Starting with this Saturday's Sprint All-Star Race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, we at SB Nation Atlanta's NASCAR hub are going to provide a chart of the different paint schemes you can expect for an up-coming race.
Regular Sprint Cup viewers already have an idea of what one or two paint schemes the star drivers usually alternate, but with the grid never having the same look as it did one week prior, we've decided to give fans a heads-up on what scheme each driver is scheduled to use for that up-coming weekend.
There was a time when the All-Star Race, then known as The Winston, was as popular for the variety of special paint schemes as it was for the on-track action. The 1995 race saw Dale Earnhardt's No. 3 Chevrolet carry the "Silver Select" look in honor of R.J. Reynolds' 25th anniversary as title sponsor of what was then the Winston Cup Series. Though there had been one-off paint schemes here and there throughout the years, that car started it all in terms of special paint schemes being run with regularity and heavily merchandised as well.
In recent years, most teams have tended to run the regular scheme for one of their alternating primary sponsors. One of the few drivers who has continued to run a one-off scheme every year is Dale Earnhardt Jr. His No. 88 Chevrolet has carried a Dale Jr. Foundation since 2009.
To see this year's black, white, and orange car Earnhardt will drive in the Sprint Showdown - and likely the All-Star Race itself courtesy of either the Sprint Fan Vote or a top-two finish in the Showdown - visit Jayski.com's paint scheme page for the No. 88 car and scroll down. By the way, the quartet of The Dark Knight Rises schemes are entries in a fan-vote contest to select Earnhardt's scheme for the June event at Michigan International Speedway. You can vote by visiting the Dew Crew Facebook Page.
Defending Sprint Cup champion and 2009 Sprint All-Star Race winner Tony Stewart will have a one-off scheme of his own Saturday night. Stewart fans like yours truly will be hoping he gobbles up (sorry) the competition in his Bass Pro Shops/National Wild Turkey Federation Chevrolet (again, scroll down. Trust me, you can't miss this car).
Atlanta-based Rheem Heating, Cooling, and Water Heating Products will be the primary sponsor of 2007 All-Star champ Kevin Harvick and his No. 29 Chevrolet. The black and red paint scheme (you know the drill, scroll down. Hint: It's the car with RHEEM on the hood) has appeared on Chevrolets driven by Harvick since 2008, first on his Nationwide Series entry and on his Sprint Cup car in a pair of races last season. The car will be run again this September at Atlanta Motor Speedway during the Advocare 500, so be sure to get a good look of it this weekend.
Harvick's Richard Childress Racing teammate Jeff Burton will also have a one-off scheme. The sharp-as-a-tack black and silver Chevrolet will be jointly sponsored by Caterpillar and BB&T, which are splitting time along with General Mills as primary sponsors of Burton's No. 31 machine this season.
The last two champions of the Daytona 500 will have new schemes as well. Matt Kenseth will be debuting his new No. 17 Fifth Third Bank Ford Fusion Saturday night. The scheme is scheduled to run in three more races later in the season. Trevor Bayne and the Wood Brothers, meanwhile, will be carrying the colors of Camping World and Good Sam this weekend. As with Harvick's car, you'll see the blue, red, and yellow Ford again at Atlanta in September.