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Throwback Weekend to return to Darlington, will focus on 1975-84 era

NASCAR Testing - Darlington

DARLINGTON, SC - JUNE 10: A general view of the speedway during NASCAR testing at Darlington Raceway on June 10, 2015 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)

NASCAR via Getty Images

After the overwhelmingly successful inaugural “Throwback Weekend” on the 2015 Labor Day weekend, Darlington Raceway will once again go back in time in 2016.

The award-winning “Tradition Continues” Bojangles’ Southern 500 throwback race weekend will be held Sept. 2-4, the track announced in a media release.

The era of NASCAR racing from 1975-1984 will be highlighted in Darlington’s second annual throwback weekend.

“We had tremendous response from the industry last season, which included the race teams, NASCAR, NBC, Goodyear and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, to name a few,” Darlington Raceway President Chip Wile said. “This is a fun and unique way to honor the history and heritage of NASCAR racing at one of the sport’s most iconic tracks on Labor Day weekend.”

Although planning is still in the early stage, the track announced it will honor some of the great drivers of that era, including NASCAR Hall of Famers Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Darrell Waltrip and the late Dale Earnhardt, among others.

“A number of exciting announcements about the pageantry surrounding one of the ‘crown jewel’ events on the NASCAR schedule will be made over the next several months in regards to the 2016 campaign,” the track said in a news release.

The first throwback weekend focused on the early 1970s (1970-74). Among things the track listed that made that weekend such a success were:

  • 32 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race teams competed with throwback paint schemes for the Bojangles’ Southern 500, the most in any single NSCS event in the sport’s history.
  • Kyle Larson won the fan vote for most popular paint scheme with his retro #42 Mello Yello car originally made popular from the movie Days of Thunder.
  • Use of NASCAR’s famed “NASCAR International” logo.
  • Goodyear putting the original white lettering on its race tires specifically for the Bojangles’ Southern 500.
  • Honored 14 NASCAR Hall of Fame members at the Bojangles’ Legends Breakfast, including Cale Yarborough, Richard Petty, Rusty Wallace, Rex White, Dale Jarrett and Ned Jarrett, among others.
  • 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Terry Labonte served as the Bojangles’ Southern 500 grand marshal.
  • Unique food offerings from the early 1970’s – pimento cheese sandwiches, sausage perlo and fried green tomatoes.
  • Pre-race concert by rock legends Grand Funk Railroad and National Anthem performance by Nashville recording artist Tanya Tucker.
  • Return of the Southern 500 parade, which took place on Saturday night from downtown Darlington to the track.

Follow @JerryBonkowski