The Driver Suit Blog-The Vest Project Part 4-The Undershirt

rensi-shirtBy David G. Firestone

The Vest Project continues, with a slight change of plans this week. The three-piece firesuit contains a vest, undershirt, and pair of pants. We’ve been looking at vests, now let’s take a look at an undershirt from Team Rensi’s 2007 Free Credit Report Ford team, driven by David Gilliland, Richard Johns and Kenny Wallace.

From 1999 to 2010, Team Rensi Motorsports competed in the Xfinity Series. Founded by former McDonald’s CEO Ed Rensi and a few investors, Team Rensi was a full-time fixture in the Xfinity Series, and has also competed in the Sprint Cup and Truck Series. The team has 5 wins, one in 2002, and four in 2003, all with Bobby Hamilton Jr. Other drivers for the team include Kenny Wallace, Ashton Lewis, Mike McLaughlin, Jay Sauter, Ricky Craven, Boris Said, Eric McClure, Richard Johns, and David Gilliland.

This Impact undershirt was worn in 2007 by a crew member named Louie. I’ve been unable to find information about what Louie did for the team in 2007, but he was an over-the-wall crew member, and wasn’t a fueler, or catch-can holder. The shirt is size L, is blue with black sleeves. rensi-shirtThe blue is covered by the vest portion, and is of lighter material, also used in arm gussets. This comes as no surprise, as the whole point of the three-piece is to reduce the movement restriction that the wearer encounters.rensi-shirt-fWhile I get the basic reasoning behind the three-piece, It still seems like this was overthought. While the vest is SFI 3.2A-5 rated, I see no real advantage to wearing a vest and an undershirt as opposed to a standard jacket. If the two parts catch fire, both will have to be replaced. The schedule is too hectic to clean standard suits, and I doubt that three-piece suits would be easier to clean. There are those who stand by the three pieces, but for me, they are nonsensical. This is proven by the fact that the three-piece suits disappeared only a few years after their introduction. As for the rest of the shirt itself:

The collar has a size tag and a warranty label sewn into the cowl. The size is L.rensi-shirt-tag1At the bottom-right corner is an identification tag with RENSI written in for team and LOUIE written in for NAME.rensi-shirt-tag2Being an undershirt, the shoulders are unadorned, and the sleeves, which are the same material as the outer design of a suit. The shoulders show the transition between the two materials.rensi-shirt-rshoulder rensi-shirt-lshoulderThe right sleeve has IMPACT Z, FREE CREDIT REPORT, WILEY X, and SUNOCO logos embroidered in the upper sleeve, and a FREE CREDIT REPORT.COM logo embroidered at the end of the sleeve in television position. There is a white stain on the reverse end.rensi-shirt-rsleeve-1 rensi-shirt-rsleeve2 rensi-shirt-rsleeve3The left sleeve has IMPACT Z, NASCAR, FORD, and SCLERODERMA FOUNDATION logos embroidered in the upper sleeve, and a FREE CREDIT REPORT.COM logo embroidered at the end of the sleeve in television position.rensi-shirt-lsleeve1 rensi-shirt-lsleeve2The back of the shirt shows some light wear, and is in the same blue material as the front.rensi-shirt-neck rensi-shirt-bThe vest is worn over the shirt, and looks like this, paired with the Joe Nemecheck Swig vest, discussed in previous articles.vest-shirtAs I looked at the blue material, I noticed a few things. The softer blue material would seem more comfortable than the outer material, and the blue material is Nomex. But it wouldn’t make a good material for the outer design. There is piling on collar of the blue material. rensi-shirt-tag1Piling is when the cloth has little balls over it, and these would certainly show up in photos of the suit. That’s why the outer material is made of a more durable version of Nomex, which looks better on camera. This also seems a bit more breathable than older versions of Nomex that I have seen.

I know I’ve kept focusing on the same two vests, and I’m getting tired of those two. I’m going to move on from the wine-sponsored vests, and next week, start focusing on a vest with a more traditional sponsor.

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