The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Tracker-January 9, 2019

By David G. Firestone

STAR COM RACING #00

Landon Cassill #00 StarCom Fiber Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, Yellow, white, black and silver with numerous stripes and designs on sides. D+

CHIP GANASSI RACING #1

Kurt Busch #1 Monster Energy Chevy CamaroNo change. A

TEAM PENSKE #2

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford MustangNo change. A

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #3

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, black with red, white, and silver wave pattern. B+

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Gold Chevy Camaro-New scheme for 2019, gold with black and red stripe on bottom. A

Austin Dillon #3 AAA Chevy CamaroNo change. A

STEWART-HAAS RACING #4

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Ford MustangNo change. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmy Johns Ford MustangNew scheme for 2018, similar to 2018 scheme, but with added stripes on sides. A-

Kevin Harvick #4 Mobil 1 Ford FusionNew scheme for 2019, black with gray flames. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang-New sponsor for 2019, green sides, white hood and roof, curve designs on sides. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Light Ford MustangNo change. A

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #8

Daniel Hemric #8 Bass Pro Shops/CAT Gold Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2019, same as #3 gold. A

Daniel Hemric #8 Liberty National Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, much more toned down. A

Daniel Hemric #8 Caterpillar Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, yellow front, fades to honeycomb on black rear. A

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #9

Chase Elliott #9 NAPA Chevy CamaroNo change. B+

Chase Elliott #9 Mountain Dew Chevy CamaroNo change. A

STEWART-HAAS RACING #10

Aric Almirola #10 Smithfield Foods Ford MustangNew scheme for 2019, slash patterns have been expanded. A

TEAM PENSKE #12

Ryan Blaney #12 PPG Ford MustangNo change. A

STEWART-HAAS RACING #14

Clint Bowyer #14 Peak Ford MustangNew sponsor for 2019, black, and blue with curve elements. C

Clint Bowyer #14 Blue Def Ford Mustang-New sponsor for 2018, same as 2019 Peak, but white replaces black. C

Clint Bowyer #14 Rush’s Truck Stops Ford MustangNo change. A

ROUSH-FENWAY RACING #17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fifth-Third Bank Ford MustangNo change. B-

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Ford MustangNew scheme for 2019, black added to sides, along with hourglass design. B-

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #24

William Byron #24 Axalta Chevy CamaroNo change. A

William Byron #24 UniFirst Chevy CamaroNo change. B-.

William Byron #24 Liberty University Chevy CamaroNo change. A

William Byron #24 Hertz Chevy CamaroNo change. A

GO FAS RACING #32

Corey Lajoie #32 Keen Parts/Corvette Parts Ford MustangNew scheme for 2019, black with red and silver stripes on sides. B-

Corey LaJoie #32 Schluter Systems Ford MustangNew scheme for 2019, orange with black designs. A

RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS #43

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Air Force Chevy CamaroNo change. A

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #88

Alex Bowman #88 LLumar Window Film Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, white front and top, orange and red rear, wave pattern in between. C

Alex Bowman #88 Valvoline Chevy CamaroNo change. A

Alex Bowman #88 Nationwide Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, blue hood and roof, white side, blue stripe across bottom. A

LEAVINE FAMILY RACING #95

Matt DiBenedetto #95 Procore Chevy Toyota CamryNo change. F

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The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Grades-January 5, 2019

By David G. Firestone

Landon Cassill #00 StarCom Fiber Chevy Camaro-The new stripe design doesn’t work here, even with a great color scheme. The cluttered design doesn’t look good, and earns a D+.

Kurt Busch #1 Monster Energy Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Chevy Camaro-Get rid of the silver, and this would be a solid A scheme, but with the silver, this scheme gets a B+.

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Gold Chevy Camaro-Metallic gold and black is a great color scheme, and the overall design is great. I can’t say anything bad about this scheme, so I won’t. A

Austin Dillon #3 AAA Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmy Johns Ford Mustang-The new stripes are visually distracting, but aren’t as bad as they could be. It’s not a bad scheme, just a step down from last year’s scheme. A-

Kevin Harvick #4 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion-Black with gray flames is a great look. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang-A good look with a great color scheme will always earn an A.

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Light Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Daniel Hemric #8 Bass Pro Shops/CAT Gold Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as #3, same A grade.

Daniel Hemric #8 Liberty National Chevy Camaro-This new toned down scheme is so much better than the overly cluttered design used last year. This is a great design. Add in a good shade of yellow to boot, and you have a great scheme all around. A

Daniel Hemric #8 Caterpillar Chevy Camaro-This scheme is an improvement on the Mini Excavators scheme used last year, and I like this scheme a lot. It has a great design, and a great color scheme, and that will always earn an A.

Chase Elliott #9 NAPA Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same B+ grade.

Chase Elliott #9 Mountain Dew Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Aric Almirola #10 Smithfield Foods Ford MustangNew scheme for 2019, slash patterns have been expanded. A

Ryan Blaney #12 PPG Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Clint Bowyer #14 Rush’s Truck Stops Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fifth-Third Bank Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same B- grade.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Ford Mustang-When used with the right color scheme, hourglass designs can work well, this isn’t the right color scheme. It’s not horrible, but this isn’t great. I’ll give it a B-.

William Byron #24 Axalta Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

William Byron #24 UniFirst Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same B- grade.

William Byron #24 Liberty University Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

William Byron #24 Hertz Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Corey Lajoie #32 Keen Parts/Corvette Parts Ford Mustang-Keen Parts had a great design last year, but this new design is over done. Add in the pointless addition of black, and an A scheme got take down to a B-.

Corey LaJoie #32 Schluter Systems Ford Mustang-This is a great shade of orange, and the black designs work very well. It’s a great look. A

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Air Force Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Alex Bowman #88 Valvoline Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Alex Bowman #88 Nationwide Chevy Camaro-This new scheme is a smooth, simple look, and it has a great color scheme. This gets an A.

Matt DiBenedetto #95 Procore Chevy Toyota Camry-Same scheme as last year, same F grade.

The Driver Suit Blog-Wheel Reviews-The Racing Strain

By David G. Firestone

For the first of four Wheel Reviews in 2019, I am going to focus on The Racing Strain. Released in 1936, The Racing Strain was written by Dorothy Davenport, Betty Burbridge, and Willis Kent, who also is the producer. None of the writers were credited for their work. The Racing Strain was directed by Jerome Storm, and was produced by Willis Kent Productions, and distributed by Maxim Productions. It is a public domain movie, with a run time just under 58 minutes

The movie starts with some racing footage, which appears to be shot from several completely different locations. There is a roll over crash, and driver Jack Westcott is injured. Westcott is confronted by his son, Bill Westcott, who may be played by his real son, and the elder Westcott claims he is “all right” and “he will be back of the track soon, and promptly dies, his son screaming and crying over his body.

The scene then shifts 10 years later, to a dune buggy, racing through the desert. Bill Westcott has established himself as a great race car driver. As Westcott and King Kelly drives through the desert, he comes across a stranded car, occupied by Marian Martin. It’s revealed that Kelly has quit drinking after being suspended from racing. Martin is a racing fan, who takes a liking to Kelly. There is a really stupid and pointless scene with Martin’s chaffeur, Togo, who is apparently scared of cows.

Westcott and Togo tow the car with Kelly, Martin, and Aunt Judy to a gas station. Its revealed that Martin is the daughter of a wealthy oil magnate. The scene shifts an unknown amount of time, where the Martins pull in to a gas station, and Marian sees Kelly, and they hit it off. It’s revealed that Kelly has taken the job to help get his racing career back on track, while Westcott is in school, and wants to be a pilot.

The scene shifts again to Westcott, who is piloting a plane, even though he can’t be older that 16. He handles the plane quite well. The two airplane michanics are amazed by his skill. The scene shifts to the Martins, who are reading a newspaper with the giant headline WILD KING KELLY REINSTATED, which is apparently a big story. It’s mentioned that Kelly needs to say sober or he’ll be banned for life.

The next scene is at the track, where Westcott is adding to a scrapbook. Kelly has him look at his race car, which is the Gilmore Lion Club Special, sponsored by Gilmore Oil. Another racer, Speed Hall, is getting his car ready at the same time. He talks with Marian, who he is clearly in love with. Westcott and Kelly get his car on track, and begin racing each other. It’s at this point that Westcott’s racing skills become apparent, though he has reservations, after his father’s death. Westcott chickens out, Speed mocks him, which leads to a fight. Togo and Westcott start a friendship.

Kelly and Marian go on a date at the amusement park, which is accompanied with the most annoying background music possible. Westcott and Togo go for a flight in an airplane. This scene also established that Togo is a stereotypical Asian. Back to the amusement park, where the music is slightly less awful, for the love birds on an airplane ride, the back to the amusement park, then back to the airport, where Togo does jiu jitsu on one of the mechanics.

Then, the movie shifts forward to Togo, who is stil woozy from the airplane ride, and Westcott, sitting in a car,, and Marian and Kelly dancing to dubbed music, which clearly wasn’t the music being played during filming. The date ends mercifully at 1 AM, when Kelly and Westcott meet up with their respective drivers.

Speed Hall, who I had forgotten was even in the movie at this point, is scheming with his sponsors, trying to stop Kelly from racing. It’s decided that to get to Kelly, they have to use Westcott. At the track, Kelly is handed a letter, frantically checks the time, and consults the racing schedule. He borrows a car, and drives away.

He drives to a hotel in Tiajuana, leaving the note behind. Marian finds he note. The note was written by Rose Westcott, who is demanding the return of his son. Marian, realizing where he’s gone, races to get him. Rose is revealed to be a selfish drunk, who only cares about himself. She orders a whiskey and the waiter brings two shots. Kelly falls off the wagon, with a little help from Rose. Marian and Westcott fly to save Kelly. Rose is revealed to be a worker for his sponsor, who drugs Kelly, so he can’t race.

Westcott and Marian find Kelly, and take him out of the bar. The races have started, and Kelly is flown back to the airport, and driven to the track, Legion Ascot Speedway. Kelly is clearly in no condition to race. Westcott decides he’s got no choice, climbs in the car, and gets ready to race. Westcott has trouble getting started.

Westcott races, haunted by the memories of his dad’s death. Westcott moves his way through the 40 lap race. A crash is shown, though the race continues. As the laps wind down, Westcott and Speed race for the lead. Kelly and Marian watch nervously. Kelly wins, Marian reveals that Mr Martin is her dad, and the movie ends.

The movie itself is decent. The plot is good, but there are a lot of problems. The movie just ends after the big race. Kelly is somehow never noticed in the crowd. It’s never explained how or why Westcott has access to fly a plane at his age. It’s also odd that while Speed Hall, who is supposed to be the main villan, is opposed to taking out King Kelly, yet his sponsors have no qualms about potentially ending his career. The story is decent, but there is a lot of blandness. Togo is in the movie just to teach Westcott how to do a take down, other than that, he’s useless.

My final grade here is a D+. It’s less of a racing movie, and more of a movie with racing in it. The subplots aren’t great, and some don’t add to the movie. I just can’t enjoy this.

Next week, a movie from the 1940’s.

The Driver Suit Blog-Throwback Thursday-1972 Grumpy’s Toy X Chevrolet Vega

1972 Grumpy’s Toy IX Chevrolet Vega

Grumpy’s Toy IX was owned and driven by Malvern, Pennsylvania’s own Bill Jenkins This is one of a long line of Grumpy’s Toy cars. This Vega Pro Stock uses white with red accents. It’s a nice look. Red and white is a great color scheme, and it works very well with the design scheme. I’m going to give this the A it deserves.

The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Tracker-January 2, 2019

By David G. Firestone

STAR COM RACING #00

Landon Cassill #00 StarCom Fiber Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, Yellow, white, black and silver with numerous stripes and designs on sides. D+

CHIP GANASSI RACING #1

Kurt Busch #1 Monster Energy Chevy CamaroNo change. A

TEAM PENSKE #2

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford MustangNo change. A

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #3

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, black with red, white, and silver wave pattern. B+

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Gold Chevy Camaro-New scheme for 2019, gold with black and red stripe on bottom. A

Austin Dillon #3 AAA Chevy CamaroNo change. A

STEWART-HAAS RACING #4

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Ford MustangNo change. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmy Johns Ford MustangNew scheme for 2018, similar to 2018 scheme, but with added stripes on sides. A-

Kevin Harvick #4 Mobil 1 Ford FusionNew scheme for 2019, black with gray flames. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang-New sponsor for 2019, green sides, white hood and roof, curve designs on sides. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Light Ford MustangNo change. A

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #8

Daniel Hemric #8 Bass Pro Shops/CAT Gold Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2019, same as #3 gold. A

Daniel Hemric #8 Liberty National Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, much more toned down. A

Daniel Hemric #8 Caterpillar Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, yellow front, fades to honeycomb on black rear. A

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #9

Chase Elliott #9 NAPA Chevy CamaroNo change. B+

Chase Elliott #9 Mountain Dew Chevy CamaroNo change. A

STEWART-HAAS RACING #10

Aric Almirola #10 Smithfield Foods Ford MustangNew scheme for 2019, slash patterns have been expanded. A

TEAM PENSKE #12

Ryan Blaney #12 PPG Ford MustangNo change. A

STEWART-HAAS RACING #14

Clint Bowyer #14 Peak Ford MustangNew sponsor for 2019, black, and blue with curve elements. C

Clint Bowyer #14 Blue Def Ford Mustang-New sponsor for 2018, same as 2019 Peak, but white replaces black. C

Clint Bowyer #14 Rush’s Truck Stops Ford MustangNo change. A

ROUSH-FENWAY RACING #17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fifth-Third Bank Ford MustangNo change. B-

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Ford MustangNew scheme for 2019, black added to sides, along with hourglass design. B-

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #24

William Byron #24 Axalta Chevy CamaroNo change. A

William Byron #24 UniFirst Chevy CamaroNo change. B-.

William Byron #24 Liberty University Chevy CamaroNo change. A

William Byron #24 Hertz Chevy CamaroNo change. A

GO FAS RACING #32

Corey Lajoie #32 Keen Parts/Corvette Parts Ford MustangNew scheme for 2019, black with red and silver stripes on sides. B-

Corey LaJoie #32 Schluter Systems Ford MustangNew scheme for 2019, orange with black designs. A

RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS #43

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Air Force Chevy CamaroNo change. A

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #88

Alex Bowman #88 LLumar Window Film Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, white front and top, orange and red rear, wave pattern in between. C

Alex Bowman #88 Valvoline Chevy CamaroNo change. A

Alex Bowman #88 Nationwide Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, blue hood and roof, white side, blue stripe across bottom. A

LEAVINE FAMILY RACING #95

Matt DiBenedetto #95 Procore Chevy Toyota CamryNo change. F

The Driver Suit Blog-2018 Paint Scheme Leaderboard Part 4-The Grand Finale!

By David G. Firestone

The Driver Suit Blog Paint Scheme Review Committee has had our final meeting. Lucy the Beagle, Alejandro the Cat, and myself had a lengthy discussion that ended in the final ranking of paint schemes for the 2018 Cup Series. We worked hard, and now we will enjoy some treats, a nap while you read the final leaderboard.

1. Michael McDowell #34 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes:14

Rank Last Year: 29th of 43

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. Beard Oil Motorsports #62 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes:1

Rank Last Year: 1st of 43

GPA: 4.00

One singular scheme raced for four races, and it has a great design. It’s bold, but not over designed. It’s a great look.

3. Kurt Busch #41 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 6

Rank Last Year: 3rd of 43

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. Obaika Racing #97 Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 4

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 3.82

Victor Obaika, NASCAR’s first African team owner, had a lot of great looks this year. While The Excel Therapy/Maximum Off-Road was a little over done, this new team had a very solid year, appearance-wise.

6. 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.

7. Kevin Harvick #4 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 10

Rank Last Year: 7th of 43

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

8. Paul Menard #21 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 19

Rank Last Year: 2nd of 43

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.

9. Jimmie Johnson #48 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 6

Rank Last Year: 43rd of 43

GPA: 3.61

Jimmie had 5 solid A schemes this year, which looked great, and weren’t over designed. Sadly, The Jimmie Johnson Foundation scheme was awful. The Jimmie Johnson Foundation was an ugly, over designed mess, with a bad color scheme, as opposed to the other schemes raced. This scheme was so bad, it took Jimmie’s GPA from 4 to 3.61.

10. Jamie McMurray #1 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 16

Rank Last Year: 14th of 43

GPA: 3.48

The schemes were all passable schemes, but the DC Solar patriotic schemes, the Clover schemes, and DC Solar weren’t great, and dragged Jamie’s GPA down to just above a B+. Cessna, and McDonald’s were great.

11. Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 20

Rank Last Year: 27th of 43

GPA: 3.47

The STP, Mile 22, and Food Lion Feeds schemes were slightly over designed. and World Wide Technology was mediocre at best, and Kroger Red, White and Barbecue was a disaster. Other than that, Darrell Wallace Jr. had a great season, paint scheme-wise. He had a lot of great looks, and a really great throwback.

12. Roush Racing #6 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 13

Rank Last Year: 25th of 43

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.

13. Premium Motorsports #55 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 7

Rank Last Year: 11th of 43

GPA: 3.40

Another potential 4.0 scheme ruined by a series of bad grades, including Nevada Donor, the car the following week, and Black Riffle Coffee. Adirondack Tree Surgeons was horrible. Averaging out the grades gives the #55 a 3.40.

14. David Ragan #38 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 16

Rank Last Year: 24th of 43

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.

15. William Byron #24 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 10

Rank Last Year: 20th of 43

GPA: 3.37

The year started off promising, with 4 A schemes introduced at the beginning of the season. There was a definite drop off as the season progressed, with Uni First, and Hertz, though Hertz would redeem themselves. Then came the disaster that is Axalta/Imron, and that was what dragged the GPA down even more.

16. Clint Bowyer #14 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes:

19 Rank Last Year: 4th of 43

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.

17. Erik Jones #20 Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 13

Rank Last Year: 30th of 43

GPA: 3.30

Doosan and SportClips weren’t great, though SportClips would have a great Throwback scheme. Toyota’s scheme was awful. Sirius and the second Circle K weren’t bad, with room for improvement. The rest of the schemes were great, but the bad balanced out the good in the end.

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

Number of Schemes: 12

Rank Last Year: 38th of 43

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.

19. Austin Dillon #3 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 17

Rank Last Year: 21st of 43

GPA: 3.20

A lot of great, a lot of meh, and some awful. Scooper Cat Litter was awful. American Ethanol, Symbicort, and Dow/Molykote were mediocre. Dow Killz needed work, and while the rest of the schemes were solid, the bad drags down the good here.

20. Kyle Busch #18 Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 15

Rank Last Year: 12th of 43

GPA: 3.20

Snickers Almond, Snickers Intense, and Interstate Batteries were the only black marks here. Kyle had 15 schemes, 12 are A schemes, 3 are F schemes. When everything was averaged, Kyle got a 3.20 GPA.

21. Martin Truex Jr. #78 Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 8

Rank Last Year: 33rd of 43

GPA: 3.14

In their last year of existence, Furniture Row debuted a bad template, which could get, at best, a C-. The Auto-Owners Insurance schemes were good. Their throwback scheme for the final race was amazing. It was a decent year for Martin

22. Premium Motorsports #15 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 16

Rank Last Year: 18th of 43

GPA: 3.13

Low T Center, which never has a good scheme, Go Pro Motorsports, and Championship Machinery were the real stinkers here. Amazingly, there were a lot of A schemes, but those three schemes dragged the GPA down a lot.

23. Brad Keselowski #2 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 14

Rank Last Year: 9th of 43

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.

24. Aric Almirola #10 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 11

Rank Last Year: 34th of 43

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.

25. Chris Buescher #37 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 24

Rank Last Year: 10th of 43

GPA: 3.00

Chris Buescher raced a lot of schemes, and they were all over the place. While the Natural Light Resume scheme was a bad idea all around, there were a lot of schemes that were bad, but with some work could be better. The final GPA however was much lower that it could have been at a 4, but he only got a 3.

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

Number of Schemes: 22

Rank Last Year: 16th of 43

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.

27. Matt DiBenedetto #32 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 16

Rank Last Year: 42nd of 43

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.

28. Premium Motorsports #7 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 10

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 2.91

I get that the #7 is also used for the #15 and #55. However, I’m going to have the #7 as it’s own number. NY Racing will be a separate entry. There was a lot of bad to awful schemes on the 7 this year. This just wasn’t a great year for the #7. Sure there were a few good schemes, but not as many as bad schemes.

29. StarCom Racing #99 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 10

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 2.91

International Marine had a couple of awful schemes. For some reason, the #99 had the really awful Rewards.com Darrell Waltrip throwback. StarCom Fiber’s scheme was bad, but their patriotic scheme was slightly better. It wasn’t a great year for the new team.

30. Chase Elliott #9 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 12

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 2.78

Sun Energy was awful, though they did redeem themselves later in the year. Little Ceaser’s, Mountain Dew, Baja Blast, the second Sun Energy, and NAPA Nightvision were great. Other than that, the schemes were decent, but could have bee great.

31. Ryan Newman #31 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 20

Rank Last Year: 17th of 43

GPA: 2.77

Ryan’s schemes were all over the place this year. Some were really great, including some of CATERPILLAR’s schemes, and the throwback. Others were awful, such as Liberty National and Lucas Oil. But there was a lot more bad than good.

32. Alex Bowman #88 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 9

Rank Last Year: 23rd of 43

GPA: 2.76

The Axalta scheme was awful, as was the Church Brothers scheme. The Philadelphia Eagles scheme was ill-advised, as was the Llumar, and Nationwide schemes, but they weren’t awful. It was a decent year, but it could have been a lot better.

33. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 10

Rank Last Year: 32nd of 43

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.

34. Gaunt Brother Racing #96 Chevy Camaro/Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 11

Rank Last Year: 35th of 43

GPA: 2.73

Ik9 had some great looks this year. The Dale Earnhardt Sr. Throwback was great, as was Northern Provincial. There were some bad looks, but the season as a whole was decent. It could have been better, but it was just decent.

35. Tri Star Motorsports #72 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 17

Rank Last Year: 28th of 43

GPA: 2.71

Tri Star was all over the place this year. Zomongo, Monarch Crypto Wallet, ARK Custom Blockchain, and both Schluter Systems schemes were awful. There were some highlights, including So Cal Chevy, Winn Dixie, BCT Blockchain, and Gas Monkey Garage. There was also a lot of meh schemes. I’ve reluctantly accepted the door number designs, but I’m not accepting some of the paint schemes from the #72.

36. NY Racing Team #7 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 1

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 2.70

One scheme that was decent, but not great, but not awful. That sums up the season for NY Racing, and their one paint scheme.

37. Daniel Suarez #19 Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 9

Rank Last Year: 15th of 43

GPA: 2.68

Stanley and Comcast were horrible this year. Interstate Batteries thought thier scheme looked so great that it would work on the #19, which it didn’t. Coca Cola, Arris, Peak, and Lenox tried to make up for this, but in the end, it was just a meh year for the #19.

38. Denny Hamlin #11 Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 6

Rank Last Year: 19th of 43

GPA: 2.68

The FedEx schemes were the same unremarkable blue and orange schemes they were last year. The FedEx Cares scheme was hideous. I will give Denny credit for having a great looking throwback. All in all, this was just a meh year for Denny.

39. Leavine Family Racing #95 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 15

Rank Last Year: 20th of 43

GPA: 2.53

Kasey’s schemes could be great when they had to. They were bad because he wanted them to be. His schemes were mostly pointlessly over designed, and looked awful. There were some good schemes, but the good and bad led to a bad average.

40. Kyle Larson #42 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 14

Rank Last Year: 36th of 43

GPA: 2.52

Kyle’s schemes were much more over designed than Jamie McMurray’s schemes. The awful Clover scheme found its way on to Kyle’s car. Add in that DC Solar had numerous different designs, and they were all bad in their own way, as well as many that could have been improved, and you have a low GPA for 2018.

41. 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 Parts scheme which was better but not great. This was not a great season for the #92

42. StarCom Racing #00 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 21

Rank Last Year: 39th of 43

GPA: 2.42

Another example of a series of schemes that are all over the place. There are too many different ones to mention individually, but almost every grade in the spectrum is represented, and when averaged out, the #00 gets a 2.42.

43. Ty Dillon #13 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 4

Rank Last Year: 22nd of 43

GPA: 2.35

The Twisted Tea scheme was great. The Throwback scheme was good, certainly better than the Geico scheme, which is still the same mess it was last year. The Geico patriotic scheme is self-serving, with the outline of the Geico gecko used as a camoflage pattern. The #13 just doesn’t look good.

44. Daniel Hemric #8 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 1

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 2.30

The Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff scheme isn’t great, but it’s not awful. That’s really all there is to be said.

45. Joey Logano #22 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 7

Rank Last Year: 31st of 43

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.

46. AJ Allmendinger #47 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 2

Rank Last Year: 13th of 43

GPA: 1.90

Kroger was not a great scheme used for most of the year. The only other scheme used was the throwback, but that wasn’t good enough to get a solid A, only an A-. The two schemes averaged only a 1.90.

47. BK Racing #23 Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 18

Rank Last Year: 37th of 43

GPA: 1.43

There were two plain schemes that worked, as did the throwback, and Best Bully Snacks. Everything else ranged from awful to God awful. There were many schemes that were pointlessly over designed for no real reason. I’m glad I won’t have to look at BK Racing next year.

Well, that does it for The Driver Suit Blog in 2018. I’ve had a lot of fun. I want to thank all of my readers, I couldn’t do this without you. 2019 will be here in a few days, and I will start the year the way I always do, with Wheel Reviews next Friday! See you then!

The Driver Suit Blog-Throwback Thursday-1982 #20 Sauber SHS C6

Hans-Joachim Stuck,Jean-Louis Schlesser, and Dieter Quester 1982 #20 Sauber SHS C6

The Sauber SHS C6 has a decent look, the driver compartment is a bit high, but because of the dimensions, it’s not a bad looking car. This red sonic circle design is horrid! Who thought this was a good idea? If you had the circle on the top of the car and went from there, it could work, but the circle on the sides is awful. There is no way I can give this car anything more than an F.