NASCAR's Darlington Raceway: Painting A Masterpiece

David YeazellSenior Analyst IMay 4, 2009

Masters of the canvas have been painting beautiful women for centuries.


Leonardo da Vinci’s "Mona Lisa" is the single most visited exhibit in the Louvre.


Peter Paul Rubens young wife is captured in Venus at the Mirror.


Throughout history, the one exception to this has always been the financially strapped Baroque, rumored to have no Monet.


Over the past month, another masterpiece was being painted, again.


The "Lady in Black" will be wearing a new coat of paint for Friday and Saturday night’s race.


Celebrating the return of the Southern 500, Darlington will have a retro look on the 1.366 miles of retaining wall.


“We have been painting in shifts around the clock," said a painting Picasso from the track operations department.


White is always the dominate color, but this year it will give way to red stripes every forty feet. Once finished, the estimated 180 gallons of new paint will barely have time to dry before the first Nationwide series practice on Friday.


After practice is finished, and before the start of the race Friday night, the men of track operations will go around, repair and repaint each of the infamous Darlington stripes.


“Practice and qualifying are not usually that bad, but each time a car scrapes the wall, is one more time we have to repair or repaint that section.”


As soon as Friday’s race is completed, and the safety crews have issued clearance, the lords of latex will leap into action.


Racing against the clock, these painting pit bulls work like a skilled plastic surgeon, assuring each scar succumbs to their relentless repair.


When the sun rises on a new day, the paint purveyors have finished their task and the Lady in Black is once again ready for racing.  


Rembrandt had "The Girl in a Picture Frame," Picasso had "Gertrude Stein," and the track operations department at Darlington has the "Lady in Black."


For tickets to races at Darlington, please visit


Sources: Darlington Raceway, my learn to paint kit, and the clutter in my head.