Darlington returns to the 80s with “Year 3” of Throwback Theme

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By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

Fans of the NASCAR Era known for “One Tough Customer” and “Million Dollar Bill” are in for a treat next Sept. at Darlington Raceway.

The track confirmed on Wednesday that the “Year 3” theme for the facility’s throwback plans for the Sept. 1-3 Bojangles’ Southern 500 NASCAR weekend will celebrate the 1985-89 era of the sport, following a celebration of 1975-84 during the 2016 edition of the weekend.

The late 80s were a time period marked by stars that continued to shine through the 90s. Included among them were Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (then Winston Cup Series) champions Dale Earnhardt, Bill Elliott, Rusty Wallace and Darrell Waltrip, along with fan favorites including Ricky Rudd, Neil Bonnett and Davey Allison.

Earnhardt, the 1987 Southern 500 champion with nine total wins at Darlington, will be emblazoned along with 2016 winner Martin Truex, Jr., on the upcoming race’s commemorative tickets.

“The track will be celebrating the 1985-89 time period of the sport during our throwback weekend in 2017,”Darlington Raceway President Kerry Tharp said in a statement. “As we enter the third year of our throwback campaign, we’ll be focusing on drivers, personalities and moments that were compelling in that timeframe, such as the emergence of Dale Earnhardt Sr., Bill Elliott winning the first Winston Million, and the growth of the NASCAR XFINITY Series(formerly the Busch Grand National Series). It will be an exciting era for the track and industry to celebrate.”

The weekend’s XFINITY Series race, the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200, will also included a commemorative ticket which will be unveiled at a later date.

The 2017 edition of “The Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR” will mark the third-consecutive retro-themed weekend for Darlington, dating back to the Southern 500’s return to Labor Day weekend in 2014.

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