NASCAR’s two-week break ends this weekend at Watkins Glen International with the Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series each racing on the road course.
But before the engines kick in this weekend, the NBC Sports NASCAR Power rankings focus on the best paint schemes in Cup history. The emphasis is on paint schemes that were on a car for more than a special occasion, so there are no All-Star Race paint schemes or unique movie-themed cars or similar.
Let the debate begin …
NASCAR Power Ranking of Best Cup Paint Patterns in Series History
1. Bobby Allison’s 1988 Miller High Life Car
The gold on the car sets it apart from the rest. The car pictured is the one Allison drove until his Daytona 500 victory in 1988, his third victory in that race. The victory was the 84th and final victory in the career of the NASCAR Hall of Famer.
2. The Gray Ghost of Buddy Baker
Buddy Baker won the 1980 Daytona 500 on his 18th start driving the Harry Ranier Oldsmobile. The car was better known as the Gray Ghost.
The car was nicknamed the Gray Ghost because its colors allowed it to blend into the track, as the story goes. Driver complaints led NASCAR to ask Baker’s team to put reflective decals on the car to make it easier to see after this Daytona 500 win
“Silver and black. Chrome numbers. It doesn’t get any cooler than that, ”Dale Earnhardt Jr. said in 2016 on his download of Dale Jr.
3. Mark Martin’s Valvoline car
There have been several versions of this car, but this car, pictured in 1995, struck me the most for its clean lines and color scheme.
4. Davey Allison’s Havoline
Bobby Allison’s son drove this car in his father’s second place in the 1988 Daytona 500. The car was owned by Harry Ranier.
5. Jeff Gordon’s Rainbow Car
Jeff Gordon drove the Rainbow Car throughout the 1990s to win three of his four Cup titles. This photo shows the car in 1994 at Daytona International Speedway.
6. Richard Petty’s STP car
For years, Richard Petty drove a blue Petty car, but when STP became the sponsor, the company wanted their red Day-Glo car. They found a compromise. This is the standard combination when STP has sponsored a small car ever since. The car in the photo is from the early 1970s.
7. Rusty Wallace’s Midnight Car
Rusty Wallace drove the black and gold car he dubbed Midnight to 13 wins from 1992 to 1994. When Wallace was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, part of his display included Midnight.
8. Dale Earnhardt’s Wrangler Car
Before driving Richard Childress Racing’s black No.3, Dale Earnhardt drove a blue and yellow car for Childress. Earnhardt joined the team in the 1981 season.
9. Kyle Petty’s Mello Yello car
This car was not difficult to find in traffic. Kyle Petty was shown driving in 1994 at Sonoma Raceway.
10. Harry Gant’s Skoal Bandit car
Harry Gant is forever linked to his painting scheme. This photo shows him set to win at Martinsville Speedway in September 1991. It was his fourth consecutive victory.
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NASCAR Power Ranking: Top 10 All-Time Cup Paint Schemes Originally Appeared On NBCSports.com