Earnhardt's new paint scheme revealed for 2012
NASCAR fans got a sneak peek Thursday at Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s new-look paint scheme for the 2012 Sprint Cup Series season.
|"It's a perfect partnership." -- BRETT O'BRIEN. We're not sure what he meant by that. Mountain Dew sales are far outpaced by other leading soft drink brands, similar to how Dale Jr. is outpaced by the many better drivers in NASCAR. Is that what he meant?|
A partner on Earnhardt's cars since he joined Hendrick Motorsports in 2008, PepsiCo will feature its Diet Mountain Dew brand on the No. 88 Chevrolets in 2012. AMP Energy will remain as a major associate sponsor, retaining a significant presence with the team next season.
The new No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet will debut at the 2012 Daytona 500.
"The time is right to put the power of Dale Earnhardt Jr. behind Diet Mountain Dew as our lead brand on the 88 car," said Brett O'Brien, vice president of marketing for Mountain Dew and AMP Energy. "Diet Dew is one of the fastest-growing carbonated soft drinks in the United States, and Dale Jr. is the embodiment of the person we're trying to target with Diet Mountain Dew -- it's a perfect partnership. Additionally, AMP Energy will continue to be a significant part of our sponsorship activity with several AMP Energy paint-outs in 2012."
Earnhardt, currently fifth in Sprint Cup championship points, helped introduce his 2012 paint scheme on ESPN's SportsCenter.
The Mountain Dew brand has a strong and storied history in NASCAR. Notably, it was the primary sponsor of NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Darrell Waltrip during the 1981 and 1982 Sprint Cup seasons, marking two of his three championship-winning campaigns.
More recently, Diet Mountain Dew was featured on Earnhardt's No. 88 Chevy at the inaugural Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway in July. A variety of Diet Mountain Dew-themed paint schemes will run later this season at Loudon, N.H., on Sept. 25, Talladega, Ala., on Oct. 23, Martinsville, Va., on Oct. 30 and Phoenix on Nov. 13.
As it has since joining the No. 88 team in 2008, PepsiCo (20 points-paying races) will share co-primary sponsorship of Earnhardt's Chevrolets with the National Guard (16 points-paying races) in 2012. A detailed schedule of paint schemes has not yet been determined.