The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Grades-April 29, 2017

By David G. Firestone

Brad Keselowski #2 Detroit Genuine Parts Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same C- grade.

Austin Dillon #3 New Era Cap Chevy SS-Were it not for the large New Era logo on the side, I would grade this an A. It has every ingredient, but that big logo next to the door number takes it from an A to a B+.

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Bucks Chevy SS-I like the scheme overall, the cash motif looks good, but I don’t like the white door numbers on the side. They blend in too much with the background. The yellow number on the roof works much better. That detail takes the A down to a B+.

Kevin Harvick #4 Mobil 1 Annual Protection Chevy SS-Same scheme as #41, same A grade.

Clint Bowyer #14 Haas Demo Days Chevy SS-Same scheme Haas, same A grade.

Matt Kenseth #20 Circle K Toyota Camry-It’ a good look, the color scheme is good, and the design scheme looks good too. Nothing wrong with this scheme! A

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Libman Chevy SS-This might be the first template that works well with any color scheme. The color scheme works well, as does the design scheme. A

Kurt Busch #41 Haas Demo Day/Menard’s Chevy SS-Same scheme as Haas/Monster, same A grade.

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowes/AO Smith Chevy SS-Same scheme as Lowes, same F grade.

Timmy Hill #51 SleepFresh Matress Chevy SS-White usually works well as a background color, and the contrast between the dark red and the light blue stripes works well too. It’s a smooth look with a good color scheme. A

Erik Jones #77 SportClips Toyota Camry-Apparently, SportClips is sponsoring two different cars, and as a direct result decided that they need two different schemes. Rather than use the same scheme that the #11, or design a brand new scheme, they decided to rehash the 2016 #11 scheme, albeit with some slight changes. I’m not impressed, and I’m giving it the same C- that the 2016 scheme got.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Mountain Dew-S-A Chevy SS-Why can’t Mountain Dew get a patriotic scheme right? Are they so desparate to make themselves look cool that they don’t get how the flag of the United States looks. The design scheme is bad, but the color scheme is worse. I like the red and white used, but the blue is too light. The design is over done. I’ll give it a C-, since it isn’t as bad as last year…but that isn’t saying much.

Advertisements

The Driver Suit Blog-The Vest Project Part 15-Front Row Motorsports Part 1

By David G. Firestone

In NASCAR, there are usually two kinds of teams: big and small. The big teams include Stewart-Haas Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Team Penske, Chip Ganassi Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, and Furniture Row Racing. Big teams are multi-car teams that are championship caliber, and have little if any trouble with sponsorship issues. Small teams are teams like Tommy Baldwin, Germain Racing, Premium Motorsports, BK Racing, The Wood Brothers, Go FAS Racing, Circle Sport/TMG, Rick Ware Racing, and Leavine Family Racing. These teams, while they may have more than one team, are often underfunded, have mediocre drivers and on track results.

Interestingly, there is a third group, which could really either be considered big or small, depending how one looks at them. These teams include Richard Childress Racing, JTG Daugherty, Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush-Fenway Racing, and Front Row Motorsports. These are all teams that while they have multiple teams and decent sponsorship, they aren’t championship caliber, even though they do often make the playoffs and win races. The have a decent driver or two, and have decent fan bases. One of the most well-known and least appreciated of these teams is Front Row Motorsports.

Founded by Bob Jenkins and Jimmy Means in 2005 as a single-car team, the original team merged will Mach 1, and began a two-car operation. Eventually, the team shad as many as three teams, with two full time. Since team owner Bob Jenkins owns over 150 franchises from Yum! Brands, including Taco Bell and Long John Silver’s, as well as Morristown Driver’s Services or MDS, those sponsors frequently appear on the sides of his cars. While the team hasn’t shown much strength on many tracks, they show strength on superspeedways.

Mach 1 Motorsports, which would merge with Front Row in 2005, was founded by William Edwards in 2004, and raced with Randy LaJoie, Todd Bodine, Geoff Bodine, Larry Gunselman, Derrike Cope, Chad Chaffin, Jeff Fuller, P.J. Jones, Ted Christopher, and Mike Skinner in 35 races from 2004 to 2005. The team was a failure, failing to score even a top 10. While Randy LaJoie raced the #34, everyone else raced the #98, except Mike Skinner, who raced the #00. During their run, a crew member wore this vest/shirt pit crew suit.Obviously, being a minor team searching for sponsorship, this Impact! vest/shirt combination was used. The vest could be swapped out if a sponsor was found for a race, or even a season. The vest itself is in good condition, though some race wear is present. The undershirt doesn’t show that much wear.

The vest shows some scuff marks from race-use.The collar is unadorned, and there is no tag in the cowl.The right chest features a NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES logo and a Chevy bowtie logo embroidered into it.The left chest features a GOODYEAR logo embroidered.The front torso has a MACH 1 MOTORSPORTS logo present.Underneath the front logo, next to the zipper is the Impact warranty tag.Impact has special Velcro adjustment straps on the hem, and this vest is no exception. A second Impact tag is in the bottom of the hem, in the rear, and has the name J MAZZA written in faded Sharpie.The vest epaulets are blue strips with white outlines, with no logos present. The rear of the vest shows some scuff marks below the logo. The back of the neck features 34 embroidered into the collar, and an American Flag patch sewn just below it.Just below the American Flag patch is a MACH 1 MOTORSPORTS logo, embroidered higher than the logo on the front.While the shirt did see race use, it doesn’t show any wear to speak of.The collar doesn’t have a tag, but it has an Impact logo on the back of the neck, and the name Adam is written in faded Sharpie in the square.The front of the shirt is unadorned blue Nomex.The shoulders are unadorned. The right sleeve has an IMPACT Z logo, a NASCAR logo, and the SFI certification. Usually,the SFI certification is on the left sleeve, but here it is on the right sleeve for some reason. There are no logos in television position. The left sleeve has an IMPACT Z logo, a NASCAR logo, and a SUNOCO logo, with no logos in television position. Aside from the small Impact patch just below the neck, the back of the shirt us unadorned, and shows no wear. Front Row Motorsports is a small team but they are making an impact in the Cup Series. They have two wins, and have decent showings, especially at superspeedways. They also have a history in the Xfinity Series, which we will examine next week.

The Driver Suit Blog-Throwback Thursday-Jacky Ickx-1972

Jacky Ickx races in South Africa in his #5 1972 Ferrari 312B2

More pointless white stripes up the sides, but at least they committed to it. The colors are good, Ferrari has a good shade of red, and if the white were filled in with that shade of red, it would earn an A for sure. The pointless ugly stripes take it from an A down to a B-

The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Tracker-April 26, 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

Jamie McMurray #1 Credit One/Cessna Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, same as McDonald’s/Cessna but white replaces red. A

Jamie McMurray #1 Sherwin Williams/3M Pro Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, same as Sherwin Williams but with diamond pattern on the rear. C-

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

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Genuine Draft Ford FusionThrowback scheme that ran from 1990-1996. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Detroit Genuine Parts Ford FusionNo change. C-

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

Austin Dillon #3 Dow/Quikrete Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, same as Dow but with Quikrete on quarter panels. A-

Austin Dillon #3 Lucas Oil Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, similar to 2016 Dow, but with Lucas Oil on quarter panels, and the black stripe is curved. B+

Austin Dillon #3 Dow/World Water Day Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, black front, water motif with a curve in front of the door number. D-

Austin Dillon #3 Okuma Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, same as AAA, but with a black, white, and blue color scheme. D+

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Energy and Water Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, black with curve motive, blue water motif inside curve. C

Austin Dillon #3 New Era Cap Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, black with white hood and roof, large New Era Cap logos on sides. B+

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

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Bucks Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, green cash motif, Busch logos on sides, Busch Bucks logo on hood. B+

Kevin Harvick #4 Mobil 1 Annual Protection Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, same as #41. 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

TOMMY BALDWIN RACING #7

Elliott Sadler #7 Golden Corral Chevy SSNo change. A

JJ Yeley #7 Accell Construction Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, same as previous, but red hood has been replaced by black hood. C

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-

Denny Hamlin #11 SportClips Toyota CamrySlight changes for 2017, door number colors reversed, stripe colors reversed as well. C-

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

Clint Bowyer #14 Haas Automotion Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, red top, black bottom, white stripes across sides. A

Clint Bowyer #14 Rush Truck Centers Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, white hood, roof, and decklid, red, yellow, and black triangle sides.A

Clint Bowyer #14 Haas Demo Days Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, same as Haas, but with Demo Days on hood. 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-

Reed Sorenson #15 Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, black with white numbers. A

Reed Sorenson #15 The Maids Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, yellow with blue lettering and numbers. A

Reed Sorenson #15 VIP Racing Experience Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, black with white VIP Racing Experience logos on sides and hood. A

Reed Sorenson #15 Xchange of America Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, blue with Xchange of America logos. 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

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Ford EcoBoost Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, red top, blue and white striped side. D-

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.#17 Go Bowling Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, red, and black with bowling pin and lane motif on sides.B-

JOE GIBBS RACING #18

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

Kyle Busch #18 Snickers Crispier Toyota CamryNo change. B-

Kyle Busch #18 Skittles Toyota CamryNo change. A

Kyle Busch #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota CamryNo change. F

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+

Daniel Suarez #19 Subway Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2017, same basic scheme as 2016, but white on sides has been removed. A-

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

Matt Kenseth #20 PEAK Antifreeze Toyota CamryNew sponsor for 2017, similar to 2016 #15, but spikes are more pronounced. A

Matt Kenseth #20 Blue Def Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, same as PEAK but with colors reversed. A

Matt Kenseth #20 Toyota Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, black with red, white, and silver cutting edge design. F

Matt Kenseth #20 Circle K Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, white top, orange stripe down center, red bottom. 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

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

Joey Logano #22 Duralast Brakes Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2017, yellow front, modified Penske template, checkered black middle to rear. 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+

Gray Gaulding #23 SunFrog.com Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, green front, black and green middle to rear. C+

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-

Chase Elliott #24 Little Ceasers/Mountain Dew Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, white with orange trim and logos.A

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

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Valvoline Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, new Menard’s template with 2016 setup. A

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/FVP Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017 Menard’s template with FVP colors, black replaces silver. A

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Jack Links Beef Jerkey Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, Menard’s template with red front and quarter panel. B-

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Duracell Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, new Menard’s template with black and gold. A

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Dutch Boy Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, new Menard’s template, with Dutch Boy blue, and the chipped motif has been removed. A

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Libman’s Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, new Menard’s template, with Libman 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. A

Ryan Newman #31 Kalahari Resorts Chevy SSNo change. C-

Ryan Newman #31 Chevrolet Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, black with white and gold stripes up the side. A

GO FAS RACING #32

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

Matt DiBenedetto #32 Cosmo Motors Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, same basic scheme for 2017, but circle around door has been removed. B-

Matt DiBenedetto #32 Can Am/Kappa Ford FusionNo change. F

Matt DiBenedetto #32 Keen Parts Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, white with black stripe and red roof and door numbers. A

CIRCLE SPORT/TMG MOTORSPORTS #33

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

Jeffery Earnhardt #33 Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, same as Starter, but with no logos. A

Jeffery Earnhardt #33 Superior Logistics Services Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, same as Starter but with Superior Logistics Services logo on hood. A

Jeffery Earnhardt #33 Nice Ride Apparel Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, same as Starter but with Nice Ride Apparel logo on sides hood. A

Jeffery Earnhardt #33 Detail 2U/K1 Speed Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, same as Starter but with Detail 2U logo on hood and K1 logo on sides. A

FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS #34

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

Landon Cassill #34 Starkey Hearing Foundation Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2017, Front Row template has been revamped, with blue and white color scheme. A

Landon Cassill #34 FR8 Auctions Ford FusionNo change. D+

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+

Chris Buescher #37 Bush’s Baked Beans Chevy SSNew sponsor for 2017, aside from team change, no change.B+

Chris Buescher #37 Natural Light Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, light blue with white and dark blue patriotic designs. B+

Chris Buescher #37 Scott Products/Kingsford Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, same as Cottonelle, but with silver numbers. A

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-

David Ragan #38 Juice Battery Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2017, blue, tan, black and red with a series of stripes across the whole side of the car. F

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

Kurt Busch #41 Haas Demo Day/Menard’s Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, same as Haas/Monster, but with Haas Demo Days on sides. A

CHIP GANASSI RACING TEAM #42

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

Kyle Larson #42 Target Chevy SSNo change. A

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+

AJ Allmendinger #47 Ralph’s/Checklist/Oscar Meyer Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, same as Kroger but with Ralph’s logos. A

AJ Allmendinger #47 Fry’s/Checklist/Velveta Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, same as Kroger but with Fry’s logos. A

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

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s/Hitachi Chevy-New scheme for 2017, same a Lowe’s, but with Hitachi on quarter panels. F

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowes/AO Smith Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, same as Lowe’s, but with AO Smith on sides. 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

Cody Ware #51 Spoonful Music Foundation Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, same as #51 white, but black and colors reversed. A

Timmy Hill #51 Dashub Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, blue with silver, white, and red cutting edge designs across signs. B-

Timmy Hill #51 Bubba Burger Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, blue, with red, silver, and white stripes on sides. A

Timmy Hill #51 Go Parts Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, same as black Spoonful, but with Go Parts logos on hood and quarter panels. A

Timmy Hill #51 Fenton Motors Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, same as Bubba Burgers, but with Fenton Motors on sides and hood. A

Timmy Hill #51 SleepFresh Matress Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, white with dark red and light blue stripe up the sides. A

PREMIUM MOTORSPORTS #55

Derrike Cope #55 Wade Tractor/adrenalinpwr.com Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, black with Wade Tractor on hood, and adrenalinpwr.com logo on sides. A

Derrike Cope #55 Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, black with white numbers. A

Derrike Cope #55 Low T Center Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, black with green and white polka dot motif near rear. F

TRISTAR MOTORSPORTS #72

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

Cole Whitt #72 Rinnai Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, white with black and red Rinnai logos on sides and hood. B+

Cole Whitt #72 Standard Plumbing Supply Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, black with white and red letters and logos. B+

Cole Whitt #72 SoCal Chevy Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, black with white logos on sides and hood. B+

Cole Whitt #72 Bad Boy Mowers Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, black with orange cutting edge designs on sides. F

Cole Whitt #72 RTIC Coolers Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, lighter blue and ice motif replaces darker blue, black carbon fiber hood. A

BEARD RACING #75

Brendan Gaughan #75 Beard Oil Chevy SS-New team for 2017, all black with white logos and numbers. A

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-

Erik Jone #77 Sirius/XM Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, black with blue and silver designs across whole car. F

Erik Jones #77 Toyota Service Centers Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, same as 5-Hour Energy, but with Toyota Service Center logos. C-

Erik Jones #77 SportClips Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, slightly modified version of #11 from 2016. 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-

Corey LaJoie #83 JAS Trucking Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2017, black with blue door numbers and white lettering and white stripes. D-

Corey LaJoie #83 BK Racing Graphics Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, black with red and silver stripes across sides. B-

Corey LaJoie #83 Bubba Burger Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2017, black with flame motif. A

Corey LaJoie #83 RMC Events Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, blue with black and white designs on sides. 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

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Axalta/Philadelphia Eagles Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, black hood and roof, green sides in a Front Row template-esque design, green sides. C-

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Mountain Dew-S-A Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, light blue with white stripes, and dark red letters. C-

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

Michael McDowell #95 WRL Contractors Chevy SSNo change. A

Michael McDowell #95 Leavine Family Surfboards Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, vintage “Woody” design. 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 The Eli Manning Game-Used Situation

By David G. Firestone

I like to make decisions based on facts and information rather than emotion. It’s why I won’t react to a story until many facts are in. In this instance, I’ve known about this for some time, but I wanted some more information. Well some information has come to light, and I now am going to discuss my feelings on this. It affects The Driver Suit Blog, and the racing memorabilia market.

Recently, Eli Manning has come under fire for fake game-used memorabilia. These items included items purchased through Steiner Sports. It seemed to me that something didn’t seem right. Brandon Steiner cares too much about his reputation to knowingly sell fake memorabilia. I also was wondering if the New York Giants would even consider selling fake game-used memorabilia, seeing as how collectors are as educated as ever, and love to research these items.

Then, emails between Eli and the Giants equipment manager Joe Skiba came to light. In this email, Eli asked Skiba for “2 helmets that can pass as game used. That is it. Eli.” Then 20 minutes later, Eli informs his marketing agent, Alan Zucker, “Should be able to get them for tomorrow.” What appears to have happened is that Skiba found two helmets, which were sold for over $4,000 each. These emails were discovered during a lawsuit against Manning, the New York Giants, Skiba, and Steiner Sports, among others.

It goes deeper than that. According to Kaja Whitehouse and Bruce Golding of The New York Post:

“On Thursday, plaintiffs’ lawyer Brian Brook said “it appears to be the case that someone at the Giants organization deleted” those emails, as well as another, previously disclosed 2008 exchange.

In that exchange, Skiba allegedly admitted to plaintiff Eric Inselberg that Manning had asked him to create “BS” versions of a game-used helmet and jersey because Manning “didn’t want to give up the real stuff.”

If this is true, that spells trouble not just for Eli, The Giants, and Steiner, but it could also spell trouble for a lot of the game-used memorabilia market. Supposedly, according to court papers, the Giants gave Michael Strahan a fake Super Bowl jersey. If I was a New York Giants game-used memorabilia collector, I would be very nervous right now.

I need to ask the obvious question: If the Giants are going to sell fake Eli Manning game used memorabilia, and give Michael Strahan a fake version of the jersey he wore in a Super Bowl, do you honestly think that they wouldn’t fake the less expensive game-used stuff? Again, collectors are smarter, and have better resources at their disposal than they ever have before. Lots of collectors rightfully do their own due diligence with items they buy. It’s getting harder and harder to sell fake game-used memorabilia in this day in age.

With the number of photos and videos of players on the Internet, it’s easier to look at a picture, compare it to the item in question, and match game wear. The NFL rules make it a little more difficult though. The NFL requires multiple uniforms and helmets ready for players per game, due to the very real possibility of them getting damaged during games. It makes sense that a player could wear multiple jerseys or helmets during a game. Emmitt Smith famously wore four different jerseys in four quarters when he beat Walter Payton’s rushing record. So players could wear multiple different items during a game, and all of those can be considered “game-worn.”

While many can think that this is only an issue with the Giants, I would say it might be a bit wider than that. Remember, NBC Sports discussed this issue last year. This is why the NFL should take a very close look at the MLB Hologram program. Major League Baseball figured out the solution in 2001. The program is designed strictly prevent fraudulent memorabilia, game used, autographed, stadium used, etc, from making it to the collector market. But the NFL has an advantage over MLB in this sense, in that they have a deal with PSA/DNA.

PSA/DNA is one of the most respected authentication services in the hobby. They authenticate everything from cards to autographs to game-used memorabilia. The NFL uses them for their auction items, but I’m wondering if they aren’t going to start using them for all game-used memorabilia. It would not only solve this problem, but it would give the added boost of making the the items more valuable, since their authenticity would never be in doubt.

The New York Giants and Eli Manning are demonstrating why the game-used memorabilia market is valuable, and at the same time unstable. The NFL now has to ask themselves some serious questions about the viability of one of their most lucrative markets. I can only hope the NFL makes the right decision and helps mitigate the damage.

I also am wondering if Brandon Steiner will cut ties with Eli Manning, and the New York Giants. It would be the right move seeing as how Eli and the Giants have damaged Steiner’s reputation. Based on the evidence, I don’t think Steiner was complicit in selling fake memorabilia. That said, he did sell fraudulent memorabilia, albeit unknowingly, and has his share of the responsibility.

This whole thing is a mess, but it does directly affect the racing memorabilia market because like the NFL, racing teams are the ones selling their racing memorabilia. Now while it is much harder to fake a race-worn driver suit, collectors should be much more careful. Researching is key to not getting ripped off. That’s why I do the work I do, in order to help the collector know what to look for. I’m disgusted that I have to discuss this, but I have no choice. I hope this situation gets resolved, and the right people make the right decisions.

The Driver Suit Blog-Introduction to Sports Memorabilia-TJ Zizzo Race-Used Lot

Another set of race-used memorabilia from TJ Zizzo

The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Grades-April 22, 2017

By David G. Firestone

Jamie McMurray #1 Sherwin Williams/3M Pro Chevy SS-While it has the same basic design as last year’s Sherwin Williams Emerald, but I don’t like the addition of the diamond plate. It takes a C design to a C-

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Genuine Draft Ford Fusion-Our first Bristol throwback is one of my favortes, the Rusty Wallace Miller Genuine Draft design. It worked well a few years ago, it stil works well. I give it an A.

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Energy and Water Chevy SS-The blue water motif works well, the black outline…not so much. Get rid of the black outline, and just have the water motif. It’s not a terrible scheme, and it deserves a C.

JJ Yeley #7 Accell Construction Chevy SS-Same scheme as 2015, but with a black hood, and the black hood is an upgrade, and takes the scheme from a C- to a C.

Reed Sorenson #15 Xchange of America Chevy SS-It’s a smooth look, with a great color scheme. It earns an A.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Ford EcoBoost Ford Fusion-While I like the fact the design has been toned down, it’s still over designed, just less over designed. Good color scheme, but that can’t save this scheme from earning a D-.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.#17 Go Bowling Ford Fusion-Definitly a downgrade, from red, white, and blue to black, red and white. The design scheme could be better if it were a bowling lane motif. Still, it’s not terrible, and I give this a B-.

Matt Kenseth #20 Toyota Toyota Camry-The color scheme could work it it was either gray or white, but the combination just doesn’t work. Add a design that doesn’t work well with the color scheme, and you have an F scheme.

Chase Elliott #24 Little Ceasers/Mountain Dew Chevy SS-The orange scheme works well, I like the fact that the door number matches the orange. Add in a good design scheme, and you have an A scheme.

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Dutch Boy Chevy SS-This might be one of the only templates that works with every color. The blue works well with the template. I also like that the chipped paint motif is gone. A

Chris Buescher #37 Scott Products/Kingsford Chevy SS-Same scheme as Cottonelle, same A grade.

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s/Hitachi Chevy-Same scheme as Lowe’s, same F grade.

Timmy Hill #51 Fenton Motors Chevy SS-Same scheme as Bubba Burgers, same A grade.

Derrike Cope #55 Low T Center Toyota Camry-Black, red, and green, with black as the primary color is an iffy choice, and the polka dot motif doesn’t work well here. It’s just not a good scheme. F

Cole Whitt #72 RTIC Coolers Chevy SS-I like the lighter blue, and the carbon fiber hood works very well too. Even the #72 works well with this scheme. I give it an A.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Axalta/Philadelphia Eagles Chevy SS-The color scheme isn’t great, the black doesn’t work. The design is unoriginal, and doesn’t work with the color scheme, but it’s not horrible. I will give it a C-.