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Top Five NASCAR Paint Schemes of 2012

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Making a tribute to good ol' Rusty

John Harrelson/Getty Images North America

Rusty Wallace is known as the driver of the "Blue Duece." First Kurt Busch took over his ride when he retired, but now Brad Keselowski is at the helm of the No. 2 machine for Penske Racing. When the sport arrived at Bristol in August, historically Wallace's best track, the team decided to sport a scheme in Wallace's honor and ended up looking great during the night race.

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Ricky Bobby is back at Talladega

Kurt Busch
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Talladega Nights was and still is a well-known movie by all NASCAR fans. The special scheme used at the end of the movie known as the "ME" scheme ended up making its on-track debut at Talladega in the spring. Kurt Busch and the Phoenix Racing team needed something that could hopefully spark up some sponsorship negotiations, so the team took the scheme from the movie and put it into reality with the help of Busch's girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll who is the President and Executive Director of the Armed Forces Foundation. The car was a hit at the race, especially when Busch drove through the pack to lead the race.

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Only real men wear pink

Clint Bowyer
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In NASCAR, there are several drivers who annually dress in pink and ultimately have their cars in pink as well. Michael Waltrip Racing's Clint Bowyer and his sponsor, Five Hour Energy, teamed up for four races to sport a special Pink Lemonade Five Hour Energy/Avon Foundation No. 15 Toyota. The car had a bright florescent pink look to it where the car is usually red which also brought Bowyer some luck as he had a win and two top-10's in the special paint scheme.

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Where in David Ragan's car is Waldo?

David Ragan

Well, where is he? Where's Waldo? Did you find him? Hopefully you did because he was on David Ragan's hood at Martinsville in October. Front Row Motorsports teamed up with the publishers of Where's Waldo to sport a one of a kind paint scheme that ended up being a fan favorite as Lionel Collectibles even made a diecast car for the blue scheme as Waldo was at the beach, even though he was really in Virginia eating some good ol' Martinsville hot dogs.

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A colorful world indeed for Michael Waltrip


If one could describe Michael Waltrip in one word, that word would have to be, colorful. Waltrip has been through a lot in his racing career, but he's been able to have a smile on his face for most of the time. At Talladega in May, one of the few races Waltrip competed in during the 2012 season, his sponsor, Aarons, held a contest for young races fans called the "2012 Color Your Way to Talladega contest." A nine-year old girl named Emery Beavis from Dyersburg, TN designed the car. The car had an entire assortment of colors and even a smiley face at the rear of the car. If only the girl would have painted over "Lucky."

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports


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NASCAR paint schemes are always a hit for race fans. The revenue that paint schemes generate can add up to millions of dollars, especially when they get involved with one of the most popular drivers that the sport has to offer such as a Dale Earnhardt Jr. or maybe even a Jeff Gordon. These schemes aren’t just a pretty picture on a 3,400 lb stock car, they’re pieces of art.

The design efforts that go into designing a paint scheme is intense. Painters such as Sam Bass take countless hours to make sure each square inch of the car is covered up to fit the team’s desire. However, the paint scheme approval process has to go through the sponsors before they get approved to run on the racetrack.

Sponsors are very careful about how their logos are represented on the racetrack. That is why many fans that see a “rendering” of cars before the season begins as that means the scheme is simply not approved yet. This doesn’t mean that the scheme won’t be running, it just means that a few minor adjustments, if any, will be needed.

In the past, teams used to paint the cars with cans of spray paint and then paste the sponsor logos onto the cars, but that’s changed. In the modern era of┬áMotorsports, teams use technology to paint their race cars. They use a long process with wraps that are pasted onto cars that takes just a few hours to paste on and come out looking fantastic. Joe Gibbs Racing and Richard Childress Racing have several YouTube videos of a quicker version, or a “time lapse,” of their cars getting wrapped. This process makes the cars go from just one color to numerous colors with decals all over the place.

Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.