The Driver Suit Blog-Replica Helmets and Why We Need Them In Racing Part Trois

DSCN1142 - CopyBy David G. Firestone

Last week, we discussed Tony Stewart replica helmets, this week we will discuss some other replica helmets I have come across. Again these would be great for fans and collectors. I’m amazed that they aren’t available more. This week, we are going to focus on replica helmets of the Labonte brothers.

Let’s start with Bobby Labonte. Bobby Labonte has raced since 1981, he won the 1991 Nationwide Series Championship, beating Jeff Gordon, and Dale Jarrett among others. He started racing in the Sprint Cup that same year, but didn’t have any real success until he took over the #18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac Grand Prix for Joe Gibbs Racing in 1995. In 1997, he had a 7th place finish, with a win in the final race of the season. This display helmet, probably made for a garage or mechanic desk was released.blabonte1-1

It’s not as elaborately designed as the Simpson models, but it is a nice looking piece. The visor is locked in the down position, and doesn’t seem to be the same design as his race helmet. The inside is hollowed out, and the inside is plain plastic. An inexpensive helmet like this would be great to get signed. It would also be a great promotional tool, that’s what is was used for. Seriously, what fan wouldn’t like an autograph from their favorite driver on one of these?blabonte1-2 blabonte1-3 blabonte1-4 blabonte1-5 blabonte1-6

Fast forward to 2011. Bobby is now driving for JTG Daugherty Racing, and he picks up a sponsorship from Lance Snacks. He has a replica helmet, based on his real helmet released by Simpson. blabonte2-1This is a full-sized helmet, and it is very detailed. It’s a very attractive helmet, and I love the large cracker sandwich picture on the back. Again, it mystifies me as to why there aren’t many more of these designed just like their driver’s on-track counterparts.blabonte2-2 blabonte2-3 blabonte2-4 blabonte2-5 blabonte2-6 blabonte2-7

There are also a number of 1/4 scale helmets available from the 1990’s, one example is below.18-labonte3 18-labonte2 18-labonte1 18-labonte4 18-labonte5 18-labonte6

Moving on to older brother Terry, I finally found a helmet that was in a size I had been wanting. This is a Terry Labonte 1/3 scale helmet from 1997. 5-labonte3-1To give you an idea the scale, let’s look at this chart…DSCN1142

Now that you have a good idea of its size, let’s look at the details. Obviously, it’s very detailed, though one thing that irks me about these 1990’s Simpson mini helmets is that they are solid inside, instead of having some interior details, but since they were sold for $14.99 each back in the day, there was no incentive to make it internally detailed.5-labonte3-2 5-labonte3-3 5-labonte3-4 5-labonte3-5 5-labonte3-6 5-labonte3-7

There was also 1/4 scale helmets of Terry’s that have been made over the years, some examples of which are below, including the same design as the 1/3 helmet.5-labonte1-3 5-labonte1-1 5-labonte1-2 5-labonte1-4 5-labonte1-5 5-labonte1-6 5-labonte2-3 5-labonte2-2 5-labonte2-1 5-labonte2-4 5-labonte2-5 5-labonte2-6

I’ve said this over and over, we need more of these! I like these, and I know fans like them too. I’m shocked that racing across the board doesn’t do more replica helmets for fans. I’ve got some more insight on these, but I think we’ll save that for next week.

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Paint Scheme Tracker, October 29, 2014

By David G. Firestone

As of this writing, there are no new schemes this week.

2015 Toyota CamryThe first Gen 6 redesign comes to the Camry for 2015. The front is sleeker, with a more aggressive nose, and grill area, the tail has been redesigned as well.

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford FusionSame basic design as 2014, but with no gold stripe, vintage Miller Crest, or hop designs on the side.

Austin Dillon #3 Cheerios Chevy SSNo change

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Chevy SSNo change

Kevin Harvick #4 Budweiser Chevy SSNo change

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmie Johns Chevy SSNo change

Kevin Harvick #4 Outback SteakhouseNo Change

Kevin Harvick #4 Ditech Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2015, blue, and white is the primary color scheme

Kasey Kahne #5 Great Clips Chevy SSNo Change

Kasey Kahne #5 Time Warner Cable Chevy SSNo Change

Kasey Kahne #5 Farmers Insurance Chevy SSComplete redesign from last year, black, and dark blue replaces light blue and silver, and the design has been completely revamped.

Trevor Bayne #6 Advocare Ford Fusion-New team, new sponsor, red, white and blue is the color scheme.

Danica Patrick #10 Aspen Dental Chevy SSSame basic design as last year, but the blue ovals on the white are more pronounced.

Tony Stewart #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy SSSame color scheme as last year, but with a new design on the side.

Tony Stewart #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevy SSSame color scheme as last year, but with a new design on the side.

Tony Stewart #14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil1 Chevy SSNo Change

Greg Biffle #16 Ortho Fire Ant Killer Ford FusionNo change

Greg Biffle #16 Ortho Bug-B-Gon Ford Fusion-New sponsor, new design, red, black, and white is the primary color scheme.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Ford Fusion-New primary sponsor, blue, and white is the color scheme.

Carl Edwards #19 Stanley Toyota Camry-New team and new sponsor, yellow, black, and white is the color scheme.

Matt Kenseth #20 DeWalt Toyota Camry-New sponsor, black, green, yellow, and white is the color scheme.

Jeff Gordon #24 Axalta Chevy SSNo Change

Jeff Gordon #24 Panasonic Toughbook Chevy SSNo Change

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford FusionNo change

Paul Menard #27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menard’s Chevy SSNo change

Ryan Newman #31 Cat Chevy SSSame color scheme, but the car as a whole has been redesigned

Ryan Newman #31 Quicken Loans Chevy SSNo change

Ty Dillion #33 Yuengling Brewery Chevy SS-New sponsor, red, white, and blue is the primary color scheme.

Kurt Busch #41Haas CNC Chevy SSSame color scheme, but the car has been completely redesigned.

Kurt Busch #41 Slate Water Heaters Chevy SSNo change

Aric Almirola #43 Smithfield Ford FusionNo change

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide Chevy SSNo Change

The Driver Suit Blog-My Thoughts on the Racing Weekend-October 27, 2014

By David G. Firestone

I’m currently recovering from a fun filled weekend, where I spent a lot of it enjoying Halloween(more on that later), and watching racing. We had two races at Martinsville, a Truck Series race and a Sprint Cup race. As with all races at Martinsville, fenders got beaten, sheet metal got banged, and tempers flared. There was also a scary “big one” at Martinsville, but no one was seriously hurt. Dale Jr. finally won a grandfather clock, Darrell Wallace Jr won his third race, this one in a special scheme to honor Wendell Scott.

For reasons I can’t understand there is no Nationwide Series between October 10th and November 1st. This makes no sense to me because this is the point in the year when fans need it most.

With the Nationwide Series Championship on the line at this point in the season, it makes no sense for the series to stop for one week, let alone two. If this break were spread out, say one race in the spring, and one race in the summer, you could make the battle for the championship better, and at the same time

I’ve said before I think the IndyCar season ends much too early. I didn’t mind the back to back races when it was tried the first time, but now there are 3 back to back races, run on a Saturday and Sunday in the same weekend. This compresses the schedule, and is both physically and mentally draining to the drivers. While I understand that these three races are on street courses, it still makes little sense to hold two physically demanding races back to back. What I would like to see would be Toronto getting the back to back race, and races moved to two other road courses, I’d suggest Road America and Circuit of the Americas, and extend the season for 3 weeks. GIVE THE FANS MORE RACING!

For racing fans, this is a depressing part of the year, because we know the racing seasons are ending, NASCAR has 3 more races, F1 has 3 more races, and the NHRA has 2 more races left in the season. By November 24, all the major racing seasons will be over. November24-January 24 will be the longest 61 days in the year for me because that marks the time where there is no national racing, other than occasional winter testing. I’m gonna enjoy the racing while it lasts, but I will miss it once it is done for the season.

DGF2099 Productions-Introduction to Sports Memorabilia-Bobby Hamilton Jr. 2004-05 Driver Suit

For our season 12 finale, we will examine a Bobby Hamilton Tide driver suit circa 2004-2005.

The Driver Suit Blog-Repica Helmets, and Why We Need Them In Racing Part Deux

DSCN1144 - Copy[Editor’s Note: This post was originally scheduled for August 16, however given the events the previous week, I made the decision to postpone this article until after Tony Stewart returned to racing. Like I did with a previous article, I will dedicate this to the memory of Kevin Ward Jr. DGF]

By David G. Firestone

I recently discussed why we need replica helmets in auto racing. Well since then, I came across some more replica helmets, and I decided that we should continue the discussion. This week, we will look at NASCAR replica helmets. NFL and MLB have replica helmets and they are popular as collector items. But when it comes to auto racing, there is next to nothing. Helmets in racing are designed in a similar vain to goalie masks in hockey. They are custom painted to the driver’s specifications. They are used to identify the driver in F1 and IndyCar. Why replica helmets are not more widely available is a mystery to me.

In many instances, the replicas are made by the company that makes the helmet.  They are made in a number of sizes, 1/4, 1/2, and full size, as shown here:DSCN1144 Nowhere is this more obvious than Tony Stewart and Simpson. Tony Stewart is extremely loyal to Simpson. He has worn Simpson suits for his entire career, and will talk about how much he likes them. Simpson has made a number of replica helmets for him, like this bright orange full size helmet,20-stewart-1 and this 1/2 scale red chrome helmet.20-stewart2-1

The full-size helmet was released after his 2005 Nextel Cup Championship. It is designed with Stewart’s flame pattern and sponsor decals. It also has the BEAM Designs logo. 20-stewart-3BEAM Designs is a prolific helmet designed in auto racing, having designed helmets for Stewart, Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson and others. It is very nicely detailed, and the design looks amazing!20-stewart-1 20-stewart-2 20-stewart-3 20-stewart-4 20-stewart-5 20-stewart-6 20-stewart-7

The 1/2 scale red chrome helmet is also based on a design Tony Stewart used, again it is very nicely detailed. 20-stewart2-1It again shows the BEAM logo, 20-stewart2-3and unlike its full-sized counterpart, it has a ventilation port on the left side. 20-stewart2-1 20-stewart2-2 20-stewart2-3 20-stewart2-4 20-stewart2-5 20-stewart2-6 20-stewart2-7These are popular to get signed, and often appear on eBay.

Riddell Helmets, who up until this season was the supplier of replica helmets to the NFL, made a number of replica helmets for NASCAR, and they did a Tony Stewart helmet, this one plain orange, with Home Depot logos on the visor and sides. They often appear on eBay signed by Stewart, Joey Logano, and Matt Kenseth. It’s plain, but it does work.20-stewart1-1 20-stewart1-2 20-stewart1-3 20-stewart1-4 20-stewart1-5 20-stewart1-6 20-stewart1-7

In 2001, en route to his first Winston Cup Championship, Tony Stewart raced a Jurassic Park III scheme at the Pepsi 400, where he finished 26th. He had a matching driver suit and helmet. The helmet was recreated by Action, one of a number of companies that made replica die casts. It is very detailed for its small size, and it looks really good.20-stewart3-5 20-stewart3-3 20-stewart3-4 20-stewart3-1 20-stewart3-2 20-stewart3-7 20-stewart3-6 20-stewart3-8 20-stewart3-9

Replica helmets are awesome, and I think they should be marketed and sold to fans more. Fans like them, they like to get them autographed. I will elaborate more next week.

NEW LOGO ALERT!

NXS_main.jpg.main.pngAs I mentioned durring my paint scheme grades on Friday, the new Xfinity Series logo for 2015 was unveiled yesterday.  I was wondering what they were going to do with the logo, so here are my thoughts.  First, I like that they are sticking with what I call the slanting oval logo, I think it’s unique and looks good.  It does kinda remind me  of the Carolina Hurricanes logo.  Second, the white background with red lettering works very well, it makes the logos visible, much more so than a red background.  Third, the lack of design clutter gives it a very nice look.   I like this logo, and I hope they don’t change it.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

You have probably noticed the changes to the format as of late, and there will be one more major change starting next week.  After this week, I will move the uniform/memorabilia articles to Friday, and move the paint scheme grades to Saturday.  This is a practicality change due to the fact that I write the normal articles in advance, but paint scheme grades are done on the fly.  Since many paint schemes are not seen by the general public until Friday afternoon, running the grades on Friday morning makes no sense.  So here is what the format will look like starting on Monday:  Mondays-thoughts on the racing weekend.  After the season ends, I will discuss off season news, as well as uniform and/or memorabilia news.  I will also add racing memorabilia videos as well on Mondays.  Wednesday: 2015 Paint Scheme Tracker-this will be a permanent feature, where I will chart every paint scheme used by every team in 2015.  I’ve been wanting to start this for a while, and now I have the ability to do this thanks to my new work schedule.  Fridays will feature the standard memorabilia related articles.  Saturdays will feature the paint scheme grades.  If any of you have any suggestions, feel free to drop me a line.photo

A few weeks ago, I picked up a TJ Zizzo tire from his explosion at the U.S. Nationals at Indy.  Well I recently got a race-used windshield and put it on to make a coffee table, and added my NHRA memorabilia on top of it, and I think it turned out well.

The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Grades 10-24-2014

Really slow week this week, but there are some grades to give out.

Greg Biffle #16 3M Ford Fusion Pinkwashing is an automatic F

Alex Bowman #23 Dip Your Car Toyota Camry Pinkwashing is an automatic F

Joey Gase #32 Donate Life Ford Fusion Decent paint scheme, but the design scheme needs work. There is some needless over design on the door just under the second number, and it distracts from the rest of the scheme.

Joey Gase #32 24-7 E-Cigs Ford Fusion I’m fascinated by the rules concerning e-cigs. NASCAR and many other racing series have strict rules that state tobacco companies cannot sponsor cars. I live in Evanston, Illinois and over here, they are regulated as tobacco cigarettes. That said, the design looks good, the color scheme is good, there aren’t too many good shades of green used in NASCAR, and it earns an A+

Reed Sorenson #36 Flasr Chevy SS See above

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowes Chevy SS Same A+ scheme but with a great shade of red instead of a great shade of blue, so it earns an A+

JJ Yeley #83 Dip Your Car Toyota Camry See Alex Bowman Above

Carl Edwards #99 Ford EcoBoost Ford Fusion Pinkwashing is an automatic F

NXS_main.jpg.main.pngNEW LOGO ALERT!  On Thursday, NASCAR released the logo for the Xfinity Series which is what the Nationwide Series will become on January 1, 2015.  I will have much more to say about it on Saturday, as well as some upcoming changes to the site.

2015 Paint Scheme Tracker-10-21-2014

By David G. Firestone

Two Jeff Gordon schemes this week, not much else to say, it should pick up in a few weeks.

2015 Toyota CamryThe first Gen 6 redesign comes to the Camry for 2015. The front is sleeker, with a more aggressive nose, and grill area, the tail has been redesigned as well.

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford FusionSame basic design as 2014, but with no gold stripe, vintage Miller Crest, or hop designs on the side.

Austin Dillon #3 Cheerios Chevy SSNo change

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Chevy SSNo change

Kevin Harvick #4 Budweiser Chevy SSNo change

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmie Johns Chevy SSNo change

Kevin Harvick #4 Outback SteakhouseNo Change

Kevin Harvick #4 Ditech Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2015, blue, and white is the primary color scheme

Kasey Kahne #5 Great Clips Chevy SSNo Change

Kasey Kahne #5 Time Warner Cable Chevy SSNo Change

Kasey Kahne #5 Farmers Insurance Chevy SSComplete redesign from last year, black, and dark blue replaces light blue and silver, and the design has been completely revamped.

Trevor Bayne #6 Advocare Ford Fusion-New team, new sponsor, red, white and blue is the color scheme.

Danica Patrick #10 Aspen Dental Chevy SSSame basic design as last year, but the blue ovals on the white are more pronounced.

Tony Stewart #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy SSSame color scheme as last year, but with a new design on the side.

Tony Stewart #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevy SSSame color scheme as last year, but with a new design on the side.

Tony Stewart #14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil1 Chevy SSNo Change

Greg Biffle #16 Ortho Fire Ant Killer Ford FusionNo change

Greg Biffle #16 Ortho Bug-B-Gon Ford Fusion-New sponsor, new design, red, black, and white is the primary color scheme.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Ford Fusion-New primary sponsor, blue, and white is the color scheme.

Carl Edwards #19 Stanley Toyota Camry-New team and new sponsor, yellow, black, and white is the color scheme.

Matt Kenseth #20 DeWalt Toyota Camry-New sponsor, black, green, yellow, and white is the color scheme.

Jeff Gordon #24 Axalta Chevy SSNo Change

Jeff Gordon #24 Panasonic Toughbook Chevy SSNo Change

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford FusionNo change

Paul Menard #27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menard’s Chevy SSNo change

Ryan Newman #31 Cat Chevy SSSame color scheme, but the car as a whole has been redesigned

Ryan Newman #31 Quicken Loans Chevy SSNo change

Ty Dillion #33 Yuengling Brewery Chevy SS-New sponsor, red, white, and blue is the primary color scheme.

Kurt Busch #41Haas CNC Chevy SSSame color scheme, but the car has been completely redesigned.

Kurt Busch #41 Slate Water Heaters Chevy SSNo change

Aric Almirola #43 Smithfield Ford FusionNo change

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide Chevy SSNo Change