The Driver Suit Blog-My Thoughts on NASCAR Changes For 2017, and a Site Announcement

By David G. Firestone

Last week, NASCAR announced that effective in 2017, races would have a new format. Instead of just running a 400 or 500 mile race, the new format states that:

• Races will now consist of three stages, with championship implications in each stage.

• The top-10 finishers of the first two stages will be awarded additional championship points.

• The winner of the first two stages of each race will receive one playoff point, and the race winner will receive five playoff points. Each playoff point will be added to his or her reset total following race No. 26, if that competitor makes the playoffs.

• All playoff points will carry through to the end of the third round of the playoffs (Round of 8), with the Championship 4 racing straight-up at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the title.

• Championship points following the first two stages will be awarded on a descending scale, with the stage winner receiving 10 points, second receiving 9 points, and so on.

• The race winner following the final stage will now receive 40 points, second-place will receive 35, third-place 34, fourth-place 33, and so on.

This is designed to make the races more exciting, and instead of just one race, there are three races in one event. Obviously, old school fans aren’t too happy about this, but let’s be honest, the old way wasn’t working. Race attendance and television ratings are down across the board. What that tells me, and tells most people, is that the on-track product is stale. As I said with the Days of Our Lives Vs. Megyn Kelly column, if the old format was working, NASCAR would go out of their way to defend it. NASCAR is a multi-national, multi-billion dollar corporation. They don’t have to lose money to make you happy.

I’m going to reserve my judgment on the changes themselves until midway through the racing season. I want to see the changes on track, and how the racing is, and then make my decision. This could be a boost that NASCAR needs.

Also this week, I’m going to Tucson for my annual visit. I leave on Friday, and I will return after a week. For that week, I will have a Friday Feature, and a Throwback Thursday, but My Thoughts On, the Tracker, and Paint Scheme Grades will skip a week. I may have a project for The Driver Suit Blog again, but I’m not 100% sure. I hope this works. I’ll see you when I get home.

The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Grades-January 28, 2017

By David G. Firestone

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Light Ford Fusion-Same basic scheme as Busch, same A grade.

Trevor Bayne #6 Advocare Ford Fusion-The white looks good, and the multi-colored checks look decent as well. All in all, I give it an A.

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Toyota Camry-The lighter blue as a background is decent, but the paintbrush design doesn’t work as well. It’s not horrible, but it’s not great. I’ll give it a B-.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Toyota Camry-Same basic scheme as last year, same A grade.

Daniel Suarez #19 Stanley Toyota Camry-Same basic scheme as last year, same B+ grade.

Matt Kenseth #20 DeWalt/Flexwolt Toyota CamryThe stripes up the sides and hood works very well. It’s bold, but not overdone. Add in a good color scheme, and you have an A scheme.

Joey Logano #22 AAA of Southern California Ford Fusion–Same basic scheme as last year, same D grade.

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Peak Chevy SS-While colors can affect how a template looks, the Peak blue works well here, and the scheme looks good. A

Landon Cassill #34 Love’s Truck Stops Ford Fusion-Same basic scheme as last year, same A grade.

Kyle Larson #42 Credit One Chevy SS-Same basic scheme as last year, same F grade.

AJ Allmendinger #47 Kroger/Stouffers/Cheez It’s Chevy SS-The curved stripes around the door number are a definite downgrade from last year. They are ugly, and overdone. Still the car as a whole is decent, and the scheme gets a B+.

Martin Truex Jr. #78 Auto Owner’s Insurance Toyota Camry-Same basic scheme as last year, same A grade.

Michael McDowell #95 K-LOVE Chevy SS-The shorter stripes work very well, and the car as a whole has a great look. Add in a good color scheme, and you have an A scheme.

DJ Kennington #96 Lordco Toyota Camry-The color scheme could work, or the design scheme could work. The color and design schems together don’t work that well. Change one or the other, and the scheme might be higher than a C-.

The Driver Suit Blog-NASCAR Book Reviews-The NASCAR Family Album

1By David G. Firestone

There have been dozens of books written about NASCAR. These books cover everything from NASCAR history, drivers, races, personalities, cars, equipment, and many other subject. One of the most unusual books was published in 2007, The NASCAR Family Album. This book covers the history of some of the most well known families in NASCAR. That by itself is an interesting subject. There have been many interesting families in the history of NASCAR.1What makes this book so interesting is that the book includes replica memorabilia from those families. These items, made very faithfully to the originals, are replicas of racing items from those families. Reading these items is a fun experience.

The first family to be featured is the France family. NASCAR was founded in February of 1948 by Big Bill France Sr. who ran it until 1972, when his son Bill France Jr. took over. Bill Sr. died in 1992. Bill France Jr. ran NASCAR from 1972 to 2000, when he was diagnosed with cancer. He turned the reigns over to Mike Helton, and remained on the board of directors until he picked Brian France as his replacement in 2003. He w died from lung cancer in 2007. Brian France is the current owner of NASCAR, having run the sport since 2003.2 3The replica memorabilia for the France Family is Bill France’s business card,4A hand-written note from Bill France Sr. to a stock holder,5Three pages from the Bill France Sr. Testimonial Dinner from 1955,6 8 7and a conceptual sketch of Daytona Motor Speedway from 1959.9The second chapter focuses on the Jarretts. Ned Jarrett is a two-time Sprint Cup champion who raced from 1953 to 1966. His son Dale Jarrett raced from 1984 to 2008 with 32 race wins and the 1999 Sprint Cup Championship. Both are on the list of the 50 Greatest Drivers of All Time.10 12The memorabilia included here includes a replica of Ned Jarrett’s 1957 NASCAR Information Sheet,13and a Jason Jarrett post card.1415If we take a look at the replica, and compare it to the original, its a very faithfully executed replica, only smaller, and with the word REPRODUCTION on the bottom right corner.16 17Chapter 3 focuses on the Flock Brothers, Tim, Fonty, Ethyl, and Bob. The Youngest of the group, Tim was the most well-known of the brothers, having won 39 races and two championships. Tim was banned after the 1961 World 500 for having too much solder on his carburetor screw, but it was most likely retaliation for wanting to found a drivers’ union. He was reinstated as a driver in 1966, but never raced in NASCAR again. Like Ned and Dale Jarrett, he was enshrined into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and was one of the 50 Greatest Drivers of All Time.18 19

The oldest of the family, Ethyl, was tied as the second female driver to race in, NASCAR,with Louise Smith and after Sara Christian. She had a career high of 11th. The next oldest was Bob, who had 4 wins in his own right, and once got into a police chase IN THE MIDDLE OF A RACE! Fonty was the third oldest, and second most successful of the brothers, having 19 wins and finishing second in 1951. The memorabilia for the Flock family consists of the first two pages of Tim’s 1956 NASCAR profile sheet,20 21A hand-written account of Tim racing with his monkey Jocko,22and a 1948 detailing a race where the Flock brothers finished first, second, and fourth.23 24Next we move on to the Labonte Brothers. Older brother Terry won two Sprint Cup championships, 12 years apart from each other. He won the 1984 championship while driving for Hagan Racing, and the 1996 championship upset driving for Hendrick Motorsports. He has 22 race wins, and is one of the few drivers who has won in the Cup, Xfinity, and Truck Series. Another one of the 50 Greatest Drivers of All Time.25 26

Bobby Labonte won the 2000 Winston Cup Championship, and has 22 races to his credit. He is also the first driver to win Sprint Cup and Xfinity Championships. Like Terry, he is one of a select few drivers to win in the Cup, Xfinity, and Truck series. Justin Labonte is also discussed here, but his career never really lived up to that of his father’s. The memorabilia included here includes a Bobby Labonte press kit from 1992,27 28 29 30 31 32and a ticket to the 1997 NAPA 500 at Atlanta motor speedway, where Bobby won.33 34Darrell and Michael Watrip are the next family featured Darrell is a three-time Sprint Cup champion, who has 84 race wins to his credit. He is one of the few drivers to win the career Grand Slam, including winning the 1989 Daytona 500. He was named one of the 50 Greatest Drivers of All Time.35 36

Younger brother Michael has 4 Sprint Cup wins, including two Daytona 500’s to his name. He also has 11 Xfinity Series wins, and a Truck Series win, making him a Triple Threat. Michael is also a former All-Star race winner as well.

The memorabilia features the 1982 NASCAR Awards Banquet program, commemorating his second Championship,37 38 39 40 41 42and a Michel Waltrip postcard from the 1990’s.43The Earnhardts, my favorite NASCAR family is featured next.44 45The patriarch of the family, Ralph raced in NASCAR’s Sportsman Division, winning the championship in 1951. He then made it to what is now the Sprint Cup Series, but didn’t score a win. He was also a builder of cars, and helped many young drivers including Bobby Issac a shot at racing.

His third son Dale Earnhardt Sr. started racing after Ralph’s death in 1973. He started what was his rookie full time season in 1979, impressing people at the Daytona 500, and eventually winning Rookie of the Year. From there, the only way to go was up, which is what he did. He won 7 championships, a career grand slam, 76 races, and was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers of All Time. He is also credited with winning the first race in what is now the Xfinity Series. Dale was killed in the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, which helped change the safety culture of auto racing.

Dale Sr.’s son Dale Earnhardt Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps. He started racing at age 17, and eventually made it to the Xfinity Series where he won the Championship in 1998 and 1999. He has 24 Xfinity series win to his credit. His debut in the Sprint Cup took place in 1999 at the Coca Cola 600, where he would go on to win 22 races, including 2 Daytona 500’s.

The memorabilia from the Earnhardt family includes a copy of Dale’s 1979 Rookie NASCAR contract,46 A 1956 Telefax that depicts Ralph’s lone Winston Cup Pole in Hickory,49and the first two pages of Ralph’s 1965 NASCAR info sheet.47 48David and Larry Pearson are next featured. 50 51David “The Silver Fox” Pearson raced from 1960 to 1986. He has 105 Sprint Cup wins, three Sprint Cup championships, he won the 1976 Daytona 500, and has won the Grand Slam. He was one of the 50 Greatest Drivers of All Time, and was elected to the Inaugural Class in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He is second only to Richard Petty in terms of race wins, Petty has 200, Pearson has 105.

His son Larry Pearson’s Xfinity career was actually very good, with Pearson winning two Xfinity Series championships, one in 1986, the other in 1986, as well as 15 race wins. He left NASCAR after 1999. He suffered a serious crash at Bristol in 2010, which has more or less derailed any chance he had of getting his career restarted.

The memorabilia from the Pearson section is a color postcard featuring Larry and David together,52 53and a vintage decal from David Pearson’s racing team in the early 1980’s.54The next chapter features the most important racing family in NASCAR history, the Pettys.55 56Lee Petty was the first of the Petty drivers, first racing in 1949, Petty won an astounding 54 races, three Sprint Cup Championships, and the first Daytona 500. His sons Richard and Maurice had NASCAR careers, Maurice as a crew chief and engine builder. Richard Petty would go on to win just about everything there is to win in NASCAR, including 200 wins, 7 championships, a place on the list of the 50 Greatest Drivers of All Time, and election into almost every racing hall of fame that exists.

The family talent was passed down to Kyle Petty, who has 8 Sprint Cup wins, including the 1987 Coca Cola 600. Kyle’s son Adam had a chance at a racing career, and had some hints of success, before dying in a crash at New Hampshire, a little over a month after Lee Petty died in 2000.

The memorabilia for the Petty family features a ticket to the 1974 NASCAR award banquet,57A Plymouth brochure from 1967, Petty’s most successful year,63 59 60 61 62and a pit pass from Heidelberg Speedway in Pennsylvania, where Lee Petty got his first win in 1949.58The Alabama Gang, made up of the Allison family are the next one featured. 64 65Bobby is the most well-known of the Allison drivers. Officially, Bobby has 84 wins, though the number could be as high as 86, and the 1983 Cup championship. Allison also has 15 wins in the Xfinity Series as well. Bobby is one of the 50 Greatest Drivers of All Time, and has a place in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Younger brother Donnie has 10 wins in the Cup Series, but will forever be known for his fight with Cale Yarborough at the end of the 1979 Daytona 500. Considered the most important race in NASCAR history, the 1979 Daytona was the first NASCAR race televised flag to flag, took place during an East coast blizzard, and ended with Richard Petty winning the race, after Cale Yarborough and Donnie crashed into each other. As Petty celebrated his win, Donnie and Cale began to fight on the infield. A photo made the front cover of the sports section of the New York Times, and NASCAR’s rise to the top had begun.

Two of Bobby’s children, Davey and Clifford both started their racing careers in more recent years. Clifford started racing in Xfinity Series in 1990, but was killed in a wreck in 1992 at Michigan International Speedway. Davey Allison, Clifford’s older brother, won the 1991 Coca Cola 600, the 1992 Daytona 500, almost won the 1992 Winston Cup championship, and has 17 other race wins to his credit. He was killed in a helicopter crash in July of 1993.

The memorabilia from the Allison section includes a NASCAR newsletter from 1971 discussing the Allison brothers finishing first and second at Talladega,66A Davey Allison trading card from 1993,68 69and a Bobby Allison 1983 Championship bumper sticker.67The second to last chapter is about the Wallace Brothers, Rusty, Mike, Steve, and Kenny.70 71The most well-known of the brothers is Rusty. With 55 wins, and the 1989 Sprint Cup championship, and a place on the 50 Greatest Drivers of All Time list, and a place in the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Rusty has earned a place in the hearts of many NASCAR fans.

Kenny and Mike, Rusty’s brothers, haven’t had any success in the Cup Series, but both have had success in the Xfinity Series, Kenny having 9 wins, and a 2nd place points finish in 1991, and Mike has 4 wins, and an 8th place points finish in 2008. Rusty’s son Steve is currently working on his racing career, though he hasn’t scored a win in any of NASCAR’s biggest series.

The memorabilia representing the Wallace family features Rusty’s 1982 NASCAR Rookie of the Year eligibility form,72and a postcard from the Rusty’s 1982 season.73 74The final chapter doesn’t have any memorabilia, but discusses a number of other NASCAR families.  75These families include:

The Andrettis-Mario and John,

The Bakers-Buddy and Buck,

The Bodines-Geoff, Todd and Brett,

The Bouchards-Ken and Ron,

The Burtons-Jeff and Ward,

The Busches-Kurt and Kyle,

The Elliots-Bill, Dan, and Ernie,

The Foyts-AJ, and Larry,

The Greens-David and Jeff,

The Hamiltons-Bobby Sr. and Bobby Jr.

The Marlins-Coo Coo, Sterling, and Stedman,

The Parrotts-Buddy, Todd, and Brad,

The Parsons-Benny and Phil,

The Pembertons-Ryan, Roman, Randy, and Robin,

The Sadlers-Hermie and Elliott,

The Scotts-Wendell Sr., Wendell Jr, and Franklin

The Thomas-Herb, and Donald,

The Thompsons-Alfred, and Jimmy,

and The Wood Brothers-Glen and Leonard.

The book itself, even without the memorabilia is a great read too. The book is very well written, and very well done. If you can find a copy, pick it up, and read it. I promise it is worth it. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank John, a friend and coworker for giving me my copy of this book. Thanks John!

Ok, next week, I’ve got a special surprise for the big game…

The Driver Suit Blog-Throwback Thursday-AJ Foyt-1981

AJ Foyt’s iconic #14 races at Indy, this time in the form of a Valvoline/Gilmore Coyote / Cosworth

Valvoline has a great shade of blue, which isn’t present in this scheme. Amazingly, that doesn’t really matter, since this is a damn good scheme! The shade of red is as perfect as you could ask for, and the white stripes look great up the sides. Giving this scheme anything less than an A would be a crime, and I’m no criminal!

The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Tracker-January 25, 2017

By David G. Firestone

CHIP GANASSI RACING TEAM #1

Jamie McMurray #1 GearWrench Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, black, with yellow, and red stripes across bottom. A

TEAM PENSKE #2

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford FusionNo Change A

Brad Keselowski #2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford FusionNo Change. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Wurth Ford FusionNo Change. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Auto Trader Ford FusionNo Change D-

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #3

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, black front, with red designs near wheel well, white fade across quarter panels. A-

Austin Dillon #3 AAA Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, same basic scheme, but with a few minor stripe changes. D+

Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol Chevy SSNew sponsor for 2017, same basic scheme as 2016, but many of the stripes have been removed. A

STEWART-HAAS RACING #4

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, all blue with more detail in the mountains. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmy John’s Ford FusionNo Change. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Light Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, same as 2017 Busch, but with Busch Light on quarter panel. A

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #5

Kasey Kahne #5 Farmers Insurance Chevy SSNo Change. C+

Kasey Kahne #5 Great Clips Chevy SSNo Change. D+

Kasey Kahne #5 Liftmaster Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, silver, with black door, and red stripes. A

Kasey Kahne #5 UniFrst Chevy SSNo Change. A

ROUSH-FENWAY RACING #6

Trevor Bayne #6 Liberty National Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2017, blue with silver and white across sides, white roof. B-

Trevor Bayne #6 Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford FusionExcept for the change from 16 to 6, no change. B-

Trevor Bayne #6 Advocare Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, white with multi-colored checkerboard pattern on bottom. A

STEWART-HAAS RACING #10

Danica Patrick #10 Nature’s Bakery Ford FusionSame basic scheme as 2016, but black and white stripe has been removed. A

Danica Patrick #10 Code 3 Associates Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2017, white front, green stripe, and blue bottom. A

JOE GIBBS RACING #11

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2017, lighter blue, with an orange paintbrush design on sides. B-

GERMAIN RACING #13

Ty Dillon #13 Geico Chevy SS-No change. A

STEWART-HAAS RACING #14

Clint Bowyer #14 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion-New scheme for 2017, white top, red and white stripe across side, blue bottom. A

ROUSH-FENWAY RACING #17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Sunny D Ford FusionNo change. F

Rickey Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Comemorative Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, same basic scheme, but the colors have been reversed. A

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Ford FusionNo change. A

JOE GIBBS RACING #18

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Toyota CamryAside from moving the characters around, no major changes for 2017. A

JOE GIBBS RACING #19

Daniel Suarez #19 Arris Toyota CamrySame basic scheme as 2016, Aaris replaces Surfboard. A

Daniel Suarez #19 Stanley Toyota CamryNo change. B+

JOE GIBBS RACING #20

Matt Kenseth #20 DeWalt/Flexwolt Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2017, yellow, with black stripes up the sides and hood.A

WOOD BROTHER RACING #21

Ryan Blaney #21 Motorcraft Ford FusionNo Change. A

TEAM PENSKE #22

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford FusionNo change D

Joey Logano #22 AAA Ford FusionNo Change. D

Joey Logano #22 Auto Trader Ford FusionNo Change. D-

Joey Logano #22 AAA of Southern California Ford FusionNo Change. D

BK RACING #23

Joey Gase #23 Best Furnishing Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, blue with paintbrush style white and yellow designs across side. F

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #24

Chase Elliott #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, same basic scheme as 2016, but with yellow accents across sides. A

Chase Elliott #24 Kelly Blue Book Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, design similar to #11 FedEx. A

Chase Elliott #24 Sun Energy Chevy SSNo Change. F

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #27

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Richmond Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, black front, yellow sides, black at bottom of wheel well. A

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Peak Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, new Menard’s template with Peak colors. A

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #31

Ryan Newman #31 CAT Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, white with black cutting edge design on front, black stripe across hood and top of car. B-

FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS #34

Landon Cassill #34 Love’s Truck Stops Ford FusionNo change.A

STEWART-HAAS RACING #41

Kurt Busch #41 Monster Ford FusionNo Change. A

Kurt Busch #41 Haas Ford FusionNo Change. A

Kurt Busch #41 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2017, same as #14, but with green replacing blue. A

CHIP GANASSI RACING TEAM #42

Kyle Larson #42 Target Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, white with a series of Target bullseye logos across on sides. D-

Kyle Larson #42 Credit One Chevy SSAside from the new car number, no change. F

RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS #43

Aric Almirola #43 Smithfield Ford FusionNo Change. B+

Aric Almiroa #43 U.S. Air Force Ford FusionNew scheme for 2016, same basic scheme, but with more lightning. A

Aric Almirola #43 STP Ford FusionNo change. B-

JTG DAUGHERTY RACING #47

AJ Allmendinger #47 Kroger/Stouffers/Cheez It’s Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, white with blue diagonal stripes, and black and red curves across sides. B+

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #48

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, light blue with diagonal stripes and geometric patterns on side. F

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, dark blue with diagonal stripes and geometric patterns on side. F

FURNITURE ROW RACING #77

Erik Jones #77 5-Hour Energy Toyota CamryNew team for 2017, red front, red and yellow lightning stripe across black sides, red rear. C-

Erik Jones #77 5-Hour Energy Extra Stength Toyota Camry-New scheme for 2017, same as 2017 5-Hour Energy, but with Extra Strength on sides and hood. C-

FURNITURE ROW RACING #78

Martin Truex Jr. #78 Furniture Row Toyota CamryNo change. A

Martin Truex Jr. #78 Auto Owner’s Insurance Toyota CamryNo change. A

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #88

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, blue design similar to last year’s. with blue vertical stripes next to silver door numbers. A

LEAVINE FAMILY RACING #95

Michael McDowell #95 K-LOVE Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, same colors, but with stripes across front half of sides. A

GAUNT BROS RACING #96

DJ Kennington #96 Lordco Toyota Camry-New team for 2017, blue front, black middle, white rear, curve stripes between the three. C-

The Driver Suit Blog-My Thoughts on Presidential Signatures

By David G. Firestone

So in honor of the inauguration, and politics being the topic of discussion, I felt the need to do something, but I didn’t want to do anything political. I’m not political, but I am an autograph collector. I’ve been noticing that the quality of signatures have gone downhill, and I had an idea. I’m going to grade every president on how their signature looks. It’s a handwriting grade.

1. George Washington-The first of what is going to be a trend here, signatures that don’t look like the name of the person signing them. If I showed you this signature, and I didn’t tell you who it was, you would have no idea what you were looking at. I can kind of make out Washington, but it could be several other things. I don’t see “George” but I do see a “G.” I give it a D-.

2. John Adams-It’s a great signature, the handwriting looks good, and I can easily tell who signed this. I give it an A.

3. Thomas Jefferson-The man who wrote the Declaration of Independence apparently didn’t feel the need to add the “omas” in Thomas Jefferson. The signature reads “TH Jefferson.” The argument that the H was a middle initial isn’t valid, since Jefferson didn’t have one. Still the Jefferson is easy to make out, and it’s not that terrible, so I’ll give it a B-

4. James Madison-Ok, I can see that it’s James Madison. The “mes” looks like one scribble. Madison looks really good. All in all, it’s a decent signature. B+

5. James Monroe-Everything that I said about James Madison also applies here. B+

6. John Quincy Adams-Is that JQ Adams, or JJ Adams? It’s hard to tell. The Adams looks decent, but the penmanship does need some work. I’ll give it a B.

7. Andrew Jackson-Can I ask a question? Why do people feel the need to underline their signatures? It serves no purpose, adds an extra step, and it never looks good. Andrew Jackson has a great signature, but I don’t like the underline. It takes an A signature down to a B+

8. Martin Van Buren-Really? M. Van Buren? Is Martin too hard of a word to write? I get if this was a signature used occasionally, but I’ve been able to find no evidence that he ever signed his name as Martin.

9. William Henry Harrison-The penmanship is really good here, but, again, why would you not write “William Henry?”  Why just watch WH?  I would like to give this signature a higher grade, but our shortest-reigning President gets a C-

10. John Tyler-Why in the world are the J and the O below the rest of the signature? It looks really odd. The signature itself isn’t terrible, but the odd placement of the first two letters gives it a weird look. I’ll give it a B-

11. James K Polk-Huh? What am I looking at here? Like George Washington, if I didn’t tell you who this is, you wouldn’t be able to figure it out. I know that the letter in the middle is supposed to be a K but nobody would be able to identify that as a K. It’s an F signature for sure.

12. Zachary Taylor-Another thing that annoys me is a signature where two names become one word. Taylor signed his name while never taking the pen off the page. It looks odd though. It’s not terrible, but it looks odd. B+

13. Millard Filmore-You can tell who it is, but I’m a little put off by the fact that the FI sort of looks like a swastika. Yes I’m aware the swastika didn’t become the official symbol of the Nazi Party until 1920, but it still looks odd. Still it’s not terrible, so I’ll give it a B

14. Franklin Pierce-A little hard to make out with some pointless flourish on the F and E will take a B scheme down to a C+.

15. James Buchanan-One of my all time favorite presidential signatures. It has a nice look, you can tell who signed it, and every letter is easy to see. I give it an A.

16. Abraham Lincoln-It’s a good signature, every letter is clear, and it looks good. Another A scheme.

17. Andrew Johnson-While every letter is clear, and you can tell who signed it, the penmanship could use a little work. It’s still a solid A- signature though.

18. Ulysses S Grant-Let’s take every thing that annoys me about signatures, unreadable, you can’t tell who wrote it, can’t write the whole name, pointless flourish, and underlining and compress them in to one signature, and you have a signature worth an F.

19. Rutherford B Hayes-R.B. Hayes. While you can see every letter, it’s a little difficult to tell who signed it, since the R and the B look a little similar. Points are also deducted for not writing Rutherford, choosing instead to write simply R. All things considered, it’s worth a C-

20. James A Garfield-I don’t like the fact that the A and G are connected. The signature is good but those two little details take it from an A to a A-.

21. Chester A Arthur-Pointless flourish and a little too hard to read. It’s an A- scheme.

22/24. Grover Cleveland-While he did write every letter in his name, it’s a little hard to make out those letters. You can tell who it is, but the penmanship needs work. I’ll give it B+

23. Benjamin Harrison-I can make out the Harrison fine, but I have a lot of trouble with the Benjamin, since it doesn’t look like it says Benjamin. The penmanship needs work too. I’ll give it a C-

25. William McKinley-Why can’t people sign their whole first name? Why is that so hard of a concept? Add to that the fact that the last name would be unreadable if you didn’t know who had signed this, and you have an F signature for sure.

26. Theodore Roosevelt-He did write his whole name, but it’s such a jumbled mess that you can’t really tell the name. I can’t tell what the last letters are supposed to be. It’s not a good signature at all. F

27. William H Taft-Virtually unreadable is all that needs to be said here. It’s an F signature, and I’m being kind.

28. Woodrow Wilson-It’s a little hard to read, and while he does write every letter in his name, the penmanship does need a little work. I also don’t like the line on the N. I’ll give it a C+

29. Warren Harding-While it is technically possible to figure out who signed this, It takes some work, and since the penmanship is terrible, that makes it more difficult. While he does sign every letter in is name, its not easy to read. It’s a D+ graded signature.

30. Calvin Coolidge-While I can tell that there are two C’s, the rest of the signature is unreadable. The flourish on the E is annoying, and I give the signature a D+

31. Herbert Hoover-While he does write every letter in his name, it is a little hard to read, and the fact that it’s one word, with the cross of the T leading into the H is a little off-putting. The letters at the end of the name are a little jumbled as well. I’ll give it a C+.

32. Franklin D Roosevelt-The letters are all there, and it’s easy to read. My thing is with the R. Is that an R by itself, or is that an D and an R? It’s hard to tell. I’ts an B+ scheme.

33. Harry S Truman-While he does write every letter in his name, it’s not very readable, and the fact that it’s all one line is annoying me. I’ll give it a B-

34. Dwight D Eisenhower-This is an odd one, because for some reason Dwight and Eisenhower are two separate lines, but the end of Dwight and Eisenhower are connected. He does write every letter in his name, and it’s easy to see who wrote it, but the spacing is odd, and I’ll give it an A-

35. John F Kennedy-It’s next to impossible to figure out who signed this. I can kind of make out John, but Kennedy is next to impossible. Add to that odd spacing, and you have an F scheme for sure.

36. Lyndon B Johnson-Is that a signature or a cardiogram? It’s kind of hard to tell. It’s all one line, with scribbles for letters. I can’t tell who wrote this at all. I’ll give it an F.

37. Richard M Nixon-While the penmanship does need work, the letters are all there, it’s pretty easy to read, and it’s easy to read. No flourish, or underlining, and you have an A signature.

38. Gerald R Ford-It’s a little hard to read, but the letters are all there, and you can tell who wrote it. I’m a little confused by the left-to-right upward slant of the signature. It just looks odd. It’s worth a B.

39. Jimmy Carter-All the letters are there, it’s easy to read, the penmanship is good, the one thing that I find odd is how much higher the cross in the J is above the rest of the letter. Still, all things considered it’s worth an A.

40. Ronald Reagan-What I like about this signature is that the loops in the R’s remind me of Mickey Mantle’s signature. All the letters are there, and it’s easy to read. I give it an A.

41. George H.W. Bush-Unreadable, with a left-to-right upward slant. Another example of a signature that you can’t tell who signed it unless someone else tells you. I give it an F.

42. Bill Clinton-Yes, he wrote every letter in his name, and you can tell who wrote it, but the penmanship is awful, and both names are one word. I give it a C-

43. George W Bush-How can anyone tell that is supposed to spell George W Bush? It looks like a scribble. It’s unreadable, has a bad slant, and is all in all an F signature.

44. Barack Obama-I guess you could tell that is the signature of Barack Obama, because of the B and the O. The rounding of the B is odd, and the scribbles in “arack bama” aren’t good, so I’ll give it a C.

45.Donald Trump-Another example of “signature or cardiogram?” This one is much worse, because there is no way anyone could tell who signed it by looking at it. I’ll give it an F.

The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Grades-January 21, 2017

By David G. Firestone

Trevor Bayne #6 Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same B- grade.

Ty Dillon #13 Geico Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Daniel Suarez #19 Arris Toyota Camry-Same basic scheme as last year, same A grade.

Ryan Blaney #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Kyle Larson #42 Target Chevy SS-The color scheme is good, but the design scheme is terrible. If you are going to do a logo montage, do it on the whole car, not just the area around the driver compartment. Not that would have been an improvement. Still, the color scheme is good enough to earn a D-.

Aric Almirola #43 STP Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same C- grade.

Erik Jones #77 5-Hour Energy Extra Stength Toyota Camry-Same basic scheme as 5-Hour Energy, same C- grade.

Martin Truex Jr. #78 Furniture Row Toyota Camry-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.