DARLINGTON, S.C.—The Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway is a weekend full of paying respects to yesteryear: throwback paint schemes, gear, music and throwback drivers.
Drivers like Ernie Irvan, Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin are all on-site at Darlington during the Labor Day race weekend.
Wallace says it brings back a lot of memories from when he was driving and growing up.
“This place has always meant a lot to me,” Wallace said to The Racing Experts. “It’s just a historical track and it’s just fantastic, I love coming here and watching the racing it puts on. I remember Cale Yarborough and David Pearson and some of the greats who taught everybody how to get around here. It’s just a fun time.”
Martin really loves the weekend and everything it stands for. Martin found Victory Lane twice in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at the famous track “Too Tough To Tame.”
“It’s just so much fun to come and see these young guys pay respect to the legends of the sport. My heroes, the guys that built the sport. I can’t tell you what it means to everyone, for the legends to see that. It means a lot.”
Irvan, although never sealing the deal and winning the historic event, did manage to pick up two second-place finishes at Darlington. Irvan led a total 199 laps in his career at Darlington. Irvan was being honored by Kyle Busch this weekend as Busch is running a throwback to Irvan’s No. 38 Skittles car.
“It’s pretty awesome,” Irvan said. “You’re on the outside looking in and next thing you know they’re wanting to do a throwback car that I drove. It makes me excited knowing people don’t forget.”
Between all three drivers, they’ve led a total of 1,306 laps and have two wins. Both Martin and Wallace are NASCAR Hall of Famers, while Ernie Irvan is a 15-time Cup Series winner.