Graffiti Artist ‘DrAutoArt’ Takes NASCAR World by Storm

By Seth Eggert, Associate Editor

From Sam Bass and Garry Hill to Harris Lue and Noah ‘Lefty’ Sweet, the art of motorsports has been depicted on canvas, online, and on shirts since auto racing began. One motorsports artist, Chris Pullan, who paints and posts to social media under the handle ‘DrAutoArt,’ and his racing graffiti art is the latest to capture fans attention.

DrAutoArt Goes Viral

Pullan went viral after he replied to Daniel Suarez on X (formerly known as Twitter) with a graffiti painting of the Trackhouse Racing driver’s historic win in a three-wide photo finish in the Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. As NASCAR fans discovered DrAutoArt’s work, Suarez, the team, the track, and even NASCAR itself took notice and either replied, quoted, or retweeted the work.

The now viral artist tries to focus on the moments that take the breath away from the average, casual, and diehard race fans alike. Moments like the photo finish at Atlanta, a record breaking moment by Lewis Hamilton, or a sensational qualifying effort by Lando Norris and the celebrations that come next are what Pullan loves to bring to life.

“The best moments to paint are the ones that make you go ‘Wow!’ when you’re watching them happen,” Pullan stated. “Celebration images are my [favorite] capture in paint. I’d like to think my graffiti style makes them feel alive. It’s hard to say how long each one takes. The most time and effort go into making a set of stencils that I’m happy with, but once these are done, the painting process is fairly quick. Everything is done by hand with no computers. People find that hard to believe in this day and age.”

Humble Beginnings

Like the legendary NASCAR artists of Bass and Hill, Pullan picked up the racing bug at an early age. Living in the United Kingdom, he was drawn to Formula One, MotoGP, and the World Rally Championship (WRC). That passion came from his father, who built a Group B Ford RS 200 rally car, taking it to classic car shows.

“I’ve been a motorsport fan for as long as I can remember,” Pullan recalled. “Some of my earliest memories are of watching Formula One and MotoGP with my dad in the 90’s and he was also a massive WRC enthusiast. He even built his own Ford RS 200 Group B rally car that we used to take all over the UK to classic car shows.

Chris pullan's drautoart graffiti paint took the nascar world by storm.
Valentino Rossi art (Photo by DrAutoArt)

“I remember watching Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill winning the championships and the heartbreak of when they lost out to Schumacher later on. I got into MotoGP by following Valentino Rossi, watching him come up through the junior categories.”

That love of racing brought ‘the doctor of auto art’ to Silverstone Circuit each season for the MotoGP events. At those events, Pullan was drawn to the artwork stalls. However, he couldn’t afford the art that was for sale. Undeterred, he became an artist himself. The first piece of artwork that he created and shared on his Instagram account was one of Valentino Rossi, the seven-time MotoGP World Champion.

“I’ve visited Silverstone every year to watch the MotoGP and I’d stand at all the artwork stalls and stare at the great pieces of art that are for sale, but I was never able to afford any of them, so I thought I’d make my own!” Pullan admitted “It started with a Valentino Rossi piece which I shared on Instagram, and it all took off from there!”

While most of his artwork comes from the world of Formula 1, MotoGP, and WRC, Pullan has created several NASCAR pieces. One painting is of Dale Earnhardt with another of Bubba Wallace’s 2022 win at Kansas Speedway. More recently, he painted William Byron’s Daytona 500 win and the history three-wide photo finish at Atlanta won by Suarez.

Becoming a NASCAR Fan

While the NASCAR Cup Series does not currently compete internationally, the sanctioning body does have several international series, including the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (EuroNASCAR). However, the specific style of NASCAR racing is unlike that of other series. Outside of the NTT IndyCar Series and IMSA competition, the tight quarters of NASCAR and American motorsports is not commonplace in other disciplines. That allure ultimately hooked Pullan in.

“I’ve always dipped in and out of watching NASCAR, but with me delving more into the motorsport world as it’s now my ‘job,’ it’s always great to add a new string to my bow,” Pullan explained. “The Daytona 500 the other week was one of the first races I’ve watched from start to finish, and I was absolutely hooked! It’s not very often in other motorsports that you see such close, tight racing and battles all the way through the pack. It really was extraordinary to see.”

Chris pullan's drautoart graffiti paint took the nascar world by storm.
Lando Norris art. (Photo by DrAutoArt)

The other dramatic difference that the artist has encountered is the unique attributes of each discipline he’s immortalizing on card. The wings of the F1 cars and their many external components and the multitude of sponsor logos on the MotoGP bikes are tricky. However, that has been a part of the fun of painting the different series.

NASCAR, by comparison, has been fairly simple as the shape of the stockcars is very similar to the street cars. In addition, the vibrant paint schemes, or liveries, that each car wears makes each project fun for Pullan.

“When I started out, I used to focus on the helmets of the drivers and showing them out of the car or off the bike, but as I’ve gone onto paint more motorsports, I’ve started painting a lot more of the cars and bikes themselves,” Pullan said. “The F1 cars are tricky to get right with all the wings and external components, and the MotoGP bikes are difficult because of all the sponsor logos on the bike & the leathers! The shape of the NASCARs are fairly simple and liveries are bright and eye-catching, which are a lot of fun to paint.”

Unique Style

Like Lue and Sweet, Pullan has his own unique art style. After discovering and graffiti-style Elvis Presley paint @lpedits on Instagram, not online did the motorsports artist snatch up the piece for himself, but he found his own unique racing art style. Using Kobra spray cans and different stencils, each handmade piece of art is completely unique.

The passion that goes into each painting is evident with the attention to detail. From the different sponsor logos on Wallace’s fire suit to the detail of Rossi’s helmet, he ensures that each painting that he produces is special.

“I paint in a graffiti style using Kobra spray cans,” Pullan explained. “These are my [favorite] paints to use as the [colors] are really vibrant and cover well. All my paintings are done on card, that way they can be rolled up and shipped all over the world very easily. Everything is handmade and each piece is totally unique. Most of the time goes into making the set of stencils and these get reused over and over to keep costs down and the artwork affordable. I love the idea that every piece is unique and it’s not just a print run of say 100 copies that are all the same with no feeling put into them.

“I was scrolling through Instagram in 2018, when a piece of art caught my eye by a guy in the UK called @lpedits, it was a painting of Elvis done in a graffiti style, and I quickly snapped it up and stuck it on my wall! The bright [colors] and eye-catching design caught my eye and everything about it felt exciting. I try to carry this through my paintings, and he’s been a massive inspiration with what he does.”

Favorite Work

When it comes to a favorite painting from his own work, Pullan always focuses on his most recent work. In his eyes, there is nothing better than to be able to relive a new moment in time. That allows DrAutoArt to stay fresh and immortalize the next great story from motorsports history. Although he is sentimental about a Rossi painting that is displayed in his office as he managed to get the racing legend to autograph.

“My most recent painting is always my [favorite] painting as each one is a joy to paint, and there’s nothing better about capturing a brand-new moment,” Pullan admitted. “I think my [favorite] piece though is one of my Valentino Rossi paintings that I managed to get signed by the great man himself. It’s currently hung in my office above the computer. I love seeing that every day.”

Chris pullan's drautoart graffiti paint took the nascar world by storm.
(Photo by DrAutoArt)

Ultimately, the viral moment has been humbling for Pullan. He recognized that everything changed the moment Suarez retweeted the artwork. That also presents a bit of an overwhelming challenge as DrAutoArt now has a much wider fan base. Although, the motorsports artist plans to take his passion to the next level. He also hopes to be able to attend a NASCAR race in the United States in-person at some point in the future.

“It’s honestly been amazing, very humbling that so many people have become fans of my work through this one NASCAR painting,” Pullan humbly stated. “When Daniel retweeted the artwork, everything changed! But it’s also quite overwhelming as it’s kind of taken me to a new level and I hope things can keep going upwards from here. It’s always great to hear that the subjects of my artwork love the paintings! Now I just need to get to the United States to see a race in real-life, or maybe even get a driver to let me design their helmet or livery (paint scheme)!”

Pullan’s handle across all of social media is ‘@drautoart.’ His artwork is for sale on his website, www.drautoart.com.

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