By David G. Firestone
NASCAR has a lengthy history in the United States. Founded in 1948, 71 years ago, NASCAR has taken stock car racing to new heights. Once a regional promotion, NASCAR is now an international powerhouse. NASCAR and their various series have logo histories that are interesting.
Let’s start with NASCAR itself.
1948-1968The first NASCAR logo features a track-inspired oval design, with checkered flags, and two streamlined cars heading toward each other. NASCAR INTERNATIONAL is printed in black on the greenish-yellow oval.
1968-1978A newer version of the logo is introduced. The oval is gone, the colors have changed from black and greenish-yellow to blue and white. The checkered flags have a much more pronounced, and a line motif is added to the back ground. NASCAR is on top of the cars, INTERNATIONAL is underneath them.
1978-2017A brand new logo is introduced in 1978. A rectangle with NASCAR in white lettering, with various different colors in the negative space replaces the old school NASCAR International logo. A series of colored vertical bricks are on the left side of the logo.
2018-???A much more toned down version of the previous logo, with different font is introduced during 2017, with much fanfare.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has a unique tradition that stretches back to the 1970’s, the Series Logo. Series Logos are now commonplace in most forms of racing The evolution of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series logo over the years in interesting.
1972-1981This logo is designed in classic 1970’s design, and can be seen on driver suits, as this Dale Earnhardt Sr. example from 1980 clearly shows.
1982-1988The “1 Car” logo was a major redesign, and features a logo, with NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL SERIES embroidered, and a 1980’s car. Very visible on driver suits from the era.
1989-1992A simple Winston logo, which, while underwhelming is very visible on this Bobby Hillin Jr. Suit, and this photo of Dale Earnhardt Sr. from 1992…and look who is next to him!
1993-1996Again an underwhelming yet attractive series logo. The interesting thing about logos from 1993-2001 is that there are two designs, red with white lettering that displayed better on light driver suits, and white with red lettering that displayed better on dark colored driver suits. Though the rule was rather ambiguous for a while.
1997-1999This design went through some changes when Winston changed the design of their packaging. Starting in 1998, Winston went from a rounder typeface to a narrower and straighter typeface, as a young Tony Stewart is modeling.
1998:Every team and driver ran the NASCAR 50th Anniversary logo on their cars and driver suits. Not bad at all.
2000-2001A square design with an oval logo was used from 2000-2001, with the color-flipping returning. At this point, the discussion of who would replace Winston started, as due to legislation, cigarettes would not be allowed to sponsor auto racing within the next few years.
2002-2003The transitional oval logo. The Busch Grand National series had adopted an oval logo in 1995, and since the series would change sponsorships in 2004, this new logo would be the bridge between the old and the new.
2004-2007New sponsor, new colors, new shape. Nextell Communications took over in 2004 and it became the Nextell Cup Series. This logo would remain constant until Sprint and Nextell merged, which led to:
2008-2016:Same color scheme, same shape, same basic design.
The logo has become a marketing point for NASCAR teams and NASCAR itself. Die casts, driver uniform coats, t-shirts, pit crew shirts, and many other items carry these logos.
2017-2019Monster Energy takes over the series sponsorship from Sprint, initially for only one season, though two seasons were eventually announced. The new Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has a logo based on the new Xfinity Series. It’s a black rectangle, with the current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Now on to the NASCAR Xfinity Series
1982-1994 These two logos were used for the Busch Grand National series. The plain Busch logo worked better and was used more often than the Busch Beer Series logo.
1995-2004An oval logo with the sponsor name, and GRAND NATIONAL SERIES added below. It was very marketable and worked quite well as a logo.
2004-2007Grand National Series has been removed, and some minor redesigns to BUSCH and the NASCAR logo as well. 2006 featured the 25th Anniversary logo.
2015-2017Xfinity takes over the series sponsorship, and release an off-center oval logo, black outline with cutting edge designs on the black outline. The center is white, and features a NASCAR Xfinity Series text.
2018-PresentWith the new NASCAR logo came a new Xfinity Series logo, this one a black square with red designs and a NASCAR Xfinity Series logo replaces the oval.
Last but certainly not least the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.
1995For the first season, the Truck Series was referred to as the “Super Truck Series by Craftsman.” It featured a decidedly early 1990’s logo. It lasted for only one season.
1996-2002The Craftsman Truck Series is a better name and the logo, while still bearing a 1990’s style design, is more refined and professional.
2003-2008The entire logo is inside the oval, some minor color and typeface changes are present as well. 2005 featured the 10th Anniversary logo. 2009-2018 The same off-center oval design as the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup logos, with a sponsor redesign for Camping World, who took over for Craftsman after 2009.
2019-???Gander Mountain takes over from Camping World. They are both owned by the same company. This results in a new logo, this one with a black rectangle, outlined in blue, with a blue rectangle with white lettering.
Next week, we revisit a pair of racing gloves.