Paint Scheme Tracker-January 10, 2017

By David G Firestone

CHIP GANASSI RACING #1

Jamie McMurray #1 GearWrench Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black with green stripes and roof. A

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black with blue waves on sides. A

TEAM PENSKE #2

Brad Keselowski #2 Wurth Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, white and red Penske template. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Discount Tire Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2018, white with black outline. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford FusionNo change. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford FusionNo Change. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Auto Trader Ford FusionNo Change. D-

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #3

Austin Dillon#3 Dow Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black fade to red to black across whole car. A

Austin Dillon #3 AAA Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, all red, with white stripe pattern on sides. A

Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, green front, black rear, white and black waves on sides. C-

STEWART-HAAS RACING #4

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Ford FusionNo change. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Mobil 1 Ford FusionNo change. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmy Johns Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, black and white reversed. A

ROUSH-FENWAY RACING #6

Trevor Bayne #6 Advocare Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, black with grey, silver and blue stripes. A

Trevor Bayne #6 Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford FusionNo change. B-

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #9

Chase Elliott #9 NAPA Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2017, blue with white designs on sides. B+

Chase Elliott #9 Hooters Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, orange back and white front, with Y design across sides. B-

Chase Elliott #9 Sun Energy Chevy CamaroNo change. F

STEWART-HAAS RACING #10

Darrell Wallace Jr. #10 Smithfield Foods Ford FusionNew sponsor for 2018, black and white with slash patterns on sides. A

JOE GIBBS RACING #11

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Express Toyota CamryNo change. B-

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Freight Toyota CamryNo change. B-

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Ground Toyota CamryNo change. B-

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Office Toyota CamryNo change. B-

TEAM PENSKE #12

Ryan Blaney #12 Duracel/Menard’s Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, yellow with narrow stripes. A

GERMAIN RACING #13

Ty Dillon #13 Twisted Tea Chevy CamaroNo change. A

Ty Dillon #13 Geico Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, similar scheme to 2017, but some cutting edge designs replace stripe on sides. C

Ty Dillon #13 Geico Millitary Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, similar scheme t0 2017, but with some changes to the front. F

ROUSH-FENWAY RACING #17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, blue with white and black diagonal stripes across sides. A

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

JOE GIBBS RACING #18

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Toyota CamryNo change. A

JOE GIBBS RACING #19

Daniel Suarez #19 Stanley Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2017, yellow with a series of gray and black cutting edge designs on sides. D-

Daniel Suarez #19 Arris Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2018, orange replaces silver on quarter panel. A

Daniel Suarez #19 Peak Toyota CamryNo change. A

JOE GIBBS RACING #20

Erik Jones #20 DeWalt Toyota CamryNo change. A

WOOD BROTHER RACING #21

Paul Menard #21 Motorcraft Ford FusionNo change. A

Paul Menard #21 Menard’s Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2018, same as #12. A

TEAM PENSKE #22

Joey Logano #22 AAA Ford FusionNo change. D

Joey Logano #22 Auto Trader Ford FusionNo Change. D-

Joey Logano #22 Pennzoil Ford FusionNo change. A

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford FusionNo change. D

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #24

William Byron #24 Axalta Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2017, blue with flame motif across whole car. A

William Byron #24 Liberty University Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2017, blue with red flames on front. A

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #31

Ryan Newman #31 Granger Chevy CamaroNo change. A

Ryan Newman #31 Caterpillar Chevy CamaroNo change. B-

Ryan Newman #31 Liberty National Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, green front, rear and roof, blue sides. F

Ryan Newman #31 Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, red top, yellow stripes, black bottom. C-

GO FAS RACING #32

Matt DiBenedetto #32 Keen Parts/Corvette Parts Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, red, with slight wave formation across sides. A

CHIP GANASSI RACING #42

Kyle Larson #42 Credit One Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, blue with white and lighter blue stripes. A

RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS #43

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Click N Close Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2017, dark blue with Click N Close. A

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Air Force Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, same as 2017, but with black stripe across bottom. A

JTG DAUGHERTY RACING #47

AJ Allmendinger #47 Kroger Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, white with blue and red stripes on sides. B-

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #48

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black with gray outlines. A

FURNITURE ROW RACING #78

Martin Truex Jr. #78 Bass Pro Shops/5-Hour Energy Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2018 black with orange designs on sides. C-

Martin Truex Jr. #78 5-Hour Energy/Bass Pro Shops Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2018 black with red designs on sides. C-

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

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #88

Alex Bowman #88 Nationwide Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2017, blue with white designs on sides. B+

Alex Bowman #88 Axalta Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black with blue,red,white,and yellow cutting edge designs across sides. F

LEAVINE FAMILY RACING #95

Kasey Kahne #95 Procore Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black, white, and orange with cutting edge designs across whole car. F

 

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The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Tracker-January 3, 2018

By David G Firestone

CHIP GANASSI RACING #1

Jamie McMurray #1 GearWrench Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2017, black with green stripes and roof. A

TEAM PENSKE #2

Brad Keselowski #2 Wurth Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, white and red Penske template. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Discount Tire Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2018, white with black outline. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford FusionNo change. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford FusionNo Change. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Auto Trader Ford FusionNo Change. D-

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #3

Austin Dillon#3 Dow Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black fade to red to black across whole car. A

Austin Dillon #3 AAA Chevy SSNew scheme for 2018, all red, with white stripe pattern on sides. A

STEWART-HAAS RACING #4

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Ford FusionNo change. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Mobil 1 Ford FusionNo change. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmy Johns Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, black and white reversed. A

ROUSH-FENWAY RACING #6

Trevor Bayne #6 Advocare Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, black with grey, silver and blue stripes. A

Trevor Bayne #6 Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford FusionNo change. B-

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #9

Chase Elliott #9 NAPA Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2017, blue with white designs on sides. B+

Chase Elliott #9 Hooters Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, orange back and white front, with Y design across sides. B-

Chase Elliott #9 Sun Energy Chevy CamaroNo change. F

STEWART-HAAS RACING #10

Darrell Wallace Jr. #10 Smithfield Foods Ford FusionNew sponsor for 2018, black and white with slash patterns on sides. A

JOE GIBBS RACING #11

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Express Toyota CamryNo change. B-

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Freight Toyota CamryNo change. B-

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Ground Toyota CamryNo change. B-

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Office Toyota CamryNo change. B-

TEAM PENSKE #12

Ryan Blaney #12 Duracel/Menard’s Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, yellow with narrow stripes. A

GERMAIN RACING #13

Ty Dillon #13 Twisted Tea Chevy CamaroNo change. A

Ty Dillon #13 Geico Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, similar scheme to 2017, but some cutting edge designs replace stripe on sides. C

Ty Dillon #13 Geico Millitary Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, similar scheme t0 2017, but with some changes to the front. F

ROUSH-FENWAY RACING #17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, blue with white and black diagonal stripes across sides. A

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

JOE GIBBS RACING #18

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Toyota CamryNo change. A

JOE GIBBS RACING #19

Daniel Suarez #19 Stanley Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2017, yellow with a series of gray and black cutting edge designs on sides. D-

Daniel Suarez #19 Arris Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2018, orange replaces silver on quarter panel. A

JOE GIBBS RACING #20

Erik Jones #20 DeWalt Toyota CamryNo change. A

WOOD BROTHER RACING #21

Paul Menard #21 Motorcraft Ford FusionNo change. A

Paul Menard #21 Menard’s Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2018, same as #12. A

TEAM PENSKE #22

Joey Logano #22 AAA Ford FusionNo change. D

Joey Logano #22 Auto Trader Ford FusionNo Change. D-

Joey Logano #22 Pennzoil Ford FusionNo change. A

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford FusionNo change. D

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #24

William Byron #24 Axalta Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2017, blue with flame motif across whole car. A

William Byron #24 Liberty University Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2017, blue with red flames on front. A

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #31

Ryan Newman #31 Granger Chevy CamaroNo change. A

Ryan Newman #31 Caterpillar Chevy CamaroNo change. B-

Ryan Newman #31 Liberty National Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, green front, rear and roof, blue sides. F

Ryan Newman #31 Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, red top, yellow stripes, black bottom. C-

CHIP GANASSI RACING #42

Kyle Larson #42 Credit One Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, blue with white and lighter blue stripes. A

RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS #43

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Click N Close Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2017, dark blue with Click N Close. A

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Air Force Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, same as 2017, but with black stripe across bottom. A

JTG DAUGHERTY RACING #47

AJ Allmendinger #47 Kroger Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, white with blue and red stripes on sides. B-

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #48

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black with gray outlines. A

FURNITURE ROW RACING #78

Martin Truex Jr. #78 Bass Pro Shops/5-Hour Energy Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2018 black with orange designs on sides. C-

Martin Truex Jr. #78 5-Hour Energy/Bass Pro Shops Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2018 black with red designs on sides. C-

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

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #88

Alex Bowman #88 Nationwide Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2017, blue with white designs on sides. B+

Alex Bowman #88 Axalta Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black with blue,red,white,and yellow cutting edge designs across sides. F

LEAVINE FAMILY RACING #95

Kasey Kahne #95 Procore Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black, white, and orange with cutting edge designs across whole car. F

The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Grades-October 28, 2017

By David G. Firestone

First, we have some 2018 schemes…

Brad Keselowski #2 Wurth Ford Fusion-Red and white works well with the Penske template, and this car has a great look as a result. A

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Chevy Camaro-It’s a much simpler, yet bolder design from the 2017 version, and it looks great! There is nothing wrong with that car at all! A

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Ford Fusion-Same scheme as 2017, same A grade.

Kevin Harvick #4 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion-Same scheme as 2017, same A grade.

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry-Same scheme as 2017, same B- grade.

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry-Same scheme as 2017, same B- grade.

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Ground Toyota Camry-Same scheme as 2017, same B- grade.

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Office Toyota CamrySame scheme as 2017, same B- grade.

Ty Dillon #13 Twisted Tea Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as 2017, same A grade.

Joey Logano #22 AAA Ford Fusion-Same scheme as 2017, same D grade.

Ryan Newman #31 Caterpillar Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as 2017, same B- grade.

Martin Truex Jr. #78 Bass Pro Shops/5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry-I get what they were trying to do here, but is just isn’t working. The orange is a bit too light, and the design is mediocre. It’s not awful, but not great. All things considered, I give it a C-.

Martin Truex Jr. #78 5-Hour Energy/Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry-See above. C-

Now we focus on 2017…

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Halloween Toyota Camry-It’s a really good scheme, that is more subtle than last year. This scheme works well, and looks good. A

Landon Cassill #34 Love’s Truck Stops/Speedco Ford Fusion-Same scheme as Love’s, same A grade.

Chris Buescher #37 Scott Towels Chevy SS-Too many stripes. It has a great color scheme, but it has too many stripes. It’s not horrible, but it’s not great. It’s worth a C-

AJ Allmendinger #47 Dillon’s Chevy SS-Same scheme as Kroger, same A grade.

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s/Marshaltown Chevy SS-Same scheme as Lowe’s, same F grade.

Cole Whitt #72 Chevy SS-Good smooth look, and the door numbers work with this color scheme. It’s worth an A.

Brett Moffitt #83 Earthwater Toyota Camry-Same scheme as #23, same D- grade.

Michael McDowell #95 Jolt Eye Drops Chevy SS-The blue mountain motif works well, the color scheme works very well, and it’s just a great look all around. A

The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Grades-May 21, 2016

 

By David G. Firestone

Kasey Kahne #5 Great Clips Strong Against Cancer Chevy SS-I’m looking at this scheme, and asking myself “Why does this scheme have a snake/leopard motif?” Seriously, the hood and roof designs have nothing to do with the rest of the deisgn. It just looks awful, and I’ll give it a D-

Kasey Kahne #5 Great Clips/Shark Week Chevy SS-This is a great scheme. The teal water with shark motif works quite well, and the overall design is great too. I can’t give it anything less than an A+

The following three grades are going to fall into a new protocol change effective immediately. When there are multiple schemes that fans can vote for, I will grade all of them individually, and the scheme that wins will be the one used in the final grade of the season.

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Cares Choice 1 Toyota Camry-I like the overall design, except for the white on the hood. If the white were replaced by blue, it would be a much better scheme. But it’s not horrible, so I give it a B+.

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Cares Choice 2 Toyota Camry-While the color scheme is good, the door design needs work, since it looks too much like a Petty car design, and the star motif is awful. The only thing giving this scheme a passing grade is the good color scheme. D-

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Cares Choice 3 Toyota Camry-With this scheme, not even a great color scheme can save it from an F. The wave design is giving me motion sickness.

Kyle Busch #18 Interstate Batteries Dale Jarrett Throwback Toyota Camry-Nothing will earn an A+ grade quicker than a great throwback, and this is a great throwback!

Carl Edwards #19 Arris Surfboard Toyota Camry-Much simpler design for Arris, and the color scheme is great too. I give it an A+.

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Knauf Chevy SS-The new template is an improvement on the design, but in a D- to D sense. If you have to have black lines separating colors, that may be a hint that you are using too many light colors. The blue is awful, and doesn’t work well with the yellow at all.

Ryan Newman #31 Granger/Caterpillar Chevy SS-Good look, with a great color scheme, nothing wrong here. A+

Jeffery Earnhardt #32 NC Lottery Ford Fusion-Black is always a good look for race cars, and this is no example. Great look. A+

AJ Allmendinger #47 Unwharrie Bank Chevy SS-Green and red are acceptable at Christmas time, but not on the side of a race car. The design itself isn’t bad, but it could be better. The scheme is mediocre at best, so I’ll give it a C+.

AJ Allmendinger #47 Harris Teeter Chevy SS-Same basic scheme as Kroger’s, same A+ grade.

Reed Sorenson #55 World Record Striper Company Chevy SS-It’s a bold look, but the river water-esque fade and the giant bass works quite well, and it has a unique look. It earns an A+.

Kyle Busch #75 M&M’s Throwback Toyota Camry-The vintage look is a great idea, and the anniversary number is good too. It earns an A+.

Cole Whitt #98 Vydrox Plus Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

 

The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Grades-May 14, 2016

By David G. Firestone

Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol Ricky Rudd Throwback Chevy SS-I love the direction that Richard Childress Racing went this year, with the Ricky Rudd throwback. It’s an amazing look. I can’t say enough good things about this scheme, and I give it an A+.

Danica Patrick #10 Nature’s Bakery/Autism Delaware Chevy SS-Same basic scheme as Nature’s Bakery but with Autism Delaware on quarter panels, same A+ grade.

Casey Mears #13 Geico Smokey Yunick Throwback Chevy SS-Another good throwback from an interesting source. I love the Yunick look, as long as they don’t Yunick the rules. A+

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Patriotic Toyota Camry-It’s a really good look for Kyle, and the color scheme fits very well with the M&M’s motif.  I can’t really say anything bad about this scheme, so I’ll give it an A+.

David Ragan #23 Bubba Burger Toyota Camry-Camo on race car is not, has never been and never will be a good look. This example is just awful. Even standard issue camo is better than this nonsense! I give it an F.

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Schrock Chevy SSAnother good look for the new Menard’s template. The purple works quite well here, and the car has a good look. A+

Ryan Newman #31 Caterpillar Ricky Rudd Throwback Chevy SS-See Austin Dillon above. A+

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Mountain Dew Patriotic Chevy SS-Um…patriotic? This is supposed to be patriotic? Are we living in Mauritania? I was under the assumption that a patriotic scheme involved the colors red, white, and blue. I think we have found the most unpatriotic patriotic paint scheme in history. I give it an F, and I’m being very kind.

The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Leaderboard-Week 4, The Grand Finale

By David G. Firestone

The Paint Scheme Ranking Executive Committee meetings have been long, but not too contentious, I can’t stay mad at Alejandro when he shows me his belly, so now we present all 55 NASCAR Sprint Cup teams ranked from first to last on how their paint schemes looked. NR has a different meaning this week. NR now specifically referrs to teams that didn’t exist in 2013. Teams that ran different manufacturers in 2013 will be ranked when it came to last year. So, without further ado,

1-Wood Brothers #21 Rank Last Year:1st of 50 -The Wood Brothers always design great cars, and the Quick Lane scheme uses the blue very well. It all looks good!

2-Hendrick Motorsports #48 Rank Last Year:2nd of 50-Classic, smooth looks with no needless clutter. Jimmie always runs great schemes

3-Michael Waltrip Racing #55 Rank Last Year:3rd of 50-The color schemes are good, and the design schemes work very well.

4-Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Rank Last Year:5th of 50-The zebra stripe Interstate Battery scheme wrecks a perfect score for Kyle this year

5-Stewart Haas Racing #4 Rank Last Year:NR-With the exception of Hunt Brothers Pizza, which uses an awful shade of green, Kevin has consistently run a series of great schemes.

6-Team Penske #2 Rank Last Year:18th of 50-The Wurth and Redd’s Apple Ale schemes are a bit over designed, but the white Miller Lite schemes, Alliance Truck Parts, and Detroit Genuine Parts schemes make up for it.

7-Richard Childress Racing #31 Rank Last Year:35th of 50-A lot of great schemes this year, but Wix is overdone, and the Cat/Quicken Loans hybrid looks awful

8-BK Racing #23 Rank Last Year:NR-The Dip Your Car scheme is awful, but the rest of the schemes are very good, and are very attractive.

9-Stewart Haas Racing #41 Rank Last Year: NR-The Slate scheme does not work, but all the other schemes work very well.

10-Roush Fenway Racing #6 Rank Last Year:NR-This would be ranked higher, as it has a somewhat vintage look, but the candy cane on the nose looks odd. It’s still a good scheme.

11-Richard Petty Motorsports #43 Rank Last Year:6th of 50-The Ekcrich camouflage scheme doesn’t work, camouflage schemes rarely do. The Charter green is horrible, but the rest of the schemes look really good.

12-Chip Ganassi Racing #1 Rank Last Year:24th of 50-A pink-washing scheme and a terrible shade of green on the WEMO scheme cost this team the 2nd place spot,knocking them down to 5th. They have run a lot of great schemes this season

13-Levine Family Racing #95 Rank Last Year:45th of 50-The TWD schemes look medicore, but could be worse. The template Levine Family Racing switched too this year looks great and the cars look very good too.

14-Furniture Row Racing #78 Rank Last Year:4th of 50-The World Vision scheme needs work, as the color does not support a fade, but the Furniture Row, and Colorado Freedom Memorial work very well.

15-BK Racing #26 Rank Last Year:50th of 50-Bully Hill Vinyards is an over-designed joke with an awful color scheme. The yellow numbers on the Burger King scheme are awful, but the rest of the schemes are good, and defendable.

16-RAB Racing #29 Rank Last Year:NR-Good color scheme, mediocre design scheme.

17-Hendrick Motorsports #88 Rank Last Year:22nd of 50-National Guard, Mountain Dew, Kickstart, and Superman look good, and work well with the new number design, but Michael Baker, Kelly Blue Book, and Nationwide don’t at all.

18-Chip Ganassi Racing #42 Rank Last Year:11th of 50-While Cottonelle, the Silver Scheme, and Energizer work very well, but the rest of their schemes are mediocre at best. The white on the back doesn’t work.

19-Beard Oil Racing #75 Rank Last Year:NR-If the sides had a sponsor, and the stripe at the bottom was eliminated, it would work a lot better.

20-Front Row Motorsports #34 Rank Last Year:28th of 50-The majority of the schemes look great, but the upside down lettering on the hood of the CSX scheme looks odd. The Wendell Scott scheme is amazing!

21-JTG Daugherty Racing #47 Rank Last Year:15th of 50-While Bush’s, Clorox, Scott’s, Sullivan/Palatek, Kingsford, and Bush’s Grilling Beans work well,Kroger/USO is overdone, Charter Communications uses a horrid shade of green, and Hungry Jack just looks terrible.

22-Hendrick Motorsports #24 Rank Last Year: 36th of 50-Drive to end Hunger is too overdone, and the upside down D on the hood looks terrible. Their orange scheme is even worse. Panasonic is mediocre at best. Pepsi looks good, and all of the Axalta schemes are really good.

23-Humphery Racing #77 Rank Last Year:NR-Plinker Arms doesn’t look great but it could be worse. That applies to Essex Homes as well. The rest of the schemes look good.

24-Joe Gibbs Racing #11 Rank Last Year:31st of 50-The Autisim Speaks scheme works well. The zipper scheme is decent, but odd. Sport Clips is over-designed, but with a good color scheme. The FedEx schemes have decent color schemes, but are over-designed on the front.

25-BK Racing #83 Rank Last Year:7th of 50-Voo Doo Barbecue is an over-designed mess. Dip your car is terrible, as is Zak. Burger King and Borla work well though.

26-Team Penske #12 Rank Last Year:9th of 50-The SKF scheme works very well. The Penske Truck Rental scheme uses a horrible shade of orange, and just looks hideous.

27-Hillman Racing #40 Rank Last Year: NR-When the car doesn’t have a scheme, it looks very good. When it has a sponsor it looks awful.

28-Front Row Motorsports #35 Rank Last Year:27th of 50-The Hefty scheme is a little unorthodox, silver and orange isn’t a great combo, but the design looks good. MDS looks good

29-HScott Motorsports #52 Rank Last Year: NR-The black scheme is good, but the orange Florida Lottery scheme is a trainwreck. Less is more on a paint scheme.

30-HScott Motorsports #51 Rank Last Year:13th of 50-If the car is running a Brandt scheme it looks good, anything else looks terrible.

31-Phil Parsons Racing #98 Rank Last Year: 44th of 50-While I like the Dogecoin,Trench Shoring,iRacing, black Curb Records, and unsponsored black schemes, anything else looks horrendous.

32-Front Row Motorsports #38 Rank Last Year:26th of 50-Most of the schemes are good, but the Love’s Truck Stops, and Love’s Truck Stops Camo schemes are horrific.

33-Joe Gibbs Racing #20 Rank Last Year:23rd of 50-Can all be summed up with medicore color schemes and mediocre design schemes

34-Swan Racing #30 Rank Last Year:50th of 50-The only time the car looked good was when it was unsponsored, but compared to last year’s design it looks amazing!

35-Roush Fenway Racing #17 Rank Last Year:16th of 50-Eco-Power has awful shades of green. Pit for a pair is awful even for a pink-washing scheme. Zest has a good color scheme, but awful design scheme,as does Fifth-Third Bank. Their all-star scheme was terrible. Ford Eco-Boost, NOS, and Nationwide work very well.

36-Richard Childress Racing #27 Rank Last Year: 20th of 50-Neon yellow looks terrible, when they use the stripes on the sides it looks even worse. The Pittsburgh Paints scheme looks really good though.

37-BK Racing #93 Rank Last Year:8th of 50-The Support Millitary scheme is the worst, and although Burger King, Dr. Pepper, and Iowa City Chop House do make up for it, it just isn’t enough.

38-CircleSport/Richard Childress Racing #33 Rank Last Year: 47th of 50-

39-Tommy Baldwin Racing #37 Rank Last Year: NR-Accell Construction has a great color scheme, but the design scheme ruins it.

40-Tommy Baldwin Racing #36 Rank Last Year:29th of 50-Another example of a team where when the car is unsponsored, it looks better.

41-Richard Petty Motorsports #9 Rank Last Year:12th of 50-Can all be summed up with Great color schemes but mediocre design schemes. The camo scheme looks bad, but the upside is that the camo is subtle.

42-Team Penske #22 Rank Last Year:41st of 50-The Shell/Pennzoil scheme has a decent color scheme but a bad design scheme. Anything Pennzoil Platnum is awful, as is Auto Trader. The Auto Club scheme has a great color scheme but a bad design scheme.

43-Identity Ventures Racing #87 Rank Last Year:NR-300 is a mess, and Morris,Hardick and Schinder/SmartBen looks too dull.

44-Michael Waltrip Racing #15 Rank Last Year:38th of 50-The Peak scheme is defendable, the color scheme is good, but the rest of the schemes are just awful.

45-Roush Fenway Racing #99 Rank Last Year:34th of 50-Fastenal looks good, but anything else looks terrible.

46-Go FAS Racing #32 Rank Last Year:25th of 50-The Terry Labonte throwback scheme was amazing, but most of their other schemes are over-designed messes.

47-Stewart Haas Racing #14 Rank Last Year:21st of 50-The over designing of the Bass Pro Shops schemes, as well as the use of orange and camo just look horrible. Mobil 1, Rush Truck Centers, and Code 3 look decent, but to some extent have issues. Mobil 1 is over designed, Rush uses too dark a yellow, Code 3 uses too bright a yellow.

48-Tommy Baldwin Racing #7 Rank Last Year:43rd of 50-Allstate Peterbuilt, and Pilot-St Jude Children’s Network work well, as both have good color schemes and design schemes. Anything else just looks awful.

49-Richard Childress Racing #3 Rank Last Year:NR-Cheerios is very good, and has a classic look. Dow schemes have a great color scheme, but have mediocre design. Anything else looks terrible on this car.

50-Germain Racing #13 Rank Last Year:40th of 50-The blue is too bright, as is the yellow. The car is overdesigned, and the whole car looks like a mess. The camo scheme is much worse.

51-Hendrick Motorsports #5 Rank Last Year:46th of 50-The only half decent scheme is Pepsi. Everything else is an over designed mess.

52-Stewart Haas Racing #10 Rank Last Year:37th of 50-The only scheme that doesn’t make my eyes hurt here is Aspen Dental. Terrible shades of orange and green, with ugly design. The pink-washing scheme is terrible.

53-Xxxtreme Motorsports #44 Rank Last Year: 49th of 50-Every single one of their cars is an ugly, over-designed mess that doesn’t look good at all.

54-Roush Fenway Racing #16 Rank Last Year:19th of 50-Every scheme is terrible.

55-Michael Waltrip Racing #66 Rank Last Year:NR-Nothing about any of these schemes is good.

The Driver Suit Blog-The Helmet Stripe-An Unusual Place For Sponsorship

By David G. Firestone14ALast week, I had a column run on Uni-Watch, and I delayed this article until this week.  Two weeks ago, we discussed visors, this week, we will discuss what has become known as the “helmet stripe.” Helmet stripes came from IndyCar and Formula 1 cars, which are open cockpit cars. Helmets are clearly visible to television cameras and fans. As a direct result, helmet design in Formula 1 has become its own unique art form. Helmet designs become a part of the driver identity. The other thing that these open cockpits allow is for sponsorship opportunity. As such, a small opaque stripe is used on helmet visors.lepage-4In NASCAR, the visor was slow to arrive. This is due to two reasons, first, many drivers up until the mid 1990’s chose to wear open-faced helmets. While these helmets had a shade to help keep the sun out of a driver’s eyes. While sponsor logos do show up, they were used for the driver’s name. This Brad Noffsinger example from 1988 is an example of that.Noffsinger-4The second reason that helmet stripes were slow to come to NASCAR is that in-car cameras, while used, were for many years positioned in such a way that the visor would not be seen. Even if helmets were painted, the visor had no stripe. When the in-car cameras were positioned to film the driver from the side and even from the front, the helmet stripe became the standard. The stripe is designed to fit over the part of the visor that overlaps the opaque part of the helmet, as this example shows.musgrave2 musgrave3Helmet stripes have become standard. To show how it affects the overall look of the helmet, I took this Kevin Lepage helmet from 1999, and edited the pictures to show how it looks. lepage-2  lepage-4  lepage-6Not bad, but let’s compare it side by side to the original helmet…lepage-7 lepage-8 lepage-9Helmet stripes have become a unique way for a driver to customize a helmet, as this video shows: Facebook pages and Twitter helmets are becoming standard on these. All visors that a driver would wear on a helmet have these stripes, which is standard, as visors are changed on a regular basis, and sponsors want the advertising space that they pay for.

Paint Scheme Reviews!

Because of the Uni-Watch article last week, I didn’t get to review paint schemes.  Within the last couple of weeks there were a large number of 2014 paint schemes released. Now I know that many of these will change before the start of the 2014 season, but I will grade them anyways.

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion  Same scheme as this year, same grade, C

Kevin Harvick #4 Budweiser Chevy SS Same Scheme as last year, same grade, A

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmy John’s Chevy SS  They improved one of the best schemes in NASCAR and went from an A to A+

Kevin Harvick #4 Outback Steakhouse Chevy SS The color scheme remains the same but red takes over from beige as the primary color, which gives the car a great look, and an A grade

Kasey Kahne #5 Great Clips Chevy SS Same scheme as this year, same D+ grade

Kasey Kahne #5 Pepsi Max Cheyv SS Same scheme as last year, same F grade

Marcos Ambrose #9 Stanley/DeWalt Ford Fusion Great color scheme, though the nose, and quarter panel design are over done. Even still, I give it a B-

Marcos Ambrose #9 DeWalt/Stanley Ford Fusion See Above

Tony Stewart #14 Bass Pro Shop/Mobil 1 Chevy SS I get that two companies with different desgin schemes are sharing the car, but this is just brutal to look at. The orange and camo contrast is hideous, and the overall design is overdone. C-

Tony Stewart #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shop Chevy SS The white and black contrast just looks awful! I really hope this changes before the season starts, because this is a scheme that is painful to look at. I have to give it an F

Tony Stewart #14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevy SS As bad of a color scheme as this is, it is certainly better than the other two Tony Stewart schemes are. That said, the color scheme warrants an F while the design warrants an A, so I’ll split the difference and give it a C

Greg Biffle #16 3M Ford Fusion This scheme is a MAJOR improvement over this year’s design! All of the pointless noise on the door is gone, and the car has a very smooth look because of it, and I have to give this design an A

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Nationwide Insurance Ford Fusion Great color and design schemes, though the white on light blue lettering and logos are hard to see. Even still, I have to give it an A-

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion Same scheme as last year, same grade, D

Joey Logano #22 AAA Insurance Ford Fusion  See Above

Jeff Gordon #24 Pepsi Max Chevy SS I gave this scheme a C-, but given the *ahem* other Pepsi Max scheme, I’ve reconsidered, and I will give this scheme a B

Ryan Newman #31 Caterpillar Chevy SS  An improvement on an already good scheme, A+

Aric Almirola #43 Smithfield Foods Ford Fusion If the hood and front were done in the stars design, and the rest of the car was red and white striped, it would look better, and I would be able to give it more than a C+

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowes Chevy SS Supposidly, this will be the main scheme for the whole season, and I have to say it looks amazing, and is an A+ grade

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowes/Kobalt Chevy SS This will be run for a few races, and it is an A+ scheme.

Carl Edwards #99 Fastenal Ford Fusion Same scheme as last year, same A grade

Carl Edwards #99 UPS Ford Fusion No redeeming features whatsoever, F-`

Now on to new 2013 paint schemes…

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna/Auburn University Chevy SS The white hood and roof just look aukward, compared to the black covering the rest of the car.  That said, it is still a decent scheme, and I’ll give it a B

Dave Blaney #7 Breast Cancer Awareness Chevy SS Pinkwashing is an automatic F

Marcos Ambrose #9 Bostitch Ford Fusion The 2014 scheme is previewed here, and I’ll give it the same B- grade I gave the 2014 scheme.

Landon Cassill #33 T-Mone Chevy SS This is a perfect example as to why only one person should design a car.  It looks like it took at least 3 people to design the car, each with a different idea as to what the car should look like.  And in the end it is just a mess, and not even a good color scheme can give this scheme a passing grade.  F

David Ragan #34 Safercar.gov Ford Fusion  See Above. F

JJ Yeley #36 United Mining Equipment Chevy SS Even if I didn’t give pinkwashing schemes an automatic F, this scheme would get an F anyway, it just looks awful

Kyle Larson #51 Target Chevy SS Simple, yet attractive, and it earns an A

Kurt Busch #78 Wonder Bread Chevy SS  To celebrate the return of Wonder Bread, Kurt is going to channel Ricky Bobby, except for one difference…this scheme is a lot better than the Ricky Bobby Scheme.    No flames and the baloons coming from the brake duct are a great look for this car, and it earns an A

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Mountain Dew/Xbox 1 Chevy SS  It has a great color scheme, and that is the nicest thing I can say about it.  The design is just awful, and it looks like it will give people seizures as it drives around the track.  I give it an F

Blake Koch #95 Supportmillitary.org Ford Fusion Eww…Too much going on, with the over-sized camo in too many different colors, and the door design which is awful. F-