The Chase Design Elemets…Too Much of a Good Thing!

By David G. Firestone

Well the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup has begun. What that means for the 16 drivers in the Chase is special paint scheme rules. Specifically, all Chase drivers will have yellow numbers on the roof, a yellow windshield banner, a yellow front splitter, and special decals. I waited on discussing this issue because I wanted to see how the cars looked on track. While some cars looked good, with the yellow elements working well, other cars looked awful, with the yellow clashing with the current design scheme. No car suffered as much as Brad Keselowski and the Miller Lite Ford. I can live with the yellow roof numbers, it has been done before, the and I can live with the windshield banners and decals, I’ll comment on that later, the splitter design is pointless and it makes the car look ugly. Why in the world did NASCAR make the splitter yellow? It serves no purpose, and clashes with the rest of the paint scheme.

Now I wanted to comment on something I noticed that NASCAR is doing. I was worried about this and these fears are now coming true. When the windshield banner was introduced with the Gen 6 cars in 2013, I did not like it. I thought it was pointless, and it didn’t add to the car at all. What I was worried about, but I didn’t discuss it was what else NASCAR had planned for the banner. Well we found out this year. In addition to the plain black, there have been green designs for environmental awareness, patriotic designs for memorial day and the 4th of July, and of course the yellow Chase designs. NASCAR is using this as their vehicle for promoting causes. Like pink bats on Mother’s Day, or patriotic jerseys for Memorial Day in baseball. October is around the corner, and the Pink-washing will begin in earnest, and I’ll be shocked if there aren’t pink banners on the windshields.

I noticed something else when it comes to banners. There are two decals that cars carry, one is the Sprint Cup Series decal, and above that is a NASCAR Race Car decal. When the windshield banner is a special design, the NASCAR decal is a matching design. Let’s look at that Brad Keselowski Memorial Day scheme again. Notice the decal just above the Sprint Cup Series decal? It is a star with NASCAR written on it. Now let’s look at Brad’s car from the Brickyard 400. The NASCAR decal is a simpler, more plain design. This is Kevin Harvick’s car with the green banner. Notice the NASCAR decal…it matches the banner. Why is this important for the Chase schemes? Well because whoever came up with this idea felt the need to give the Chase drivers special NASCAR decals. 16 drivers get yellow decals, the rest get silver. I’m reminded of the Star-bellied Sneetches in this situation…the second time that reference has been made in regard to sports uniforms this year.

I’m really wondering how much more NASCAR can over-complicate this, I really am. Why not add yellow wheels and yellow spoilers? I’m amazed that NASCAR could mess this up they way they did. Get rid of the yellow spoilers and NASCAR decals, and I wouldn’t have a problem with it, but too much salt spoils the soup…every time.

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