bill Elliott , Dale Jarrett and Rusty Wallace, Davey Allison, Alan Kulwicki, Tim Richmond and others took their place. Most were champions; many are already members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Johnson is one of the greatest drivers that today's fans will ever see. What he has done has been nothing short of amazing. If one wants to argue that he would not have won 74 races and six championships had it not been for Hendrick Motorsports and Chad Knaus, the same could be said of Earnhardt, who owed much of his success to Richard Childress Racing and the talented group he worked with there. But what elevates Earnhardt above the rest is more than the fact that he was so successful. He provided fans with some of the sport's most memorable moments during his two-plus decades. Among them: winning the pole at Watkins Glen in '96 (and setting the track qualifying record, to boot) just two weeks after suffering a broken collarbone and sternum in a vicious crash at Talladega; climbing from his damaged car and into the ambulance, only to quickly exit and return to his car once he realized it would still run, at Daytona in '97; his first and only Daytona 500 victory the following season, a win that erased 19 years of heartbreak. There was the "rattle his cage" incident with Terry Labonte en route to victory in the night race at Bristol in '99; the wrongly-termed but aptly promoted "pass in the grass" on his way to winning the 1997 All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway ; and the charge from 18th to first in the final five laps of the 2000 Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway . For two decades, greatness drove a Chevrolet and it carried the number 3. They were memorable moments that elevated the sport and defined the man. Johnson can win more races and win more championships, but he can't match that. He needn't worry – no one else can, either. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
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.
See what's coming this week to NASCAR.com Here's what you'll see on NASCAR.com this week: MONDAY: NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell looks back at Michigan's high-drag package and the confiscation of the No. 2 and 22 splitters ... Preview Tuesday's Danica Patrick announcement ... The Rundown will recap how every driver in the field fared, 1-43. TUESDAY: Stewart-Haas Racing and Danica Patrick will have an announcement, and you can watch the live stream here ... Friends and fans will say goodbye to Buddy Baker, and senior writer Kenny Bruce will attend the memorial ... This week's Power Rankings presented by Outback are back with Matt Kenseth potentially capitalizing on his third win of the season ... @nascarcasm will have his winner's Facebook page ... Hear the best from in-car radio synched with video on "Scanner Sounds" ... The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is on track for practice at 2 p.m. ET from Bristol Motor Speedway. WEDNESDAY: New paint schemes will be on display at Bristol, and we'll have them all in Paint Scheme Preview, including the return of Jeff Gordon 's rainbow paint scheme ... High 5 presents the best NASCAR content from around the web ... The "Who said it" quiz returns as we pit NASCAR drivers vs. U.S. presidents on Bill Clinton's birthday ... The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series roars to life in the rare mid-week race, and we'll have the live leaderboard and more. THURSDAY: Driver Reports highlights the 16 drivers currently on the Chase Grid, and how they fare at Bristol ... For #TBT, we'll look at Jeff Gordon 's best paint schemes and celebrate the 20th anniversary of Dale Earnhardt rattling Terry Labonte 's cage ... The FedEx Preview Show gets you ready for 500 laps under the lights at the World's Fastest Half-Mile. FRIDAY: The XFINITY Series gets on track at 9 a.m. ET, and the Sprint Cup Series takes to the concrete at 11:30 a.m. ET, and we'll have full coverage from a busy day at the track ... 8 Tweets You Might Have Missed highlights the best from social media over the past week. Also coming this week: @nascarcasm will highlight "corrections" that his editors have made to his pieces and he'll have a flowchart to let you know if you are Paul Menard , who turns 35 on Friday.
See what's coming this week to NASCAR.com Here's what you'll see on NASCAR.com this week: MONDAY: Buddy Baker passed away Monday, and we'll remember his life with stories, videos and photos ... Senior writer Kenny Bruce details Kevin Harvick 's finish at Watkins Glen after the driver of the No. 4 ran out of fuel late ... The Rundown will recap how every driver in the field fared, 1-43. TUESDAY: This week's Power Rankings presented by Outback is sure to get a shakeup now that Joey Logano has two wins on the season, and has looked great in recent weeks ... @nascarcasm will have his winner's Facebook page, as well as vanity license tags for NASCAR drivers ... Hear the best from the scanner in "Scanner Sounds." WEDNESDAY: New paint schemes will be on display at Michigan and Mid-Ohio, and we'll have them all in Paint Scheme Preview ... High 5 presents the best NASCAR content from around the web ... Chris Buescher , the NASCAR XFINITY Series points leader, returns to Mid-Ohio, the site of his first national series win. THURSDAY: Driver Reports highlights the 16 drivers currently on the Chase Grid, and how they fare at Michigan ... The high drag package returns at Michigan, and we'll break down one that means -- and how it's different from the low downforce setup ... Speaking of those new packages, which one has been better? Kenny Bruce and RJ Kraft debate. FRIDAY: The Sprint Cup Series gets on track at 11 a.m. ET, and we'll have full coverage from a busy day at the track ... 8 Tweets You Might Have Missed highlights the best from social media over the past week. Also coming this week: @nascarcasm is doing a voice-to-text interview with Andy Lally . We're sure that will go super smooth.
See what's coming this week to NASCAR.com Here's what you'll see on NASCAR.com this week: MONDAY: Kenny Bruce writes on Furniture Row Racing , which is rumored to be considering a manufacturer switch to Toyota ... Kyle Busch won for the third time in four races; see exactly what he has to do to clinch a Chase berth ... The Rundown analyzes how every driver fared at New Hampshire. TUESDAY: This week's Power Rankings presented by Outback has a new No. 1 driver; who is it? Could Kyle Busch climb that high? ... @nascarcasm has his weekly winner's Facebook page, so get ready Kyle Busch ... For the second week in a row, Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske were the cars to beat, as Pat DeCola reports ... Want to know how Eldora works? We'll tell you. WEDNESDAY: New paint schemes will be on display at Indianapolis and Eldora, and we'll have them all in Paint Scheme Preview ... Speaking of Eldora, there's plenty of action on the dirt track, and it begins at 10:30 a.m. ET. The race itself starts at 9 p.m. ET. We'll have live leaderboards of it all ... While you're watching the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, vote on who you think will win at Indy. THURSDAY: Driver Reports highlights the 16 drivers currently on the Chase Grid, and how they fare at Indianapolis ... Senior writer Kenny Bruce will look back at Jeff Gordon 's top Brickyard moments ... Jessica Ruffin, for #TBT, throws it back to Tony Stewart 's first win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. FRIDAY: The Sprint Cup Series gets on track at 9 a.m. ET, and we'll have full coverage from a busy day at the track ... 8 Tweets You Might Have Missed highlights the best from social media over the past week ... Kissing the bricks? @nascarcasm has a take on that. Also coming this week: High Five, which drops Wednesday, highlights the best NASCAR content from around the internet ... the Major League Baseball trade deadline is coming up, which got RJ Kraft thinking about some possible NASCAR driver trades.
Jonathan Merryman and Kenny Bruce analyze break down how practice has helped the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams adjust to the new 'high drag' package and look to the XFINITY Series race to get ready for 400 miles at the Brickyard.
See what's coming this week to NASCAR.com Here's what you'll see on NASCAR.com this week: MONDAY: Brad Keselowski inadvertently hit his crewmen on pit road and found himself 37th. So how did he rally to finish second? RJ Kraft explains ... Stu Hothem catches up with Jeff Gordon , who tied his best finish of the year on Sunday at Pocono by finishing third ... The Rundown takes a look at how every driver in the field performed. TUESDAY: This week's Power Rankings presented by Outback is sure to get a shakeup now that Matt Kenseth has two wins on the season ... It's Jeff Gordon 's birthday, and we're looking back at his career through photos ... Kathy Sheldon identifies Sprint Cup drivers at age 40 (or older), and what their careers look like. WEDNESDAY: New paint schemes will be on display at Watkins Glen, and we'll have them all in Paint Scheme Preview ... The Glen provides the opportunity for an unknown to sneak out a win, and you can vote on who that might be in our winners poll ... High 5 presents the best NASCAR content from around the web. THURSDAY: Driver Reports highlights the 16 drivers currently on the Chase Grid, and how they fare at Watkins Glen ... We'll catch you back up on the nuances of road course qualifying ... This week's #TBT involves a man named Dale Earnhardt and a broken sternum. FRIDAY: The Sprint Cup Series gets on track at 9 a.m. ET, and we'll have full coverage from a busy day at the track ... 8 Tweets You Might Have Missed highlights the best from social media over the past week. Also coming this week: @nascarcasm has a busy week, including Matt Kenseth 's post-race Facebook page, and texts Jack Roush might have received after Darrell Wallace Jr . and Chris Buescher had another incident ... We'll give you the highlights of the weekend in GIF form ... Senior Writer Kenny Bruce heads to North Wilkesboro. Find out why.
SiriusXM NASCAR Radio announced Tuesday that race car driver Kenny Wallace will become a radio host for "The Late Shift" on the network, starting Tuesday night from 7-10 p.m. ET. Wallace will replace NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Buddy Baker, who passed away last week and will be honored at a memorial on Tuesday afternoon in Charlotte. RELATED: Buddy Baker remembered Earlier this month at Iowa Speedway, Wallace ended his NASCAR national series career with a 15th-place finish in a Joe Gibbs Racing XFINITY car. He will continue in his role as an analyst on FOX Sports 1's "NASCAR Race Day" and "NASCAR Victory Lane" as well as a "NASCAR Illustrated" columnist . He looks forward to adding another medium to the list. RELATED: Wallace gets emotional surprise in last start "I'm excited; I've always wanted to do radio ever since I was a kid growing up in St. Louis, and I just want to make sure that everybody knows the way I feel about doing this." The driver, who ranks 14th with 904 NASCAR national series starts, paid tribute to Baker in announcing his new role on "The Morning Drive" show. "I absolutely loved and still love Buddy Baker," Wallace said. "We did some TV back in 1994 when it was the old (TNN) Network. Buddy was just a lover to me, always so nice to me. We got along really well so everyone is correct. I will never be able to fill his shoes, but I'm honored to have been asked to do this. We'll have fun talking about NASCAR and everything else." Wallace will join Brad Gillie on Mondays and Tuesdays, live from his race shop in St. Louis.