The Driver Suit Blog-Auto Racing Collides With…Golf?

By David G. Firestone

I’m not a golfer. I don’t play gold, though I do watch The Masters every year. You know who does play golf in their off-duty hours? Many race car drivers play golf. The quiet course, and calming effect that the game has is a great way to calm down from the noise of the race track.

Golf companies like to use cross-promotion to help promote their products. From sponsoring celebrity players and tournaments, to sponsoring race cars, golf companies understand that people love the sport.

Founded in 1979, TaylorMade first made a 12-degree loft metalwood. By 1997, the company had made millions, and Adidas bought the company. By 2006, they became the second golf company to earn over a billion dollars. In 2005, the company focus shifted to taking over the driver market, which has proven to be a great move. One such driver is the R1, which was introduced in 2013. To promote the release, this R1 Simpson karting suit was made, for some promotion that has been lost to history.When I first saw the suit, I thought that it was for when Chad Head was sponsored by TaylorMade for the 2015 Circle K NHRA Winternationals. I knew it wasn’t a driver suit, but I thought that it was for promotional purposes. After looking into it, I realized that the car was running a TaylorMade Areoburner scheme, and Head was wearing his normal suit, made by Stand 21. While I have found evidence showing that TaylorMade did some golf cart racing, I haven’t been able to find proof that this suit was used in a golf cart race. This suit exists, but for what, I guess I’ll never know.This non-Nomex suit shows some wear with scuff marks and stains.

The collar is of the standard variety, and has a TaylorMade logo heat-pressed into it.The cowl has a Simpson non-Nomex warranty tag, as well as a tag with washing instructions.The upper chest has no adornment to speak of. The front torso has a large orange and green R1 logo heat pressed into it.The suit has an orange belt, below the white torso, and the belt is unadorned.The orange legs have a white TAYLORMADE logo and wordmark heat-pressed into the left leg, in television position. For some reason, the right leg is unadorned.The shoulders have white epaulets, outlined in silver, and aside from SIMPSON logos, are unadorned. The sleeves are in green, and the right sleeve has TAYLORMADE TUNED PERFORMANCE heat-pressed into it, though the placement could be considered television position for open-wheel cars. The left sleeve is unadorned. The back of the suit shows some light scuff marks on the white material.The orange collar has no adornment on the back.The back torso shows some light scuff marks on the white material.While I get the idea of golf companies using racing to help promote their products, I would still love to know what this suit was used for. For most of my collection, racing and non-racing, I at least have the knowledge of what this item was used for. This is one of the few items where I don’t know where, when, and why it was used. Sometimes in life you can get this information, sometimes you can’t.

Next week, I’m doing an article on the US Open.

The Driver Suit Blog-Bosch-More Than Just Spark Plugs

By David G. Firestone

Founded by Robert Bosch in 1886, Robert Bosch GmbH is the leading supplier of automotive parts in the world. Better known simply as Bosch, the company also makes building supplies, and industrial products. Bosch is generally accepted as making the first commercially viable spark plug in 1902, and had a patent for one in 1898. Bosch currently owns 440 subsidiaries, in addition to the auto parts business.

Bosch in Mexico has 3 different locations, the first in Mexico City, the second in Mexicali, and the third in Juarez. There are also a number of mechanics operating under the Bosch name. Recently, the company celebrated the 20th Anniversary of making platinum spark plugs in Mexico. To commemorate the event, the company had this cotton jumpsuit was made.The suit shows no real use, and is in great condition.

The collar has a button snap, with a Mexican flag on the right side, and a German flag on the left.The suit is made by Tejidos y Acabados Industriales S.A. de C.V.. Their manufacturer tag is located in the cowl.The chest has a large BOSCH logo, and four patches, which read BUJIAS which translates to plugs, FRENOS which translates to brakes, ALTERNADORES which translates to Alternators, and for some reason, FUEL INJECTORS in English, which would translate to inyectores de combustible in Spanish.The suit has no beltThe blue legs have white pockets with red closures on them.The shoulders have red epaulets, with Robert Bosch GmbH logos and AUTOMOTRIZ, which is Spanish for automotive. The sleeves have patches. On the right sleeve, the upper patches have REGULADORES which translates to regulators, and BATERIAS which translates to batteries, and the lower sleeve has FILTROS which translates to filters in television position. The left sleeve has a black patch, with a spark plug design with 20 ANOS DE BUJAIS DE PLANTO embroidered into it. That translates to “20 years of platinum sparks.” There is a second patch with CABLES,and a third patch, with MARCHAS, which translates to Marches, which is an automotive term in Mexico. The back of the suit shows no wear.The neck is in red fabric and has no adornment on the back of the neck.The back torso has a BOSCH RACING TEAM logo embroidered into it.Bosch continues to be a force in automotive, industrial and home improvement technology. Being the largest auto part company, and a major supplier of industrial equipment and power tools, they are invested in most industries in the world. They are a well-known sponsor of auto racing as well, sponsoring events and cars.

Next week, I’ll discuss some IndyCar race-worn boots.

The Driver Suit Blog-How I Spent My Summer Break

By David G. Firestone

‘Tis the beginning of August, my vacation has ended, and I’m back to normal on The Driver Suit Blog. I’m rested, refreshed, and ready for anything. I had a great vacation! I really do love doing The Driver Suit Blog, but I need a break, and nothing beats July in Chicago!

The first week was more or less spend getting ready for the Route 66 Nationals. I had to do a few things to get ready, but then the weekend finally came and I went, enjoyed myself, and had a great time with my friends!

What I love about having time off is that I can work on side projects, and not have to worry about time constraints, which is an issue, due to both The Driver Suit Blog and my works schedule. I was able to get a lot of work done without interruptions.

Much of my time was spent working on box break videos,

beer review videos,

soda review videos,

and thunderstorm videos.

These videos are somewhat time consuming, but just being able to sit down and work on these videos can be a challenge sometimes. But I did what I wanted to do, and I got my videos done, and I’m happy with them.

I also got to spend some more time hanging out with my friends, which due to schedule conflicts isn’t easy to do. I had a great time with them, I’ve known them since high school, and we are still close after all these years.

All in all I needed the time to decompress and relax. Now that we are done with that, back to normal! Next week, I’ll discuss a Bosch promotional suit.

The Driver Suit Blog-Introduction to Sports Memorabilia-My Autographed Baseball Collection

For my last Friday Feature on vacation, I present my autographed baseball collection!  I’ll be back next week!

The Driver Suit Blog-The Crown Of The Queen Of Pro Stock.

By David G. Firestone

She has 22 national event wins, 2 Pro Stock Championships, is a former junior dragster champion, and even has had a Disney Channel movie made about her life. She is the 35th woman to win an NHRA event, the first woman to win a Pro Stock race, and the first woman to win a Pro Stock championship. Yet Erica Enders-Stevens isn’t flashy, or uptight. She remains humble and devoted to racing.

Erica started her racing career in 1992, in the first Junior Dragster season. She would win the second race of her career. After earning 38 wins in Junior Dragster, she moved up to Super Gas, earning a win in Super Gas, at Houston, her home town track. She joined the Pro Stock ranks in 2005 with Cagnazzi Racing. She was the first woman to qualify in the top half of the field, made the final round in Chicago, and won more rounds than every other woman in the history of the category COMBINED!

2011 saw Erica beat Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kurt Busch in the first round of the Gatornationals, and set a new Pro Stock speed record that same event. At the 2012 Route 66 Nationals, she won her first Pro Stock Wally, and her boyfriend Richie Stevens Jr. proposed to her. 2012 saw her win three more races. 2013 saw her win two races, the last with Cagnazzi Racing.

In 2014, she joined Elite Motorsports, and that could be considered her breakout year. She had 6 wins, the most of her career up to that point, and the most of any woman in the class up to that point. She also won the K&N Horsepower Challenge, and earned her first Pro Stock championship. 2015 would see her win her second Pro Stock Championship, this time winning 9 races, the most of any woman in a single season in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, and solidifying her rank as second on the list of most wins by a female driver with 22.

2016 saw a shift in Pro Stock equipment rules, the first since 1982. Elite made the decision to switch from Chevy to Dodge, with disastrous results. While KB Racing thrived, Elite struggled, Erica went from a championship driver, to a driver who struggled to win rounds. Her frustration was visible, but she kept on fighting. 2017 has seen her return to Chevy horsepower, and she has had a career resurgence.

The first championship came in 2014. Her crew rallied around her, and helped her win six races that season. During an event win, and the championship celebration, a crew member was issued these two win hats.The first hat, a yellow event win hat is in great condition.The left side has 2014 on the brim, and the PRO STOCK WINNER patch sewn into it.The back of the hat has an NHRA logo embroidered into it. On driver hats, the track location is on the Velcro closure, but on crew hats, this is left blank.The right side features the official Mello Yello Drag Racing Series slogan “GO ON YELLO embroidered into it.The top of the cap has black eyelets, which are for keeping the wearer cool, and a black squatchee, which is the button on top of the cap.The inside of the cap is in good condition, and the under-brim has GO ON YELLO heat-pressed into it in yellow ink on black material.2014 saw Erica Enders-Stevens win her first Pro Stock championship. Surrounded by crew members and family, she celebrated with her over-sized Wally Championship trophy. During that celebration, one of her crew members wore this white championship hat. The white hat is possibly inspired by John Force’s tendency to wear white hats. I got her to sign it at the Route 66 NationalsThe white hat is in great condition, with Erica signature on the brim in black Sharpie.Like the race winner’s hat, the left side has 2014 on the brim, but this one has the PRO STOCK CHAMPION patch sewn into it.The back of the cap has an NHRA logo embroidered into it, and CHAMPION embroidered on the Velcro closure.As with the race winner’s hat, the right side features the official Mello Yello Drag Racing Series slogan “GO ON YELLO embroidered into it.The top of the cap has the black eyelets, and the black squatchee.The inside of the cap is in good condition, and the under-brim has GO ON YELLO heat-pressed into it in yellow ink on black material, same with the yellow hat.Erica Enders-Stevens has had a great career, and has broken ground for women in the NHRA, even when it seems that is no longer possible. Her career is rebounding after a bad season, having won the New England Nationals at Epping, her first event since 2015. She loves what she does, and cares deeply about her craft.

Next week I’ll discuss my baseball memorabilia collection.

The Driver Suit Blog-A Weekend At The Races Is A Weekend Well Spent!

By David G. Firestone

An annual summer tradition of mine is to use all of my vacation time in July. Another annual tradition is to go to the NHRA Route 66 Nationals. I’m a drag racing fan, and I love to attend the Route 66 Nationals every year. It’s fun to go from Chicago to Joliet and watch drag racing. One of the NHRA’s main selling points is that “every ticket is a pit pass.” In NASCAR, IndyCar, and Formula 1, pit passes are two things: extra and expensive. In the NHRA, everyone can see the cars up close, and meet the drivers.

When racing comes to town, drivers will do a number of signings in the area. Normally, my schedule doesn’t allow me to do these, but this year I had the opportunity to do a John Force and Robert Hight signing at an Advance Auto Parts in Chicago. The team brought a show car, gave out Monster samples,and I got to meet 16 time Funny Car champion John Force and Robert Hight, and got two signed hero cards. On Saturday, my long time buddy Matt and I went to Route 66. There were quite a few classic race cars there,

Digital Camera

Digital Camera

and the racing was spectacular. Matt had never been to a racing event before, so I had to show him the ropes. I did get him some autographs. I was very into getting autographs this year, because I had made a book of my racing selfies, and I tried to get every driver I met. I wound up getting a lot of them including Hector Arana, Jack Beckman, Antron Brown, John Force, Robert Hight, Clay Millican and Leah Pritcett. I also got Gary “Mr Norms” Dyer, Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen, Connie Kaletta, and Arnie “The Farmer” Bestwick.I bought a championship cap from a crew member of Erica Enders-Stevens when she won the 2014 Pro Stock championship. I was fortunate enough to get her to autograph it…but more on that last week. I also brought a Riley’s Kids pit crew shirt, and got it siged by Andrew Hines, Clay Millican, Matt Hagan, Robert Hight, John Force, and Ed Krawiec. While I was getting the Leah Pritchett autograph, John Schnatter, better known as Papa John, founder of Papa John Pizza started signing autographs, and I got one, and a selfie with him! I also got a selife with Matt Hagan on Saturday.Drag racing artist Kenny Youngblood was giving out custom prints, so I got one of the legendary Chi-Town Hustler. I also have an older Cruz Pedregon print from a few years ago.I also got an Infinite Hero challenge coin, this one has some significance behind it, since Terry Chandler, who funds Jack Beckman and Tommy Johnson Jr. passed away from brain cancer on the 4th. I’ve never discussed this on The Driver Suit Blog, but I’m not a fan of slanted logos on the sides of Funny Cars, but when it comes to Cruz Pedregon’s Snap On Funny Car that was raced at Route 66, I can’t help but be impressed. The logo is angled so that when the body is raised, the logo is perfectly visible. It does look cool.As for the racing action, it was great like always! Then again, a terrible day at a drag racing event beats a great day anywhere else! I had a great meal to boot! Saturday was a lot of fun!Sunday came, and I returned to Route 66, this time with Vananrd, another long time friend of mine. The racing was great, and the pit area was fun too. I did get to meet Coutrney Force, and get a selfie, as well as Jack Beckman and Jim Campbell. I had a great time watching the racing with great friends, and that’s what being a racing fan is all about.

Next week, I’ll examine the Erica Enders-Stevens caps a bit more closely.

The Driver Suit Blog-Introduction to Sports Memorabilia-My Autograph Collection

Since I’m on vacation, I’m going to post a couple videos for Friday Features. This is the first one, based on my autograph collection.