Ifan Forum:/I Special Paint Schemes

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Special paint schemes in NASCAR have become a common occurrence every race weekend, whether you like it or not, corporate sponsors and teams have put together promotions to sell more die-casts and apparel, and this collectible phenomenon has seemed to work.

From Major League Baseball, to movies, about everything has been adorned on a Nextel Cup car. Even an artist has had his work promoted on the late Dale Earnhardt's car that he drove in the 2000 Winston (now All-Star Challenge).

Peter Max, one of America's most-renowned pop artists, designed Earnhardt's Chevrolet Monte Carlo with vivid colors for the all-star event. Earnhardt finished 3rd in that car, in what turned out to be his last All-Star race, but it was a memorable one, as he shared Victory Lane that night in Charlotte with his son Dale Jr. as he became the first rookie to win the event.

The special paint scheme wouldn't be where it is today if it wasn't for Earnhardt and Richard Childress Racing. The trend started when Earnhardt switched his regularly black ride for a silver one, named "quicksilver" in the 1995 all-star race, using the new color as a tribute to sponsor R.J. Reynolds' 25th anniversary in NASCAR.

Earnhardt also ran an U.S. Olympics, Wheaties, Bass Pro Shops and Wrangler scheme in previous All-Star events. This year RCR celebrated its 35th anniversary at the October Lowe's Motor Speedway race by painting the No. 29, 30 and 31 to represent some of Childress' cars from the past.

The special paint scheme program has even moved into the Busch Series, NHRA, and World of Outlaws.

What was your favorite special paint scheme of 2004? Read on to see if yours made RacingOne's top-10 special schemes (Excluding multi-car promotions: Justice League and RCR/Hendrick Anniversary) of the NASCAR season, where Jeff Gordon's Dupont "Retro" Rainbow Chevrolet took home the No. 1 honor.

Vote: Best Special Paint Scheme, Best Standard Paint Scheme, Worst Paint Scheme , Best Multi Car Promotion

1. Jeff Gordon Dupont Retro Rainbow: Gordon brought back the familiar rainbow-colored Chevrolet in the Nextel All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Gordon made this paint scheme famous during the 1990's capturing 52 victories, 33 poles and three championships before switching to the current flame scheme.

2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Daytona Born On Date: Just like the born on date, February 15, 2004, on the special paint scheme on the Budweiser Chevrolet NASCAR fans will forever remember this date as the day Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Daytona 500.

3. Ricky Rudd "Keep It Genuine": Rudd gave NASCAR fans a blast from the past running the colors made famous by David Pearson during the 1970's. This paint scheme, which made its debut at Texas, launched a nationwide campaign to "Keep It Genuine", accentuating the importance of using genuine Ford and Lincoln Mercury Parts and Service to keep a vehicle performing at its best.

4. Jamie McMurray Texaco/Havoline retro: McMurray brought back another Texaco Retro paint scheme that resembled Davey Allison's 1990 car at Talladega to honor Allison and the Talladega/Texaco Walk of Fame Induction Ceremony. That weekend McMurray helped induct Kyle Petty into the Walk of Fame.

5. Kasey Kahne Pit Cap: Kahne brought his popular racing stripe pit cap to his car at Darlington in November. He crashed this car in practice, but the crew was able to decal the car before the race for Kahne, who finished fifth in the race after starting from the rear.

6. Elliott Sadler The Great Color Quest: Don't adjust your T.V. set. M&M's put together another great promotion that saw Sadler lose his colors on his M&M's Ford for four races until the colors were found. Sadler returned in the popular paint scheme at Atlanta with all the colors back on the car.

7. Ken Schrader Red Baron: Red Baron returned to NASCAR in celebration of the Red Baron Pizza Squadron's 25th anniversary with Schrader at Chicago and Atlanta. Red Baron was Schrader's first primary sponsor in Cup racing, back when we he ran for Junie Donlavey in 1986 & 1987.

8. Kevin Harvick Ice Breakers Liquid Ice: Harvick drove this paint scheme, which was the first completely holographic-wrapped race car, at Texas to introduce the liquid-filled mints from Ice Breakers.

9. Jeff Burton Hot Wheels: Burton brought back the popular paint scheme that Kyle Petty raced in the late 90's. This was one of many different paint scheme for Burton when he was with Roush Racing this season.

10. Tony Stewart Home Depot 'Reverse': Stewart reversed his orange Home Depot Chevrolet to black at Richmond and California.

Worst Special Paint Scheme: Jeremy Mayfield's NHL All-Star game car. Really not the worst of the year, but can someone tell me what's Hockey?... NHL?... Anyone?

Best Standard Paint Scheme: Jamie McMurray's Texaco Dodge. Chip Ganassi Racing brought back the traditional Havoline colors to NASCAR in 2004.

Best Multi-Car Paint Scheme Promotion: It's a tie between RCR 35th Anniversary and Hendrick 20th Anniversary. Both organizations celebrated with special paint schemes at Lowe's Motor Speedway in October. RCR had each Cup car look like one of Childress' cars from the past. Kevin Harvick's No. 29 resembled the Wrangler car, Robby Gordon's Cingular Chevy looked like Earmhardt's "Quicksilver" Goodwrench car and Jeff Burton flew the colors of the Piedmont car on the No. 30. The Busch Series cars will also carried the 35th Anniversary logo. The Hendrick cars featured a "silver on silver" paint palette, which gave them a platinum/chrome effect. Also every car carried the Hendrick Motorsports commemorative 20th Anniversary logo.

You can also email your vote to: jeff.wackerlin@rmg3.com

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