A lot of NASCAR Sprint Cup racing's most memorable drives often have a black base. From Davey Allison's No. 28 Havoline Ford ride to Dale Earnhardt's No. 3 Goodwrench Service Plus Chevy mount, it seems like if the car's got black on it, it's going to be bad to the bone, fast, and unstoppable.
In this case, Axalta Coating Systems and Jeff Gordon's No. 24 team may be on to something quite solid, as they unveiled the new "Brilliant Flames" paint scheme designed by long-time NASCAR artist Sam Bass at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Thursday afternoon.
Unlike today's stock car rides, this one isn't wrapped. Instead, it's painted by the diligent crew at the Hendrick Motorsports campus from start to finish, where the black base is met by a pair of flames that jut out towards each headlight, with a hint of rainbow colors on the outlines.
From the sides, it's mostly black with red, orange, and yellow flames adorning the traditional No. 24 numbers with "AXALTA" in big bold, white letters accompanied by a strong red flame. Lastly, the TV panel is mostly red and yellow, similar to the previous "FireStorm" colors.
Ultimately, it resembles classic hot rods of yesteryear with a lot of Jeff Gordon qualities, including the yellow No. 24's, the prominent logo placement on the hood, and of course, a hint of rainbow with those flames, something of a tradition since the 2001 season.
Not to mention, the firesuit is mostly black with yellow flames adorning it, proving that both the driver and car will look fast and sleek at the 12 races it'll be a part of in the 2014 NASCAR season.
This season will mark the second for the newly branded Axalta brand, which made its debut in last June's Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway. Last year, Gordon's best finish in the Axalta colors was a third place effort at the fall Kansas Speedway race.
Overall, it's the first true original, full-time Axalta colors, as they adopted the "FireStorm" paint scheme from the 2009-'11 seasons, which only saw one trip to a points paying race (June Pocono race of 2011).
In addition to the unveiling, Axalta presented a check of $5,000 to the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation. This long running group's mission to fund medical research in efforts to finding a cure for pediatric cancer, a cause close to Gordon's heart. Officials presented the check to Gordon during the unveiling ceremony at the Charlotte, NC-based museum.
Ultimately, Axalta's "Brilliant Flames" is a special ride for what will shape up to be an extraordinary year ahead for Gordon, who comes off a strong 2013 points finish of sixth in the Cup ranks. It'll mark the 20th anniversary of Gordon's first Cup win, which took place at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Needless to say, Axalta's looking forward to trips to Victory Lane in 2014!
As one of the sport's elder spokespersons, a four-time Cup champion, and an 88-time race winner, there's a lot on the line with this 42-year-old racing legend. That long "Drive for Five" is still on and it's one that he'd like to conclude with a championship victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November.
Additionally, this fast looking ride will be part of the season long battle to make the newly revamped Chase, making a majority of its appearance in the first 26 races of the year.
This amazing new drive will be raced at the spring races at Las Vegas, Bristol, Martinsville, Texas, and Kansas as well as the summer events at Indianapolis and Michigan. Lastly, the fall races at Talladega and Phoenix will see the Axalta colors on the No. 24 drive.
Together, Axalta Coating Systems, which was formerly known as DuPont Refinishes, and Jeff Gordon have been a part of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team for the past 22 years, starting with the season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
From the "Rainbow Warrior" ride to "Fire and Flames" to "FireStorm" and now "Brilliant Flames," it's an evolution in colors, speed, and a driver and company all geared up towards winning races and championships in the most competitive form of racing - the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Author's Notes : We'd like to thank Axalta Racing's Twitter page for the pictures of the new No. 24 ride! Thanks so much and give these folks a follow!