Expain to me why the color green is bad luck in racing?

I don't know if all drivers think the color green is bad luck, but I've heard of several, why is this?

I know they are highly superstitious, but I'm looking for more of an answer.

Is it only the Nascar drivers or other racers as well?


Trego, It's a new Reeses candy I think, that's my best guess. Elvis will be on the car and he liked bananas and peanut butter, got me on that one.

I'll see if I can find more on it.

Update 2:

LOL, sorry Trego, I didn't read your answer good, peanuts in the shell?

Don't know that either.

Update 3:

~~Miamifanj~~ I was gonna point that one out myself. Thank you. 2000 was the year!

I wonder what Bobbys superstition is, Does he think the color green is 'good' luck? I bet so.

There are other cars that have been green with good results, besides Bobby.

It must be a drivers own opinion about the color.

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The green phenomenon usually is traced to a 1920 accident in Beverly Hills, Calif., that killed defending Indianapolis 500 champion Gaston Chevrolet, the youngest of the three industry-pioneering brothers. It was the first known racing accident in the United States to kill two drivers, and Chevrolet reportedly was driving a green car.

    The color green was just one of many fears of Joe Weatherly, a two-time champion in the Grand National series that later became known as Winston and then Nextel Cup. He qualified in the 13th position at Bristol in 1962 but insisted track officials document him as starting from 12a. He finished eighth but went on to win the first of consecutive driver championships. That same year he had refused to enter the 13th Southern 500 until Darlington officials coined it the "12th Renewal of the Southern 500."

    Peanuts or shells on or around a race car are generally considered dark magic, though the M&M decals on Elliott Sadler's No. 38 Ford are no problem for team-owner Robert Yates.

    "Maybe it's the hard candy coating holding in the bad luck," he said, laughing.

    Yates should know. He lived the peanut mania in the 1970s as an engine builder for Junior Johnson, who was as legendary for his driving as his temper.

    "One day one of the guys was eating peanuts and we had an engine blow up or something," Yates said. "And after that he would go nuts if there were peanut shells around the car. When those little plastic foam packing peanut things came out, a guy colored some of them and acted like he was eating peanuts around the car and Junior just went ballistic. He didn't think that was very funny."

    Johnson eventually had to amend his beliefs for the sake of subsidizing his race team when he secured as a sponsor Gatorade, which used green as its primary color.

    "We won a lot of races in that green car," Yates said. "He liked that we got a lot of green money in our pockets from it."

    Yates, too, adjusted his sensibilities when he began his own team.

    "We got a Planters deal, so we decided if the peanuts were hulled, that was fine," he said.

    Apparently the ones in Kevin Harvick's were not.

    "We had a bad experience," he said. "It just seems that way. Maybe it's something to blame. We had peanuts in the pits one time and the car blew up or something."

    Ricky Rudd uses a few old standbys but considers himself moderate on the superstition scale.

    "If a black cat crosses my path, I will go around the block," he said. "If I'm caught by surprise, I'll put a little X on the windshield. You hear about guys wearing victory socks or underwear. I'm not to that extreme."

    For a guy who grew up in Las Vegas, a town that thrives on the unlucky, Nextel Cup rookie Brendan Gaughan is remarkably unsuperstitious.

    "I've seen rabbit's feet, and I've seen my father won't carry a $10 bill," he said of his father, Michael, and former NASCAR Truck team owner. "I've seen all sorts of things like that. I've understood for a long time that superstitions are just that, superstitions. You make your own luck, and luck basically just comes from the hard work the guys put into the offices and the teams in the shop. ... Once you get in that race car you are alone and that's my time to get focused in and do my job."

    Brave, brave talk, especially from a guy in a bright yellow, red and black Dodge.

    Gradually, the firmly held superstitions have dimmed in emphasis.

    "I don't know if it's just that people have more sense, but they aren't as superstitious," Yates said.

    That's easy to say for a man with a hard candy coating between him and doom.


    Source(s): Superstitions Rule!!!!
  • 4 years ago

    The Peanuts & Green Cars thing is an Indy 500 "omen" but not limited to the greatest spectacle in racing. Forty years ago, if you went into the pits at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, you would find three things missing: women, peanuts and the colour green – all deemed to be bad luck. Peanuts have been considered bad luck at the 500 since the 1940's when peanut shells were found in the seat of a crashed car. Green cars are also considered taboo, and it is also considered bad luck to enter and exit the race car from the same side, and you won't see many green cars in the race. You still won't find peanuts. But a woman named Mari McCloskey of Woman's World Magazine threatened to sue in 1970 if they didn't let her into the pits and garage area to cover the Indy 500 just like a man. Speedway owner Tony Hulman capitulated and the floodgates opened.

  • 3 years ago

    Green Race Cars

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't know about 24gordan24 answer but it is/was bad luck in most forms of racing. I always heard it was bad luck because it was a jinx. It would be like saying you got a raise before you got one, a green car is implying you won't wreck and cause a yellow. That is simple but maybe there is a big story that I don't know. I know Harry Gant commented about he didn't believe he caused a yellow by tempting fate with a green car back at North Wilkesbourgh in the early 80's.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The color green is considered bad luck in all types of racing. I know this because my family is into boat racing, and no green boats. It comes from the color it's self being considered unlucky. Check the link It has some good explanations

  • 4 years ago

    I owned a green 1973 Z28 camaro back in 1979 car had a 550 hp solid lifter motor i did spin out once bad on a highway and hit the curb bent a expensive posi axle that had to be replaced. And after having fun with car after one year the motor blew i spun the main bearings and destroyed the engine. But lol i dont blame it on the color green i was drunk when i spun it and i raced the hell out of it that whole year and never ajusted the lifters or did much maintenance back then was just a kid but anyway id take that green z28 back in a minute.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'll go you a few better.......

    I WILL NOT shave the morning of an R/C race...that is provided I'm racing R/C's. I've had too many good cars tore up on days that I shaved before the race.

    If someone gives me a "thumbs-up" while I'm sitting in my race car, I will immediately get out, and I will not race that race. Same deal as above......crashed/broke the car every time someone did that. The only exception to that is if a race official does it, as a way of asking if I'm ready to start the race.........but if it's a way of saying "good luck,".....I'm outta there!!!!!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I have never heard this, until now. I have to completely disagree with this statement, that green is bad luck. My favorite driver, Bobby LaBonte, drove a green, #18, Interstate Batteries Chevrolet, to a Winston Cup Championship, in 2000. Green did not bring bad luck to Bobby.

  • ?
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Boy I'd like to help on this one, I know in nascar I have heard different drivers comment on the bad luck of a green car. I haven't heard any other racers say that. Don't know if that helps or not...

  • Just the color green and is in all racing from what I have heard.

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