Darlington Raceway’s throwback weekend has become a popular weekend on the NASCAR schedule. Drivers from the NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Craftsman Truck Series choose throwback paint schemes for their teams to design and run, either as a tribute to a driver, a nod to a popular scheme back in the day, an ode to the old days of a specific team, or just because the driver or team like the scheme.
Typically, sponsors are also onboard with throwbacks, changing logos or even running different colors to fit the desired throwback. But every now and then, sponsors control the throwback, or the team and sponsor agree to run a scheme that doesn’t necessarily resemble a throwback but rather incorporates elements of a bygone scheme, design, or logo into a modern paint scheme.
This, my friends, is what we call a “fauxback”.
Every year, a fauxback scheme sneaks up in the middle of the throwbacks. A scheme that, while still looking nice, doesn’t resemble a former paint scheme. Fans sometimes get disappointed when a driver unveils a scheme that doesn’t seem to fit the throwback mold.
But maybe we should embrace these pseudo-throwbacks for what they are. While fauxbacks don’t necessarily pay tribute to a certain driver, owner or team, most of the time the paint schemes don’t look that bad by themselves. Typically, these schemes would look good if they were run at any other race of the season, but because these schemes get run on throwback weekend, they get bashed as “fauxbacks”.
After all, throwback weekend doesn’t necessarily have to refer to what was run on the track. Some teams would rather honor its sponsors or its own history instead of trying to find a scheme to reference.
Let’s take a look at my favorite “fauxback” from each of the three series that will hit the track May 12-14.
Justin Allgaier’s No. 7 BRANDT 70th Anniversary
While Justin Allgaier is not running any sort of throwback to another driver or team, he and sponsor BRANDT will be running a retro car that celebrates the sponsor’s 70th anniversary. This could still be considered a throwback — except it’s a throwback to the sponsor.
Sure, Allgaier and BRANDT could have come together and run a driver throwback. Perhaps the No. 7 Band-Aid car that Michael Waltrip drove when he tumbled down the frontstretch of Daytona International Speedway in 2000. Or maybe even Robby Gordon’s No. 7 SPEED Energy car he ran for a few seasons…