RACING ACROSS THE CANVAS
THURSDAY APRIL 1, 2010
REALLY REALLY FAST ART
Despite what Sports Illustrated may have reported, Danica Patrick will
not be body painted for the Ice Breaker 200--NASCAR DOES ART benefit race
on April 3 at the newest racing venue, the Sugar Bowl in Pittsford, Vermont;
however, her car, the number 7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, will be.
"We're working with artist Warren Kimble
and all our car owners to build this project," Vermont Sugar Bowl Communications
Manager Carolyn Dumfries said. Each of the race cars in the Nationwide Series
race will be painted with a design created by artists in the three northern New
"This event will be much like the 'really
really pig show' of Brandon except the parade will be faster," Mr. Kimble
said. Much much faster.
Well known in Vermont, national folk artist Warren
Kimble spearheaded the Palettes
of Vermont project as the first major statewide project in which artists,
schoolchildren and talented residents transformed humble objects into works of
art. Our own World's Largest Palette was part of that effort.
Mr. Kimble gathered drivers, car owners, and arts
council chairs (including yours truly) last month at the southern Vermont racetrack.
We picked four Franklin County artists.
Ms Patrick chose to carry a surreal, gauzy angel proposed by Franklin artist
Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard. Chad Blount selected Bob Eldridge's quirky maritime
art for his number 10 Braun Racing Toyota. Kevin Lepage of Shelburne wants Dick
photographs of the USS North Carolina on his hood and a woman body surfing on
Lake Champlain on the fenders of his number 156 Mac Hill Motorsports Chevrolet.
Chrissy Wallace will adorn the Fuel-Doctor.com Chevrolet with Harald Aksdal's
hawk stooping over the Wildlife refuge. The hawk is actually a falcon which is
a nice irony for a Chevy driver.
"I may have been the first artist to sign
on," Ms. LaRocque-Bouchard said, "because my murals are usually as
big as cars anyway."
Six other drivers including Bobby Gerhart, Lucas
Oil Chevrolet; Jeff Green, Tobacco Free Florida Chevrolet; Brad Keselowski, Discount
Tire Dodge; Eric McClure, Hefty Ford; Paul Menard, Menards Ford; and Kenny Wallace,
Hot Rod Grills Chevrolet, will carry the work of other Vermont artists during
the event. The remainder of the field will have work by New Hampshire and Maine
NASCAR worked with Dan Pattullo of Sheldon to
digitize the work in preparation for the full body decals now applied to race
The NASCAR Nationwide Series is the stock car racing series one step below the "big
league" Sprint Cup. Nationwide races attract Cup racers as well as drivers working
to step up. They are usually held the day before a Sprint Cup race to encourage
fans to attend both events.
This is the first major event at the Vermont Sugar
Bowl in Pittsford. The new track is a .956 mile oval speedway with 1,500 foot
straights banked at 1 degree and 96 foot wide turns variably banked up to 26
degrees. A 1.46 mile, 11 turn Road Course will be completed this summer. There
is seating for 91,262 fans. "There is no Sprint Cup race this weekend but
we hope to have one on the schedule next year," Ms. Dumfries said.
The green flag will drop for the Ice Breaker 200--NASCAR
DOES ART race, one leg of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, at 3 p.m. this Saturday,
April 3. Admission ranges from $5 for youths under 16 to $75 for adults in the
reserved section. Tickets are available at ticketmaster.allarts.org.
Gates open at 7 a.m. Proceeds will benefit local art projects in all three states.
After reading this report, you may think that your favorite arts council chair has breathed too many high octane fumes. Rest assured that
NO CAR (OR DRIVER) WAS ACTUALLY PAINTED
DESPITE MY BEST EFFORTS
it is again April 1, and you have been fooled.
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