Chris McGuire doesn't just like to win, he likes to win with style and pizzazz.
Taking the checkered flag in the first two charger races of the 2011 season will get you noticed, but so will a fancy paint job.
McGuire's No. 89x Ford Fusion isn't your run-of-the-mill car. With a metallic purple finish, fluorescent yellow racing stripes and a snazzy hood design, McGuire, with the help of Wild Child Designs in Speonk, has created a fan favorite. His car has been named the best appearing car at Riverhead Raceway four straight seasons.
"People come up to me and say: 'This is one of the prettiest cars in the pit area,' " the 34- year-old from Shirley said. "It certainly attracts attention."
And not just from the fans. With sponsorship being the key to a successful race team, McGuire realized a car that stands out from the crowd would help lure sponsors -- and he was right.
"If I own a business and am going to invest money, I don't want to put my name on something that looks like [garbage]," McGuire said. "Getting sponsors is key because I've got to worry about my house and providing for my family before I put a new set of tires on my car."
McGuire's primary sponsor is the Long Island Fiber Exchange, with M3 Technology and Gershow Recycling also giving his team a much-needed boost.
Last week was McGuire's 13th career win in his 10th season on the chargers circuit at Riverhead. He had never won two straight, and is still seeking the elusive points title. In the last four seasons, he's finished second twice and third twice. Chris Turbush of Riverhead, whom McGuire calls a close friend, has won the last three chargers championships.
"I'm still lookin' for that title," McGuire said. "It's haunting me."