In 1997, Jeff Gordon began sponsorship alongside the Pepsi-Cola company, leaving Coca-Cola that had been with him for the previous five seasons. It has since turned out to be a very strong partnership that has seen the brand exposed in the Nationwide Series in select races in 1999 and 2000, including two victories.
In 2001, Pepsi became more of an associate sponsor to Gordon, appearing on the hood for two races each year.
The first Pepsi cars were just plain blue, and didn't stand out. That all changed when NASCAR went to Daytona in 2002, as Gordon rolled out a Pepsi car that had every intention of celebrating the 4th of July. The blue car was brighter, with a huge Pepsi logo engulfing the car number on each side, plus red and white ribbons going from front to back.
Then to make the car stand out even more, fireworks were added everywhere possible, and the look was complete.
The car changed it's look slightly from the original plans, as Gordon was eligible for the No Bull 5 bonus that weekend, meaning a bright orange spoiler, lower front bumper, and number on the roof.
Unfortunately, Gordon did not fair well in the race, but the paint scheme certainly got it's intended attention, especially considering the race was named the Pepsi 400.