The Driver Suit Blog-My Thoughts On A Few Subjects

By David G. Firestone

Just a short one this week. A new development has me concerned. Last week, Jayski, which is my go-to site for paint schemes and NASCAR news became a part of the ESPN webpage. I’ve been going there every day, and they don’t seem to be updating their paint scheme link pages. I’m not that worried, I still have team sites, Facebook, NASCAR, and Twitter, so the tracker, and the grades will continue. I hope they start fixing the links soon.

I’ve also been working on a new website schedule. Basically everything is going to remain the same, but I’m going to compress my work setup, so I can get more done in less time. It’s been working well, I’m happy with it.

As I’m typing this, I’m watching Spring Training baseball. I’ve said before that I LOVE Spring Training baseball. It’s the MLB equivalent of getting a bunch of kids together and hitting the ball around in the street. It’s very laid back, and everyone is just there for fun. Stats and standings don’t matter. It’s simply fun baseball. I also love the road sign patches on the uniforms.

Lastly, for you energy drink drinkers out there, I have a new recommendation. Get some Kickstart Mango Lime. I didn’t expect much, but it won me over. It has a really good mango flavor, and the lime isn’t overpowering. It’s my new favorite energy drink.

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The Driver Suit Blog-Introduction to Sports Memorabilia-Jack Beckman Collection

Season 17 starts with a Jack Beckman revisit.

The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Grades-February 25, 2017

By David G. Firestone

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna/McDonald’s Chevy SS-It’s a better scheme, much more toned down, great color scheme, and an overall great look. A

Jamie McMurray #1 McDonald’s Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Jamie McMurray #1 McDonald’s Grand Mac Chevy SS-I’m not a fan of green on race cars, but this works very well. The design scheme looks good, and it’s a really good scheme. I give it an A.

Jamie McMurray #1 McDonald’s/Cessna Chevy SSIt’s a better scheme, much more toned down, great color scheme, and an overall great look. A

Danica Patrick #10 Aspen Dental Ford Fusion-For the switch to Ford, Aspen Dental redesigned their car, and at best it can be described as “rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.” The changes did nothing to improve the overall look of the car. It’s not a good scheme, and I give it an F.

Danica Patrick #10 TaxAct Ford Fusion-For the switch to Ford, TaxAct redesigned their car. The changes did not change the grade of the car. It’s still a great looking car, and the bigger stripes are an improvement. It is an A scheme for sure.

Michael Waltrip #15 Aaron’s Toyota Camry-New scheme for 2017, blue photo motif across car, white hood, yellow door numbers. D-

Matt Kenseth #20 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry-Same scheme as 2016 #18, same F grade.

Matt Kenseth #20 Tide Pods Toyota Camry-Talk about a downgrade! The 2016 throwback scheme was one of the best. Tide has always had great schemes, but this new scheme is a disaster! I hate the orange/blue separation, the subtle designs, and the overall look. Even a great color scheme can’t save this from an F grade.

Jeffery Earnhardt #33 Starter Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

David Ragan #38 Camping World/Good Sam Ford Fusion-I’m not big on the design scheme. I think the old Front Row template would have worked better. I do like the color scheme, and the design isn;t horrible, so I’ll give it a B-.

David Ragan #38 Jacob Companies Ford FusionIt’s a bad design with a mediocre color scheme, and the two don’t work with each other. Taking everything into account, this is a C-scheme.

Timmy Hill #51 Spoonful Music Foundation Chevy SS-Good design, great color scheme, and a great look will always earn an A.

Martin Truex Jr. #78 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry-Same scheme as #77 same C- grade.

The Driver Suit Blog-1/4 Mile of Bliss in Tucson

2017-2-8-tucson-dragway-1By David G. Firestone

When you ask which states are auto racing hot beds, certain states automatically come to mind. Anyone who thinks of auto racing associates Indiana, Florida, California, and the southern states, Alabama, Georgia, The Carolinas, Tennessee, Texas, and Kentucky. New York, and Illinois are often thought of as well. There are a lot of states

One state that doesn’t get the respect it deserves as an auto racing state is Arizona. The state has a number of well-known tracks, including the now defunct Manzanita Speedway, and the ill-fated Phoenix street circuit, Phoenix International Speedway, Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, and Tucson Raceway Park. The climate in Arizona, especially Tucson is great for car collectors and racers, since the weather isn’t as damaging to cars as it is in many other places in the country.

While Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park is the most well-known dragway in Arizona, it isn’t the only one. A former dragstrip located in Phoenix was Speedworld Raceway, and Tucson has Tucson Dragway. Drag racing has a long history in Tucson, dating back to the 1960’s. The original Tucson Dragway was built in 1962, and opened in 1964. The dragway operated continually until 1985. Te story goes that apparently, it was discovered that the strip was being used as a landing strip for drug dealer airplanes. After the 1985 AHRA Winternationals on February 17, 1985, the old track closed for good, and is now overgrown on state-owned land.

Drag racing seemed dead in Tucson, but shortly after, a new track, Southwestern International Raceway, a 1/4 mile dragstrip, opened shortly after the closing. Since then, Southwestern International Raceway re-branded to Tucson Dragway has hosted IHRA, and AHRA events, but is currently an NHRA-affiliated track. Located near the Pima County Fairgrounds, it is also one of the most active drag strips in the United States. The 2017 schedule alone has 60 events over the course of the year.

Last week, I discussed my trip to Tucson. I had asked if I could come down to Tucson Dragway, and track manager Matthew DeYoung was kind enough to let me come down and photograph the track. The facility is a nice one.2017-2-8-tucson-dragway-25I started at the starting line, and I photographed the burnout box, 2017-2-8-tucson-dragway-172017-2-8-tucson-dragway-4the maintenance shed, 2017-2-8-tucson-dragway-21and the tower.2017-2-8-tucson-dragway-9I noticed a tumbleweed stuck in the sticky rubber near the beginning of the track.2017-2-8-tucson-dragway-5I noticed all of the track equipment, parked behind the starting line. 2017-2-8-tucson-dragway-22 2017-2-8-tucson-dragway-23Matt was nice enough to let me photograph the Christmas tree, I like the “No U-turns” sign on the tree. 2017-2-8-tucson-dragway-2 2017-2-8-tucson-dragway-18 2017-2-8-tucson-dragway-10I noticed the little shed just in front of the tree, near the starting line, which has some of the basic maintenance items needed for racing events.2017-2-8-tucson-dragway-19I then stared down the dragstrip, and felt serene. The look, and the scent is something that drag racing fans love about a dragstrip.2017-2-8-tucson-dragway-8 2017-2-8-tucson-dragway-6 2017-2-8-tucson-dragway-7I walked down the strip, walking in the racing groove, and out of the racing groove. I noticed that while the track is sticky, the groove isn’t as sticky as the area out of the groove…

As I got to the 1/8th mark, I took photographs of the sensors and the foam blocks that are used to record times. 2017-2-8-tucson-dragway-14 2017-2-8-tucson-dragway-12 2017-2-8-tucson-dragway-13Then I walked to the finish line, indicated by the black line on the wall. 2017-2-8-tucson-dragway-15 2017-2-8-tucson-dragway-16Since Tucson Dragway is close to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, a C-130 flew over the finish line, and I tested my zoom lens. 2017-2-8-tucson-dragway-26Tucson Dragway is a nice facility, and it’s really close to Tucson Speedway, a 0.375 mile paved oval, one of three in the state of Arizona. They don’t have a partnership, but they do work with each other occasionally. I would like to thank Matthew DeYoung for letting me come down and photograph the track.

Next week, I’m going to shift focus to some off-road stuff.

The Driver Suit Blog-Throwback Thursday-Mosley-1981

Mike Mosley poses with his #48 1981 Pepsi Challenger Eagle Chevrolet

Apparently Pepsi didn’t get the piss yellow memo, and here we have another example of why it’s a terrible color for a race car. It’s not just IndyCar, NASCAR and the NHRA also fell victim to the Pepsi Challenger design. Did Pepsi not realize that they have a great color scheme? Red, white, and blue is a color scheme that rarely misses, but for some unknown reason, Pepsi thought that piss yellow was the way to go…which it wasn’t. I’m giving this scheme an F.

The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Tracker-February 22, 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

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna Chevy SSNo change. B+

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna/McDonald’s Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, blue front, red rear, stripes between. A

Jamie McMurray #1 McDonald’s Chevy SSNo change. A

Jamie McMurray #1 McDonald’s Grand Mac Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, black, with green front and cutting edge design. A

Jamie McMurray #1 McDonald’s/Cessna Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, same as Cessna/McDonald’s, but with colors reversed. 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-

Brad Keselowski #2 SKF Ford FusionNo Change. A

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

Danica Patrick #10 Aspen Dental Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, lighter blue, Post-It motif replaced by silver wing, and some minor color changes. F

Danica Patrick #10 TaxAct Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, same basic scheme as 2016, but side and front stripes are bigger. 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

Ty Dillon #13 Twisted Tea Chevy SSAside from the new team, 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

PREMIUM MOTORSPORTS #15

Michael Waltrip #15 Aaron’s Toyota Camry-New scheme for 2017, blue photo motif across car, white hood, yellow door numbers. D-

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

Matt Kenseth #20 Interstate Batteries Toyota CamryNew sponsor for 2017, same as 2016 #18. F

Matt Kenseth #20 Tide Pods Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2017 orange front with subtle designs, blue rear with subtle designs. F

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

Joey Logano #22 Pennzoil Ford FusionNew scheme for 2016, all yellow, with some lighter yellow geometrical designs across car. A

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

Joey Gase #23 Schluter Systems Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2017, same basic scheme, but stripes have been replaced by geometric designs D-

Joey Gase #23 Dr. Pepper Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2017, same basic scheme as 2016, but angled lines replace curved lines. B+

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

Chase Elliott #24 Hooters Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, white sides with orange stripes, orange roof. C-

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-

Ryan Newman #31 Granger Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, red replaces green, black replaces white and red.

GO FAS RACING #32

Matt DiBenedetto #32 EJ Wade Foundation Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, white with blue ribbon design on sides.F

CIRCLE SPORT/TMG MOTORSPORTS #33

Jeffery Earnhardt #33 Starter Chevy SSAside from the new team, no change.A

FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS #34

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

JTG DAUGHERTY RACING #37

Chris Buescher #37 Cottonelle Chevy SS-New team for 2017, white sides with blue roof and bottom. A

Chris Buescher #37 Kroger Checklist Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, same as #47 Kroger. B+

FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS #38

David Ragan #38 Camping World/Good Sam Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2017, blue front, yellow and red oval design on rear. B-

David Ragan #38 Jacob Companies Ford FusionNew sponsor for 2017, blue with white and silver zig-zag design across car.C-

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

Kurt Busch #41 Mobil 1 Annual Protection Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, same as other SHR Mobil 1 schemes, but with gold trim. 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-

Aric Almirola #43 Fresh From Florida Ford FusionNo change. F

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

RICK WARE RACING #51

Timmy Hill #51 Spoonful Music Foundation Chevy SS-New team for 2017, white with racing stripe design on hood, plain white sides. A

TRISTAR MOTORSPORTS #72

Cole Whitt #72 Florida Lottery Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, black sides, orange and blue hood to roof. D-

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

Martin Truex Jr. #78 Bass Pro Shops Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2017, red and black stripes with a camo stripe at the bottom. C-

Martin Truex Jr. #78 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, same as #77.C-

BK RACING #83

Corey LaJoie #83 Dustless Blasting Toyota CamryNo change.B-

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

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Axalta Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, yellow front, a series of red and yellow geometrical designs across sides, red rear. F

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 Why I HATE Watching Sports On Apps

By David G. Firestone

Streaming sports on app seems like a great idea. The capacity to watch the game on a phone, tablet, or computer when you are not at home for whatever reason should be a great thing. Over the last few weeks, I watched a few events via streaming, and I discovered that Fox Sports found a great way to fuck this up.

Whoever is in charge of the app streaming division at Fox Sports should be fired. After streaming three different events, two races, and the Super Bowl, I’ve realized that whoever is in charge over at Fox Sports either doesn’t understand the basics of advertising revenue, or if they do, they don’t care.

The first race I watched was the Rolex 24. I watched all 24 hours. Fox Sports Go had a setup where if you had a streaming service with Fox Sports, you could watch the whole race. Now this seems like a good idea, but after midnight, the commercials shifted to something called “Fox Sports Racing” which is little more than a Velocity rip off. It’s a channel that has auto racing, and car customization shows. I’m not going to watch it, but there are plenty of car guy and gals who might like to watch it. Here’s the problem: IT’S NOT AVAILABLE IN THE UNITED STATES!

Could someone please explain to me why in the world I had to sit through commercials for a product I can’t buy? Again, it isn’t my thing, but I would bet that there are people who would. To have to watch 3 or 4 of these promos every commercial break was enraging. It’s one thing to show commercials for stuff I don’t want, but can buy, but to force me to watch commercials for something I can’t buy is insulting. The thing is, as bad as this was, this wasn’t the worst.

Next, I watched the Super Bowl in its entirety on the NFL Mobile app. Now I get that while there are plenty of national commercials, but if you are going to put something in place of them on an app, could you pick more than two TV show promos? Every commercial break there was one promo for Empire, or 24. Apparently Fox doesn’t have any other television shows that they felt should be promoted during the biggest television show of the year. Watching the same two promos was enraging. Rather than alternating the two, Fox would play the Empire one over, and over, occasionally replacing it with the 24 promo. This was actually not as bad as what happened next.

On the way home on Amtrak, I was attempting to watch the NHRA Winternationals, and I had to turn it off. The Fox Sports Go app should be an easy thing to do. Just show the national telecast, with local commercials. This generates ad revenue, and keeps sponsors happy. Leave it to Fox to mess this up in the most idiotic way possible. Instead of showing said commercials, for whatever reason, the app would replace them with local Fox promos.

Again, why would you screw over advertisers in order to promote local programming? This makes no sense, it screws over and enrages sponsors, and fans hate it. It’s so nonsensical, it’s mind boggling! Who at Fox thought this was a good idea? Why was this approved? If the plan was to destroy the Fox Sports Go app, then it’s going well. I’m NEVER watching any Fox Sports programming on the Fox Sports Go app again EVER! I hope that whoever is in charge over at Fox Sports gets fired.