KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Kurt Busch will be partying like it’s 2003 when the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series hits the track for this year’s Southern 500, but he’ll be hoping for a final result that’s one spot better than what he ended up with 15 years prior at Darlington Raceway.
Busch and Stewart-Haas Racing officially unveiled the throwback scheme that the No. 41 Haas Automation Ford will carry during Labor Day weekend on Thursday, with a red, black and gray paint scheme that mimics the colors of Busch’s Rubbermaid scheme that he drove to a runner-up finish during the spring race at Darlington a decade and a half ago.
Oh, by the way, that race also set the record for the closest finish in the history of the premier series — .002 of a second — that still stands to this day and was only tied by the 2011 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway.
The photo finish between Busch and Ricky Craven remains as one of the most memorable in NASCAR history, after Busch and Craven swapped the lead multiple times in the closing stages before banging doors coming to the finish line on the final lap.
The 2018 Southern 500 is scheduled for Sept. 2 at Darlington Raceway, and will feature a throwback theme for the fourth straight season.