Mars Wrigley Confectionary’s involvement with NASCAR teams began in 1990 when the SNICKERS logo appeared on Bobby Hillin Jr.’s No. 8 Stavola Brothers entry. The SNICKERS paint scheme returned to the Stavola’s team in 1991 with Rick Wilson as its driver. A redesigned SNICKERS paint scheme debuted in 1992 when Dick Trickle took over driving duties.
Fast forward almost 30 years to this weekend, NASCAR is once again preparing to celebrate its history with the annual “Throwback Weekend” at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. With its humble beginnings in mind, Mars Wrigley and it’s SNICKERS brand are proud to bring back one of its most memorable schemes from their first years in the sport – that of Hillin’s 1990 SNICKERS racecar. It will adorn Kyle Busch’s No. 18 SNICKERS Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) retro scheme during Sunday night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington. Bringing back the original SNICKERS scheme from when Mars Wrigley and many of the company’s iconic brands entered the sport further shows the company’s longtime commitment as a supporter of NASCAR racing, its teams and, most importantly, its great fans.
Many of those fans from the early 1990s will recognize the memorable white SNICKERS scheme when Busch takes to the “The Lady in Black” this weekend almost 30 years later. Mars Wrigley and its associated brands are having yet another exceptional year, as Busch and his No. 18 SNICKERS Toyota team have driven to four wins en route to his 39-point lead atop the driver standings with just two races remaining in the Cup Series regular season.
The SNICKERS driver has conquered Darlington before, having brought home the Cup Series win at “The Track Too Tough To Tame” in May 2008. It earned him the distinction of being the youngest Cup Series winner – at 23 years of age – in the track’s storied history. Busch also has two Xfinity Series wins at Darlington, coming in May 2011 and 2013.
From 1950 through 2003, the traditional Southern 500 at Darlington was held every Labor Day weekend. In 2004, the race was moved to the penultimate race of the season during the first year of NASCAR’s playoffs before it was moved to the Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend from 2005 through 2014. In 2015, the race returned to its rightful and traditional spot on the calendar, and Sunday night’s race will mark the 59th time NASCAR’s top series will race in Darlington on Labor Day weekend.
So, as Busch returns to “The Lady in Black” for Sunday night’s 500-mile marathon, he and the SNICKERS team look to bring home their second win in what many consider to be one of NASCAR’s crown jewel races. They’ll also take a trip down memory lane on their way to victory lane with a throwback scheme that honors Mars Wrigley’s longtime and loyal support of NASCAR racing and its fans.