NASCAR started “Throwback Weekend” at Darlington Raceway during the 2015 season and ever since then, it has become a very popular tradition every single year. While it is not a requirement for every race team, many love to pay homage to the racers that came before them.
Some drivers love to throw back to their old NASCAR paint schemes or to those who are currently working with their organization. It is a fun weekend that everybody embraces off the track as well with their attire and distinctive style.
The paint schemes have started to become more unique due to the NextGen car the number being moved forward on the door; however, they are still just as great. Below, each throwback scheme will have a small description and grade for the 2023 season.
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NASCAR’s throwback paint schemes in 2023
Kyle Larson (No. 5 car)
Kyle Larson will throwback to Tony Stewart’s race-winning paint scheme with Hendrick Motorsports from the 2009 season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Larson’s paint scheme joins the list of perfect grades.
Chase Elliott (No. 9 car)
Chase Elliott will throwback to Bill Elliott, his father, and his race-winning paint scheme driven from 2001 to 2003. Elliott’s car also features a special message for mothers out there as the race will take place on Mother’s Day.
William Byron (No. 24 car)
William Byron will throwback to Jeff Gordon’s 50-year anniversary paint scheme. It is the second straight year that Byron will run a Gordon paint scheme as NASCAR continues to celebrate its 75th season.
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Alex Bowman/Josh Berry (No. 48 car)
Alex Bowman or Josh Berry will throw back to Kevin Hamlin, the spotter of the No. 48 car, and his 2007 Busch Light paint scheme. It is a special tribute to Hamlin as he has been an important figure throughout Bowman’s tenure at Hendrick Motorsports.
Joe Gibbs Racing
Denny Hamlin (No. 11 car)
Denny Hamlin will throwback to his 2020 paint scheme on Throwback Weekend as they celebrate 50 years of FedEx being founded. Hamlin’s paint scheme is pretty solid but the idea of throwing it back to the same paint scheme three years later knocks it down a bit.
Martin Truex Jr. (No. 19 car)
Martin Truex Jr. will throwback to his Auto-Owners Insurance paint scheme from the 2017 season, according to Lionel Racing. Truex’s throwback is pretty solid but does not crack the A-level paint schemes like other drivers.
Christopher Bell (No. 20 car)
Christopher Bell will throwback to Matt Kenseth’s championship-winning paint scheme during the 2003 season. The two cars are really close with the only flaws being the amount of open space following the number due to the NextGen car.
Ty Gibbs (No. 54 car)
Ty Gibbs will throwback to Bobby Labonte’s one-off paint scheme that was run due to Joe Gibbs, the owner of Joe Gibbs Racing, and his induction into the NFL Hall-of-Fame. Gibbs’ paint scheme closely resembles Labonte’s car and is a good nod to his grandfather.
Kevin Harvick (No. 4 car)
Kevin Harvick will throwback to his planned NASCAR Cup Series debut paint scheme before he was called to drive the No. 29 car for Richard Childress Racing. It will be Harvick’s final throwback paint scheme as he will retire at the conclusion of the 2023 season.
Aric Almirola (No. 10 car)
Aric Almirola will throw back to Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s winning paint scheme at the 2001 Daytona Summer Race. It was NASCAR’s first race at Daytona International Speedway since the tragic death of Dale Earnhardt Sr.
Chase Briscoe (No. 14 car)
Chase Briscoe will throw back to Tony Stewart’s winning paint scheme at the 2000 Turkey Night Grand Prix. Stewart is the co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing and drove the No. 14 car before his retirement from the NASCAR Cup Series.
Ryan Preece (No. 41 car)
Ryan Preece will throwback to his Jeff Preece, his father, and his 1998 late-model paint scheme. It is Preece’s first time participating in Throwback Weekend since the 2021 season after spending last year out of the NASCAR Cup Series.
Ryan Blaney (No. 12 car)
Ryan Blaney will throwback to Dave Blaney, his father, and his mid-1990s sprint car paint scheme. Blaney’s throwback scheme is one of the best and looks incredibly clean. It is one of the few paint schemes that earns a perfect grade.
Joey Logano (No. 22 car)
Joey Logano will throwback to Team Penske’s first race-winning paint scheme from 50 years ago. Much like others, the driver of the No. 22 car earns an almost perfect grade as it represents one of the cleanest designs on the NextGen car yet.
Ross Chastain will throwback to Dale Jarrett’s 2001 No. 88 brown and white UPS car. It is one of two paint schemes that will be a tribute to Jarrett with Chastain’s car actually having the UPS logo due to the connection between the company and Worldwide Express.
Daniel Suarez (No. 99 car)
Daniel Suarez will throwback to Ricky Rudd’s 1988 Daytona 500 Quacker State paint scheme. Suarez’s throwback scheme also joins a small list of perfect grades as the modern twist on Rudd’s scheme is fantastic.
Tyler Reddick (No. 45 car)
Tyler Reddick will throwback to Kurt Busch’s 2003 race-winning No. 97 Sharpie car as an honor to the former NASCAR driver. Reddick’s paint scheme is very solid and a great nod to Busch who should still be in the No. 45 car if not for a concussion.
Brad Keselowski (No. 6 car)
Brad Keselowski will throwback to the classic Castrol GTX colors for his paint scheme at Darlington Raceway. Keselowski isn’t throwing it back to a specific driver but it is still a solid paint scheme for the highly anticipated weekend.
Legacy Motor Club
Noah Gragson (No. 42 car)
Noah Gragson will throwback to Jimmie Johnson’s race-winning car from the 2014 Coca-Cola 600. Johnson is in his first year as co-owner of Legacy Motor Club and his former paint scheme joins the small list of perfect grades this season.
Erik Jones (No. 43 car)
Erik Jones will throwback to Richard Petty’s 1968 paint scheme from a race at Darlington where the seven-time champion climbed on the hood to fix his car. Jones’ paint scheme is solid and throws back to one of NASCAR’s greatest drivers.
Front Row Motorsports
Todd Gilliland (No. 38 car)
Todd Gilliland will throwback to Elton Sawyer’s race-winning No. 38 car from the 1997 and 1998 seasons in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Gilliland’s paint scheme is really solid and shows that the numbers being moved forward do not matter as much as previously expected.
Corey LaJoie (No. 7)
Corey LaJoie will throwback to his grandfather, Don LaJoie, and his 1972 paint scheme at the Danbury Racearena in Connecticut. It is a great nod to LaJoie’s grandfather and the classic look cracks the A-level paint schemes this season.
Ty Dillon (No. 77)
Ty Dillon will throwback to Jon Lee Johnson’s 1959 NASCAR Grand National Series paint scheme. Dillon’s car is really solid and the number on the side of the car looks great. Overall, it receives a decent grade but doesn’t crack the A-level paint schemes this time around.
Rick Ware Racing
Ryan Newman (No. 51 car)
Ryan Newman will throwback to his old paint scheme involving his first win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway during the 2002 season. This is an amazing gesture by Rick Ware Racing in Newman’s return to the NASCAR Cup Series.
JTG Daugherty Racing
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 47 car)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will throwback to Dale Jarrett’s 2001 No. 88 brown and white UPS car. It is one of two paint schemes that will be a tribute to Jarrett while Chastain and Trackhouse Racing throwback to the exact same car.
Wood Brothers Racing
Harrison Burton (No. 21 car)
Harrison Burton will throwback to Jeff Burton, his father, and his iconic paint scheme during the 1999 season. Much like others, Burton’s throwback scheme is almost a perfect grade as the modern twist on the NextGen car is great.