Tha Sports Junkies 101

Wood Brothers Unveil Retro Darlington Scheme

Frank Velat


The Wood Brothers Racing team was on hand Tuesday afternoon at the NASCAR Hall of Fame for the unveiling of a special paint scheme honoring its most successful driver, David Pearson. The unique car will make a one time appearance in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

The oldest active team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has no shortage of iconic design schemes to use for the traditional throwback weekend at Darlington. But when it came to pick one for driver Ryan Blaney to showcase on the Motorcraft Ford for Labor Day weekend, the choice seemed obvious.

2016 marks the 40th anniversary of one of David Pearson’s most successful seasons. For the all time winningest driver at Darlington Raceway, it was a natural fit to run the design he drove to one of ten wins at the 1.366 mile South Carolina oval.

Pearson won 105 races at the top level of NASCAR during his illustrious career. 43 of those wins were for the Wood Brothers, accounting for nearly half of the team’s 98 Cup wins. The 21 car last visited victory lane in the 2011 Daytona 500 with Trevor Bayne, but rookie Blaney has the car on the verge of victory almost weekly.

The car harkens back to the design it was adorned with in 1976, when Pearson captured what was then referred to as NASCAR’S triple crown. Pearson won the Daytona 500, World 600, and Southern 500 that year. That Daytona 500 would be his only triumph in the Great American Race.

The car is impeccably detailed to replicate every aspect of the original design. Even the number on the side is gold foil, just like it was in 1976. The Wood Brothers had to get approval from NASCAR for this, as chrome and reflective decals have not been permitted for several years.

The Bojangles Southern 500 airs on live on NBC at 6pm on September 4th.