With the NASCAR Hall of Fame serving as an appropriate backdrop, reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick unveiled the gold-and-black No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS that he will race in the Sept. 6 Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway as part of the track’s The Tradition Returns weekend Sept. 4-6.
The retro-themed, commemorative paint scheme mimics the first can Budweiser produced, which was gold and featured an eagle flying through the Anheuser-Busch stylized “A” with five stars above and below the winged crest. Below the eagle, Budweiser is spelled out in block letters with “Lager Beer” in script.
The design is part of an overall throwback weekend at one of NASCAR’s oldest venues. Built in 1949 by Harold Brasington, Darlington has hosted Sprint Cup races since 1950, and last year Harvick won the 65th running of the iconic Southern 500 – one of the crown-jewel races on the 36-race Sprint Cup schedule.
“It’s great that Darlington is embracing its rich tradition with the Southern 500’s return to Labor Day weekend,” said Harvick, who currently leads the Sprint Cup Series championship standings. “Budweiser saw this as an excellent opportunity to celebrate its own history by racing the colors and design from the first can Budweiser ever made. It’s a sharp-looking car and the No. 4 team is ready to get back to Darlington’s victory lane.”
“At Budweiser we are known for celebrating great times, and there have been a lot of great times through the years at Darlington Raceway – none more so than last year when Kevin took the Budweiser Chevy to victory lane in the Southern 500,” said Corey Christanell, director of sports marketing, Anheuser-Busch. “Being able to celebrate Darlington’s rich heritage is something we’re proud to do with Kevin, the No. 4 Budweiser team and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing.”
The very first Southern 500 at Darlington took place on Labor Day in 1950 courtesy of a deal made between Brasington and NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. More than 80 entrants showed up for the inaugural Southern 500 with Johnny Mantz successfully maneuvering his black Plymouth around the egg-shapped 1.366-mile oval to take the win.
“Darlington has played such an integral role in the history of our sport, and the Southern 500 is one of the most storied and celebrated events in all of racing,” said Mike Verlander, vice president of sales and marketing, SHR. “With Kevin and the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s team returning to Darlington as both the reigning race winners and Sprint Cup champions, it made a lot of sense for us to get involved. We – along with all of our partners at SHR – are proud to be able to celebrate the history of our sport in an impactful manner.”
Paint schemes for the full stable of SHR drivers will be revealed in the weeks leading up to the Southern 500.