Grading The 2021 Throwbacks

By David G. Firestone

So the 2021 Throwback Race at Darlington has come and gone. I’m going to do my usual throwback grades. Usually, the top pick will win the Paint Scheme Award for Best Throwback, but if something better comes along, it will take first place. We have a lot of season left. So, without further ado, my ranks:

1-Joey Gase #28 Register Me Ford MustangNew scheme for 2021, based on Davey Allison’s 1991 Texaco Havoline scheme. A

I love a good, faithful throwback, and this is a good, faithful throwback. I miss Texaco as a sponsor, and this brings back memories. This gets an A.

2-Erik Jones #43 STP Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on John Andretti’s 1999 STP Pontiac Grand Prix. A

This is another contender for the most faithful throwback I’ve ever seen. Everything is perfect here, even that stupid yellow stripe. A

3-Corey LaJoie #7 Zerex Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on Alan Kulwicki’s 1990 Zerex Ford Thunderbird. A

This might be the most faithful throwback I have ever seen! I loved the old Zerex scheme, and this is a great look. A

4-Chase Elliott #9 Hooters Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on Alan Kulwicki’s 1992 Hooters Ford Underbird. A

I like a faithful throwback, and this is a great looking faithful throwback. It’s almost perfect, it’s just not on a Ford. A

5-2-Austin Dilon #3 Bass Pro Shops Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on Fireball Roberts’ 1959 Pontiac. A

This is a really good and faithful throwback, and I really like the throwback logos. A

6-Tyler Reddick #8 Quartz Hill Records Throwback Chevy Camaro-New scheme for 2021, based on Marty Robbins’ #42 Dodge. A

Pink and yellow isn’t the best combination,but this is a pretty decent throwback, so I give this an A.

7-Kevin Harvick #4 Mobil 1 Throwback Ford MustangNew scheme for 2021, based on Kevin Harvick’s 2001 #29 Chevy Monte Carlo. A

I liked the white version of the Goodwrench scheme, and this is pretty faithful. I will say the black and silver one was better though. A

8-Michael McDowell #34 Fr8 Auctions Throwback Ford MustangNew scheme for 2021, based on Bill Elliot’s 1985 Coors Ford Thunderbird. A

Often imitated, the Bill Elliott Coors scheme is a great one, and this might be the best and most faithful one yet. A

9-Justin Haley #77 Fraternal Order of Eagles Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on Robert Pressley’s 1998 Jasper Ford. A

It’s a faithful throwback, and I like the old Jasper schemes, so this gets an A.

10-Josh Bilicki #52 Insurance King Throwback Ford MustangNew scheme for 2021, based on Lennie Pond’s 1979 Burger King Oldsmobile. A

A unique and very faithful throwback will ALWAYS earn an A.

11-Anthony Alfredo #38 We Care/Fr8 Auctions Throwback Ford MustangNew scheme for 2021, Based on Alan Kulwicki’s 1985 Hardee’s Ford Thunderbird. A

I never got to see the Hardee’s scheme on track, but it was original. This is an awesome and faithful throwback, and it gets an A.

12-William Byron #24 Valvoline Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on Neil Bonnett’s #75 Pontiac. A

This is a great throwback, and I like it. This is amazing, and gets an A.

13-Bubba Wallace #23 Root Insurance Throwback Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2021, based on Wendell Scott’s #34. A

You can’t go wrong with a Wendell Scott throwback, and this is another example. I also like the throwback Dr. Pepper and McDonald’s logos. A

14-Quin Houff #00 Bos Klein/RCA Throwback Chevy CamaroNew sponsor for 2021, based on John Andretti’s RCA Ford Thunderbird. A

I liked the RCA Ford back in the day, and this is a very faithful replica. A

15-BJ McLeod #78 CorvetteParts.net/Keen Parts Ford MustangNew scheme for 2021, based on Joe Weatherly’s 1963 Pontiac. A

It’s a solid scheme, is very faithful, and looks really good. A

16-Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Throwback Ford MustangNew scheme for 2021, based on Mario Andretti’s 1971 Ferrari. A

This is a great throwback! I love the look the car has, and it’s smooth. A

17-Chase Briscoe #14 Highpoint Throwback Ford MustangNew scheme for 2021, based on A.J. Foyt’s #14 1986 Copenhagen Delta 88 Royale. A

A.J. had some great schemes in NASCAR, and this is one of them. This is a great look, and it gets an A.

18-James Davison #15 HOPEGIVERS Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on Dick Johnson’s 1990 #38 Rednote Ford Thunderbird. A

This was an awesome scheme back in the day. Silver and red work well when done right. This is also a faithful throwback, so this gets an A.

19-Denny Hamlin #11 SportClips Throwback Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2021, based on Julius “Slick” Johnson’s 1980’s Monte Carlo. A

It’s a nice throwback, very faithful and it looks great. A

20-Ryan Preece #37 Velveeta Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on Trent Owens’s 2002 Dickies Ford. A

I like the look here. The Velveeta as flames works, and the throwback is pretty faithful, so this gets an A.

21-Erik Jones #43 Tuskegee Airmen Tribute Chevy Camaro-New scheme for 2021, designed as a tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen. A

This is an amazing scheme! It has a great look, and color scheme, so it gets an A.

22-Alex Bowman #48 Ally Financial Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on Greg Ives’ late model. A

I like the look, and it’s a great throwback. A

23-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #47 Kroger/Tide Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, blue fade to orange. A

Not a full throwback, but a good look. The fade works well, and this is amazing. A

24-Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s 80s Anniversary Toyota Camry-New scheme for 2021, much more toned down. A

I like this scheme a lot more, as it’s smoother, and I really like the plain black numbers. A

25-Martin Truex Jr. #19 Auto Owner’s Insurance Throwback Toyota Camry-New scheme for 2021, black. A

A smooth look, with a great color scheme will always earn an A.

26-Kyle Larson #5 Hendrickcars.com Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on Kyle’s first car he ever raced. A

It’s faithful, and it’s well done, so I’ll give it an A.

27-Ross Chastain #42 McDonald’s Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on Jimmy Spencer’s 1994 McDonald’s Ford Mustang. A-

The fact that the white square is missing takes away from the scheme as a whole. It isn’t as faithful, and, as such, will get an A-.

28-Ryan Blaney #12 Advance Auto Parts Throwback Ford MustangNew scheme for 2021, based on Blaney’s 2010 PASS Series Chevy Impala. B

29This was a mediocre scheme to begin with, but the dimensions here just look odd. But it is faithful, so I’ll give it a B.

30-Aric Almirola #10 Smithfield Throwback Ford MustangNew scheme for 2021, based on Mark Martin’s 2000 Winn-Dixie Ford Mustang. B

I’m going to knock this one down because I hated the original. I loved the classic black Winn-Dixie scheme, but the flames one is awful. Still, it’s a faithful throwback, so I’ll give it a B.

31-Cody Ware #51 Nurtec ODT Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on Darrell Waltrip’s 1990 Superflo Chevy Lumina. B

It’s a good attempt, but the incorrect and rather gaudy colors take away from what could have been an amazing throwback. This gets a B.

32-Daniel Suarez #99 Camping World Throwback Toyota Camry-New scheme for 2021, vintage design to celebrate Camping World’s 55th anniversary. B

This is one that, while it looks good, I don’t get. It’s clearly inspired by 1969-1970’s designs, but if it is there to commemorate Camping World’s 55th anniversary, it should look like it is from 1966. It’s not bad, I just don’t get it, so I’ll give it a B.

33-Ryan Newman #6 Kohler Generators Throwback Ford MustangNew scheme for 2021, base on Kohler’s 1976 SCCA Championship car. B

This is kinda odd looking, especially since I wasn’t able to find an image of the car itself. Still, it isn’t bad, so I’ll give it a B.

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