The clock will be rolled back this week as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series visits Darlington Raceway on Friday as part of the annual NASCAR Throwback Weekend at the historic South Carolina track.
The McAnally-Hilgemann Racing team will take part in the popular celebration with special throwback schemes on the No. 19 NAPA AutoCare Chevrolet Silverado RST driven by Derek Kraus and the No. 91 Gates Hydraulics Chevrolet Silverado RST, with Colby Howard behind the wheel.
The paint scheme on the Chevy piloted by Kraus will commemorate the late model stock car driven by MHR co-owner Bill McAnally in 1990. That season marked the start of McAnally’s long-term partnership with NAPA AUTO PARTS. Perhaps it was a sign of things to come, but that first year with NAPA was a highly successful one – with McAnally winning the track championship in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series at All American Speedway in Roseville, California.
In the 32 years since, the blue and gold colors and the NAPA logo on the Bill McAnally Racing entries have led the way in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West/ ARCA Menards Series West – with BMR winning a record 11 series championships and scoring 106 overall wins in the West and East divisions of the series.
McAnally’s relationship with NAPA also extends to MHR, which was formed at the beginning of 2020 when McAnally partnered with Bill and Mona Hilgemann to field an entry in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on a full-time basis.
The paint scheme on Howard’s Silverado will be a throwback to the 1965 Chevelle stock car owned by Curtis Shipman, which J.T. Gordon raced back in the 1970s. Gordon started competing in 1965 in South Georgia and passed away while running a race at 441 Speedway in Dublin Georgia on June 4, 1994. Gordon’s son is Mike Gordon, Business Development Manager at Gates Corporation. He has fond memories of his dad’s years in racing.
“My dad won many, many races in this car and those were some of the best years in his racing career,” he said. “We ran tracks in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. He loved racing and I’m sure he would be honored to see this throwback of his car.”
Howard is coming off a career-best 12th-place finish on the dirt track at Bristol Motor Speedway and aims to keep the momentum rolling at his home track of Darlington Raceway.
Although Darlington is one of the most challenging tracks on the circuit and is referred to as the track “Too Tough To Tame,” Kraus and Howard have run well there. Kraus has competed in three series events at Darlington, registering a career-best runner-up finish there in 2020. Howard finished 13th there last year, in just his third career series start.
Kraus is slated to participate in a question-and-answer session on the NASCAR Trackside Stage along the Darlington Fan Midway from 2:30 to 2:45 p.m. on Friday.
Prior to the race, Kraus and McAnally are slated to visit Walker Auto & Truck’s NAPA AUTO PARTS store in Rockingham, North Carolina and make calls on some customers. At the track, MHR will welcome a special group of NAPA AutoCare owners and employees from the Walker Group. They will be treated to a VIP Experience – with a tour of the NAPA transporter, a meet-and-greet with the drivers and have access to pit lane with the team. The evening’s activities will include VIP NAPA Crewmembers.
The Darlington race leads into the busiest part of the schedule, with the Camping World Truck Series visiting eight states in coast-to-coast travel that encompasses eight consecutive weeks of racing. The circuit heads from Darlington to Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, World Wide Technology Raceway, Sonoma Raceway, Knoxville Raceway and Nashville Superspeedway.
— McAnally-Hilgemann Racing —
It’s throwback season! @derek9kraus had the idea to surprise our team owner, Bill McAnally, and run his paint scheme! This was the first year @NAPAknowhow sponsored Bill as a driver and team owner. Derek wants to commemorate Bill and NAPA for all their support! #NASCARThrowback pic.twitter.com/dR9EmAfHGw
— Bill McAnally Racing (@BMR_NASCAR) April 26, 2022
Cant wait to run J.T. Gordon's 1970's scheme. He is the father of Gates Industrial's Business Development Manager Mike Gordon. I am honored to represent @GatesIndustrial each weekend, but this one will be extra special!
— Colby Howard (@ColbyHoward16) April 29, 2022