The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Grades-August 4, 2018

By David G. Firestone

Joey Gase #00 Sparkz Energy Chevy Camaro-My only complaint here is that I don’t like the black on the front of the car. A-

Landon Cassill #00 Lock Haven University Chevy Camaro-The side designs could be toned down, and I don’t like the shade of red used.  It’s still a decent scheme, and I give it a B+.

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna/Arctic Cat Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as Arctic Cat, same A grade.

Austin Dillon #3 Dow/Intellifresh Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as Dow, same A grade.

Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol Patriotic Chevy Camaro-It’s a well designed scheme with a great look.  Nothing wrong here. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmy Johns Kickin Ranch Ford Fusion-Same basic scheme as Jimmy John’s, same A grade.

Matt Kenseth #6 Constantine Sealing Service Ford Fusion-Wave designs can be tricky, especially an over designed mess like this.  I do like the color scheme, and the rest of the car isn’t bad.  All things considered, I give this scheme a  B-

Jeffrey Earnhardt #7 Nine Line Foundation/Xtreme Concepts Chevy Camaro-This is another example of a car that has multiple design schemes that don’t work with each other.  The front scheme and the rear scheme would work by themselves, but together, it’s just a mess. The only good thing I can say is that the color scheme works, so that earns this scheme a D+

Chase Elliott #9 NAPA Throwback Chevy Camaro-This is a great looking throwback, with a great design, and color scheme.  Nothing wrong here! A

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Cares Toyota Camry-Camouflage has NEVER worked on a race car, and it never will.  Add in the white base, and blue stripes, and you have a mess of a scheme. D+

Clint Bowyer #14 Haas 30 Years of the VF1 Ford Fusion-This is what happens when you take a great scheme and find a way to make it better.  The removal of part of the bottom stripe gives the car a cleaner look.  A

Clint Bowyer #14 Carolina Dodge Dealers Ford Fusion-Another great throwback, with a great look.  Ned Jarrett had some great schemes back in the day, and this is a faithful representation of one of these. A

Ross Chastain #15 Chevy Camaro-The new stripe doesn’t add much or take away much.  It’s still a great scheme, and it gets the A it deserves.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Patriotic Ford Fusion-The star motif looks good, and the color scheme works well too. Not bad at all. A

Kyle Busch #18 Skittles Patriotic Toyota Camry-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Kyle Busch #18 Snickers Intense Toyota Camry-It’s an ugly mess with a bad color scheme that is so needlessly over designed that it makes me get car sick just sitting at my laptop.  I’ll give this the F it deserves.

Erik Jones #20 DeWalt Patriotic Toyota Camry-Remember what I said about camouflage never working on a race car?  I officially take that back.  This is a camo scheme that works well, because it isn’t overpowering the rest of the car. It works well, and it gets an A.

Erik Jones #20 Toyota Toyota Camry-Yes the designs are trimmed down.  Yes the colors are changed.  No it doesn’t help this scheme at all.  It’s still an F scheme.

Eric Jones #20 Freightliner Toyota Camry-A smooth look with a great color scheme will always earn an A.

Paul Menard #21 Motorcraft Throwback Ford Fusion-You could pretty much put all of the pre 1997 Wood Brothers schemes in a hat, and be guaranteed to pick a good one, and this Cale Yarborough example is one.  It’s an amazing look, and it gets an A.

Gray Gaulding #23 Steakhouse Elite Toyota Camry-It’s really a meh scheme.  I will say that gold on black is an underrated combination, so seeing it here is nice.  I’ll give this scheme a B-.

Gray Gaulding #23 XXX Moonshine/KBM Properties Toyota Camry-Let’s see, front and rear designs that contrast, check. Bad shade of gray, check.  Door and roof numbers that contrast with the rest of the car, check.  Bad color scheme in general, check.  Scheme is getting an F, check.

Matt DiBenedetto #32 Shawn Moody for Governor Ford Fusion-Same scheme as CanAm, same F grade.

Matt DiBenedetto #32 Dude Wipes Ford Fusion-The car as a whole is great, as is the color scheme,and the bottom design works well with the black on top. A

Michael McDowell #34 Starkey Cares Ford Fusion-The Front Row template is good, and I like the modified version as well.  Add in a great color scheme, and you have a ready-made A scheme.

Chris Buescher #37 Kleenex Chevy Camaro-The subtle designs are not overpowering, the car has a great look, and a great color scheme. A

Chris Buescher #37 Gain Chevy Camaro-The scheme was great last year, and with the improvements, it’s a great scheme this year. A

Chris Buescher #37 Kroger Clicklist Chevy Camaro-Same basic scheme as Kroger, same A grade.

David Ragan #38 Connor Co Ford Fusion-Great color scheme, but the design scheme is terrible.  It’s over designed, ugly, and a horrible mess.  All things considered, I give this scheme a C-.

David Ragan #38 Performance Plus Ford Fusion-Same scheme as #6, same B- grade.

Kyle Larson #42 Credit One Patriotic Chevy Camaro-The side design would work very well if the firework motif was removed.  It’s an amazing scheme, and it has a decent look, but the firework motif takes it from an A to a B+.

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Jewel Osco Chevy Camaro-It’s a smooth, simple look, and it has a great color scheme.  That will always earn an A.

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 STP Throwback Chevy Camaro-Richard Petty’s STP scheme with no red is a great look, and this scheme is faithful to the original.  It’s a great throwback, and it earns an A.

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s/Jimmie Johnson Foundation Chevy Camaro-The design is over designed, and needlessly complex.  The only good thing I can say about this scheme is that I like the color scheme. D+

BJ McLeod #51 Prefund Capital Patriotic Chevy Camaro-American flag motifs work well, and this is no exception.  It’s a great look. A

Ray Black Jr. #51 Jacob Companies Chevy Camaro-The yellowish numbers don’t work well here.  The scheme as a whole is good, but the numbers are visually distracting.  B+

Timmy Hill #66 My Lilly Strong Toyota Camaro-Same scheme as Crash Claims, same A- grade.

Timmy Hill #66 Lehigh Valley Phantoms Toyota Camry-Orange can be a difficult color to work with, but this shade of orange works well, and the black designs work well.  It’s a great scheme. A

Cole Whitt #72 Dragonchain Chevy Camaro-I hate the lines on this scheme.  They are unnessicary, and pointless.  The scheme would be an A scheme without them, but with them, this scheme is a B- scheme.

Cole Whitt #72 Monarch Crypto Wallet Chevy Camaro-Its a badly designed scheme with a really bad color scheme.  I can’t say anything good about it, so I’ll give it an F.

Alex Bowman #88 Valvoline Chevy Camaro-Great look, with a great color scheme, and the design scheme works well. A

Alex Bowman #88 Axalta/Philadephpia Eagles Chevy Camaro-The Eagles shade of green doesn’t translate well to a race car,  The design works well, but with the Eagles green, it goes from an A- to a B+.

Kasey Kahne #95 Dark Matter Chevy Camaro-It’s a great scheme.  I love the black hole motif on the sides of the car.  Add in a great color scheme, and you get an A.

Kasey Kahne #95 Throne Chevy Camaro-The paint splatter motif is not over done, and the rest of the car has a smooth look, that earns an A.

Landon Cassill #99 StarCom Fiber Patriotic Chevy Camaro-While I like the patriotic motif here, getting rid of the gray on the rear would have been much better.  Still it’s not bad, so I’ll give it a B-.

Landon Cassill #99 St Charles Glass and Glazing Chevy Camaro-Great color scheme, great design scheme, nothing wrong here. A

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The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Grades-May 26, 2018

By David G. Firestone

Jamie McMurray #1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevy Camaro-Replacing black with white could have gone a long way, but this scheme isn’t horrible, so I’ll give it a B+.

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Throwback Ford Fusion-The vintage can design worked for Brad Keselowski last year, and it works for Kevin Harvick this year.  The car has a great look with a great color scheme, and earns an A as a result.

Matt Kenseth #6 Roush Throwback Ford Fusion-I loved the Eagle One scheme back in the day, and I love this faithful replica today.  It has a great look, and a great design, and earns an A.

Chase Elliott #9 Sun Energy Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same F grade.

Aric Almirola #10 Smithfield/Waffle House Ford Fusion-Too many different designs, which all contrast with each other is not a great look.  This isn’t a scheme I can give any higher than an F, so I won’t.

Ryan Blaney #12 Hawk Performance/Carlisle Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2018, same as Fleetwood RV, but with Hawk Performance on sides, and Carlisle on sides. A

Clint Bowyer #14 Mobil 1/Stewart-Haas Racing Fan Club Ford Fusion-It’s a meh design scheme with a decent color scheme, so, all things considered, I’ll give it a C.

Clint Bowyer #14 IT Savvy Ford Fusion-Orange can be iffy on race cars, but this scheme works well.  The shade of orange is good, and the design works very well.  A

Justin Marks #15 Sufferfest Beer Chevy Camaro-The design scheme works well, the color scheme works perfectly with the design scheme, and this scheme earns an A.

Ross Chastain #15 Caddy’s Chevy Camaro-I love the beach motif, it’s a bold, unique look, that isn’t over designed, and the car looks great as a result! A

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Red Nose Day Toyota Camry-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Paul Menard #21 Menard’s/Knauf Ford Fusion-The new Penske template is a piece of perfection.  The schemes all look great, are bold, but not over designed messes.  This is yet another perfect example of a great Penske Template scheme. A

William Byron #24 Axalta Throwback Chevy Camaro-We have a new front runner for best throwback scheme!  This was a great scheme back in the day, and it looks good today.  I can’t say anything bad here, so I won’t. A

William Byron #24 Hertz Chevy Camaro-As much as I like the color scheme here, I can’t say the same for the design.  It’s a little too over designed for my taste. Toning down the stripes would work better.  It’s still not a bad design,but it does have its flaws, so I’ll give it a B+.

Ryan Newman #31 CAT/Granger Chevy Camaro-It’s a unique look, with a great color scheme, and I really can’t say anything bad about it.  A

Matt DiBenedetto #32 Zynga Poker Ford Fusion-Great color scheme, great design scheme, and I love the poker chip motif used here. A

Chris Buescher #37 Clorox Chevy Camaro-The cutting edge design scheme is a downgrade from last year.  Also, the red could be toned down too.  All things considered, I’ll give it a B-.

BJ McLeod #51 Prefund Capital Chevy Camaro-It’s a smooth look, with a great color scheme, and that will always earn an A.

Timmy Hill #66 Sentinel One Chevy Camaro-My only complaint is that the side designs could be toned down a bit, but other than that, it’s a great scheme. A-

Alex Bowman #88 Nationwide Patriotic Chevy Camaro-A bit bolder than last year, this new patriotic scheme is quite good, and it’s not over done.  I like this scheme, and it earns an A.

Kasey Kahne #95 Drumont Jets Chevy Camaro-Another great throwback scheme.  Kasey’s Budweiser scheme has always been good, and this faithful replica is no exception. A

The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Grades-November 4, 2017

By David G. Firestone

First another 2018 scheme has been released.

Martin Truex Jr. #78 Auto Owner’s Insurance Toyota CamryNo change. A

Now on to the 2017 schemes.

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna/Bomasada Chevy SS-Same scheme as Cessna, same B+ grade.

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch NA Chevy SS-While I normally like the Busch forest motif, the red on the rear is visually distracting, and clashes with the rest of the design. It takes the design from an A scheme down to a B+.

Trevor Bayne #6 Ford Eco-Boost Ford Fusion-Pinkwashing is an automatic F.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fifth-Third Back Ford Fusion-Pinkwashing is an automatic F.

Matt DiBenedetto #32 Corvette Parts Ford Fusion-Pinkwashing is an automatic F.

Kurt Busch #41 State Water Heaters Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same B+ grade.

BJ McLeod #51 Chevy SS-Same scheme as Donnie Neuenberger Foundation, same B+ grade.

Gray Gaulding #83 Autism Speaks Toyota Camry-It’s a good looking car, with a great color scheme. It works well, and earns an A.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide Grey Ghost Chevy SS– Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Grades-October 21, 2017

By David G. Firestone

First, a couple of 2018 schemes…

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Toyota Camry-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

William Byron #24 Liberty University Chevy Camaro-Great shade of blue, great shade of red, great flame design, gets an A.

Now on to the 2017 schemes…

Jamie McMurray #1 Nicholas Air/Cessna Chevy SS-Same scheme as Cessna, same B+ grade.

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Navy Throwback Ford Fusion-Its a great look, with a smooth design, and one of the better throwbacks I have seen. I’m giving this an A

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Light Outdoors Ford Fusion-Adding more blue brings the scheme from a C to a B-.

Trevor Bayne #6 Liberty National Ford Fusion-Pinkwashing is an automatic F.

Justin Marks #7 Golden Corral/Katerra Chevy SS-Another example of two different contrasting designs on one car that doesn’t look good. I’ll be nice and give it a D+ because I like the color scheme.

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx/Walgreens Toyota Camry-This is the best FedEx has looked on a race car for some time. It’s a great color scheme, and the design scheme looks really good. A

Mark Thompson #15 Phoenix Air Chevy SS-Black and red is a good color scheme, and the design scheme is great too. It’s worth an A.

Daniel Suarez #19 Camping World Toyota Camry-A smooth look with a great color scheme will always earn an A.

Corey LaJoie #23 My Freedom Smokes Toyota Camry-I like metallic gold, and this design works well, and has a great color scheme. It’s a great look that gets an A.

Chris Buescher #37 Bush’s Chili Beans Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

BJ McLeod #51 Collin Bryan Construction Chevy SS-Same scheme as Donnie Newberger Foundation, same B+ grade.

DJ Kennington #55 Dirt and Rock Toyota Camry-A smooth look with a great color scheme will always earn an A.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Mountain Dew Names Chevy SS-It’s a great look, and, while names on a car can be either hit or miss, this is a hit. It’s a great scheme that earns an A.

The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Grades-October 7, 2017

By David G. Firestone

Derrike Cope #00 Starcom Fiber Chevy SS-It’s a bit too ambitious, even for a good fade. It isn’t terrible, but they tried to do too much with this design. I typically like fades, but this one is too overdone. C

Danica Patrick #10 Warriors In Pink Ford Fusion-Well, Pinktober is upon us, which means pink for breast cancer. If you haven’t figured out that this whole thing is a scam, then I can’t help you. I’m going to continue my tradition of calling out this scam by giving an automatic F to any pink car in October, starting with this one.

Corey LaJoie #23 Freshbeards Toyota Camry-Plain black with white logos is a great look, which will always earn an A.

Ryan Newman #31 Childress Vineyards Chevy SS-It’s a decent design scheme, though it is a bit over done. The color scheme is good, so I’ll give it a B.

Ryan Newman #31 Wastemasters Recycling Chevy SS-See above. B+

David Ragan #38 The House.com Ford Fusion-Great color scheme, great design scheme, great look! A

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s/Sharkbite Plumbing Solutions Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, same as Lowe’s, but with Sharkbite Plumbing Solutions on sides. F

BJ McLeod #51 Donnie Neuenberger Foundation Chevy SS-I get what they are trying to do here, but the fact is that the car is just a tad over designed, The wave pattern could work if it was a bit simpler, but it’s a decent, scheme, worth a B+.

Brett Moffitt #83 Hikvision Toyota Camry-BK Racing seems to pride itself on over-designing their cars, and this design is no exception. The color scheme is good, but the car is so needlessly over designed that it can’t save the scheme from an F.

The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Grades-September 16, 2017

By David G. Firestone

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Therm Chevy SS-The hood represents cold, the sides represent heat, and the car looks great across the board. A

Hermie Sadler #7 We’re Game Chevy SS-It’s a great color scheme that gets lost in the over designed sides. It’s not completely terrible, but it’s not great. I’ll give it a C-.

Danica Patrick #10 Warrior by Danica Patrick/HSN.com Chevy SS-It’s a rather finicky color scheme not helped by being a tad over designed. It would be better with a different color scheme.  All in all, it’s worth a C-.

Matt Kenseth #20 American Red Cross/Toyota 4 Good Toyota Camry-Same scheme as white Toyota Care, same D- grade.

Joey Logano #22 American Red Cross Ford Fusion-With the right color combination, the Penske template can work quite well. This is the right color combination. Red and white work very well, and the car looks good. A

Gray Gaulding #23 Sweet Frog Toyota Camry-Last year’s scheme was a front runner for Worst Paint Scheme Of The Year in the Paint Schemies, and the 2017 is actually worse! The color scheme is awful, but the design just makes the scheme look more repulsive than it is. I wish I could give it lower than an F, but I can’t.

Chris Buescher #37 Nature Valley Chevy SS-This is a bold yet subtle scheme, with a great color scheme, which will always earn an A.

David Ragan #38 1000 Bulbs Ford Fusion-The only reason that this scheme was awarded a D+ is that the color scheme is good, and fits the design scheme. The design scheme is horrible by itself, saved only by the color scheme.

BJ McLeod #51 Bubba Burger Texas Strong Chevy SS-It’s a classic look, and a great color scheme. Nothing wrong here! A

Martin Truex Jr. #78 Auto Owner’s Insurance Toyota Camry-Same scheme as white Auto Owner’s Insurance, same A grade.

Corey LaJoie #83 Safeway Toyota Camry-Too many designs, not a good look. Not even a great color scheme can save this from an F.

Corey LaJoie#83 Champion Machinery Toyota Camry-The color scheme is great, but the car is somewhat over designed, but it’s not as bad as it could be. It’s not terrible, not great, worth a C.

The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Grades-August 26, 2017

By David G. Firestone.

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Outdoor Chevy SS-The slight changes did nothing to help the overall scheme. C

Trevor Bayne #6 Ford Eco-Boost Ford Fusion-The stars have been removed, and the car has a cleaner look as a result. It’s a great improvement. A-

JJ Yeley #7 Zombie Auto Chevy SS-A great scheme, it has a smooth look, and a great color scheme, and that will always earn an A.

Danica Patrick #10 Ford Throwback Ford Fusion-In honor of Robert Yates being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Danica is racing one of Ford’s best paint schemes of all time, and it should make a permanent return as a scheme. A

Denny Hamlin #11 Sport Clips Throwback Toyota Camry– Ray Hendrick had a great look, and this great scheme looks great, and I can’t give it less than an A.

Reed Sorenson #15 Low T Center Chevy SS-Sometimes changing the primary color can help a scheme, but here, it doesn’t help at all. It’s not a good change, and it’s not a good lock at all. F

Daniel Suarez #19 Irwin Tools/Lennox Toyota Camry-The fade looks good, and the color scheme works well too. It’s a great look, and great looks earn an A.

Kyle Larson #42 Huggies Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same D+ grade.

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Throwback Chevy SS-Basing a paint scheme on an old truck seems odd, but this scheme makes it work. The colors are great, and the design works well. I like this, and it earns an A.

BJ McLeod #51 Nex Transport/Spoonful Music Chevy SS-Nice look, and it has a great color scheme. A

Derrike Cope #55 La Colombe Draft Latte Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Martin Truex Jr. #78 Bass Pro Shops/Ducks Unlimited Toyota Camry-I didn’t think that the Truex Bass Pro Shops scheme could get any worse…and then I saw this scheme. While the orange is logical with a hunting shop, replacing it with a lime green to purple fade is horrific. I wish I could give this something worse than an F, but sadly, I can’t.

Corey LaJoie #83 HMS Motorsports Toyota Camry-If the curves were toned down a lot, it could work. More stripes don’t always mean a better look. There are too many stripes, and the car just looks over designed. It’s design for the sake of design, and it gets an F.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Axalta/Ducks Unlimited Chevy SS-Camoflauge doesn’t work on the sides of race cars. The black and the design based on Front Row, which is already an iffy template do nothing to help this scheme. F

Michael McDowell #95 Race Wipes Chevy SS-If the blue was darker, only one shade was used, and the green was removed, it could be a better look. Still, it’s not bad, and I’ll give it a C-.