NASCAR has officially unveiled the logo for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series that will begin in 2004, replacing the Winston Cup as the premier competition in US stock car racing.

Sporting a bold yellow-and-black look, the distinctive logo will be the brand identifier for the American nation's most popular form of motorsports and the nation's second-most popular sport overall.

"We think this design will be appealing to our drivers, team members, tracks and, of course, our fans," NASCAR president Mike Helton said.

The new logo will be utilised from the beginning of January, when Nextel Cup teams come to Daytona International Speedway for NASCAR 'Pre-season Thunder', the annual test sessions leading up to the season-opening Daytona 500.

"We've worked with NASCAR to create a logo and identity that exudes the strength of the athletes and the power of the sport," said Nextel senior VP of marketing Mark Schweitzer, "Since announcing the ten-year partnership between NASCAR and Nextel, one of the most-asked questions we've received has been about the logo. It's bright, bold and forward moving - just like the sport it represents."