Guest Author - Debbie Lester
There will be a lot of changes in NASCAR for 2009. Teams, crew chiefs, cars, numbers and paint schemes. Sometimes the primary paint scheme of a car will remain the same for a long time, like the #20 Home Depot car or when Dale Jr. had the #8 Budweiser car. Itís always interesting to see what they come up with when they unveil new paint schemes.
Most of the time fans are more interested in who is winning the race than the colors and decals on a car. Even though the paint scheme is not in the forefront of their minds, it does register subliminally and visual stimulation effects people a lot more than they think it does. A good paint scheme can be a secret weapon to attracting more attention for a team. Do you think Dale Earnhardt would have been as intimidating in a pink car?
One of the most anticipated new schemes to be unveiled this year was the #24 DuPont Chevy driven be Jeff Gordon. This is the first paint scheme change for Gordonís team since 2001. In 1993-2000 Gordon experienced his greatest career success while driving the rainbow colored paint scheme. In 2001-2008 he drove the fire and flames scheme. The new scheme was designed by motorsports artist Sam Bass. It is a sleek black frame with neon red and orange flames.
The Roush-Fenway #99 car will see a paint scheme change also, as AFLAC takes over as the primary sponsor for Carl Edwards. Carl Edwards will likely be driving one of the most formidable-looking cars of 2009, with a jet black body and secondary shades of green and blue.
Richard Petty Motorsports unveiled a new paint scheme for the #44 Valvoline Dodge at the Daytona 500, amid the rumors of controversy. The paint scheme features a retro paint job that is a replica of Kyle Pettyís first victory. Petty is rumored to be very upset that they used his paint job, his car and number without even consulting him. He was crushed earlier in the year when he was left out of the four-driver structure of RPM, feeling as if he was not able to dictate the end of his driving career. The new scheme has only added fuel to the fire.
The #24 of Jeff Gordon will again team up with Pepsi this year as well as driving 8 races to help promote awareness to the National Guards community initiatives. This will not affect Dale Jrís sponsorship with the National Guard. Dale Jr. will be driving the Mountain Dew paint scheme at Darlington Raceway on May 9th and will run the primary Amp Energy scheme for most of the season.
Other new paint schemes and sponsors will include, Farm Bureau Insurance, who will sponsor 6 races for Joe Gibbs Racing, Interstate Batteries, who will sponsor 6 races with Kyle Busch as the driver, and Bushes Baked Beans will become the primary sponsor and primary paint scheme for the #47 JTG Daugherty Racing team of Marcos Ambrose.
There are several ways to view the new schemes and see what races they will appear in. The Jayski silly season website has a lot of information and pictures of the new paint schemes as well as a schedule of which scheme will be run during which race. YouTube also has several videoís that show the paint schemes for the season as well as past seasons.
The colors, the logos and accents may not seem like the most important thing in racing but many fans look forward to seeing the new schemes and collecting them in diecast. Some of the schemes have great sentimental value to the drivers as when Dale Jr. drove a retro scheme of the colors his grandfather Ralph Earnhardt drove during his career. Elliot Sadler drives a paint scheme during breast cancer awareness month to honor his mother, a cancer survivor. So maybe its more than just the colors and logos of the sponsors. Sometimes maybe itís more of the accents of life.