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Some of NASCAR’s Most Head-Scratching Paint Schemes

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Brian McLaughlin

McLaughlin is a veteran sports writer who has covered 4 Daytona 500s. He loves the sport and is pumped to be with The Daily Downforce. Follow on Twitter @BrianMacWriter.
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Paint scheme beauty is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to the sport of NASCAR, but sometimes the race teams miss the point. Let’s just say that these folks need to make sure they hire an interior designer if they start revamping the look of their houses. There’s no harm in admitting what you’re not good at.

Inspired greatly by the readers’ comments on the matter in a recent Reddit post, we began to whittle down some of the more unusual paint schemes from the 1990s to the present. Talk about having good memories and inspiration, they certainly posted some good examples. Opinions will vary on this topic.

# 5 – Bill Elliott

Toward the end of Bill Elliott’s career, he drove for his own company in the No. 94 McDonald’s car. But in the final race of the 1999 season in Atlanta, Elliott raced in a car that crammed a tad bit too much into the paint scheme.

There was a Buzz Lightyear pig, a friendly dinosaur, McDonalds’ iconic golden arches, all kinds of different colors, and … of course … a Reese’s Cup advertisement on the back side for good measure.

# 4 – Ricky Stenhouse

Nothing says NASCAR like a big glob of cream cheese placed on the side panel of your racecar. That’s exactly what Ricky Stenhouse had slathered over a Thomas’ bagel on the side of the car. It takes a second to sink in, but after a second you realize that while it seems rather strange — it does look pretty yummy.

# 3 – Kenny Schrader

In 2004, Schrader drew the short straw and drove a mostly blue and white Dodge No. 49. There was one exception, and it was the “comedian” Carrot Top’s face and flowing red hair on the hood, with the hair spilling over to each side of the racecar in a way that looked more like a splattering of blood than hair. Plus you had Carrot Top’s crazy face on the top.

At first glance, it’s hard to figure out what you’re looking at.

# 2 – Lake Speed/Robert Pressley

Lake Speed had one of the coolest names in NASCAR back in the 1980s and 1990s, and he certainly drove one of the most unique-looking cars in his final year in the Cup Series (1998) — The Cartoon Network Chevrolet. Robert Pressley also drove it part-time during the 1997 season.

Due to these two cars’ struggles, team-wise, you didn’t see this Cartoon Network car on television very often.

# 1 – Dale Earnhardt, Sr.

Dale Earnhardt, Sr.’s rainbow-colored GM Goodwrench Chevrolet was — shall we say — a bit much for the eyes. The 2000 color scheme didn’t seem to fit the trend of other unique color schemes that came along over the years. In fact, some said, “let the rainbow warrior drive in those colors”, obviously referring to Jeff Gordon.

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Picture of Brian McLaughlin

Brian McLaughlin

McLaughlin is a veteran sports writer who has covered 4 Daytona 500s. He loves the sport and is pumped to be with The Daily Downforce. Follow on Twitter @BrianMacWriter.
All Posts