Nascar’s best and brightest participated in the second-annual Throwback Weekend at Darlington (thus why Brian Scott didn’t participate), with cars taking the look of many of the paint schemes of the past. Amongst the most-popular was the 18 Interstate Batteries scheme, made to look like the car’s earlier days when likable human beings drove the car.
“It was great seeing the 18 on the track with those old colors, reminding me of when I actually was glad to see the car go to victory lane”, one fan at the track said to an on-site reporter. “Back with Dale Jarrett or Bobby Labonte in the car, you actually wanted to see them do well, and even if they didn’t, you knew they wouldn’t blow off post-race interviews because they were petulant.”
Both Jarrett and Labonte saw historic performances in the Interstate Batteries livery, with Jarrett winning the Daytona 500 and Labonte winning the 2000 Cup championship. Since then the car has been seen frequently winning in Xfinity Series races, occasionally followed by the destruction of the winner’s trophy.
“Yeah, remember when they wound run the old NFL helmets with all the different teams?”, another fan was overheard saying. “Now they just run that hideous Zubaz-looking scheme, makes me think of Fruit Stripe gum.”
Fans all over the track were reported to reminisce about when they wouldn’t call for the 18 car to wreck, blow a tire, or generally have a bad day, mostly because they had a genuine affection for the driver of the car, rather than only liking him for his smoking-hot wife.
Regardless, no one at the track was able to remember who drove the car after Labonte’s departure.