The Driver Suit Blog-An Interview With Del Worsham

By David G. Firestone

There are a lot of sports families. Names like Manning, Williams, Ripkin, Bonds, Mayweather, Dimaggio, Griffey, Howe, Hull, and Jordan are synonymous with their sports. In auto racing, there are a lot of well-known families. These include Earnhardt, Andretti, Petty, Rosberg, Unser, Pedregon, and Force. One racing that family that has flown under the radar for a while in racing is the Worsham family.

The most well-known of the Worsham family is Del Worsham. With 33 National Event wins, 25 in Funny Car, and 8 in Top Fuel, and two Mello Yello Drag Racing Series championships, one in Top Fuel and one in Funny Car, Del has carved himself out a great career. For much of his career, he raced for his father Chuck Worsham’s team. Chuck Worsham runs the team, builds and tunes the car, and builds and repairs equipment for other teams.

Del raced for his family team from 1990 to 2008. In 2009, Worsham joined Al-Anabi racing as a Top Fuel driver. In 2011, he won his first championship in Top Fuel. He then retired, and joined Kalitta Motorsports for 2012 as a crew chief to Alexis DeJoria. In 2013, driver Jeff Arend left the team, and Worsham was announced as the replacement driver. By 2015, Del had settled into his role as driver, and thanks to a great Countdown, won his second Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Championship. At the end of the 2016 season, Worsham left Kalitta Motorsports, and rejoined his family team.

I interviewed Del about his racing uniform last week, and he was great to work with. I’d like to thank Del for taking time out of his schedule for this interview. Without further ado, my interview with Del Worsham:

Dave-What is your uniform setup for a race weekend, that is, how do you rotate suits, helmets, shoes, gloves, etc over a race weekend?

Del-I generally don’t replace equipment during a weekend. I try to wear the same equipment all weekend, bearing that it doesn’t have holes or rips or tears. I visually inspect it as the weekend goes on, and at the end of the weekend if there’s something that’s major, I’ll go ahead and change it out

Dave-Some drivers black out parts of their helmet visor to cut down on distraction, which Jack Beckman referred to as “the Clydesdale effect.” I have noticed that you prefer to have your whole visor clear, have you tried the Clydesdale effect?

Del-I have, I have tried different ways. I’ve been driving 27 years, and I’ve gone with the Clydesdale Effect, I’ve gone with smoke lenses, I’ve gone with amber lenses, pretty much everything that’s out there, and my preference, the way I like to drive, and what I like to see, and for what I’d like to see, visual effect, I’m best, personally as a driver, being able to see what’s going on around me.

Dave-Could you explain, from a driver’s perspective, how you want your suit to fit?

Del-Well, I’d like my suit to fit a little loose. I don’t like it being tugged on or pulling on me in any way. I don’t always order a suit for visual effect, I order it mostly for comfort, and making sure that it’s not too bunched up in areas and causes grief in areas I don’t want. At the same time, you don’t want it baggy and sloppy. I think it should fit nice, and be comfortable during the actual event, racing.

Dave-When you switched from Kalitta Motorsports to Worsham Racing, you stayed with Stand 21 driver suits. What prompted this decision?

Del-Well I started with Stand 21 when I was with Al-Anabi, back in 2011 I believe,[Editor’s note, he actually started with Al-Anabi in 2009] and I started wearing those suits back then, and I noticed right away they were extremely comfortable suits, and they are always working to try to be the leading edge of technology. So I work with the owner, Yves Morizot, I’ve worked with the engineers, Gerald [Bonnet], and I work with Kevin [McConnell] in the United States quite a bit, just to try and build products that are specifically to what we’re doing here, and they’ve been a great company to work with.

Dave-You have had success in both Top Fuel and Funny Car, are there any differences in the uniform setups?

Del-Not today, there were back when I started racing. You could wear a suit that wasn’t rated quite as high in Top Fuel as you had to wear in Funny Car, but in today’s racing, they both require the same suit with the same rating [SFI 20], and to be totally honest with you, I always wore the highest rated suit, racing Top Fuel or Funny Car either way, and that’s what I prefer, I couldn’t imagine not wearing the most protective thing you could, in one of these vehicles, whether Top Fuel or Funny car.

Dave-Do you see yourself racing in Top Fuel again?

Del-No, but you know what, I never say never, because I didn’t even know if I was going to race after 2011, and I was back in the car in 2013. So I never say never, but no I’m pretty content here in Funny Car, I like the guys I’m racing with, love the competition, I like having my own car, and this is where I feel the most comfortable.

Dave-Do you have any uniform superstitions?

Del-Not necessarily superstitions, but I do always do things in the same order, because you don’t want to forget something. Gloves go on in the same order. Boots go on in the same order. I put on the same sleeve, the HANS goes on, everything goes on in the same order. That way, by doing everything in the same order, there’s never a chance of forgetting anything.

Dave-Do you keep any memorabilia from your career?

Del-I do. Not a lot, I keep my championship helmets, I rarely get rid of helmets. I’ve gotten rid of a few over the years, to a couple of people. Pretty much if I have a helmet I like, I wear it as long as I can because changing helmets really affects my vision, the way I can see. I don’t like changing helmets if I don’t have to. So I wear helmets for quite a while. I definitely keep my championship helmets and keep my championship helmets on a pedestal.

Dave-My last question for you is: What is the strangest thing you have every autographed, or been asked to autograph?

Del-Oh brother! I’ve signed plenty of underwear my life. I’ve signed plenty of skin in my life, and I always thing that’s a little strange. One time I signed a guy’s arm, and when I saw him the next time, he had had it tattooed on his arm. So that’s about the strangest thing I’ve ever signed.

Del Worsham has raced for 27 years and has had a lot of success. He has connected with the fans, and has earned the respect of his peers. At a point where many drivers are considering placing their helmets on the mantle, and hanging up their firesuits, Del is still going strong. There is no doubt he will be around for years to come.

Next week, I start my annual summer sabbatical. For the month of July, I will have Monday videos, Throwback Thursdays, and Friday features, but I won’t update the Tracker or Grades, nor will I do My Thoughts On. Next Friday, I’m going to do a video featuring my non-racing autographs.

The Driver Suit Blog-Throwback Thursday-Andrea de Cesaris-1991

Andrea de Cesaris, #33 refreshes his 1991 7Up Jordan-Ford 191 at the US Grand Prix

Green is another color that can be hit or miss, and 7Up had a great shade of green at that time. Green and blue can be great, or it can be a disaster. This shade of blue not only looks good, but works very well with the 7Up green. The thin white stripe between the two works very well as well, so the Formula One quarter of Throwback Thursday ends with a solid A scheme.

The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Tracker-June 28, 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-

Jamie McMurray #1 Bass Pro Shops/National Wild Turkey Federation Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, slight redesign, rounded camo has been replaced with orange stripes. F

Jamie McMurray #1 McDonald’s $1 Any Size Soft Drink Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, same as McDonald’s, but with $1 Any Size Soft Drink on hood. A

Jamie McMurray #1 McDonald’s Signature Crafted Recipes Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, same as McDonald’s, but with Signature Crafted Recipes on hood. 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

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-

Brad Keselowski #2 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2017, Yellowish-green with black Penske template. D

Brad Keselowski #2 Elite Support/Freightliner Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2017, Penske template with silver front, blue rear. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Patriotic Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, white with American flag motif on middle of car. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Freightliner Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2017, Penske template with silver front and blue rear. 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

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+

Austin Dillon #3 Intellifresh Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, same as Dow Energy and Water. C

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Patriotic Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, American Flag and wood motif across whole car. A

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Patriotic Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, silver with blue star motif across hood, stars and stripes patterns on sides. A

Austin Dillon #3 Dow/Kilz Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, same as Dow but with Kilz on sides. 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

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

Kevin Harvick #4 Mobil 1 Annual Protection Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, same as #41. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion-New scheme for 2017, same as Mobil 1 Annual Protection, but red replaces gold. 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

Kasey Kahne #5 Drive To End Hunger Chevy SSNo change. A

Kasey Kahne #5 Mountain Dew Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, white with green and yellow jagged stripe on sides. A

Kasey Kahne #5 Liftmaster Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, white replaces silver. A

Kasey Kahne #5 Great Clips Throwback Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, based on the first scheme Hendrick Motorsports raced in 1984. A

Kasey Kahne #5 Microsoft Windows Chevy SSNew sponsor for 2017, all blue with subtle designs on sides. 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

Trevor Bayne #6 Roush Performance Ford FusionAside from changing from 16 to 6, no change. A

Trevor Bayne #6 Ford Eco-Boost Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, similar to 2016 #17, but with patriotic motif replacing old design. B+

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

JJ Yeley #7 Accell Construction Patriotic Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, American flag motif across whole car. 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

Danica Patrick #10 Mobil 1 Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, same as #41. A

Danica Patrick #10 Code 3 Associates Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2017, blue with white hood and roof, silver stripes between the two. A

Danica Patrick #10 Wonder Woman Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2017, red front, fades to white rear, Wonder Woman logos on sides and hood. 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

Ty Dillon #13 Geico Military Chevy SSNo change. F

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 Ford Fusion-New scheme for 2017, same as Haas, but with Demo Days on hood. A

Clint Bowyer #14 HAAS CNC Ford Fusion-New scheme for 2017, colors reversed. A

Clint Bowyer #14 Cars 3 Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2017, same as #42. B+

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

Joey Gase #15 Sparks Energy Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, black with yellow paint splatter on sides. A

Reed Sorenson #15 Harrah’s Casino Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, silver has been removed, black with white numbers and logos. A

Reed Sorenson #15 Internetwork Engineering Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, all black with Internetwork Engineering logo on hood. A

Reed Sorenson #15 Low T Center Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, same as #55. F

Ross Chastain #15 Protect Your Mellon Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, red, with yellow and white stripe across sides. A

Reed Sorenson#15 Energex.com Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, black with Energex.com logos on sides and hood. A

Reed Sorenson #15 Corrigan Oil Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, white stripe across bottom, black with red and blue stripes across sides. A

Kevin O’Connell #15 SBC Construction /Apollo Opening Roofing System Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, American flag motif across whole car. A

ROUSH-FENWAY RACING #17

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

Rickey Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Commemorative 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-

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fifth-Third Bank Ford FusionNo change. A

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fifth-Third Back Ford Fusion-New scheme for 2017, dark blue with yellow and light blue designs on side and hood. B-

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Patriotic Ford Fusion-New scheme for 2017, design reversed, red removed. A-

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

Kyle Busch #18 Skittles Patriotic Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2017, same as red Skittles, but with white stripes across bottom, and star motif on hood and roof. A

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Caramel Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, blue with orange M&M’s on sides, and a multi colored design on hood. A

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Patriotic Toyota CamryNo change. A

Kyle Busch #18 Pedigree Toyota CamryNo change. 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+

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

Matt Kenseth #20 DeWalt/Wounded Warrior Project Toyota Camry-New scheme for 2017, same as DeWalt, but with subtle camouflage effect on yellow. A

Matt Kenseth #20 Freightliner Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2017, all white with Freightliner logos. A

WOOD BROTHER RACING #21

Ryan Blaney #21 Motorcraft Ford FusionNo Change. A

Ryan Blaney #21 OmniCraft Auto Parts Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2017, orange replaces red. 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

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion-New scheme for 2017, orange front, white rear, Penske Template. 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+

Gray Gaulding #23 Bubba Burger Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2017, digital camouflage with patriotic stripe across side. F

Gray Gaulding #23 Addiction Campuses Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, blue and white sunburst design which fades from light to dark. D+

Alon Day #23 Earthwater Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, black with bright green and blue designs on sides. D-

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

Chase Elliot #24 Mountain Dew Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, same as #5 but black replaces white as the primary color. 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 SSNew scheme for 2017, new Menard’s template, with Libman colors. A

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Rockstar Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, new Menard’s template with black Rockstar motif. A

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Knauf Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, new Menard’s template with Knauf blue on sides and hood. B-

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Tarkett Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, Menard’s template with Tarkett 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

Ryan Newman #31 Okuma Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, same as #3. D+

Ryan Newman #31 CAT/Granger Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, white with red, black, and yellow stripes across sides. A

Ryan Newman #31 Velveeta Shells and Cheese Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, yellow with shells and cheese motif across car. A

Ryan Newman #31 Chevy Accessories Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, same as Chevy but with Chevy Accessories on sides and hood. 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

Matt DiBenedetto #32 EJ Wade Ford Fusion-New scheme for 2017, white fade to black across whole car. A

Matt DiBenedetto #32 Incredible Bank Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2017, green top, orange and green checkered flag motif across sides. F

Matt DiBenedetto #32 Reddit Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2017, white with orange and black cutting edge designs on side. F

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

Jeffery Earnhardt #33 Towne Bank Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, same as Starter, but with Towne Bank logos on sides and hood. A

Jeffery Earnhardt #33 Hulu Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, green top, white bottom, black on front. A

Boris Said #33 Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, same as Hulu, but without the logos. 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+

Landon Cassill #34 The Pete Store Ford FusionAside from switching from #38, no change. A

Landon Cassill #34 CSX Play It Safe Ford FusionNo change. A

Landon Cassill #34 Loves/Winstar Ford Fusion-New scheme for 2017, same as Love’s, but with Winstar logo on hood. A

Landon Cassill #34 A&W Ford FusionNo change. A

Landon Cassill #34 MDS/#checkitforandretti Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, same as 2016 MDS, but with #checkitforandretti on sides. A

Landon Cassill #34 CSX Patriotic Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, same as CSX, but with red, white and blue. A

Landon Cassill #34 CSX Play It Safe 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+

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

Chris Buescher #37 Velveeta Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, white with red designs on sides. A

Chris Buescher #37 Kingsford Chevy SSAside from changing from #47 to #37, no change. A

Chris Buescher #37 Cars 3/Kleenex Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, based on Lightning McQueen’s design from Cars 3. C

Chris Buescher #37 Maxwell House Max Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, black with white letters, and red design on side. A

Chris Buescher#37 Liberty Tax Service Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, blue and white with patriotic motif. 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-

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

David Ragan #38 Ford Fusion-New scheme for 2017, white with gold numbers. A

David Ragan #38 Overton’s Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2017, blue with cloud motif across car. A

David Ragan #38 Dockside Logistics Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, same as 2015 #34 Dockside Logistics. A

David Ragan #38 Shriner’s Hospital Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2017, white with red and gray design on sides. A

David Ragan #38 Jacob Companies Ford Fusion-New scheme for 2017, red and black with Jacob companies logos on sides. 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 Ford Fusion-New scheme for 2017, same as other SHR Mobil 1 schemes, but with gold trim. A

Kurt Busch #41 Haas Demo Day/Monster Ford Fusion-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

Kyle Larson #42 Coca Cola Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, red with frost motif. A

Kyle Larson #42 Target/Cars 3 Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, Target front, Cars 3 motif across sides. B+

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

AJ Allmendinger #47 Kroger Checklist/Coffee Mate/Nature Valley Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, same as Kroger, but with Coffee Mate and Nature Valley on sides. A

AJ Allmendnger #47 Dillon’s Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, same as Kroger, but with Dillon’s on hood. A

AJ Allmendinger #47 Harris Teeter/Express Lane/Heinz Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, same as Kroger, but green replaces blue. 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

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Patriotic Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, white with a series of patriotic designs on sides and hood. A

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

Timmy Hill #51 Lilly Trucking Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, white with white and blue designs on side. B+

Timmy Hill #51 Charlie’s Soap Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, black with red and white letters, and Charlie’s Soap logos on sides and hood. A

Cody Ware #51 ECU Pirates Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, blue with white and yellow stripes on sides. A

Cody Ware #51 Clemson Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, based on Clemson’s football helmet. A

Josh Bilicki #51 Marriott/Climate Fieldview Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, black with red and white cutting edge designs on sides. F

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

Reed Sorenson #55 Xchange of America Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, same as #15. A

Derrike Cope #55 Ckezepis Law Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, black with Ckezepis Law logo on hood. A

Derrike Cope #55 Twin Peaks Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, black with Twin Peaks logos on sides and hood. A

Derrike Cope #55 Star Com Fiber Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, black with green polka dot motif on sides. B-

Tommy Regan #55 OscaroParts.com/Capri Tools Chevy SS-New sponsors for 2017, white with blue OscaroParts.com logo on hood, and Capri Tools on sides. A

CARL LONG MOTORSPORTS #66

Carl Long #66 Poker Palace Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, green front, red, yellow and white rear. D-

Timmy Hill #66 Waltrip Brothers Charity Championship Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, same as Poker Palace, but with Waltrip Brothers Charity Championship logo on hood. D-

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

Cole Whitt #72 Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, plain black with white and black numbers. A

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

Cole Whitt #72 Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, plain black with white numbers. A

BEARD RACING #75

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

Brendan Gaughan #75 Beard Oil Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, same as Beard Oil from Daytona, but with logos on sides. 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-

Erik Jones #77 Gamestop Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, black with blue circle designs on hood and quarter panel. A

Erik Jones #77 Toyota Care Toyota Camry-New scheme for 2017, red, white, and black with a series of curved stripes on sides. F

Erik Jones #77 GameStop/Cars 3 Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, based on one of the cars from Cars 3. A

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-

Martin Truex Jr. #78 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry-New scheme for 2017, fewer stripes, but same basic scheme. B+

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+

Corey LaJoie #83 EJ Wade Toyota Camry-New scheme for 2017, same color scheme, but cutting edges have been flattened. A

Corey LaJoie #83 Hope For Warriors Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2017 silver replaces red, much more streamlined design. C

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

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide Childrens Chevy SSNew sponsor for 2017, white with rainbow stripe, and multi-colored butterflies on sides and hood. A

Dale Earnhardt Jr.#88 Axalta/Maaco Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, same as Axalta but with Maaco logos on sides. F

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide Patriotic Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, white with a more minimalist patriotic scheme. A

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Mountain Dew Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, metallic gold, with yellow, light green, and dark green cutting edge designs on sides. 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

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

Michael McDowell #95 Winn Dixie Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, red with black and yellow stripe on sides. A

Michael McDowell #95 Tommy Williams Drywall Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, drywall motif with blue lettering on sides and hood. A

Michael McDowell #95 WRL Contractors Camouflage Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, camouflage replaces white. F

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-

DJ Kennington #96 Triad CNC Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, white with a series of triangle logos on sides. B+

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The Driver Suit Blog-My Thoughts on Vacation and Road Course Ringers

By David G. Firestone

It’s that time of the year again. It’s the week before July. This is the last week I will work on The Driver Suit Blog before I go on my vacation and take my sabbatical. You know the drill, I take all of July off, and enjoy the summer here in Chicago. I have a few things planned for my time off, and I will work on some side project.

As usual, I will be attending the Route 66 Nationals, and I will do my usual article on that. I’ve got somethings planned for Route 66, but more on that later. I plan to watch racing, and hang out. I work a tiring job, and this time off is nice.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy working on The Driver Suit Blog, but I need a break, and the summer time is a nice time. I will come back. I’m committed to The Driver Suit Blog, and I will continue my work.

Now that the sabbatical announcement is done, I’d like to discuss something about racing. Why do teams continue to use “road course ringers?” For the race at Sonoma, a number of teams decided to use these drivers, who have little Cup experience to try and win races. This hasn’t worked since 1973, but teams keep trying it.

This is part of an odd strategy of taking something that hasn’t worked in decades, and trying it again to see if it works this time around. If it hasn’t worked before, why would it work now? Are there exceptions, yes, but for the most part, it makes no sense. Why would you try something like that? It makes no sense, accomplishes nothing, and makes you look stupid.

That’s it for now, see you all in August!

The Driver Suit Blog-Introduction to Racing Press Kits-Jason Jarrett-2000

Son of Dale Jarrett, Jason’s career didn’t take off. This is from one of his better years, when he was sponsored by Rayovac in 2000.

The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Grades-June 24, 2017

By David G. Firestone.

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Patriotic Chevy SS-I like the new design, I think the silver works well with it, and the car looks good as a whole. A

Kasey Kahne #5 Great Clips Throwback Chevy SS-The All-Star Racing in yellow and white looks really good, and the design works very well. It’s an A scheme for sure.

Clint Bowyer #14 HAAS CNC Ford Fusion-Reversing colors on a paint scheme is iffy, but this design looks really good, and the reversing worked well. A

Reed Sorenson #15 Corrigan Oil Chevy SS-The red and black stripes are a bold look, the car looks good, and has a great color scheme. I give it an A.

Matt Kenseth #20 Freightliner Toyota Camry-Solid white works well as a background color, and the design is great. Definitely worth an A.

Ryan Blaney #21 OmniCraft Auto Parts Ford Fusion-While the car does look good, the orange looks out of place. The red works much better. Still, it’s a good scheme, and worth an A-.

Ryan Newman #31 Velveeta Shells and Cheese Chevy SS-Going to do some revisionist stuff here. When I first graded this scheme, I blasted it because in the photo that I used, the car looked beige. Between then and now, the yellow was brightened, and the car looks better as a result. This change took the car from a C+ to an A.

Kyle Larson #42 Target/Cars 3 Chevy SS-I like the idea here, but it’s not well executed. The tearing of the Target scheme into a Cars 3 motif looks forced. One or the other would work. It’s not terrible, but it needs work, so I’ll give it a B+.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Mountain Dew Chevy SS-Metallic green is a great color to use on race cars, and the designs work well with the color scheme. It’s a great scheme, and I give it an A.

The Driver Suit Blog-An Interview with Alexis DeJoria

By David G. Firestone

[Editor’s Note: Though I teased, and had prepared an NHL article ready for this week, to coincide with the NHL Draft, the next two articles came together this last week, and I can’t keep them in reserve. The NHL article will run sometime soon.]

Though it was produced by Casa 7 Leguas, one of Mexico’s oldest distilleries for years, Tequila Patrón wasn’t always the high quality product we know today. In fact, for many years, it was more along the lines of bottom-shelf store brand tequila, that was consumed for intoxication, as opposed to flavor. That all changed in 2000. In 1989, St. Maarten Spirits, owned by John Paul DeJoria and Martin Crowley, purchased the rights to the brand.

In 2000, St. Maarten Spirits, hired Ed Brown as CEO. Brown realized that making the brand into a premium brand would increase sales. In 2002, the company moved production to a brand new facility. Inspired by Gray Goose ads, Tequila Patrón advertising began to promote the product as “premium” and it boasted “taste and sophistication.” Eventually, with a little help from Lil Jon, and other hip hop, and country singers, Tequila Patrón has not only become a fixture in the trendiest nightclubs and restaurants, but also a part of pop culture.

One other way Patrón Tequila boosts their product is through auto racing sponsorship. Tequila Patrón could be considered more devoted than most companies to auto racing. CEO Ed Brown is also a driver for Extreme Speed Motorsports, an FIA World Endurance Championship team, which races in the Weathertech SportsCar Championship. Brown and his team have won the 2014 Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix, the 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona, and the 2016 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Tequila Patrón’s other major racing sponsorship comes in the form of John Paul DeJoria’s daughter Alexis. Alexis DeJoria got her start in 2005 in the NHRA Sportsman division, first racing in Super Gas before moving to Super Comp, and winning the Sportsman Nationals. In 2006, she stared racing in Top Alcohol Funny Car, and by 2009, she had founded her own team, sponsored by Tequila Patrón.

2011 was a big year for Alexis. She scored her first win in Top Alcohol Funny Car at the 2011 NHRA Northwest Nationals, becoming the second woman to do so. She also got her nitro licensee, and joined Kalitta Motosports, driving the Tequila Patrón Toyota Funny Car. She had moderate success in 2012, and 2013.

2014 was her breakout year, winning the first race at Phoenix, the first race at Las Vegas, and the coveted US Nationals at Indianapolis. She also became the first woman to race a sub 4-second run, with a 3.998 run at Ponoma.

In 2015, Alexis didn’t have the same success as the previous year, making it to only one final round, losing to defending Funny Car champion Matt Hagan. She did make the Countdown to the Championship, finishing 8th in the standings. 2016 was looking to be a good year. She won the first Las Vegas race, and set personal ET and speed records at Topeka, where she ran a 3.875ET 332.18 MPH in Q2. Sadly, a broken pelvis at Toyota Sonoma Nationals, at Sonoma, and a concussion at the Toyota Nationals at Las Vegas stalled what could have been a championship season.

2017 has been a mixed bag for Alexis. She has had some good runs, and put up some good numbers. Though a family issue has forced her to miss a few events, she isn’t out of the championship picture yet. If Robert Hight can win the Funny Car championship from the 10th seed, Alexis can surely win too.

I was fortunate enough to be able to interview Alexis about her Funny Car uniform. After the Jack Beckman interview, I decided to take a bit of a different route, this time, more focusing on Alexis’ preferences, as opposed to trying to get as much general Funny Car uniform information. I’d also like to say a huge Thank You to Allison McCormick, who went above and beyond to help make this interview a reality! Without further ado, my interview with Alexis DeJoria

 

Dave-What is your uniform setup for a race weekend, that is, how do you rotate suits, helmets, shoes, gloves, etc over a race weekend?

Alexis-I have two firesuits, two helmets, two sets of gloves, two pairs of shoes, two pairs of fire boots, and multiple pairs of carbonex underwear and tops. Throughout the race season, I go back and forth between the two suits. They get pretty dirty so I try not to wear one over and over again. I rotate between the two of them and at the end of the year, I sign them and auction them off for charity.

Dave-How long do driver gloves, shoes, and balaclavas tend to last?

Alexis-I’ve had my balaclavas and some of my carbonex underwear, tops and socks for a few years. I take really good care of my things. They do get pretty thrashed, but I take them home and wash them after every race and hang them to dry. Shoes, it just depends. I wear them until they have holes in them basically; until they’re no longer safe. Same goes for my gloves.

Dave-Some drivers black out parts of their helmet visor to cut down on distraction, which Jack Beckman referred to as “the Clydesdale effect.” I have noticed that you prefer to have your whole visor clear, have you tried the Clydesdale effect?

Alexis-I have not tried ‘the Clydesdale effect.’ For me personally, I like to be able to focus on the top end of the race track where I want to end up, but also still be able to see in my peripheral vision. For me it helps, especially on race day; I like to see and be prepared for whatever may happen.

Dave-You suffered a series of crashes during the season last year, and missed a number of races as a direct result. Did you have to modify your uniform

Alexis-No modifications to my uniform were made. There were some modifications done to the cockpit of the race car to make it safer in the event of something like that happening again. But no, as far as what I wear personally, there were no modifications.

Alexis was also kind enough to share some pictures of her racing uniform:Image by Gary Nastase

Images by William Lester

Alexis DeJoria has experienced a lot of ups and downs in her racing career. Her driving talent and her tenacity have helped her reach the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. She is a popular driver, and having met her in person at Route 66, I can honestly say she is an amazing person. I would like to thank her, and Allison McCormick for helping make this happen!

Next week, I will post an interview with Del Worsham.