By David G. Firestone
The racing season is over, holiday music is playing in stores, we’ve all had our fill of turkey, and the Driver Suit Blog Paint Scheme Review Committee has met again. This time, I’ve added a third member, Lucy the beagle, in addition to Alejandro the cat. After extensive meetings, we have come to our conclusions for the Leaderboard ranking for Chevy’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series paint schemes. So, without further ado, here we go!
#1-Beard Motorsports #75 Chevy SS Rank Last Year: NA
Beard Motorsports has had a great year, in terms of paint schemes. They have run two races, had two A schemes, and earned a perfect 4 for the year.
#2-Hendrick Motorsports #5 Chevy SS Rank Last Year: 11 of 24
While the Farmer’s Insurance and Great Clips schemes are meh at best, Kasey ran a series of A schemes for most of the year. He finishes the year with a respectable average in terms of grades.
#3-Circle Sport/TMG #33 Chevy SS Rank Last Year: NA
Cirlce Sport/TMG had a slew of great schemes for almost all of the year. They all had great A looks…except for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles scheme which earned a solid F. This not only knocked out of the first place spot, but down surprisingly lower than what they should have been.
#4-Richard Childress Racing #27 Chevy SS Rank Last Year: of 24
The 2017 Menard’s template has worked very well, with the exception of Knauf, Sylvania, and Jack Links Beef Jerkey. This is another instance of 3 schemes derailing what could have been a perfect season for 2017.
#5-JTG Daugherty Racing #37 Chevy SS Rank Last Year: NA
While the #37 team had a lot of A’s and no really bad schemes, the lower graded schemes took the whole grade from a great position to a dull position. Still, they didn’t get lower than a C, and their GPA was decent enough.
#6-Premium Motorsports #55 Chevy SS/Toyota Camry Rank Last Year: 2 of 24
Aside from Low T, Star Com Fiber, Wind River, the #55 has had a very solid showing in 2017, with a lot of A schemes.
#7-JTG Daugherty Racing #47 Chevy SS Rank Last Year: 3 of 24
The #47 had a solid B+ year, and with an A graded throwback, they had a good solid showing in 2017. The Kroger looks were all great in 2017, and the throwback is amazing.
#8-Chip Ganassi Racing #1 Chevy SS Rank Last Year: 22 of 24
The #1 had a varried season in 2017. They had a decent amount of A’s, but with the number of B and C level grades, it took what could have been a perfect year down to a decent year.
#9-Rick Ware Racing #51 Chevy SS Rank Last Year: NA
Rick Ware Racing has a lot of one and two race sponsors, and, as is prone to happening, the grades for these schemes are varied. However, overall, there are a lot of A’s, and only one really bad grade. But with all the grades averaged, the final rank is much lower than it could have been.
#10-Richard Childress Racing #31 Chevy SS Rank Last Year: 12 of 24
The #31 has a lot of different schemes, which have been everything from bad to amazing. While no single scheme has received an F, the Okuma scheme did get a D grade, and the rest of the grades were all over the map in between. The final average is much lower than it could have been.
#11-Premium Motorsports #15 Chevy SS/Toyota Camry Rank Last Year: NA
Low T is a bad scheme, and Michael Waltrip’s D- Aaron’s scheme completely derailed an almost perfect season for paint schemes. The #15 had many one and two race sponsors, but they were almost all great. The #15 could have been higher, if not for the two low scores.
#12-Hendrick Motorsports #24 Chevy SS Rank Last Year: 19 of 24
NAPA has a much better look, the Kelly Blue Book and Mountain Dew schemes work very well. The Hooters scheme left a lot of room for improvement, and the Sun Energy scheme is still a disaster. It’s sad the Hooters, and Sun Energy derailed what could have been a great season for the #24.
#13-Leavine Family Racing #95 Chevy SS Rank Last Year: 17 of 24
WRL Contractors was awful. Race Wipes, and Devour Frozen Meals were mediocre at best. The rest of the schemes were great. Adding up and averaging the grades from all of the schemes takes what could have been a great season down to a mediocre season.
#14-Richard Childress Racing #3 Chevy SS Rank Last Year: 16 of 24
The grades for the #3 were all over the place, with a number of Dow schemes working well, to other Dow schemes not working as well. #3 cars tended to be over designed in 2017, and the lower ranking is evidence of this.
#15-Germain Racing #13 Chevy SS Rank Last Year: 23 of 24
Geico Military was the only blemish on the #13’s season. They had 3 A grades, Geico, Twisted Tea, and the Smokey Yunick Throwback. The branded camouflage scheme doesn’t work very well at all. It took a solid A down to a solid C.
#16-Hendrick Motorsports #88 Chevy SS Rank Last Year: 10 of 24
Axalta had a series of really bad schemes this year. Mountain Dew-S-A was meh, and the rest of the schemes were great. Every other scheme was great, but the law of averages strike again. A great season derailed by a few bad apples.
#17-Tommy Baldwin Racing #7 Chevy SS Rank Last Year: 18 of 24
Tommy Baldwin had 4 A schemes, but the other 4 schemes were either C or D schemes. Averaged out, they had a very low score this year.
#18-TriStar Motorsports #72 Chevy SS/Ford Fusion Rank Last Year: NA
I still hate the door numbers, but TriStar made it work. Many of the schemes range from decent to awful. They had many one and two race sponsors, but unlike Premium, weren’t able to make their schemes work as well, and the overall rankings took a major hit.
#19-Gaunt Bros Racing #96 Chevy SS Rank Last Year: NAA B+ and a C- for their two schemes do not add up to a great average. It was a meh year for a part-time team.
#20-Chip Ganassi Racing #42 Chevy SS Rank Last Year: 13 of 24
The phrase “all over the map” accuratly describes the year that the #42 had. They had everything from high graded beauty, to low level messes. The grades were averaged, and the final grade is a meh grade, to say the least.
#21-MBM Motorsports #66 Chevy SS Rank Last Year: NA
Three bad schemes, a meh scheme, and a great scheme add up to a low ranking. Carl Long’s return to the Cup Series had a really blah season, both aesthetically, and on track.
#22-Star Com Racing #00 Chevy SS Rank Last Year: NA
A single C rated scheme for this late season entry by Derrike Cope. I don’t hate the scheme, but I don’t love it either. It’s a very forgettable scheme, that could have been a lot better.
#23-Hendrick Motorsports #48 Chevy SS Rank Last Year: 21 of 24
The #48 was either feast or famine. The schemes earned either F’s or A’s, but more F’s than A’s average out to a D grade average, the worst of 2017, both for Chevy’s teams and the Cup Series as a whole.
So that is Chevy’s rankings for 2017. Next Week, the Driver Suit Blog Paint Scheme Review Committee will release their rankings for Ford.