CONCORD, NC (November 19, 2015) – In the beginning, there were 64 paint schemes. Fourteen weeks and six rounds later, only one remains. And it’s one of the most iconic paint schemes in NASCAR history.
Dale Earnhardt’s black GM Goodwrench Chevrolet (60.4% of the votes) beat out Earnhardt’s yellow and blue Wrangler Chevrolet (39.6%) in the championship round of Lionel Racing’s “Lord of the Schemes” bracket challenge.
The challenge began on Wednesday, August 19 – on the heels of the announcement that Jeff Gordon would be bringing back his popular rainbow-designed car at that Saturday’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway – and ended on Wednesday, November 18. More than 138,000 votes were received throughout the campaign’s run. Lionel Racing, The Official Die-Cast of NASCAR, hosted the bracket challenge on its Facebook page.
“We always hear fans, media members and others in the NASCAR industry debating their favorite paint schemes, and the same thing happens here at Lionel Racing,” said Howard Hitchcock, President of Lionel.
“So we decided to settle the conversation once and for all and let the people who love and follow our sport determine which paint scheme is the best by voting in our ‘Lord of the Schemes’ bracket.”
In order to narrow the field of 200+ possible paint schemes to 64, Lionel Racing polled fans on its collector forum, and Facebook and Twitter channels. In addition, they enlisted the advice of several in-house experts.
“There are many worthy paint schemes within NASCAR, which made it difficult to vote on some match-ups,” said Hitchcock. “But, in the end, the voters selected Dale Earnhardt’s iconic No. 3 GM Goodwrench car – a paint scheme that for many fans epitomizes what NASCAR racing is all about.”
Earnhardt first slipped into the seat of the black No. 3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet in the 1988 season opener at Daytona International Speedway. Although he had already won 31 races and claimed three of his seven titles by this point, some of his best racing still lay ahead.
He piloted the car for the next 13 seasons before passing away after sustaining injuries in a last-lap accident in the 2001 Daytona 500. During this span, he won four championships (1990-91, 1993-94) and celebrated in Victory Lane 45 times, including his memorable 1998 DAYTONA 500 victory. At the conclusion of the race, as Earnhardt steered his car to Victory Lane, crew members from every team lined pit road to congratulate the already legendary driver on winning the “Great American Race” after 20 attempts.
Before facing the No. 3 Wrangler Chevrolet in the final round, the winning paint scheme faced an admirable lineup of contenders. In the first round, the No. 3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet went up against Tony Stewart’s No. 20 The Home Depot/It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Pontiac. It was then pitted against Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 8 Budweiser/Intimidator Chevrolet in the second round.
In the third round, the black GM Goodwrench paint scheme battled Davey Allison’s No. 28 Havoline Ford followed by a match-up with Richard Petty’s No. 43 STP Pontiac. In the semifinals, the winning paint scheme squared off against another of Earnhardt’s paint schemes – the No. 3 Goodwrench/Silver Select Chevrolet – before the championship round.
About Lionel Racing
Lionel Racing is the market leader in the design, promotion and distribution of licensed die-cast race cars. A division of Lionel Trains, Lionel Racing makes and sells replica die-cast NASCAR®, NHRA and other cars through a variety of channels, including Corporate, National Accounts, trackside, online, a network of specialty dealers and the Racing Collectables Club of America (RCCA). Located near Charlotte Motor Speedway, Lionel Racing has the pulse of the motorsports community and is committed to giving fans the very best in die-cast collectibles. For more information, visit www.LionelRacing.com.