By David G. Firestone
Austin Dillon #3 Dow Olympics Chevy SS-Reversing colors on a paint scheme can work, but this one just missed. I think that it would be better with the Olympics and a Patriotic theme. It’s not horrific though, and looks decent so I’ll give it a B-.
Austin Dillon #3 Dow Mycogen Seeds Chevy SS-The color scheme works well, but the design doesn’t work with the color scheme. If I was doing a field motif, green and brown would work, but this just looks odd. Again, like the Olympic scheme, it isn’t awful, and I’ll give it a B-.
Regan Smith #7 Mario Fiore Teddy Bear Pools Chevy SS-I’m a sucker for a great throwback, and this is a great throwback. It’s an obscure one, but it works well. I don’t understand naming a business “Teddy Bear Pools” but I’ll ignore it. A.
Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Chevy SS-The team allowed Denny to design his own car for the Coke Zero 400, and it’s obvious he had some help. This scheme is bad for a number of reasons. First, the hood logo should match the red, not the white. Second, it looks like the team used SportClips for the basis. Third, it might not be the greatest idea to drive an all black car, with an all-black firesuit in Florida in July. It’s an overused look, that just didn’t work. The color scheme is decent, so I will give it a D-.
Tony Stewart #14 Haas Automation Chevy SS-The fade could be a bit more pronounced, but it’s still a great scheme. A-.
Tony Stewart #14 Mobil 1/Chevy Summer Selldown Chevy SS-Same as Mobil 1, same A grade.
Clint Bowyer #15 5 Hour Energy/Knoxville Nationals Chevy SS-Same scheme as 5-Hour Energy, same A grade.
Greg Biffle #16 KFC Ford Fusion-I think the names on a race car trope is getting a bit out of hand, but that is my only complaint about this otherwise great KFC scheme. A-.
Greg Biffe #16 NESN Fuel Ford Fusion-NESN’s color scheme is great, but the designs are overused, and need some simplifying. It could work, better with a smoother design, but it’s not horrific. I give it a B-.
Carl Edwards #19 Arris Tony Stewart Throwback Toyota Camry-The Tony Stewart tribute is a great idea on paper, and in practice it works perfectly. It’s a great throwback, and since the color scheme is identical, it works very well. A.
Carl Edwards #19 SportClips Toyota Camry-Same as Denny Hamlin’s #11, same C grade.
Matt Kenseth #20 DeWalt/Flexvolt Toyota Camry-Get rid of DeWalt, and it would be an A scheme, but with the two different color and design schemes clashing, it takes an A grade down to a C-. The two different schemes by themselves work, but the combo doesn’t.
Ryan Blaney #21 Quicklane/Trading One Uniform For Another Ford Fusion-Replacing the traditional Wood Brothers red roof with a light blue one was a bold move, but I have to say that it looks really good. It doesn’t look like it would work, but it works perfectly. A
Ryan Blaney #21 Motorcraft Throwback Ford Fusion-Even for The Wood Brothers, this is an amazing scheme! I love a great throwback, and I think this might be the best throwback of the year. I can’t give it anything but an A.
David Ragan #23 Dr. Pepper Throwback Toyota Camry-Granted it’s more of a cop out of a throwback scheme, but it’s not terrible. I wish that Dr. Pepper and BK Racing would work a little harder with the scheme. Still it’s not a bad scheme, and it’s worth a B+.
David Ragan #23 Flaming Leprechaun Toyota Camry-Black with dark red flames could be hit or miss, and this is a hit. It works well, and looks good. Nothing wrong here. A
David Ragan #23 Brandies Machinery Toyota Camry-Same scheme as last year, same F grade.
David Ragan #23 Dr. Pepper/USA Network Toyota Camry-Same basic scheme as Dr. Pepper, same A grade.
Chase Eliott #24 NAPA Patriotic Chevy SS-It could work as a patriotic scheme, but it’s overdone, and it needs work. If the white roof was eliminated, and the patriotic elements condensed, it would work better, but as of right now, it earns a C+.
Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Sylvania Chevy SS–I’ve had a lot of good things to say about the Menard’s Template, but that ends with this scheme. The orange does not work with the yellow, and the whole car just looks awful. I can’t pass this scheme, so I’ll give it an F.
Paul Menard #27 Valvoline Throwback Chevy SS-While I like throwback schemes for the most part, this scheme just doesn’t work. Based on Al Unser’s 1993 Daytona 500 scheme, this is one of those instances where the color scheme is mediocre, that silver is just not good, and a design that just doesn’t work. As much as I get what was trying to be done, it was based on a terrible scheme in its first incarnation, and I have to give it an F.
Bobby Labonte #32 One Orlando Ford Fuson–Same scheme as last year, same F grade.
Eddie McDonald #32 Bentley’s Saloon Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2016, orange, red, silver, and black with a series of modern designs up sides. F
Jeb Burton #32 Erie Insurance Ford Fusion-My only complaint is that the wave form is a bit overdone, which messes up the whole look. Other than that, its not a bad scheme at all, if not for being a tad overdone. B+
Kyle Larson #42 Energizer Chevy SS-It’s a decent scheme, but if the white were replaced by black, I would like it more. The design looks forced, and it doesn’t work as well. I’ll give it a C-.
Brian Scott #44 Shaw’s/Heinz Ford Fusion-Same scheme as Alberston’s, same A grade.
Michael Annett #46 St Jude’s Hospital Chevy SS-The silver background doesn’t work, but changing it to white would work very well. Other than that, it’s a really good scheme. B+
AJ Allmendinger #47 Kroger/Outshine/Drumstick Chevy SS-Same scheme as Kroger, same A grade.
AJ Allmendinger #47 Kroger/Clorox/Scott Chevy SS-Same scheme as Kroger, same A grade.
AJ Allmendinger #47 Scott’s Chevy SS-Same scheme as Kroger, same A grade.
Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s/Jimmie Johnson Foundation Chevy SS-The black with stars works very well, but why in the world would you go with that door design? That design is just awful. Above and beyond that, why would you have nearly invisible stars on the sides and hood? It just looks awful! I give it an F.
Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Red Vest Chevy SS-Rather than replacing the blue elements with red, as in 2015, there was a whole new design for 2016, which is overdone, and just looks odd. I’m not sure what they were going for, but they missed. It’s ugly and confusing, and has earned an F.
Matt DiBenedetto #83 Anest Iwata Toyota Camry-Its a simple design, with a great color scheme, and it has a smooth look. I give it an A.
Matt DiBenedetto #83 Orange Crush Throwback Toyota Camry-Orange and blue can be hit or miss, depending on what shades are used, but this design, and this color scheme works very well, and earns an A
Matt DiBenedetto #83 Science Logic Toyota Camry-It’s never a good sign when I can compare a paint scheme to cheap hotel carpeting, but for this scheme, its spot on. The only thing giving this scheme a D+ is a good color scheme.
Ty Dillon #95 Chevy Summer Selldown Chevy SS-It could be better when it comes to the design, sunburst is finicky on race cars. The color scheme is great, so I’ll give it an B-.
Michael McDowell #95 Thrivent Financial Richard Childress Throwback Chevy SS-It’s a great throwback, and it is very faithful to the original. It can’t get any grade less than an A.
Cole Whitt #98 Speed Stick Reversed Chevy SS-As shown with the Olympic Dow scheme above, reversing the colors doesn’t always work. But this scheme shows that it can. Silver looks good as a background, and the blue works well. It earns an A.