Blaney’s ‘Kobe Tribute’ to Kyle Busch’s ‘Zombie Skittles’: Best Paint Schemes of the 2020 NASCAR Season

Published 12/31/2020, 12:35 PM EST
MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA – NOVEMBER 01: Kurt Busch, driver of the #1 Monster Energy Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Toyota, and Cole Custer, driver of the #41 HaasTooling.com Ford, race during the NASCAR Cup Series Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)


For the fans, it is not just about their favorite car being fast, it must also look good while winning. Admittedly, most racing series do not change machine liveries at the drop of a hat. Instead, they save them up for special occasions, and NASCAR also follows this route.

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In the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season, there have been plenty of great-looking liveries. A lot of them commemorated special events, milestones, throwbacks, or celebrated national holidays. Truthfully speaking, a number of them look absolutely gorgeous. However, one has to wonder what the best-looking liveries are.

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Stars and Stripes)

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The Team Penske driver debuts this patriotic livery at the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. It is worth mentioning that Keselowski has a tradition of unfurling the American flag after winning races. At Charlotte, he took patriotism to a new level when Team Penske rolled out a #2 car decked out with the American flag.

Aric Almirola (No. 10 Vote for Bacon)

Almirola unveiled this interesting livery at the Kentucky Speedway in order to qualify for the All-Star Race at Bristol. In fact, his website read, “Let’s vote Aric into the 2020 NASCAR All-Star Race, and you could win bacon for a year!”

LONG POND, PENNSYLVANIA – JUNE 27: Aric Almirola, driver of the #10 Smithfield Vote For Bacon Ford, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Pocono Organics 325 in partnership with Rodale Institute at Pocono Raceway on June 27, 2020 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Ryan Blaney (No. 12 Kobe Bryant Tribute)

FONTANA, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 28: Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 BodyArmor Ford, drives a special Kobe Bryant tribute car at Auto Club Speedway on February 28, 2020 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Back in January, former NBA star Kobe Bryant lost his life in an accident. In light of that, Ryan Blaney teamed up with sponsor, Body Armor to run a Kobe Bryant tribute paint scheme at the Auto Club Speedway. Fondly known as the Black Mamba, it was only fitting that Blaney ran a purple and gold tribute scheme with a snake-scale design.

Kyle Busch (No. 18 Zombie Skittles)

Back in October, Kyle Busch and the M&Ms brand decided to ring in the festival of Halloween. So, the 2019 Cup Series champion raced in a special SKITTLES Halloween scheme at the Texas Motor Speedway.

FORT WORTH, TEXAS – OCTOBER 28: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Zombie Toyota, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on October 28, 2020 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Michael McDowell (No. 34 Camo Livery)

Like Keselowski, Michael McDowell went down the patriotic route. However, his #34 Ford paid tribute to a late service member for the Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte. Emblazoned across the windshield is the name of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan Farmer, who lost his life in Syria earlier this year.

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Without a doubt, all these liveries looked absolutely incredible. Obviously, many NASCAR drivers view this as a tradition, and these special one-off liveries are quite creative. Now the 2021 season will likely be no different and we can expect a fresh set of liveries.

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MORE – WATCH: Five Biggest Crashes of 2020 NASCAR Season Including Ryan Newman’s Daytona Scare

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Dhruv George

11667 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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