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Readers Respond: These are Your Favorite Patriotic Paint Schemes

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One of the coolest parts about NASCAR racing on Memorial Day weekend or the Fourth of July weekend is that teams pull out all the stops when it comes to patriotic paint schemes. It fits the theme of the weekend and the patriotic schemes are always fun to watch on the track. It helps add more of a big-race feel to the event.

Which schemes were the most popular amongst fans though? We asked our readers on social media to name their favorite patriotic paint schemes, and they indeed came through!

Daily Downforce Readers Respond

Jake Heller picked Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s 2015 Coke Zero 400 scheme run at Daytona. Earnhardt Jr. led 95 laps that night en route to his final career Daytona win. A finish that is best remembered for Austin Dillon’s scary crash where he amazingly walked away unhurt.

Alex sweet mentioned Budweiser patriotic cars specifically. This one he highlights was run by Kevin Harvick in the 2013 Coca-Cola 600, which Harvick won. In typical closer fashion, Harvick did not take the lead until the final 100 laps and took the lead for good on a restart with 11 laps to go.

Bold of Timothy Huhnke to pick schemes not run yet, but these schemes are objectively cool.

Camo race cars are always cool, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. has run his fair share of cool camo cars during his career. This car was run in the 2014 Coke Zero, which was not one of Earnhardt Jr.’s best days. He was involved in a multi-car accident on lap 21, but he would rebound to finish 12th.

Brad Keselowski has always been unapologetically patriotic with his American flag burnouts. This scheme is remembered fondly by Brad K fans as he won the 2014 Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway leading 199 of 267 laps.

Through The Esses chose a Jeff Gordon scheme from 2010. What an era that was when the COT style splitter was on the front with the spoiler on the back. Gordon finished sixth in the Coca-Cola 600 that year in this scheme.

Joey Damore picked out Kenny Schrader’s scheme from the 2001 MBNA Cal Ripkin Jr 400 at Dover where Schrader finished 18th. This was in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks where different drivers were putting patriotic flair on their cars.

Albert Calderon picked a more obscure Jimmie Johnson paint scheme. This is one from 2001 at Homestead where Johnson finished 30th.

Batrulha picked two Kyle Busch paint schemes. The one on the left is from the 2012 Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway where he led 118 laps and finished 10th. The one on the right is from his dominant Coca-Cola 600 win in 2018 where he led 377 laps.

Another Brad Keselowski patriotic scheme from Gavin Beers. Keselowski won the 2020 Coca-Cola 600 in this scheme as a gutsy pit call gave him the win on an overtime restart.

Patrick Weseman is a fan of the Navy car. Mark McFarland ran this scheme for Dale Earnhardt Jr. with a best finish of seventh at Talladega in 2006.

AlolanDolan chose a Jimmie Johnson patriotic scheme, and this is far from the only candidate. Johnson not only won a rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600 that year, but he also won The Winston one week prior.

anthony_t.48 also went with a Jimmie Johnson scheme. This one is from the 2014 Coca-Cola 600 where Johnson led 164 laps on his way to his first win of 2014.

Jeff Tinstman decided to go with another scheme from Dover in 2001. Ricky Rudd led 169 laps that day en route to a third place finish.

Will also went with the Dale Earnhardt Jr. scheme from the 2015 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. The final superspeedway win of Earnhardt Jr.’s career.

Christopher Hansen had a couple of Jimmie Johnson paint schemes to add to the list. The first came from the 2015 Coca-Cola 600 where Johnson struggled finishing in 40th place. The second is more fondly looked back on by Johnson fans as the one where he won the 2014 Coca-Cola 600.

As for my personal favorite, I decided to go with the scheme used by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the 2007 Coca-Cola 600. This was the last patriotic inspired scheme that Earnhardt Jr. ran with the number eight car with DEI, where he finished eighth in the race. I have a 1:64 die-cast of this car that I used to play with as a kid.

It is always fun to see what Cup Series teams cook up for races like this. Patriotic paint schemes are always a hit with fans, and this weekend should include more great schemes.

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Joshua Lipowski

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