Earnhardt News
2000 Season

Earnhardt's new paint scheme unveiled
Van Cox

Las Vegas, NEV. (Mar. 2, 2000)
You can count on two things each and every May at Lowe's Motor Speedway: Good, hard racing and an exciting, new, one-time paint job for Dale Earnhardt.

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The Peter Max designed No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet will premiere at The Winston on May 20.

On Thursday Earnhardt's latest and possibly wildest color scheme was unveiled on the eve of activities for Sunday's CarsDirect.com 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Peter Max, one of America's most renowned pop artists, has designed a special color scheme for the No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet that the seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion will pilot in both of this year's spring events at the Concord, N.C., speedway.

Max's signature vivid colors and bold design will replace the traditional stealth black paint on Earnhardt's Richard Childress-owned car for exclusive race appearances at The Winston all star race on May 20 and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 28 at the 1.5-mile oval.

The car was unveiled at a special press conference as part of the Grand Opening festivities for the new NASCAR Café here. The special program was developed as a collaboration involving General Motors Service Parts Operations, PhaseOne Enterprises, Richard Childress Racing and Action Performance Companies, Inc.

"We were looking for a way to broadcast our gold standard of service on behalf of GM Goodwrench Service Plus Dealers nationally," said Bill Maclear, merchandising manager for GM Parts. "We believe we've found it.

"NASCAR's parade of high-speed colors in the new century has just been magnified by the entry of the GM Goodwrench No. 3 Max Millennium Car. This car's colors are bright, loud and make the car look like it's running fast even when sitting still."

Proclaimed as an "Artist For All Decades," Max first gained celebrity status in the 1960s and '70s with his colorful, psychedelic 'Cosmic '60s' style that evolved over his career, producing countless works that have graced the covers of magazines such as Life, Time and People, to name a few. He has been designated the official artist for five Super Bowls, five Grammy Award's and he has been recognized by political leaders worldwide for using his talent to benefit many noteworthy environmental and diplomatic causes. His work has appeared on numerous album covers and posters -- even our country's first 10-cent postage stamp.

"After recently completing projects including painting a $167 million Continental 777 airplane and designing a 500 by 80-foot stage for Woodstock '99, I have landed back on earth and hooked up with NASCAR to paint the famous GM Goodwrench No. 3 car driven by Dale Earnhardt," said Max. "I designed the car to look as if it was driven through the waterfall of the Max color spectrum."

Even Earnhardt himself -- as discriminating an eye as you'll find when it comes to the cosmetics of a race car -- was suitably impressed with the new look of his race car.

"For the last six years we have had a different look for The Winston on the No. 3 car," Earnhardt said. "This is by far the most unique paint scheme we've done to date. Peter Max has created some unique artwork over the years. I'm looking forward to driving one of his creations into Victory Lane."

Action Performance Companies will design, market and distribute a variety of exclusively designed collectible die-cast replica cars, apparel items and other merchandise with the GM Goodwrench/Peter Max design through its various brand names and marketing partners. Expect souvenirs and collectibles to be available by the time LMS' May speed fest gets underway.

"We're proud to work with General Motors, Peter Max, Dale Earnhardt, Richard Childress Racing and PhaseOne in this special program to build brand awareness for Goodwrench Service Plus," said Fred Wagenhals, Action Performance chairman, president and CEO. "It's a perfect match to have a legendary artist design the paint scheme for a legendary driver and we will offer fans a full line of collectible die-cast cars, apparel and related merchandise with the bold Peter Max colors that they'll get to see circle the tracks in Charlotte this year."

Historically, replicas of special paint scheme Earnhardt cars have been among the most coveted pieces within the realm of die-cast collectors. Most experts credit the Action-Earnhardt-Childress triumvirate with inspiring the widespread popularity of special color schemes we know today.

Earnhardt ran his first special paint job in the 1995 edition of The Winston. The "Man in Black" became the "Man in Silver" to commemorate R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company's 25th Anniversary in NASCAR racing. The brainchild of Wagenhals, the now legendary "silver car" program is still regarded as one of the most successful promotions in the history of racing collectibles.

Earnhardt's car has featured a unique paint scheme in every subsequent running of The Winston. In 1996, the Goodwrench Monte Carlo featured graphics that paid tribute to the Olympic Games in Atlanta. The following year, the most recognizable race car in America was redecorated as the world's fastest Wheaties box -- capitalizing on Earnhardt's status as the first NASCAR driver to be featured on packaging for the fabled breakfast cereal.

"The Intimidator's" reputation as an avid outdoorsman was the focal point of the 1998 program, as his trusty steed carried the colors of Bass Pro Shops. The most recent edition of NASCAR's all star event was highlighted by Earnhardt in retrospect. For that one race, his car shed its signature black and returned to the blue-and-yellow of Wrangler -- Earnhardt's sponsor from 1981-1987.

"We've come a long way since the RCR silver No. 3 car was introduced in 1995," said Richard Childress, CEO of Richard Childress Racing Enterprises, Inc. "We're really excited about this program with Peter Max because of his status in the art world. The paint scheme he created is a great step in taking NASCAR to another level and I would like to thank GM Service Parts Operations for getting us involved."

Dale Earnhardt/GM Goodwrench/Peter Max merchandise will be available at the NASCAR Online Store -- so be sure to keep an eye peeled to the store's home page. Product will also be offered trackside and through Action's established distribution channels, which includes the Racing Collectables Club of America and a far-reaching distributor network.


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