DARLINGTON, S.C. – Terry Labonte was a feeling a bit humbled Tuesday standing out on Turn 3 of Darlington Raceway.
And a little bit dated, he had to admit.
Labonte was back at the same track he won the first of many races in his NASCAR Hall of Fame career for a special unveiling. NASCAR Xfinity driver Brandon Brown and his No. 86 Coastal Carolina Chevrolet Camaro revealed a special paint scheme that honors a very specific car in Labonte’s career.
The design was a callback to Labonte’s 1993 scheme – the first year of the famous Kellogg’s Corn Flakes paint job.
“It really kind of makes you feel good,” Labonte said of the moment. “Brandon wants to run my paint scheme here. This paint scheme here from 1993 was the year he was born, so that makes you feel kind of old.”
Still, it was a welcome honor and one that was well-deserved, Brown said.
“It’s a huge honor to throw back to Terry,” he said. “I called Darlington and kind of asked around. I was like, ‘Do you think he might come to an unveil event if I honor his car, his throwback?’”
It wasn’t long before Brown was talking to a driver he had admired most of his life, and one who was happy to attend the special ceremony.
“It’s a pretty surreal event,” Brown said. “It’s something that … I’ve been looking forward to this era for the past two throwback weekends. So I’m very excited to be able to be able to incorporate the Coastal teal and bronze with Terry’s Kellogg’s car.”
Coastal Carolina has been Brown’s main sponsor since 2015 after the school saw him wearing his CCU hat at Atlanta Motor Speedway. After learning Brown was actually an alumni, the Chanticleers came on board.
“Ever since then, their support has been incredible,” Brown said. “They’ve provided me a place to showcase racing and get a college degree. It’s somewhere where I can use that degree now and apply it to racing to help better myself off the track and my team.”
They year 1993 was a special one for Coastal as well as it became an independent institution for the first time in its history.
Brown has enjoyed the throwback weekends he's raced, but he's hoping to have a little more success at what he calls his home track. He's finished outside the top 15 the last two races, including 20th last year.
"This track is, obviously, it gets hot," Brown said. "It's going to be a really slick track and everybody knows it's famous for the Darlington stripe. You can basically count on that.
"(Labonte) said it's OK to get the Darlington stripe, as long as it's not on the left side of the car."