Harrisburg, N.C. -- The DuPont team has changed its look for the first time since the team's inception in 1992.

The famous rainbow car now has a more updated look -- one that DuPont Automotive Finishes will use to showcase its latest paint systems and technology to its customer base. NASCAR Winston Cup racing and the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team with driver Jeff Gordon have proven to be a successful way to market DuPont's automotive finishes, and paint sales have proven it.

"NASCAR has been a tremendous showcase for our paint finishes," said Lou Savelli, president of DuPont Performance Coatings. "And this new paint scheme utilizes our latest undercoats and most productive basecoat and clearcoat, and features brilliant, exciting colors. We think it will generate even more recognition of the DuPont name among NASCAR fans throughout the world." Also for the first time, the No. 24 car's quarterpanels simply say "DuPont" and the deck lid features the corporate slogan, "The miracles of science." Other DuPont businesses, such as Corian, Tyvek, Stainmaster, Nomex and Sontara have taken the opportunity to use the No. 24 car to market their "miracles" and entertain customers. After a transition season in which the No. 24 team experienced a new-in 2000 -crew chief, pit crew, Monte Carlo and tire design, Gordon said the DuPont team is ready to start anew in 2001 as contenders each week -- and with a new look. "I feel like this team has really worked hard and come together this year," said Gordon. "It should put us in a real good position going into next year and I think the new paint scheme will be a great way to ignite this team going into the 2001 season. "DuPont has had a lot of success with its motorsports program since the beginning. I have met thousands of customers over the years and it's obvious they have really used their sponsorship to leverage their customer relations and increase sales. "Now they are expanding the program to the entire corporation so that they can take advantage of the opportunities that NASCAR Winston Cup racing offers to major corporate marketers. "They have been so loyal to this team through the good years, the changes and this transition period and have given us what we'll need to be a competitive race team for many years to come. I can't say how much that means." Team owner Rick Hendrick has an association with DuPont that goes beyond the race team owner/sponsor relationship. "My relationship with DuPont goes back a long way," said Hendrick. "Not only are they vital to the success of the No. 24 team, but their paint systems and technological advances have saved time and improved quality at our dealerships. "DuPont has provided tremendous support to this organization, and this new paint scheme is an excellent way for them to evolve and maximize their sponsorship efforts." Renowned motorsports artist Sam Bass, who designed the original rainbow car, is also responsible for the new "fire and flames" design.

"When I designed the 'rainbow' car in 1992, I had no idea how popular and well received the design would become. Therefore, I felt I should definitely consider another 'force of nature' as the theme for the new scheme. I wanted to create a 'hot new look' -- so what better force of nature to use than fire? I incorporated into the flame patterns a very subtle border treatment that trims the fire with a flowing color prism. The effect pays homage to the previous rainbow scheme, yet gives a stunning visual 'pop' to the flames. The result is a 'fired-up' array of color that looks fast even when sitting still."

And how does the DuPont team feel about the new season and their new look? All fired up!