Chances are if you’re reading this you already know about Lionel Racing and Splash ‘n Go’s Lord of the Schemes bracket, and the chances are pretty high that you’ve already voted. If you’re one of those who haven’t yet enjoyed the thrill of voting for 32 matchups of some of NASCAR’s most iconic and popular paint schemes, I have one question for you: what’s stopping you?
You know you want to have your opinions count. You know you love looking at cool paint schemes that make you feel all nostalgic inside and leave you wanting more. So head on over to http://woobox.com/kqep62 to vote on the first round before it’s too late.
We’ve decided every now and then to highlight one of the matchups in the current round to let those who are still not convinced that they should vote see what they’re missing.
With the first Matchup Mania we’ll be looking into the battle between a No. 1 seed and a No. 16 seed. Normally, you might think this is a slam dunk, but when you have Jeff Gordon’s 1994 DuPont paint scheme versus Bobby Labonte’s 1999 Interstate Batteries design, you realize how difficult this bracket will be to choose winners.
We’ll start first with the No. 1 seed – Gordon’s iconic rainbow scheme. Although the car in the photo is specifically from 1994, Gordon drove the rainbow-designed Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet from 1992 through 2000. In that time period, he won three of his four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships and 52 races.
There was a four-year stretch between 1995 and 1998 where he finished first or second in the final standings. He won the titles in 1995, 1997 and 1998. Between 1996 and 1998 he racked up 33 wins. In the year prior and the year immediately following the three-year span, Gordon notched seven wins in both seasons.
His sponsor through all of this was DuPont. The scheme was thought up by and designed by NASCAR-licensed artist Sam Bass and inspired by DuPont’s “rainbow” of paint colors. Gordon’s car and uniform (as well his team’s uniforms), which also carried the rainbow motif, led them to be called the “Rainbow Warriors.”
At the end of the day, the rainbow scheme became one of the most iconic and popular schemes in NASCAR history.
Going up against Gordon’s rainbow DuPont paint scheme is Labonte’s also-popular No. 18 Interstate Batteries paint scheme. Labonte drove the Joe Gibbs Racing-owned green, red and black race car for 11 seasons, from 1995 through 2005. During that time, he collected all 21 of his career wins in NASCAR’s premier series, as well as winning the 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.
In terms of race wins, his most successful season was 1999. The car in the photo we used in the Lord of the Schemes bracket is from Labonte’s 1999 campaign. He won five races that year, including sweeping both Pocono events. That season, he also posted his best average finish (9.5) and second-best average start (9.0), which includes five poles. In his championship season, he won four times, posting victories at Rockingham, Indianapolis, Darlington and Charlotte.
Don’t hold off on voting in the first round any longer. Let us know through your votes which paint scheme is truly the “Lord of the Schemes.” The first round runs through September 8.