With the fully-virtual DC FanDome event taking place on Saturday, fans are fired up for the next generation of films, video games and series. They are ready to learn about upcoming projects while watching panels with some of their favorite stars. Others, however, are looking at the past. They want to think about the impact that DC Comics has had on NASCAR over the years.
Several films have partnered with top drivers as a promotion of sorts. This includes Batman Forever, Wonder Woman and Superman Returns. Prominent NASCAR drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson have all showcased their talents on the oval tracks while advertising upcoming superhero films. Bill Elliott even shook hands with Batman prior to a race in 1995. Here are some of the best DC Comics paint schemes from NASCAR's history.
In 2017, not one but two NASCAR drivers advertised the Justice League film. Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne drove cars featuring DC superheroes during a race at Texas Motor Speedway. The original designs featured Cyborg, the Flash, Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman, but they violated NASCAR rules. Hendrick Motorsports had to ultimately change the paint schemes to feature the same design on each side.prevnext
Aric Almirola, the driver of the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Ford Mustang, headed to Martinsville Speedway in 2019 with a unique paint scheme. He advertised the Zachary Levi-helmed superhero film Shazam! Although Almirola's design still prominently featured the Smithfield Foods logo on each side of the Mustang.prevnext
Danica Patrick's car will have a WonderWoman theme this weekend ahead of the June 2 movie release, collaboration T-shirts also for sale pic.twitter.com/VLhmdobb7q— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) May 8, 2017
Danica Patrick retired from full-time racing after the 2017 season, her last with Stewart-Haas racing. However, she went out after showcasing a powerful paint scheme. She drove the No. 10 Ford Mustang that featured Wonder Woman during two separate races. The design made its debut during the Go Bowling 300 at Kansas Speedway and then reappeared during the Monster Energy Open at Charlotte Motor Speedway.prevnext
'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice'
On this day in 2016, Jimmie Johnson won the Auto Club 400 at Fontana in one of the coolest paint schemes of all time — the Lowe’s Superman #48 Chevy pic.twitter.com/ZMhiZkRumA— Checkered Flag Nation (@2Checkered) March 20, 2020
When NASCAR drivers headed to Fontana, California for the Auto Club 400 in 2016, they did so in order to compete against both Batman and Superman. Hendrick Motorsports drivers Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson each drove a superhero-themed Chevrolet Camaro while promoting the blockbuster film. Johnson secured the victory and celebrated in Victory Lane while wearing Superman's cape.prevnext
'Man of Steel'
As the list shows, Earnhardt Jr. fully supported superhero paint schemes throughout his Hall of Fame career. He drove multiple stock cars with Batman paint schemes, but he also donned Superman's cape in 2013. He took part in a race at Michigan International Speedway and advertised both Man of Steel and the National Guard.prevnext
'The Dark Knight Rises'
One year prior to driving a Man of Steel car, Earnhardt Jr. drove a Batman-themed Chevrolet. He raced in the No. 88 Dark Knight Rises car during a race at Michigan International Speedway. This design promoted the third film in the Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale trilogy and fans had the opportunity to vote on the final paint scheme.prevnext
While Earnhardt Jr. primarily drew attention for his superhero paint schemes, he was not the only longtime driver to do so. Back in 2005, Warner Bros partnered with Mark Martin to promote Batman Begins. The No. 6 Roush Fenway Ford Mustang featured a blue Batman paint scheme that also included the skyline of Gotham City. Martin's teammate, Ricky Craven, also sported a Batman Begins scheme during a Truck Series race.prevnext
Here is the first 1/24 @nascar diecast I ever got. I picked this up back in 2006 from QVC. @jeffgordon drove this car in 06 for the summer @DISupdates race. This fetuses a special paint schemes that only ran once to promote the new Superman returns movie. pic.twitter.com/TLKN3z0tPZ— Edge_of_Texas_Diecast (@OfDiecast) June 27, 2020
Like Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon routinely drove stock cars featuring pop culture paint themes throughout his Hall of Fame career. This includes schemes advertising Star Wars, Bugs Bunny and Jurassic Park. However, he opted for a DC Comics design in 2006. Gordon promoted Brandon Routh's Superman Returns during a 2006 race at Daytona International Speedway.prevnext
Bill Elliott and Batman— NASCAR Memories (@NASCARMemories) May 29, 2020
(Charlotte 1995) pic.twitter.com/tY8tpuk4uU
Back in 1995, NASCAR driver Bill Elliott shook hands with Batman prior to a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He then climbed into the "Thunderbat," the No. 94 Ford Thunderbird featuring a Batman Forever paint scheme. This design took center stage on Elliott's car for three races during the 1995 season, also including Pocono and Michigan.prev