NASCAR goes for the throwback look this weekend as Darlington Raceway moves back into its rightful slot for the Bojangles' Southern 500.
Other than the obvious leaderboard battles between Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and others, the event promises to entertain fans with legends, paint schemes, suits and more.
Fox Sports' Tom Jensen detailed some of the things NASCAR has planned for fans:
Around the track, you'll see old-school signage, like the gold Budweiser advertising that harkens back to the mid-1930s. A total of 14 members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be at Darlington for the weekend, and they'll ride around the track with current drivers during the introductions before Sunday night's race. Even the old Darlington Southern 500 parade is coming back.
With the Chase for the Sprint Cup on approach, there's no better time to hit Darlington Raceway and honor the past. Here's a look at everything to know about the event.
Where: Darlington Raceway
When: Sunday, Sept. 6, at 7 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Live Extra
Sprint Cup Standings
|3||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||819|
|6||Martin Truex Jr.||771|
Drivers to Watch
It's now-or-never time for Clint Bowyer, who sits right on the Chase bubble with a 35-point advantage over Aric Almirola.
Bowyer has turned things around in a big way over the course of the past month and change, compiling four top-10 finishes in his last five outings. While clutch, he's the definition of what could happen if a driver slips up down the stretch.
As an aside, he will go all out with the throwback theme Sunday, per NASCAR:
Bowyer gets the attention despite the presence of others on the bubble because he took a serious stumble last year, falling out of the top 10 down the stretch and missing the extended 16-driver field altogether. Now it's time to see if he can take what he learned and apply it to ensure he doesn't make the same mistake twice. He's one of the top drivers to watch by a landslide.
Another week, same question—is this the week Jeff Gordon finally breaks through?
Gordon has yet to notch a win on his farewell tour. Like many of the prior tracks this season, Darlington seems like a natural place to think he can make it happen.
Not only is he the winningest driver at Darlington with seven wins, but he also has 19 top-five finishes, 23 top-10 finishes and three poles.
Unlike many of the high-profile drivers, though, Gordon won't be getting in on the throwback action:
Despite the degree of difficulty, Darlington stands as one of Gordon's best tracks. If he can grab win No. 8 and the first of the year, it would save his final season and lock him into the Chase.
Rainbow ride or not, Gordon and his quest for a poetic entry into the Chase isn't something to ignore.
Before Logano started stealing the spotlight over the last month or so, all the talk centered on Kyle Busch. For good reason, too, considering he broke his leg at Daytona and needed a medical exemption just to compete for a Chase berth. He's more than upheld his end of the bargain, though, winning four races over the course of his past nine outings.
Busch likes Darlington, too, where in 10 starts he has a win, two top-five finishes and six top-10 finishes. Should he leave Sunday with a 48-point advantage on the 31st spot on the leaderboard, he'll clinch a spot in the Chase.
Last year, Busch wound up sixth at the track, although the event came much earlier in the year. This time around, he's on the hunt to slam the door on a wild ride to the Chase. If he manages things well, as he has the past few weeks, he might not gun for the checkered flag, but he'll at least remain on track for the bigger goal.
Stats and info courtesy of ESPN.com unless otherwise specified.