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The 5 Best — & 5 Worst — 2023 NASCAR Throwback Schemes

Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and William Byron, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Cup Series Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway on May 08, 2022 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Can you believe that NASCAR’s annual throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway is entering its ninth year?

Per tradition, there are so many throwback paint schemes — or if you really want to draw some ire, liveries — that have been unveiled for this great weekend.

As has been customary for the past few years, NASCAR 101 has broken down the best and worst schemes of the weekend.

Although there may not be any schemes this year that rival the greatest throwbacks we’ve ever seen — such as my personal favorite, Kyle Larson‘s Mello Yellow Kyle Petty tribute car (although I’m still waiting for a Delma Cowart throwback myself) — there are still plenty of old designs to go around, both good and not so good.

Want to decide for yourself? Check out every announced scheme here.

First, the best.

5. Brad Keselowski’s No. 6 Ford (Cup)

No. 5 on this list may be a bit controversial as Brad Keselowski‘s scheme does not call back to any particular car or driver. But holy cow, the nostalgia on this thing is just a sight to behold.

Back in the glory days of racing in the 1980s and ’90s, Castrol GTX schemes were everywhere. From Casey Atwood‘s NASCAR Xfinity Series car to sports cars to rally racing and John Force‘s funny car, the bright green, red and white colors were hard to miss, as they will be this weekend.

4. Ty Dillon’s No. 77 Chevrolet (Cup)

Ty Dillon‘s ride this weekend is such an underrated scheme. Few have dared to go all the way back to the early days of the sport, so it is so cool to see Dillon paying tribute to Joe Lee Johnson, the first winner at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The color scheme is right on point and the number font on Dillon’s Chevrolet matches Johnson’s to a T. As was customary in the 1950s and early ’60s, the side of the car wasn’t overwhelmed with branding and logos. It is just a very clean scheme honoring one clean driver.

Hopefully this will inspire more tributes to early pioneers before their histories are lost to the echoes of time.

3. Riley Herbst’s No. 98 Ford (Xfinity)

As a child of the 2000s, I wanted to be Ken…

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