The votes are in and now it is time to unveil the winner of the 2018 CARS Tour Throwback 276 Best Appearing Car Award. This year’s winner is Chris Dilbeck who ran a paint scheme that threw it back to Bill Elliott’s 1985 No. 9 race car.


As the recipient of the Best Appearing Car Award, Dilbeck will receive a $500 prize courtesy of Hoosier Racing Tires.


“I’m happy to hear that, especially with how much my Dad was blowing up Facebook trying to make it happen,” said Chris Dilbeck when he was notified that he was the recipient of the award. “I guess it’s kind of a consolation prize. We were fastest in practice Friday night and planning on having a shot to win Saturday. We had some problems in qualifying and we thought it was something minor but we had some issues in the rear end. This is a big deal to be able to win this and recoup some of the money that we would have won if we’d finished better. Now we can go on and afford to buy some tires at another event. I’d like to thank the CARS Tour for having this event, for putting on the contest and Hoosier Racing Tires for sponsoring the award as well.”


Dilbeck, a Georgia native just like Elliott, told last week about his earliest childhood memory, which involved this paint scheme.


“The first memory I ever had as a kid was a family friend of ours went to the Daytona 500 in 1988 and brought back a little Bill Elliott car,” Dilbeck said.  “It had the gold wheels on it and was a very similar paint scheme to what we’re running this week.”


This year the voting process was a little bit different than how it was done in its inaugural year. This year’s process was split into thirds, with one third of the decision coming from the fan vote on’s Five Star Race Car Bodies Facebook Feed. The other two-thirds of the vote came from the staff and the staff of the CARS Tour.


“It was definitely hard to pick out of the 35 different schemes that we had,” said CARS Tour Director, Chris Ragle. “We did voting a little bit different this year with a third of the vote coming from the fans, a third from Speed51 and a third from us. After narrowing it down, Chris Dilbeck had the upper hand. We have to thank him and Grafix Unlimited for participating and putting together a nice looking car. Thank you to all of the fans for voting on Speed51 and supporting the race. This couldn’t go to a better guy and we’re excited for next year’s Throwback 276 event as well.”


“Congratulations to Chris Dilbeck on winning the Best Appearing Car Award this year. His scheme was close to a unanimous pick within the office,” said’s Editor, Brandon Paul. “Everyone that did a throwback scheme this year really hit it out of the park, but Chris’ scheme seemed to really resonate. It really looked terrific. We’re thrilled that was able to be involved with this great event for the second year in a row.”


Voting on’s Five Star Race Car Bodies Facebook Feed opened on Saturday evening and ran through 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday. At the end of the fan vote, Dilbeck was actually third with 447 votes. Molly Helmuth’s Alan Kulwicki Zerex scheme had the most fan votes, while Corey Heim’s Davey Allison scheme was second.


On the race track, Chris Dilbeck finished 26thafter his aforementioned mechanical issues.


-By Rob Blount, Associate Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount

-Photo Credit: Glen Starek/CARS Tour

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