Farmington Hills, Michigan-based Competition Graphics had a hand in helping 11-year-old Sabrina Morelli‘s dreams come true.
Morelli was one of 500 students in Delaware who submitted designs to the Monster Mile Youth Nation Design Challenge. This was the innagural design competition by the youth NASCAR racing enthusiast’s organization. Morelli’s colorful winning design was printed by Competition Graphics and then applied as a wrap around the official NASCAR pace car driven at Dover International Speedway.
The announcement of Morelli’s selection as design winner came on April 27 when NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Erik Jones paid a surprise visit to her school to congratulate her on her victory.
“It’s kind of crazy, I really didn’t think I would win,” says Sabrina.
Her winning design features blue, red and green stripes over a yellow background with orange checkers on the back and a lady bug on the roof.
“When I made it, I pictured it on the track and knew I wanted to make it bright and colorful,” says Sabrina. “I also wanted to add some things to it that people that aren’t from Delaware might want to see so that’s why I drew the state bug.”
Competition Graphics has long been a client of Dover International Raceway and it got the call to create the wrap using Morelli’s design.
Art director and graphics designer Joe Mikulas was sent the original artwork, scanned it, retouched it and set up the files to match Sabrina’s concept.
“The difficult part of the wrap execution was setting up the transition areas and making sure the wrap had that ‘Crayola‘ feel like her drawing,” said Mikulas.
The wrap was printed on 3M 180C V3 film with 3M 8518 gloss lamination. A Mimaki JV33-160 grand-format inkjet printer used a four-color process during printing.
The JD Sign Company in Harrington, Delaware, wrapped the pace car in an installation that took three days.
“I think the colors and concept that she created will look great on track,” Mikulas says. “My favorite part is either the rainbow stripes on the hood or the lady bug on the roof.”
The 19-year-old Jones, who drives the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing while competing full time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, says he got a kick out of being able to deliver the news to young Sabrina.
“She was excited and she is definitely into art and drawing,” said Jones. “It is definitely cool when a kid like that is that creative and gets to see their art on display on a pace car.”
The newly designed pace car will take to the track the weekend of May 13 – 15.
Jones will be one of the stars racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash race at Dover Speedway on Saturday, May 14, as part of the upcoming NASCAR triple header weekend at the Monster Mile.
Along with having her design featured on the pace car, Morelli also gets a VIP experience at the May 14 race, including being onstage for the prerace show.