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Earnhardt Gets Diet Mountain Dew Look in 2012
Dale Earnhardt Jr. unveiled his 2012 Diet Mountain Dew paint scheme — pictured top right — on Wednesday via Facebook, rolling out a predominantly silver Chevy with Mountain Dew’s familiar green, red and black accents.
AMP Energy, co-primary sponsor of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 car following the 2007 season, will take on a reduced branding role next season. PepsiCo, whose contract with Hendrick Motorsports and the No. 88 teams runs through 2012, is the parent company of both AMP and Mountain Dew.
“The story is really about opportunity,” George Cox, Mountain Dew brand manager, told the Sports Business Journal. “With Dew, Dale and NASCAR there’s this awesome marriage. Dale is the embodiment of the person we’re trying to target with Diet Dew. We wanted to tap into that equity Dew has in NASCAR and put it into overdrive with Dale.”
The National Guard is expected to return for 18 races on Earnhardt’s car next season.
The new look is more reminiscent of Buddy Baker’s famous “Grey Ghost” car than the classic early ’80s Mountain Dew machines driven to a pair of titles by Darrell Waltrip in 1981 and '82. And this writer, for one, was hoping for more of a “contemporary” revision of Waltrip’s Buicks — particularly when one considers Earnhardt's love of NASCAR history and his hands-on approach to paint schemes. In fact, the Diet Mountain Dew throwback paint scheme Earnhardt drove in one race last year (bottom right), would’ve done just fine.
Agree with Matt? Disagree? Post a comment below and tell him what you think of Junior's new paint job. You can also follow Matt on Twitter @MattTaliaferro