Today I wanted to take a trip back to the NASCAR design world and take a look at a few times when the top drivers in NASCAR combined forces with our favorite childhood superheroes from DC Comics. In a way, the drivers in NASCAR are like superheroes. They have a special power, the ability to drive a racecar at fantastic speeds, they dress up in superhero style costumes to race and we follow their exploits from week to week waiting to see what new adventure lies ahead for them. (I know, stretching it a bit) So, it makes sense when you combine the heroes from the pages of our favorite DC Comic books with our favorite NASCAR heroes.
This image features the Justice League promotion that ran at Michigan in 2004. Six Cup cars that ran the race that day featured DC Comics' Justice League characters. The #12 featured the entire Justice League. The other cars featured the individual members of the team, the Flash, Green Lantern, Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman. I don't know about you, but don't you think that Greg Biffle had an unfair advantage that weekend with the Fastest Man Alive on his hood?
Another DC Comics promotion took place in 1998 at Charlotte when the #88 of Dale Jarrett and the #28 of Kenny Irwin Jr. featured Batman and the Joker. This special paint scheme event was a very popular promotion teaming this hero and villain combination with the famous Robert Yates Racing Fords. The fall race weekend even featured one of Charlotte's famous pre-race extravaganza shows with a fierce and explosive battle between the Joker and Batman. A little known fact about these cars is that the black numbers you see on all of the diecast did not run during the race. The #88 team of Dale Jarrett actually switched to yellow numbers at the last minute to make them more visible.
In 1999, the Man of Steel got into the action on the track. The #24 of Jeff Gordon carried the image of Superman on its sides and the famous S logo on the hood. Jeff Gordon was not the only driver to get in on the Superman action. The #3 Busch Series car of Dale Earnhardt Jr. also sported the Man of Steel on its sheetmetal. The hood of the #3 car featured the memorable image of Clark Kent ripping off his civilian clothes as he made the change into the Man of Steel.
In 2005, the race at the Michigan International Speedway was called the Batman Begins 400. It was not a surprise that a car would take to the track with a Batman themed paint scheme that weekend. Mark Martin's #6 Roush Racing Ford was painted up in full Batman Begins glory. The car was a great visual tribute to what would become one of the most popular movies of all-time.
I hope you've enjoyed this little ride through the pages of DC Comics courtesy of NASCAR. Comic book heroes provide some really great imagery and themes to create cool paint scheme promotions and these DC Comics cars are all great examples. Any time you can combine sports and comic books, you get fun results.