BY GRAY CALDWELL
Darlington Raceway is known as the track "Too Tough To Tame."
Well, the Elliott family has certainly done its best.
Bill Elliott earned five trips to Victory Lane at Darlington, including perhaps his most famous in 1985 when he became the first driver to clinch the "Winston Million."
As three of his main competitors saw their cars go up in smoke, Elliott took home both the race win and a $1 million bonus – at the time the biggest single payoff in the history of auto racing.
Now 30 years later, Chase Elliott will drive a No. 25 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS at Darlington Raceway that pays tribute to the car his father drove while accomplishing that feat.
Elliott, who has a NASCAR XFINITY Series win at Darlington to his name, will drive a throwback paint scheme that harkens back to the heyday of “Awesome Bill” as the Southern 500 returns to Labor Day weekend.
Though the colors and partners are different, the design is the same as the 1985 car down to the font used for the name above the door.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing this car on the track at Darlington,” Chase Elliott said. “It’s one of my favorite schemes that my dad raced and to celebrate the 30th anniversary of him winning the million dollars is very cool. I appreciate NAPA for letting us do this and I hope the fans enjoy it as much as I am going to.”
The race at Darlington, scheduled for Sept. 6, will be the final Sprint Cup race for Elliott in the 2015 season before he moves to the No. 24 Chevrolet SS full-time starting in 2016.