Since when were there cars in Westerns? This definitely falls under the now-I’ve-seen-it-all NBCUniversal marketing from the same studio that once promoted its TV and movies by stickering grocery produce and cat food:

Gaffney, SC, May 25, 2011: JD Motorsports has partnered with Cowboys & Aliens, the upcoming action-thriller from director Jon Favreau (Iron Man) that stars Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde, in theaters July 29. For the first time in NASCAR history, a film will serve as a primary sponsor of a car for multiple races, and as many as 60,000 fans will have the chance to have their pictures displayed on the Cowboys & Aliens-themed car. The new partnership, which runs for 10 weeks, kicks off at the Top Gear 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 28, where the No. 01 Cowboys & Aliens Chevrolet Impala, driven by NASCAR veteran Mike Wallace, will be unveiled.

The car’s paint scheme features a mysterious lone cowboy, portrayed in the film by Daniel Craig, and action scenes from the event film. As a unique promotional tie-in, NASCAR and film fans will have the opportunity to be included on the car by having their submitted photos incorporated into the design as a mosaic. The mosaic version of the No. 01 Cowboys & Aliens car will be revealed for the first time at the Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona on July 1, 2011.

As part of the promotion, fans may also enter for a chance to win a trip to the Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona to see their picture on the car in person. Any fan who has been selected to have his or her photo on the car may visit www.cowboysandaliensmovie.com to see a 3D rendition of the car and search for their photo by name.

To participate, fans should log onto the film’s official Facebook page (www.facebook.com/cowboysandaliens) or website (www.cowboysandaliensmovie.com) or enter via mobile devices by texting “RACE” to 90210. They may also use their smart phones to scan a QR code that will be visible on the hauler, car and hero cards at the races.

“This new way of marketing will change the way teams promote their sponsors in this sport,” said JD Motorsports Vice President of Sales and Marketing Tony Priscaro.

The distinctive digital experience was the brainchild of Priscaro and Jim Varga, Social Fan Wrap founder. Social Fan Wrap will be the primary service provider for the promotion.