Kyle Petty Interview: Maaco's 12 Days of Paint Jobs

Kyle Petty Interview: 12 Days of Paint Jobs

NASCAR celebrity Kyle Petty spoke exclusively with BodyShop Business on judging Maaco's "12 Days of Paint Jobs" contest.

Maaco recently announced the winners of its “12 Days of Paint Jobs” competition, which brought its nationwide network of shops together to paint Christmas-themed designs on hoods donated by LKQ. Kyle Petty, NASCAR celebrity and analyst for NBC, served as a contest judge.

12 Days of Paint Jobs
Winner Maaco Burleson’s “Maaco’s Workshop” design

“It has been fun to be a part of their team,” he said, thanking Maaco for the opportunity.

Shops from across the country sent in their entries, and Maaco pared it down to six semifinalists, from which Petty selected three finalists before choosing the ultimate winner: Maaco Burleson, Texas. The winning entry displayed Santa standing in front of a gingerbread “Maaco’s Workshop” and bookended by Christmas trees.

“It said Christmas all over it,” Petty stated when asked why he chose it as the winner. “Listen, if you walk in someone’s house and look at their Christmas displays, they painted that Christmas display on the hood. You could tell they were proud of the work. And they did do a lot of work. It didn’t just happen overnight.”

Petty found out as much when he met with the winning team virtually on Dec. 15. The technicians explained to him how they spent time first discussing their plans, then laying them out and finally painting them — and repainting them, when necessary. This obvious display of skill and work ethic was also a deciding factor in Petty’s choice to name Burleson the winner. Of course, that didn’t mean he wasn’t impressed with all the other entries.

“It’s like looking at a bunch of drawings that your child does. You look at every one of them, and every one of them’s good. And looking at these for me, there was something special in every one of the hoods that was entered. It was tough to narrow it down,” he explained.

The Burleson team members are also huge fans of NASCAR, so during their virtual meetup, they had the chance to ask Petty not only about racing but also his time working in his dad’s racing shop. Petty recounted his most memorable shop story for them.

“My dad drove Plymouths and Chryslers all those years, and the color of his car came to be known as Petty Blue,” he recounted. “When I was growing up, everything we had was painted that color blue until he got a sponsor in STP, and then everything became blue and Day-Glo Orange. When you put them on the car, it created an amazing car that you could pick out on the race track anywhere.”

Petty noted that it’s the iconic cars and paint jobs of the 1960s to 1990s that still remain with him: Dale Earnhardt’s solid black car with silver across the bottom; the Goodrich car; the red and white Budweiser car that simply read “Bud” across the hood; and the Mello Yello car that Petty himself drove, sporting black paint with a Day-Glo Green and Yellow stripe around it.

“You know, you look at those cars, and it’s a very simplistic paint job, but at the same time, it’s very recognizable and it jumps out on the racetrack. So for me, working at my dad’s shop and painting that blue and orange car — that’s still one of the coolest cars to me and always will be,” Petty affirmed.

His time working at his dad’s shop gave Petty a tremendous respect for painters and their methods, but there’s one quality that he believes separates the best from the rest.

“Any really great painter that I’ve ever run across in racing has one thing that stands out, and it’s their patience.”

Referencing the common saying that something is as boring as “watching paint dry,” he added, “Great painters love to watch paint dry, because that’s what it takes. It takes the patience of Job to paint a car and to do the things that you have to do, because you can’t rush it. It has to be slow.”

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