The Driver Suit Blog-2018 Paint Scheme Leaderboard Part 2-Ford

By David G. Firestone

The Driver Suit Blog Paint Scheme Review Committee has met again, and after the latest round of negotiations, meetings, and belly rubs, we have released our rankings on Ford’s paint scheme ratings for 2018. Here we go:

1. Michael McDowell #34 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes:14

Rank Last Year: 10th of 14

GPA: 4.00

14 schemes, 14 A grades, need I say more? Ok, I will say more. Michael McDowell had nothing but schemes that looked great. While his on-track results sadly don’t match how great his schemes were, he had a great looking year.

2. Kurt Busch #41 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 6

Rank Last Year: 2nd of 14

GPA: 3.88

Sadly, the Slate Water Heaters scheme took what could have been a perfect year down to a 3.88. Still, an A- average still isn’t bad. Kurt had a lot of great schemes this year.

4. Ryan Blaney #12 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 15

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 3.84

The new Menard’s template looks amazing, and it was used to great effect on the #12. Sadly, the Quaker State was the turd in the punch bowl here. Like Slate Water Heaters, this scheme to a solid 4.0 GPA down to a 3.84 GPA. An A- is still good, but it’s not a solid A.

5. Rick Ware Racing #52 Chevy Camaro/Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 5

Rank Last Year:N/A

GPA: 3.80

A series of different drivers raced a series of different paint schemes in 2018. All of these schemes were good, some better than others. The Live Hotel and Casino and Jacob Companies entries could have used some work, but as a whole, a very solid year.

6. Kevin Harvick #4 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 10

Rank Last Year: 4th of 14

GPA: 3.73

Busch Outdoors was a bad move, and the ¾ + ¼ Mobil 1 and Busch scheme didn’t help an otherwise solid scheme season. Many of the schemes were rehashes of great schemes from last year. Bottom line is that Kevin Harvick had some great schemes in 2018

7. Paul Menard #21 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 19

Rank Last Year: 1st of 14

GPA: 3.72

The new Menard’s template looks amazing, and it was used to great effect on the #21. Sadly, the Quaker State was the turd in the punch bowl here. Like Slate Water Heaters, this scheme to a solid 4.0 GPA down to a 3.72 GPA. An A- is still good, but it’s not a solid A.

8. Roush Racing #6 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 13

Rank Last Year: 7th of 14

GPA: 3.46

Performance Plus and Ford EcoBoost always looks bad. Oscar Meyer didn’t look great. Constatine Sealing, Advocare Rehydrate, Wyndham Rewards Patriotic look even worse. NESN and a pinkwashing scheme drag the GPA down even more. The #6 had a lot of great schemes this year, but a lot of not great schemes, so they look even worse.

9. David Ragan #38 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 16

Rank Last Year: 6th of 14

GPA: 3.38

Earthwater,FR8 Auctions and 1000 were awful, as always. Connor Co was slightly better, but not by much. The rest of the schemes used the Front Row template, which is very effective in delivering a unique look, that isn’t over designed.

10. Clint Bowyer #14 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 19

Rank Last Year: 3rd of 14

GPA: 3.32

The Hall of Fans and Tony Stewart Fan club schemes weren’t great. Wix was even worse. There were also a lot of schemes that could have been solid A schemes, with some minor adjustments. Clint Bowyer had a good year, but he could have had a great year in 2018.

11. MBM Motorsports #66 Chevy Camaro/Ford Fusion/Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 12

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 3.27

The Rewards.com, and the Rewards.com throwback weren’t the best. Other than those two, there were a lot of A, A-, and B+ schemes this year. But the numbers don’t lie, and the average is a 3.27. In years past, this could have been a higher rank, but this year isn’t a high rank.

12. Brad Keselowski #2 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 14

Rank Last Year: 5th of 14

GPA: 3.13

The Penske template can be very tricky to work with, in terms of color schemes. Auto Trader was awful, as it always is, and there were a few other schemes that needed work. Other than that, the schemes as a whole were great.

13. Aric Almirola #10 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 11

Rank Last Year: 13th of 14

GPA: 3.03

The Waffle House, the Smithfield Patriotic, and the Smithfield Anytime schemes were bad. Helping Hungry Homes could have been better but it wasn’t awful. The rest of the schemes were quite good, but, as always, the bad drags down the good.

14. Rick Ware Racing #51 Chevy Camaro/Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 22

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 2.95

The #51’s schemes were all over the place. Some schemes were amazing, some were awful. The Jacob Companies had more different schemes this year than any singular company. The averages are what they are, and the rank is what it is.

15. Matt DiBenedetto #32 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 16

Rank Last Year: 14th of 14

GPA: 2.91

Can Am/Wholey is a bold and unique look. Too bad it’s not a good look. Add in that the scheme was reused for a political sponsorship for Shawn Moody, a candidate for the governor of Maine. Add in a pinkwashing scheme, and some awful poker schemes, and you have a low GPA for 2018.

16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 10

Rank Last Year: 12th of 14

GPA: 2.74

Much more bad than good for Ricky this year. Little Hug Fruit Barrels, Sunny D, a pinkwashing and two bad Ford schemes were the lead here. Fastenal, the Fastenal patriotic, and the John Deere throwback were great, but this was not a good year for Ricky’s paint scheme.

17. Ricky Benton Racing #92 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 2

Rank Last Year:N/A

GPA: 2.50

The Carquest/Black’s tire scheme was bad. It was clearly designed by two different people with different ideas on how the car should look. The template was recycled for the Advance Auto P

18. Joey Logano #22 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 7

Rank Last Year: 11th of 14

GPA: 1.95

Joey Logano is champion, and he looked horrible for most of the year. The Shell/Pennzoil, Auto Trader, and AAA schemes, were their usual ugly messes, and while Pennzoil was a high point, and the throwback a higher point, the fact that the Cup Champion can’t even get a solid 2.00 GPA for 2018 says a lot.

Next week, the Toyota Leaderboard.

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