The Driver Suit Blog-The End of An Era in NASCAR

By David G. Firestone

On November 15, 1992, the Sprint Cup changed forever. The event was the Hooters 500. Bill Elliott, Alan Kulwicki, Davey Allison, Kyle Petty, Harry Gant, and Mark Martin were all battling it out for the Championship in what has been called the greatest series finale in NASCAR history. Richard Petty, The King of NASCAR, the greatest driver in Sprint Cup history, the greatest athlete to use #43 ended his career with that race with a crash, fire and a 35th place finish. At the end of the race, Kulwicki became championship, Petty drove around the track one last time to honor the fans, and Elliott won the race.

Something that was overlooked in all of that would change the face of NASCAR forever. On that day, A fresh-faced 21 year old made his first start in the Sprint Cup. 23 years, 92 race wins, and 4 championships later, Jeff Gordon has established himself as a true legend in auto racing. His 2015 season will be his last full-time season in NASCAR. This announcement came this week. This is not an easy decision, Gordon loves what he does, but all careers must come to an end.

I had a feeling that he would run one last full season in 2015 for the sole reason that he wants the Iron Man award. That would put him in line with some hardcore guys. Richard Petty had 513 consecutive starts from 1971-1989. In 1996, Terry Labonte started his 514th race at North Wilksboro in a silver Kellogg’s Corn Flakes Chevy SS, a race which he won. Labonte would end up starting 656 consecutive races. In 2002, Ricky Rudd would start his 657th race, the 2002 Coca Cola 600. Though he only finished 4th, he would claim the title of Iron Man that night. If all goes well, Gordon will secure the Iron Man record at the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire, and finish his career with 796 consecutive starts. He wants that award.

I also am looking forward to the Quicken Loans Race For Heroes 500 at Phoenix, because that race will take place on November 15, 2015, exactly 23 years after his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Start. Then will come on November 23, 2015, the end of an era. It’s always sad when a legend retires. Basketball was never the same when Michael Jordan finally retired. Baseball wasn’t the same when Babe Ruth retired, and hockey wasn’t the same after Wayne Gretzky retired. NASCAR really wasn’t the same when Richard Petty retired, and won’t be the same when Jeff Gordon retires.

Jeff Gordon has referred to retirement as “the r-word” and refuses to use it to discuss his current situation. Certainly it seems that he will run in races in the future, just not full-time. It’s also more or less confirmed that he will become a TV analyst, as this was announced by FOX Sports for Xfinity Series broadcasts as part of a series or rotating analysts including Brad Keselowski, and Kevin Harvick. Could this become a permanent role? It seems likely, Gordon is really good in front of the camera, and he would be a great choice, at least in my opinion.

Jeff Gordon has had a great career, and while I, as well as many fans will miss him behind the wheel. That #24 Chevy just won’t have the same allure, the same mystique with another driver behind the wheel. I wish Jeff the best of luck with his future endeavors.

Next week, I will be taking a vacation to Arizona, so I won’t update the tracker or issue paint scheme grades. I’ll have something ready to go on Friday, and I may do something on Monday, but I haven’t decided yet. I’ll return to normal once I get home.

The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Tracker-January 28, 2015

By David G. Firestone

Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer, Marin Truex Jr. all have new paint 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.

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna/Beechcraft Chevy SSNo Change

Jamie McMurray #1 McDonald’s Chevy SSSame basic scheme, but with a new door design.

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.

Brad Keselowski #2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford FusionNew redesign, similar in design to Joey Logano’s Shell/Pennzoil Ford, black replaces yellow as the primary color.

Austin Dillon #3 Cheerios Chevy SSNo change

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Chevy SSNo change

Austin Dillon #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevy SSNo Change

Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol 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.

Kasey Kahne #5 Liftmaster Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2015, red and white redesign of the Time Warner scheme.

Kasey Kahne #5 Pepsi Chevy SSNo change

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

Sam Hornish Jr. #9 Twisted Tea Ford FusionNo Change

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

Danica Patrick #10 GoDaddy Chevy SSNew redesign with more black and less orange.

Danica Patrick #10 GoDaddy/TaxAct Chevy SS-New sponsor combo for the Sprint Unlimited, front of the car retains traditional GoDaddy design, whereas back quarter panel is TaxAct

Danica Patrick #10 TaxAct Chevy SS-One race sponsor, will run at Martinsville in March, red, white and black scheme, with diagonal design up the doors.

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Express Toyota CamryNew redesign with a much simpler front and more design on the sides.

Denny Hamlin #11 SportClips Toyota CamryNew redesign with a new door design

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

Clint Bowyer #15 5 Hour Energy Toyota CamryNo Change

Clint Bowyer #15 Peak Toyota CamryNo Change

Greg Biffle #16 Cheez Its Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2015, red with a cheese colored stripe and crackers on the side.

Greg Biffle #16 Clean Harbors Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2015, red white and black design

Greg Biffle #16 Ortho Fire Ant Killer Ford FusionNo change

Greg Biffle #16 Ortho Home Defense Ford Fusion-New sponsor, white design with a red and yellow stripe on the bottom, with a net design on the side.

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.

Kyle Busch #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota CamryNo Change

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Toyota CamryNo change

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Crispy Toyota Camry-New design for 2015, with a green background and more emphasis on M&M’s Crispy, as well as a new hood logo.

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

Carl Edwards #19 Aaris Toyota Camry-New team and new sponsor, reddish orange with the Aaris logo used as part of the side stripe.

Carl Edwards #19 SportClips Toyota Camry-New sponsor, same design as Denny Hamlin.

Carl Edwards #19 Subway Toyota CamryNew sponsor for Joe Gibbs, much simpler design.

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

Matt Kenseth #20 Dollar General Toyota CamryMuch simpler than the 2014 scheme, with fewer side designs.

Ryan Blaney #21 Motorcraft/Quicklane Ford FusionNo Change

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford FusionNo change

Joey Logano #22 AAA Ford FusionThe AAA logo has been straightened up in 2015.

Joey Logano #22 Pennzoil Platnum Ford FusionNo Change

Jeff Gordon #24 3M Chevy SS-New design for 2015, silver, with red accents and numbers, with a white hood design that extends over the roof and deck-lid.

Jeff Gordon #24 Axalta Chevy SSNo Change

Jeff Gordon #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevy SSMuch simpler redesign, with new hood logo and same color scheme

Jeff Gordon #24 Panasonic Toughbook Chevy SSNo 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

Go FAS Racing #32 Keen Parts Ford FusionSimpler redesign and a much simpler color scheme.

Go FAS Racing #32 C&J Energy Services Ford FusionSame color scheme, but with a different and much more complex side design

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

Ty Dillon #33 Cheerios Chevy SS-New sponsor for the Daytona 500, based on Austin Dillon’s Cheerios scheme, but with a Kroger’s logo on the hood.

Cole Whitt #35 Speed Stick Gear Ford FusionNo Change

David Gilliland #38 Love’s Travel Stops Ford FusionNo change

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 Almoriola #43 Eckrich Ford FusionSame basic design, but with a Nathans logo on the rear.

Aric Almirola #43 Smithfield Ford FusionNo change

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Chevy SSNew design, bears a resemblance to the old Kobalt tools scheme from 2009.

Jimmie Johnson #48 Kobalt Chevy SSNew design, redesigned version of the current Lowe’s scheme.

Brian Vickers #55 Aaron’s Toyota CamrySame basic design as last year, the nose has been changed, the main blue is slightly darker, and the gold has been replaced with light blue

Martin Truex Jr. #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy SSNo Change

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide Chevy SSNo Change

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevy SSNo major changes,except a Nationwide logo replaces the National Guard logo.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Kelly Blue Book Chevy SSSame basic design but blue has replaced white as the primary color.

Michael McDowell #95 Thrivent Financial Ford FusionRedesign of last year’s scheme, another example of logo as a stripe pattern.

The Driver Suit Blog-My Thoughts On The Rolex 24, The Pro Bowl, and The NHL All-Star Game

By David G. Firestone

So after watching all 24 hours of The Rolex 24 at Daytona, first off, I’m exhausted, second off, it was a great event! The “Star Car” of Chip Ganassi, a Ford EcoBoost powered Daytona prototype with Scott Dixon, Tony Kannan, Jamie McMurray, and Kyle Larson won the overall event, as well as as the Prototype class. The GT Le Mans class was won by Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussenm, Antonio García, and Ryan Briscoe who finished 5th overall. Prototype Challenge was won by PR1/Mathiesen Motorsports with Mike Gausch, Andrew Novichm Andrew Palmer, and Tom Kimber-Smith in an Oreca FLM09 with a Chevy engine. GT Daytona was won by Riley Motorsports in a Dodge Viper with Ben Keating, Dominik Farnbacher,Kuno Wittmer, Cameron Lawrence, and Al Carter at the helm.

I don’t watch the Tudor United SportsCar Championship or Endurance racing that often, I watch Sebring and Le Mans and Daytona, but normally and I watch NASCAR IndyCar, and NHRA so it’s a really odd transition. It gets kind of confusing with 4 classes running on the track at the same time. Also, the pit stops are slow compared to NASCAR or IndyCar, but that is understandable as the race is 24 hours long. But when you haven’t had a sport to follow for 2 1/2 months, it’s a small price to pay.

A couple of design things struck my eye. Since half this race is run at night, spotters need to be able to see their cars at any given moment. As such, many cars are outfitted with custom light designs on the roof. Many teams opt for lighted car numbers as well. What I also noticed, and I don’t know why I didn’t notice this before, the cars have number setups to tell indicate where they are position wise, based on class. Cars that feature all professional drivers have red numbers, cars with professional and amateur drivers have blue lights. This is represented in the car numbers. Red boxes around the numbers are professional, blue boxes are professional and amateur drivers.

One thing I didn’t know about prior to this race was the existence of The Delta Wing. This is a car designed to have lighter size and engine power, but with much less drag than traditional race cars. It looks like something out of a Batman comic. Sadly, transmission problems kept us from seeing how well it could really do.

There have been a lot of odd incidents in racing in the last few years, and this race was no exception. At 5 AM, Andy Lally, while driving the #44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 hit a possum with his car it went through the radiator, and wound up in the front trunk of the car. Porsche 911 is a rear engine car. It wound up knocking Lally, a dedicated vegan, out of the race.

After a brief nap and some dinner, I tuned into the Pro Bowl, or as I like to call it, the Who Gives a Damn bowl. The NFL has done so much to get fans to watch, and they just don’t care at all. This week, the NFL announced that the goal posts would be narrower, and the point after touchdown lines would be moved back. This led to a challenge for kickers, and a number of missed PAT’s. Rarely if ever do you see that, so it did make for an exciting game. the uniforms were awful, but that is the norm now.

That got me to thinking…was this a testing ground for future goal post changes? The fact that the NFL would use such rules might indicate that. Sports thrive on change, and the goal posts haven’t had major changes for a long time. I think that the NFL might be thinking about changes to the goalposts in the future. This might be the first in a series of experiments in that line.

I also caught the late telecast of the NHL All-Star Game, and I hated the uniforms. I also hate this new system of selecting teams. This also applies to the NFL. I like the idea of conference vs conference. I like the idea of AFC vs. NFC in the NFL and Eastern vs. Western in the NHL. But while I can defend having the captains pick the teams in the NHL, the Pro Bowl draft is unacceptable. If it were up to me, I would redo it so that one of the player captains picks the teams. I have nothing against Michael Irvin and Cris Carter, but why not have Team Luck vs. Team Sanford? That would, in my mind, be a better system. But I’m just me, what can I say?

I’m gonna be going on Vacation on Friday, I’ll run the tracker and paint scheme grades as normal, but I may or may not do a My Thoughts On article next Monday, I haven’t decided yet.

The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Grades-January 24, 2015

By David G. Firestone

While we watch the 24 Hours of Daytona, here are the grades for this week.

Kyle Busch #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry-Same scheme as last year, same F- grade.

Jeff Gordon #24 3M Chevy SS-I was wondering what 3M would do with Gordon’s Chevy, as all of their schemes last year were horrible. I was pleasantly surprised with the simple design. The silver and red reminds me of the Silver-wrench scheme from 1995, and the design works very well, earning a A+

Jeff Gordon #24 Pepsi Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same A+ grade

Jeff Gordon #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevy SS-Stupid hood logo-gone! Stupid side design-gone! Much better design-here! A+ grade-here!

Go FAS Racing #32 C&J Energy Services Ford Fusion-The same basic color scheme, but with a horrific design that is F grade worthy! The color scheme is good, but the design is just horrible.

Martin Truex Jr. #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same A+ grade.

Athletic Uniforms in Team Fortress 2

By David G. Firestone

Gonna be a long one, so strap in. One of the most well known first person shooters is Team Fortress 2. A goofy game to say the least Team Fortress 2 or TF2 features 9 classes, all of which can be customized with weapons and cosmetics. In the TF2 world, the maps and classes are owned by The Mann Company. It, in turn, owns RED and BLU, the two opposing teams. When you as a player buy weapons and/or cosmetics you do so through The Mann Company. You also get items through crates, which require keys. Items from these crates can be from several different qualities.

There are several styles of TF2, there is Control Point or CP, where there are a series of points on a map, Blu is trying to capture the points, whereas Red is trying to block the captures. Payload or PL involves BLU trying to move a bomb on a cart into a RED base. Payload Race or PR is a map where there is a Red and a Blu bomb at a starting point and the point is to get your bomb to the end of the track. My favorite game is Capture the Flag or CTF, where on opposite ends of symmetrically designed levels are briefcases with intelligence. The goal is to take the enemy intelligence from their base to yours. Arena is where the goal is to kill all members of the opposite team. If both teams survive 1 minute of fighting with no re-spawning, a control point opens. King of the Hill which is similar to Arena, but the focus is on the Control Point. Mann vs. Machine involves a team of players vs a horde of robots attacking. Special Delivery involves bringing a briefcase to a rocket to get the rocket to launch. Territorial Control or TC involves capturing enemy control points while protecting your own. Many of these levels have Halloween modes, which allow for special costumes to be worn. When it comes to the links below, if it will specifically say if it can only be used at Halloween, or a server where Halloween mode is enabled.

Many of the cosmetics, quotes, achievements, and weapons have sports references. When it comes to sports references in TF2, The Scout is the top of the chart. The fastest and least durable of the mercenaries, he hails from Boston, has a snarky ‘in-your-face’ attitude, and a love of baseball. He likes to wear his socks high-cuffed. The Scout’s main themes are baseball and speed.

The baseball references start with a primary weapon called “The Shortstop.” While the Scout normally uses a small shotgun, this takes the form of a pistol with four barrels which fire small pellets in a concentrated area.

The Scout has a number of baseball related melee weapons. The standard issue melee weapon is The Bat, which is an aluminum bat, with an oval that has the name and color of the team in said oval. A popular upgrade is The Sandman. The Sandman is a wooden bat, with a large crack up the side, tied together with a black band. The Sandman is printed up the side. While the bat takes away 15 health, it comes with a ball made by Ball Fortress, for the All Ballers League. This can be used to stun enemies. In the heat of battle this can be very useful. The Boston Basher is a bat-like club with spikes. If you hit an enemy with it, he will bleed for 5 seconds, but if you miss, you will bleed for 5 seconds. The Atomizer is another bat weapon, though while this does less damage, and is slower, it does give the ability to triple jump, as opposed to the Scout’s standard double-jump. Similar in function to The Sandman, The Wrap Assassin is a roll of wrapping paper with a glass Christmas ornament, though the wrapping paper is much less damaging than the bat, and the ornament causes the opponent to bleed for 5 seconds. If The Sandman or Atomizer are equipped, the player can perform the Home Run taunt, where he calls his shot like Babe Ruth, and then swings the bat. If a player is nearby, the bat will kill him.

When it comes to cosmetics, The Scout has a lot, and I do mean A LOT of sports stuff, mostly baseball. The most obvious accessories are headgear. The Batting Helmet, is a single-flapped batting helmet, with the flap over the left ear to accommodate his ear piece. If you have a couple of Bonk! Atomic Punch cans than can be crafted, you can upgrade to The Bonk Helm. Bonk! Atomic Punch is a secondary weapon that, when consumed, gives the player 8 seconds of invulnerability, though the player can’t shoot, cap, or carry intelligence while invulnerable. Baseball Bill’s Sport Shine removes Scout’s headgear to reveal a short haircut. Ye Old Baker Boy is a brown “Newsie” cap, that many kids wore while playing baseball in the 1920’s, it has a robot counterpart, Ye Oiled Baker Boy. Essential Accessories consist of green and yellow stripes on the socks, arm bands, and green shoes, similar to those worn by Bullseye in Monday Night Combat. Also worn by Bullseye is the green and white cap called The Superfan. The tradition of catchers wearing their caps and helmets backwards is represented by the Backwards Ball Cap. The iconic food at baseball games are hot dogs, so The Hot Dogger was released. It’s a round cap with a large hot dog on top. A robot version, The Bot Dogger, and a Halloween edition, the Halloweiner was released. Interestingly, with the Halloweiner, the Red team’s hat is a classic hot dog, and the Blu team’s hat appears to be a bratwurst. One last hat, The Front Runner, is a striped headband.

When it comes to shirts and shoes, The Scout doesn’t have as much, though he does have The Track Terrorizer, a nice track suit. He also has The Bigg Mann On Campus, a nice varsity jacket, and the Cool Cat Cardigan, a varsity-style sweater. The Ball Kicker Boots are a pair of soccer cleats, that also spawn a soccer ball that can be played with. For those who want Chuck Taylor All-Stars in the game…too bad, you’ll have to settle for Buck Turner All-Stars. The Red Socks are ninja shoes worn by Scout and share the name of his favorite baseball team.

When it comes to achievements, many Scout achievements have baseball references.

A Year to Remember is awarded when the player reaches 2004 kills. It’s named after the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004.

If you kill a Heavy/Medic pair within 20 seconds of each other, you win the Back to Back, named after a double-header.

Batter Up is awarded to the player if they get 1000 double jumps.

Scouts often carry The Sandman, and if he misses a ball at you, pick it up and use it on him, and earn Beanball.

When you kill an opposing player that has your intelligence while holding theirs, you get the Belittled Beleaguer achievement. Something that is “belittled” appears small or insignificant in contrast to its surroundings, “beleaguer” means to harass or beset. “Belittled Beleaguer” itself is a play on the phrase “Little Leaguer.”

If you prevent 50 point captures, you get Block the Plate.

If you stun 50 opponents riding the cart, or capturing the point, you get Brushback.

When you kill 50 enemies from behind with The Force of Nature, you get Caught Napping, which is when a base-runner gets out because they weren’t aware of what the defensive players are doing.

When you destroy 3 teleporter entrances, you are a Closer.

Doctoring The Ball? Well when you are ubercharged, kill 3 opponents.

In sports scores today Dodgers 1, Giants 0…oh wait, that isn’t a score, that is when you kill a Heavy and steal his Sandvich.

If you cause environmental deaths using The Force Of Nature or the baseball, you get Fall Classic and Foul Territory respectively.

Run down players are base runners who get caught between two fielders, one who has the ball.

Gun Down means to destroy a sentry gun with your pistol.

If You Build It…means destroying three buildings under construction.

I’ve survived 500 damage in one life, therefore I’m Bat Man!

Mickey Mantle holds the record for longest home run at 565, called a Moon Shot, which is also hitting a stun from a long distance.

No Hitter involves stealing and camping the intelligence in one life without firing a shot.

If you hit an opponent, and he goes 25 meters, you have hit it Out Of The Park.

If you kill 20 players while double jumping, you get Pop Up.

In the event you kill a player in Well before the round starts, you earn Quick Hook.

Run 25 kilometers, you earn Race For The Pennant.

If you kill an opponent Scout while he is under Crit A Cola, you earn Retire The Runner.

Round Tripper is awarded when you capture the intelligence 25 times.

Start 10 point captures that succeed? You earn Set The Table.

Capture the last point in a CP map? Side Retired!

If you have the speed to start a cap within a second of it becoming available, you’ve been Stealing Home

Strike Zone is awarded when you kill or assist 50 stunned enemies.

Frank Thomas is known as The Big Hurt, and it is awarded when you stun 2 Medics that are about to deploy ubercharges.

Killing enemies on land, in air, and under water in the same life? You have earned The Cycle.

If you are fast enough to capture 3 points in a row, you’ve earned the rare Triple Play.

and lastly, if you capture the intelligence 3 times in one round, you have earned Triple Steal.

The Scout also borrows lines from A League of Their Own, and uses a number of baseball related quotes.

Yo, batter up!”

“Yo, I oughta’ be on a baseball card!”

“I’m battin’ a thousand!”

“Ya head’s a freakin’ bat magnet!”

“‘Ey, is somebody keepin’ track of my heads batted in?”

“Play ball!”

“Got da ball back!”

“Found my ball!”

“Oh dere’s my ball!”

“I love my ball!”

“Good ‘ands, buddy!”

“Good catch, dummy!”

“Home-frickin’-run!”

“Nice hustle!”

Batter up!”

“Catch dis.”

“Batta swing!

Major League!

Moving on, Tavish Finnegan DeGroot is a one-eyed drunken Scotsman from Ullapool. He is known as the Demoman. Using grenade launchers, sticky-bombs and his trusty bottle of cheap scrumpy, he is primary used in defense but can be used well in offensive scenario. He can turn into a “Demo Knight” by replacing the sticky-bomb launcher with a shield, and the bottle with a sword. His major themes are explosives, alcohol and Scotland.

Since golf originated in Scotland, there are a number of golf related references.

Nessie’s Nine Iron is a golf club, which functions identically to the Eyelander. while reducing overall health by 25 points, every player decapitated will give the player 8% speed and 15 health up to four times per life.

Of course if you want to go golfing, you have to look the part. As such, there are a number of cosmetic items for Tavish.

The Tam o’ Shanter is Tam o’ Shanter bonnet, which some associate with traditional Scottish golfers.

You can’t have a full golf bag without a golf bag so you can get the Gaelic Golf Bag.

Safety is not a priority for the Demoman, being an alcoholic demolitions expert who has already lost one eye, but if you feel like you need a helmet, you can buy the Sober Stuntman, which is based on the helmet Evil Knievel.

Like the Scout, Tavish can wear the Buck Turner All-Stars.

Heavy Weapons Guy or “The Heavy” is the face of the franchise. The slowest and most durable of the team, he comes from the Dzhugdzhur Mountains in Khabarovsk Krai in Siberia. He utilized mini-guns, shotguns, a sand-vich which restores health, and his fists, or various fist related weapons. His first name is “Misha (short for Mikhail), he loves his weapons, and has a Ph. D in Russian Literature. His big theme is Russia, and most of his items reference Russia or the Soviet Union in some manner. He has some sports related items, including two melee weapons:

The Killing Gloves of Boxing-these are equipped in the melee slot, and function as boxing gloves. These give cries for 5 seconds upon a successful kill made with them. Killing Gloves of Boxing is a reference to the KGB, the Soviet spy network.

The Gloves of Running Urgently-Similar in appearance and function to the Killing Gloves of Boxing with a flame design added, the Gloves of Running Urgently deal 25% less damage, allow the player to take mini-crits, but give the player to run 30% faster. Gloves of Running Urgently refers to G.R.U., which is an acronym for the Glavnoye Razvedyvatel’noye Upravleniye, the foreign military intelligence directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

and The Apoco-Fists-Functions the same way as the fists, but if a player is killed with a crit or mini-crit, the player will be gibbed. Were awarded to players who purchased Saints Row: The Third before November 15,2011.

In addition, the Heavy has some sports-related cosmetic items…

Two wrestling masks, the Cold War Luchadore, and the Large Luchadore.

Two football helmets, the Football Helmet, and the robot version, the Gridiron Guardian,

A large number of boxing items, including…The Pugilist’s Protector, The Heavy-Weight Title, The Toss-Proof Towel, and the robot version, The Titanium Towel.

The Heavy also has two weight lifting related cosmetic items, The Weight Room Warmer, and The Heavy Lifter.

In addition, there are a couple of achievements that reference sports. The Borscht Belt, while a reference to the Borscht Belt in the Catskill Mountains, features an icon of The Heavy-Weight Title belt. Communist Mani-Fisto, when you kill and enemy with a critical punch, refers to the Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. It features a boxing glove punching icon. The final one is the Soviet Bloc, named after the Soviet Block, which features an icon of the Football Helmet. It is awarded to a players who is an invulnerable Heavy and blocks the path of an enemy invulnerable Heavy.

The Engineer, real name Dell Conagher, is a soft-spoken man who hails from Bee Cave Texas. He isn’t loud but he is very dangerous. Decent in size, durability, and speed, he is great in defense. He builds things, sentry turrets, dispensers, and teleporters. His big theme is Texas, and he doesn’t have very many sports references.

He has one sports related cosmetic item, the Endothermic Exowear, a hoodie.

He also has two sports references in his achievements, the Honky Tonk Man, which occurs when he kills a player while using the Dischord taunt. With the Frontier Justice equipped as the primary weapon, the taunt causes the Engineer to produce a guitar, strum a chord, and then smash the guitar. This will kill a player near him. Named after The Honky Tonk Man, who used the same attack in his time in WWE. If you move a level 3 sentry, and it gets a kill shortly after being redeployed, you will get If You Build It, They Will Die, an obvious reference to Field of Dreams.

Finally, we have some sports references in what are known as “All Class Cosmetics.” These are cosmetic items that can be worn by all 9 classes. Interestingly, the Soldier, Pyro, Medic, Sniper, and Spy have no sports references whatsoever, so these qualify for them. You can have a cap called The Athletic Supporter, which was awarded to those who purchased Monday Night Combat before February 1, 2011. You can also wear The Human Cannonball, a crash helmet that stuntmen like to wear. If you play CrimeCraft GangWars and earn the achievement “Key to the City” you get The Bolt Action Blitzer.

The Driver Suig Blog-The Return of the Racing Season-The Rolex 24 At Daytona is Tomorrow!

By David G. Firestone

Winter sucks. It’s cold, there’s snow on the ground, and the worst part is that there isn’t auto racing…until 2:10 pm tomorrow! Yes! It’s the Rolex 24 at Daytona. This year’s field will feature 53 teams from around the world. I’m not a fan of Sports Car racing but I’m looking forward to this. Using the road course configuration, 53 different cars, with 3-4 drivers will race over the course of 24 hours. The goal is to run the farthest in the 24 hour time. In the event of a red flag, the time count will not stop, but the race will.

The history of the event dates back to 1959, when a 1000 km, or 621.371 race was held. In 1962-1963, it was changed to a 3 hour long format, and then to a 2000 km or 1242.742 mile race from 1964-1965. In 1966, the race became a 24 hour long race, which it was until 1971. In 1972 the race was shortened to 6 hours, then returned to 24 hours from 1973 on wards.

If racing has a true “all star race” this is it. Mario Andretti, AJ Foyt, Bobby Rahal, Al Unser, Al Unser Jr., John Andretti, Scott Prutt, Arie Luyendyk, Max Papis, Christian Fittipaldi, Scott Dixon, Casey Mears, Dan Wheldon, Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Sharp,Graham Rahal, Sébastien Bourdais, Justin Wilson, and Charlie Kimball have all won, and the roster of drivers who have raced in the series is legendary. From NASCAR, Rusty Wallace, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Kyle Petty, AJ Allmendinger, Mark Martin, Jamie McMurray, Kevin Harvick, Brian Vickers, Marcos Ambrose, Clint Bowyer, Michael Waltrip, Robby Gordon, Nelson Piquet Jr.,Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Dale Earnhardt Sr. have raced. From IndyCar, Buddy Rice, Hélio Castroneves, Sam Hornish, Jr., Dario Franchitti, Paul Tracy, Michael Andretti, Marco Andretti, Danica Patrick, Jimmy Vasser, and James Hinchcliffe. Celebrites who love to race show up, including Tim Allen, Frank Beard, Robert Carradine, Patrick Dempsey, James Garner, Gene Hackman, Bruce Jenner, Perry King, Lorenzo Lamas, Phil Mahre, Craig T. Nelson, Paul Newman, Dan Pastorini, Brian Johnson, and Jason Priestly.

This year’s race looks to be a good one, and I’m tingling with excitement. It starts at 2:10 ET on Fox, moves to Fox Sports 2 from 4pm-8pm, then to Fox Sports 1 from 8pm to 10 pm, moves to IMSA.com from 10pm to 7am, and from 7 am to 2:30 will be back on Fox Sports 1. I’m looking forward to it, and I’ll see you there!

Paint Scheme Grades-January 21-2015

By David G. Firestone

Jamie McMurray, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Cole Witt, and David Gilliland have had new releases this week, some I covered in Saturday’s grades but some are new.

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.

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna/Beechcraft Chevy SSNo Change

Jamie McMurray #1 McDonald’s Chevy SSSame basic scheme, but with a new door design.

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

Austin Dillon #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevy SSNo Change

Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol 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.

Kasey Kahne #5 Liftmaster Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2015, red and white redesign of the Time Warner scheme.

Kasey Kahne #5 Pepsi Chevy SSNo change

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

Sam Hornish Jr. #9 Twisted Tea Ford FusionNo Change

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

Danica Patrick #10 GoDaddy Chevy SSNew redesign with more black and less orange.

Danica Patrick #10 GoDaddy/TaxAct Chevy SS-New sponsor combo for the Sprint Unlimited, front of the car retains traditional GoDaddy design, whereas back quarter panel is TaxAct

Danica Patrick #10 TaxAct Chevy SS-One race sponsor, will run at Martinsville in March, red, white and black scheme, with diagonal design up the doors.

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Express Toyota CamryNew redesign with a much simpler front and more design on the sides.

Denny Hamlin #11 SportClips Toyota CamryNew redesign with a new door design

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

Clint Bowyer #15 5 Hour Energy Toyota CamryNo Change

Greg Biffle #16 Cheez Its Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2015, red with a cheese colored stripe and crackers on the side.

Greg Biffle #16 Clean Harbors Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2015, red white and black design

Greg Biffle #16 Ortho Fire Ant Killer Ford FusionNo change

Greg Biffle #16 Ortho Home Defense Ford Fusion-New sponsor, white design with a red and yellow stripe on the bottom, with a net design on the side.

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.

Kyle Busch #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota CamryNo Change

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Toyota CamryNo change

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Crispy Toyota Camry-New design for 2015, with a green background and more emphasis on M&M’s Crispy, as well as a new hood logo.

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

Carl Edwards #19 Aaris Toyota Camry-New team and new sponsor, reddish orange with the Aaris logo used as part of the side stripe.

Carl Edwards #19 SportClips Toyota Camry-New sponsor, same design as Denny Hamlin.

Carl Edwards #19 Subway Toyota CamryNew sponsor for Joe Gibbs, much simpler design.

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

Matt Kenseth #20 Dollar General Toyota CamryMuch simpler than the 2014 scheme, with fewer side designs.

Ryan Blaney #21 Motorcraft/Quicklane Ford FusionNo Change

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford FusionNo change

Joey Logano #22 AAA Ford FusionThe AAA logo has been straightened up in 2015.

Joey Logano #22 Pennzoil Platnum Ford FusionNo Change.

Jeff Gordon #24 Axalta Chevy SSNo Change

Jeff Gordon #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevy SSMuch simpler redesign, with new hood logo and same color scheme

Jeff Gordon #24 Panasonic Toughbook Chevy SSNo 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

Go FAS Racing #32 Keen Parts Ford FusionSimpler redesign and a much simpler color scheme.

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

Ty Dillon #33 Cheerios Chevy SS-New sponsor for the Daytona 500, based on Austin Dillon’s Cheerios scheme, but with a Kroger’s logo on the hood.

Cole Whitt #35 Speed Stick Gear Ford FusionNo Change

David Gilliland #38 Love’s Travel Stops Ford FusionNo change

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 Almoriola #43 Eckrich Ford FusionSame basic design, but with a Nathans logo on the rear.

Aric Almirola #43 Smithfield Ford FusionNo change

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Chevy SSNew design, bears a resemblance to the old Kobalt tools scheme from 2009.

Jimmie Johnson #48 Kobalt Chevy SSNew design, redesigned version of the current Lowe’s scheme.

Brian Vickers #55 Aaron’s Toyota CamrySame basic design as last year, the nose has been changed, the main blue is slightly darker, and the gold has been replaced with light blue

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide Chevy SSNo Change

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevy SSNo major changes,except a Nationwide logo replaces the National Guard logo.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Kelly Blue Book Chevy SSSame basic design but blue has replaced white as the primary color.

Michael McDowell #95 Thrivent Financial Ford FusionRedesign of last year’s scheme, another example of logo as a stripe pattern.