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PHOTOS: NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer honors Alabama at Talladega

By Jerry Hinnen | Staff Writer
For the past few seasons, NASCAR's Michael Waltrip Racing has honored the reigning college football national champions with a special paint job at the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway, as they did for Auburn last year.

But in 2012, it's Alabama's turn for the recognition, and driver of the No. 15 car Clint Bowyer and his team have turned that honor up a notch. For starters, there's Bowyer's car, shown here at Thursday's qualifiying practice run:

Yes, that's a list of Alabama's national championship years along the back. (Here's a more comprehensive view of the car.) Then there's Bowyer's crew, which wore matching Bear Bryant-style houndstooth hats to qualifying on Saturday:

And then there's Bowyer's helmet, the back of which is adorned with a surprisingly detailed portrait of Bryant:

That's outstanding, particularly if you're an Alabama fan. But this also means that we'll be rooting for LSU to win the national title this year, in the hopes that 2013's NASCAR helmet technology will allow for GIFs to play on them ... and that some lucky driver will win the checkered flag with this on the back of his helmet:

For a complete breakdown of Sunday's race, check out CBSSports.com Eye on NASCAR writer Pete Pistone's preview.

Photos by Getty Images.
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