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NASCAR luminaries pace throwback Darlington field in seven Camaros

DARLINGTON, S.C. – Car buffs will get a feast for their eyes during the parade laps for Sunday’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

Seven different Chevrolet Camaros, driven by seven NASCAR luminaries — all with connections to the track “Too Tough to Tame” — will pace the field.

NASCAR Hall of Fame car owner Richard Childress, himself a former driver, will pace the field in his own 1969 Camaro. He’ll be joined on track by NASCAR Hall of Famers Rick Hendrick, Ron Hornaday Jr. and Ray Evernham, as well as former Darlington winners Jeff Burton, Ward Burton and Ricky Craven, all driving Camaros of different vintages, from 1981 to 2017.

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I’m looking forward to getting back on a race track with my 1969 Camaro,” Childress said. “I ran a Camaro in the Talladega 500 in 1969 when the track was opened, so it seems fitting for me to be a part of Chevy’s Camaro parade laps. 

“Darlington’s throwback weekend is really special for our fans and a good way to remember our heritage. I’m honored to share the track with this group, I just hope they make sure my Camaro is out front!”

Craven was the winner of the closest finish in Darlington history, beating Kurt Busch to the finish line by .002 seconds in 2003.

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I’m excited to celebrate what has become my favorite weekend — throwback weekend at Darlington,” said Craven, who is driving a 1993 Camaro owned by Jim Ramsey of Darlington. “This year’s event has become more significant for several reasons.

“It’s been 15 years since my Southern 500 win in 2003, coupled with the fact that I have been asked by Chevrolet to drive one of the pace cars representing the six generations of Camaro during the Seven Decades of Darlington celebration.

“If it had not been for the support of Chevrolet early on in my career and life, I would not have met my goals and realized my dreams. For that, I will always be very grateful.”