Kenny Wallace is in the spotlight this week, as we look at a race-worn driver suit circa 1999-2000, which he has boldly autographed across the front.
By David G. Firestone
Last week, I ranked the Ford teams based on their paint schemes, and this week I will do the Chevy teams and next week I’ll rank the Toyota teams, so without further ado all the Chevy teams ranked from best to worst:
#2 Furniture Row Racing #78 When it came down to picking a number 1 for Chevy, for both the Paint Schemie and the Leaderboard, I had to flip a coin to pick a number 1, and Johnson won. Kurt Busch ran a series of very solid schemes, not a lot to comment on and it always looks good.
#5 Phoenix Racing/Turner Scott #51 Guy Roofing and Hendrick Cars are hideous, but apart from that, they have run a great set of paint schemes. Bonus points given for the Neil Bonnett throwback scheme.
#6 Richard Childress Racing #27 The yellow is too bright, but other than that, the schemes are really good.
#7 Stewart Haas Racing #14 Some of these schemes are good, others not so much.
#10 Tommy Baldwin Racing #36 This team looks better without a primary sponsor than they do with one.
#11 Max Q Motorsports #37 Simple, yet attractive. Would be higher if they ran more races.
#13 Richard Childress Racing #31 A few good schemes but most of them are mediocre at best.
#14-Hendrick Motorsports #24 See Above
#15 Stewart Haas Racing #39 I have to give them credit, their schemes are mostly awful, but at least they are creative.
#19 Circle Sport/RCR #33 It amazes me how two different teams can use the same car number, and both can put awful designs on their cars. Special credit for the Honey Nut Cheerios scheme, which is just horrific.
Scott Vieira wore this jersey during Chicago Cubs spring training from 1999 to 2000. It has been signed by a number of former MLB players after the fact, and we will examine it in detail this week.
By David G. Firestone
I started ranking all the teams last week, with the Paint Schemie Awards, and I figured I would continue this week with the Paint Scheme Leaderboard. The concept is that over the next 4 weeks, I will rank all the drivers by team. The rules are the same as the Paint Schemies, and I will rank the teams, first by Manufacturer, and then by all the teams running the Sprint Cup Series. A random drawing has Ford going first, followed by Chevy next week, and then Toyota the following week. The last week, will be all 50 teams that ran in the Sprint Cup Series this year.
So, without further ado, let’s look at how Ford’s NASCAR teams fared in the paint scheme world this year:
#2-Richard Petty Motorsports #43 This team combines classic and modern looks, and uses Petty Blue very effectively. The Transportation Impact scheme was not good at all, and kept the 43 team out of the top spot. Extra Credit for the Maurice Petty Tribute Scheme.
#3 Penske Racing #12-Though only raced for one race, the SKF design worked very well. A great color and great design scheme. If this had been raced for multiple races, I would have ranked it higher, but it is still a solid scheme.
#4 Richard Petty Motorsports #9 This set earned a place in the top 5 because it improved by a lot over the course of the season. It has a great color scheme, but the early schemes were not great, but since Stanley redesigned their logo, and made some changes to the car, it is a very nice set.
#5 Roush Fenway Racing #17 A pinkwashing scheme as well as the Valvoline NexGen scheme kick Ricky Stenhouse Jr. out of the top spot. Sad thing too, as Ricky had a very solid year when it comes to paint schemes.
#6 Penske Racing #2 While I miss the beer colored wheels from last year, Keselowski has had a decent year, the color scheme is great, though there is too much white on the car. The Redd’s Apple Ale scheme was great, but the Fan Mosaic, pinkwashing, and Patriotic schemes need some work.
#7 Roush Fenway Racing #16 Greg Biffle had a lot of great schemes, but he had a number of awful ones as well. Get rid of the pinkwashing scheme, the Scotchguard, give blood, and Megulars schemes, and he would be in the top 5.
#9 Front Row Motorsports #38 The template they run works very well when the color scheme matches that of the sponsor. When it doesn’t match, it looks awful.
#10 Front Row Motorsports #35, See above
#13 Germain Racing #13 Nothing really wrong, but nothing really right with these schemes.
#14 Penske Racing #22 Red and yellow is a really great color scheme, but the design is all wrong. This design gets even worse with the AAA scheme, which has an even better color scheme. The Pennzoil scheme is good, but not good enough to save the set.
#15 Phil Parsons Racing# 98 The schemes come in one of two food groups, bland or awful. Great colors, but the designs are horrid.
#16 Levine Family Racing #95 Worst template in NASCAR.
#17 Xxxtreme Motorsports #44 Yuck.
Next Week, the Chevy Leaderboard!
By David G. Firestone
We have discussed so called “bill signer” pens a couple of times, and for this article, we will shift gears. Richard Nixon’s entire Presidency can be summed up with the word Watergate. Prior to that, he was a popular president, who did a lot for the country.
On October 20, 1972, while the scandal was beginning to heat up, and with the elections in sight, President Nixon was in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, and while at Independence Hall, signed “H.R. 14370 To provide fiscal assistance to State and local governments, to authorize Federal collection o£ State individual income taxes, and for other purposes.” He did so using this custom Parker 45 pen.
The pen shows heavy use, with cracks on the blue plastic. The tip is also destroyed. Given what was going on in Washington at the time, that makes sense. Just 10 days earlier, the FBI had announced that the Nixon re-election committee had been involved in a huge ring of illegal spying and surveillance. Nixon had to be on edge, and it is very likely he very aggressively signed his name on the document.
Accompanying the pen is a card the length of the pen box with a description of the signing in blue script on a tan background. It was one of the last moments of pride for a presidency that would see its end in scandal less than two years later. It did change our society, but the man who used the pen would also change our society.
This week, we will analyze another vintage baseball jersey, this one is a Chicago Cubs style jersey from the 1970’s.
For the end of the 2013 Season, I will reveal the best and worst paint schemes and driver suits of 2013. This was done using a focus group of one, namely myself, and uses the following standards:
Color Scheme:How the colors look, and how they work with each other.
Overall Design:How good the design itself looks, is there too much, or not enough.
Primary Sponsor Logos: How the primary sponsor logos look on the car
Originality: How original is the scheme. Note that originality can work both for and against a scheme in award voting.
First, the Paint Schemie Award for Worst Single Paint Scheme.
The nominees are:
And the Paint Schemie Award for worst single paint scheme goes to…
The next Paint Schemie Award is for Exhibition Race Paint Schemes. This category is a little different, as the Schemies will go to the best and worst special scheme that was run in either the Sprint Unlimited, the Sprint Showdown or the Sprint All-Star Race.
The Paint Schemie Award for Worst Exhibition Race Paint Scheme Goes To:
The Paint Schemie Worst Dressed Driver Award goes to
Our next category is the Award For Worst Scheme Set of 2013, which is given to the team that consistently runs bad paint schemes throughout the season.
The Nominees Are:
The Winner for Worst Scheme Set of 2013 goes to:
Now the nominees for Best Single Paint Scheme are:
The Paint Schemie Award for Best Single Paint Scheme Goes to
The next two Paint Schemie Awards are for Best Exhibition Race Paint Scheme, and Worst Exhibition . These are a little different, as they will go to the best and worst special scheme that was run in either the Sprint Unlimited, the Sprint Showdown or the Sprint All-Star Race.
And taking these schemes into consideration, the Paint Scheme Goes To:
The Paint Schemie Award for Most Improved Paint Scheme goes to:
The Paint Schemie Best Dressed Award goes to:
Now, our final Paint Schemie Award, The Best Scheme Set of 2013:
Now for this, I will take a look at the best Chevy Schemes, followed by Ford, and then Toyota, and then finally I will reveal the winners of the Paint Schemie Awards.
And now, the 5 best Chevy teams that have consistently run great schemes:
#1 Jimmie Johnson The classic design that is paired with different color schemes every once in a while works very well. The design gives the car a very clean look, and is a very timeless look.
#2 Kurt Busch Furniture Row Racing’s “less is more” approach works very well here, with a matte black, white lettering and red letters. They always look good, thought I wish their results on the track were as good as they look.
#3 Kevin Harvick Kevin has had, for the most part, done quite well. All of the schemes have great color schemes, and most have great sponsor logos, and are decently original. Originality works well here, but some of the overall designs, namely the Bad Boy Buggies and Rheem/Budweiser combination schemes need a lot of work, but otherwise Kevin Harvick has had a great season paint scheme wise.
#4 Juan Pablo Montoya The Target scheme is very solid, with great colors, great overall design, and great sponsor logos. Not original, but solid. The most original scheme is the Axe Apollo scheme, but that was just brutal. It had a decent color scheme, and a decent sponsor logo, but the whole outer-space motif just did not work. If Axe Apollo was not on the car this year, Juan would be at the top of the standings.
#5 Phoenix Racing/Turner Scott Motorsports A team that has a very consistent track record when it comes to good color schemes, originality, as well as primary sponsor logos, the team can sometimes have serious issues with overall design. The Hendrick Cars scheme, and the Guy Roofing scheme are just brutal in that category.
Moving on to Ford.
#1 Trevor Bayne The Wood Brothers haven’t run a full schedule this year, but when they have shown up, they have always looked good. The schemes are original, since the Wood Brothers used these schemes for many years, and the colors, overall design, and sponsor schemes are always great.
#2 Aric Almirola The Transportation Impact scheme is keeping Almirola from the top spot, because it does not fit the team at all, and it just looks brutal. Other than that scheme, which while original, has awful colors, and overall design, every scheme they ran is solid, with the STP/Farmland scheme almost making up for Transportation Impact.
#3 Sam Hornish Jr. His one and only appearance in the Sprint Cup came at Kansas this year, and this one scheme, with great colors, great overall design, and great sponsor logos worked very well. I gave him 3rd, since everyone else on the list ran full schedules, and he only ran one race.
#4 Marcos Ambrose The Mac Tools scheme looks odd, with a great color scheme, but iffy overall design. The Stanley logo redesign could have worked well, but the black covering the front and headlights does not enhance the look at all. I was not a fan of this scheme at the beginning of the year, but some slight adjustments to the color scheme worked well.
#5 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. A “pinkwashing” scheme makes an appearance, which takes away from the overall grade. That said, this team has great color schemes all year, but some of the overall designs have a bit too much noise. Sponsor logos work well, and Ricky has had a great year.
Last, but certainly not least is Toyota.
#1 Michael Waltrip/Mark Martin/Brian Vickers Every scheme they have run has been a hit, with great color scheme, great overall design, great sponsor logos, and decent originality. No bad schemes here!
#2 Kyle Busch Overall great design, color schemes, and primary sponsor logos, Kyle also has the most original schemes of the top contenders for the Paint Schemie awards. That said, the Mprove America needs a different shade of blue, while the white Interstate Batteries scheme could use a different color besides white.
#3BK Racing Great color schemes, sponsor logos, and overall design. These designs work well, except for the Old Dominion scheme, which is just awful. Everything that the other schemes are, Old Dominion is not, and it is keeping BK Racing out of the top spot.
#4 Martin Truex Jr. Overall, this team works well when it comes to colors, overall design, originality, and primary sponsor logos, except for the camouflage scheme. The camouflage scheme was awful, and it knocked Martin out of the top spot.
#5 JTG Daugherty Racing Most of what they ran this year was great, but the Bushes Baked Beans car has an odd overall design, and a weird color scheme. The Clorox scheme has a bad color scheme, as does the Charter scheme. If these schemes were fixed, there is no reason why JTG Daugherty could be in the top spot.
Now I will take these top contenders, and rank them in order from worst to best. These top contenders should feel very proud that they have earned a spot on the countdown.
#13 Martin Truex Jr.
#11 Marcos Ambrose
#5 Kyle Busch
#4 Kurt Busch
And Finally The Paint Scheme Award for Best Paint Scheme Set of 2013 goes to:
#1 Trevor Bayne
Congratulations to everyone who won a First award, and to everyone who won a Worst award…paint your cars better!
To conclude the Paint Schemie Awards, I will finish with a top 10 list I have been wanting to do for quite a while. These are the
TOP 10 SPONSORS I MISS IN NASCAR
10 Skoal Bandit The shade of green they used was one of the best, and the car has a classic look that always looks good.
9 Kodiak A simple look, with my all-time favorite shade of green ever used on a race car. I have a lot of Kodiak race-used items, and they all look good.
8 Miller Genuine Draft Rusty’s MGD scheme had a much simpler design than the Miller Lite scheme, and it had a much better color scheme. I really hope they throwback to this scheme at some point.
7 Tide Are there any orange schemes that could ever live up to Tide? No, this is the best orange scheme in the history of auto racing.
6 Smokin’ Joe’s It had a great color scheme, and it had a very 1990’s design, that oddly enough still looks attractive.
5 Western Auto/Parts America The chrome numbers, the layered fading, the color scheme, it just comes together very well.
4 The Family Channel The logo is awesome, the colors can’t be any better, the lettering is great, and it just comes together very well.
3 Kodak If there is or was a better shade of yellow in NASCAR, I haven’t seen it yet!
2 Texaco/Havoline Great simple design, with an amazing hood logo, and great color scheme.
1 GM Goodwrench This scheme is, in a word, perfect. It doesn’t evolve, it doesn’t have to. It is simply perfect.
There is one last piece of business that I need to address. I like to keep it light on the Driver Suit Blog, but sometimes I have to address a news story that is heavy, like this story that was released on Thursday. Dario Franchiti, who has won 3 Indy 500’s, 4 Indycar Championships, and 21 races announced on Thursday, that due to injuries sustained at the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston on October 6. During that race, he was involved in a scary wreck, and suffered spinal and knee injuries that doctors have told him are too serious to resume his career. 13 fans, who were in the wrong place at the wrong time were injured in the wreck as well. I’m saddened that a talented driver had his career end like that, and I really wish it didn’t have to. But what I really hope is that IndyCar learns what lessons need to be learned, and make changes to safety so that the chances of this scenario repeating are lowered. I know that there will always be the risk of injury or death in auto racing, that adds to the mystique of the race car driver, but every wreck has a story to tell. These stories should be looked over, and changes made so that another talented in the prime of his career does not have to go through what Dario had to this week. Fans should also be able to go to a race, and not have to worry about getting hurt during a wreck. If the investigation in this incident results in changes that keep fans and drivers from serious injury in the future, than the lessons have been learned. My thoughts and prayers are with Dario and his Family right now.