By David Firestone
I recently did a post focusing on Christian Fittipaldi, and the unusual way his suit displayed the so-called television logos. But these logos have a unique history all their own. One of the first examples on an in-car camera being used was the 1979 Daytona 500. At that time driver suits mostly looked like this: That is Buddy Baker after winning the pole at Bristol that same year. As can be clearly seen, no logos of any kind on the legs, or sleeves. For much of the early and late 1980′s that was mostly the case. Even though by 1989 there were opportunities to add logos in good places, in many instances this did not occur. There are instances where there were logos on the legs and sleeves, and the position in many of them is consistent with today.
In the late 1990′s, TV logos were still, for the most part off the radar screen. But around 1997, sponsors started taking the hint, and adding these logos. Although it was not popular across the board, it steadily gained momentum, and by 2004 these logos began to be the rule rather than the exception. Granted in-car cameras were somewhat more nomadic then they are now, but even still it is kind of amazing that these logos took as long as they did to catch on. Here is an example of a televison logo. This logo comes from a Mike Skinner suit from 1997:
The whole point of sponsorship in racing is brand exposure, and these logos are a perfect example of this. I still love the fact that even the drivers who almost never have an in-car camera have these logos.
Moving on to more 2013 paint schemes….
Ryan Newman #39 Wix Filters Chevy SS “Black with lime green and silver shark fins is a really great design” said no one ever. Final Grade: F
Moving on to the Nationwide Series…
Austin Dillon #3 Advocare Chevy Camaro I’m not a fan of power blue in most cases, but here it just works. The RCR 3 always looks good, the logos are good, and the whole car looks sold. Final Grade: A
Regan Smith #5 Tax Slayer/Hellmans Chevy Camaro Could someone please explain to me why Dale Jr. and Regan Smith are running identical paint schemes in the Nationwide Series this year? The only differences between the two cars are the numbers and name rail. The Hellmans scheme stays at a B-, but the Tax Slayer scheme looks better from the layout shown here, and it has earned the A rating.
Brad Keselowski #22 Discount Tires Ford Mustang This would be an A grade, if not for the Discount Tire logo…why does it look like it was designed by a 5 year old in art class? The letters are so horribly aligned, it takes the scheme from classic to comical. I’m shocked that it isn’t written in Comic Sans with the D backwards. It is really sad, because it takes away from an otherwise great scheme, and takes the final grade from A to B-
Ty Dillon #33 Ritz/Wesco/Armour Chevy SS Three schemes to discuss. The Wesco scheme is good but if the door numbers were a different color than the stripes, it would get a better grade than B-. The Ritz scheme is completely solid, with great colors, great design, and great logos, and gets an A. The Armour scheme is decent, but the numbers could use a more visible outline. There is also a logo just behind the door number that is next to invisible. Final Grade B+