Best of the Best Series: Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Top 10 Sprint Cup Paint Schemes

Ashley McCubbinAnalyst INovember 29, 2010

Best of the Best Series: Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Top 10 Sprint Cup Paint Schemes

0 of 13

    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Welcome to the first slideshow in the "best of the best" series, which will highlight a different driver each week, showcasing their top 10 best paint schemes.

    Over the years of a driver's career, they run a variety of paint schemes; some that you see repetitively, some that you only see once, though there are always certain ones that leave an impact.

    The first driver featured is the most popular driver—Dale Earnhardt Jr. Over his Sprint Cup Series career, he has run 52 different paint schemes.

    If I had done a poll of the favourite Nationwide Series paint schemes, a lot of people would have said it was the No. 3 Wrangler car he drove at Daytona this past season. However, this is about the Sprint Cup Series, so here are Earnhardt's top 10 paint schemes.

No. 10: 2003

1 of 13

    Year: 2003

    Month: September

    Track: Richmond

    Title: "True" Budweiser

    Why?: The rock star edge look propelled a lot of fans to like the paint scheme. The response to this paint scheme led to the creation of two more the following two years, based upon other rock bands.

No. 9: 2001

2 of 13

    Year: 2001

    Month: July

    Race: Pepsi 400

    Track: Daytona International Speedway

    Paint Scheme Title: All-Star Game

    Why?: Pure white paint schemes always look good under the lights and this was no exception. Specking it up higher was the fact that this was the first race at Daytona since Earnhardt Jr.'s dad died, and he finished the weekend in style in victory lane.

No. 8: 2006 Tribute to Dad Paint Scheme

3 of 13

    Year: 2006

    Dated: May

    Race Name: Aaron's 499

    Track: Talladega Superspeedway

    Why?: The 2001 Pepsi 400 paint scheme was spruced up due to the race turning into a tribute, yet this was a car that came out as a tribute.

    The 2006 Aaron's 499 was being run on Dale Earnhardt's birthday, so Dale Earnhardt Incorporated took it in big style as all their cars came out in black. However, it was Earnhardt Jr.'s that got the most people talking with Earnhardt being his father.

No. 7: 2009 Mountain Dew Paint Scheme

4 of 13

    Year: 2009

    Dated: May

    Track: Darlington Raceway

    Title: Mountain Dew

    Why?: The look of the car popped out to many eyes as people looked through the list of schemes in determining their favourites.

No. 6: Happy Father's Day Paint Scheme

5 of 13

    Year: 2006

    Dated: June—Father's Day

    Track: Michigan Speedway

    Scheme Name: Happy Father's Day

    Why?: Tributes to Earnhardt Jr.'s dad have equaled a lot of fans enjoying the paint schemes. The 2006 Michigan "Father's Day" paint scheme ranked the highest among the fans due to the look. Earnhardt Jr. went back to the look that was the first car his dad drove, tying in with a lot of the fans.

    The addition of Budweiser going back to its old logo was just the icing on the cake.

No. 5: Military Appreciation Part 1—2010 Coca-Cola 600

6 of 13

    Year: 2010

    Dated: May

    Race Name: Coca-Cola 600

    Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway

    Why?: A lot of people felt pride when looking back at all the different stars and stripes/military paint schemes that Earnhardt Jr. has run through the years with Budweiser and the National Guard. There are three that stood out amongst the list, so here are those three grouped together as No. 5 on this list.

No. 5: Military Appreciation Part 2: 2007 Coca-Cola 600

7 of 13

    Year: 2007

    Dated: May

    Race Name: Coca-Cola 600

    Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway

    Why?: A lot of people felt pride when looking back at all the different stars and stripes/military paint schemes that Earnhardt Jr. has run through the years with Budweiser and National Guard. There are three that stood out amongst the list, so here are those three grouped together as No. 5 on this list.

No. 5: Military Appreciation Part 3: 2008 Pepsi 400

8 of 13

    Year: 2008

    Dated: July

    Race Name: Pepsi 400

    Track: Daytona International Speedway

    Why?: A lot of people felt pride when looking back at all the different stars and stripes/military paint schemes that Earnhardt Jr. has run through the years with Budweiser and National Guard. There are three that stood out amongst the list, so here are those three grouped together as No. 5 on this list.

    Interesting tidbit about the paint scheme: This particular paint scheme ranks top amongst the military-themed paint schemes for myself, personally. When it came to doing this paint scheme, Tony Eury Jr. instructed the paint shop to paint the car manually instead of just masking it with what is essentially a huge decal. The process meant the paint shop had to do each color one by one through the process of using stencils.

    The result was amazing, as it had that special look under the lights at Daytona, and Eury Jr. and the guys showed the military how much they meant to them.

No. 4: Elvis Paint Scheme

9 of 13

    Year: 2007

    Dated: September

    Track: Richmond International Raceway

    Why?: The combination of the sport's most popular driver with the king of rock 'n' roll produced a lot of people loving the paint scheme. Add in the sparkle of white under the lights and it turned into a classic combination.

No. 3: Get Your Name on the Car Year Two Paint Scheme

10 of 13

    Year: 2009

    Dated: November

    Race Name: Amp Energy 500

    Track: Talladega Superspeedway

    Why?: For 2008 and 2009, AMP Energy allowed fans to get their name on Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s car for the fall Talladega race. The 2008 version was just as successful as 2009, though 2009 had that extra edge with the way it was designed.

No. 2: Mountain Dew Paint Scheme

11 of 13

    Year: 2008

    Dated: May

    Track: Darlington Raceway

    Why?: The combination of a retro paint scheme on one of the oldest tracks on the schedule got a lot of people talking. Some whom weren't aware of it being a copy of a paint scheme that Darrell Waltrip ran, also liked the way it looked.

No. 1: Grey Ghost Paint Scheme

12 of 13

    Year: 2008

    Dated: May

    Race Name: All-Star Race

    Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway

    Why?: The paint scheme that gained the most votes was the 2008 Grey Ghost. Most said that this car was a smart-looking car with how it was designed, as the combination of the colors silver and black stood out.The added fact of the All-Star Race being under the lights created more blitz for this car as it gave it the chance to have that perfect sparkle.

    Lastly, it was another tribute car, looking back at the days that Buddy Baker drove it.

Best of the Best Series...

13 of 13

    So what do you think? Do you agree with these paint schemes, or is there another paint scheme that holds more reason for you? To see all 52, click here.

    Next week, we'll take a look at Jimmie Johnson's 19 paint schemes and list the 10 best. To check them out ahead of time and choose your favourites, click here.