Paint Scheme Tracker, December 17, 2015

By David G. Firestone

Lots of new schemes this week, including Austin Dillon, Greg Biffle, Sam Hornish Jr., Ty Dillon, Aric Almirola, Jimmie Johnson and Brian Vickers.

2015 Toyota Camry-The first Gen 6 redesign comes to the Camry for 2015. The front is sleeker, with a more aggressive nose, and grill area, the tail has been redesigned as well.

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna/Beechcraft Chevy SS-No Change

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion-Same basic design as 2014, but with no gold stripe, vintage Miller Crest, or hop designs on the side.

Austin Dillon #3 Cheerios Chevy SS-No change

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Chevy SS-No change

Austin Dillon #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevy SS-No Change

Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol Chevy SS-No Change

Kevin Harvick #4 Budweiser Chevy SS-No change

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmie Johns Chevy SS-No change

Kevin Harvick #4 Outback Steakhouse-No Change

Kevin Harvick #4 Ditech Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2015, blue, and white is the primary color scheme

Kasey Kahne #5 Great Clips Chevy SS-No Change

Kasey Kahne #5 Time Warner Cable Chevy SS-No Change

Kasey Kahne #5 Farmers Insurance Chevy SS-Complete redesign from last year, black, and dark blue replaces light blue and silver, and the design has been completely revamped.

Kasey Kahne #5 Liftmaster Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2015, red and white redesign of the Time Warner scheme.

Trevor Bayne #6 Advocare Ford Fusion-New team, new sponsor, red, white and blue is the color scheme.

Sam Hornish Jr. #9 Twisted Tea Ford Fusion-No Change

Danica Patrick #10 Aspen Dental Chevy SS-Same basic design as last year, but the blue ovals on the white are more pronounced.

Danica Patrick #10 GoDaddy Chevy SS-New redesign with more black and less orange.

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry-New redesign with a much simpler front and more design on the sides.

Tony Stewart #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy SS-Same color scheme as last year, but with a new design on the side.

Tony Stewart #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevy SS-Same color scheme as last year, but with a new design on the side.

Tony Stewart #14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil1 Chevy SS-No Change

Clint Bowyer #15 5 Hour Energy Toyota Camry-No Change

Greg Biffle #16 Cheez Its Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2015, red with a cheese colored stripe and crackers on the side.

Greg Biffle #16 Clean Harbors Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2015, red white and black design

Greg Biffle #16 Ortho Fire Ant Killer Ford Fusion-No change

Greg Biffle #16 Ortho Home Defense Ford Fusion-New sponsor, white design with a red and yellow stripe on the bottom, with a net design on the side.

Greg Biffle #16 Ortho Bug-B-Gon Ford Fusion-New sponsor, new design, red, black, and white is the primary color scheme.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Ford Fusion-New primary sponsor, blue, and white is the color scheme.

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Toyota Camry-No change

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Crispy Toyota Camry-New design for 2015, with a green background and more emphasis on M&M’s Crispy, as well as a new hood logo.

Carl Edwards #19 Stanley Toyota Camry-New team and new sponsor, yellow, black, and white is the color scheme.

Matt Kenseth #20 DeWalt Toyota Camry-New sponsor, black, green, yellow, and white is the color scheme.

Ryan Blaney #21 Motorcraft/Quicklane Ford Fusion-No Change

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion-No change

Joey Logano #22 AAA Ford Fusion-The AAA logo has been straightened up in 2015.

Joey Logano #22 Pennzoil Platnum Ford Fusion-No Change.

Jeff Gordon #24 Axalta Chevy SS-No Change

Jeff Gordon #24 Panasonic Toughbook Chevy SS-No Change

Paul Menard #27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menard’s Chevy SS-No change

Ryan Newman #31 Cat Chevy SS-Same color scheme, but the car as a whole has been redesigned

Ryan Newman #31 Quicken Loans Chevy SS-No change

Ty Dillon #33 Yuengling Brewery Chevy SS-New sponsor, red, white, and blue is the primary color scheme.

Ty Dillon #33 Cheerios Chevy SS-New sponsor for the Daytona 500, based on Austin Dillon’s Cheerios scheme, but with a Kroger’s logo on the hood.

Kurt Busch #41Haas CNC Chevy SS-Same color scheme, but the car has been completely redesigned.

Kurt Busch #41 Slate Water Heaters Chevy SS-No change

Aric Almoriola #43 Eckrich Ford Fusion-Same basic design, but with a Nathans logo on the rear.

Aric Almirola #43 Smithfield Ford Fusion-No change

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Chevy SS-New design, bears a resemblance to the old Kobalt tools scheme from 2009.-

Brian Vickers #55 Aaron’s Toyota Camry-Same basic design as last year, the nose has been changed, the main blue is slightly darker, and the gold has been replaced with light blue

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide Chevy SS-No Change

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevy SS-No major changes,except a Nationwide logo replaces the National Guard logo.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Kelly Blue Book Chevy SS-Same basic design but blue has replaced white as the primary color.

My Thoughts on Live Television

By David G. Firestone

Just gonna do a quick one this week. I saw this in the NASCAR Awards Banquet, and I’d like to discuss this for a minute. I love watching live television. As you may or may not know, my background is in television production, I did a lot of shoots in high school and college. Live TV is fun to watch, as opposed to pre produced television.

When you have a pre produced TV show, such as The Big Bang Theory, or NCIS, the show broadcast is refined, perfected, and is smooth. No major errors, no mistakes, and the show is perfect. Live television is so much more fun because if something goes wrong, you can’t edit it out. When you watch live sports, there is a 5 second time delay, but that really isn’t enough time to fix something that goes wrong. A great example is when Jimmie Johnson’s engine blew, and the TV broadcast tuned into his radio in perfect time to hear Chad Knaus shout “You have got to be f–king kidding me!” Another example is the power outrage during Super Bowl XLVII. I love moments like that, because it’s always fun watching on air talent scramble to explain what’s going on.

I’ve also watched Peter Pan Live! and The Sound of Music Live! I did this, not just because I love watching live television, but in addition to working behind the camera, I’ve acted on stage. So having worked on both sides of the camera, I understand some of the pressure behind it. So I watched the production and the one thing that stuck out to me about Peter Pan Live is that the on-air talent did not seem as comfortable as they should have doing it. There were minor issues with the broadcast but it went over well.

Live news can be feast or famine. 95% of live news shows go over smoothly, but the other 5% are amazing to watch. I saw this on 9/11 and again with the Ferguson riots, where so much is going on, and it’s so hard to cover all of the news in the area, that professionalism goes right out the door. In both these events, the havoc going on around the reporters and camera crews made a professional broadcast a pipe dream.

Television has bonded us as a country, and live broadcasts are always fun to watch, whether it’s sports, news or a musical.

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.

2015 Paint Scheme Tracker-December 10, 2015

By David G. Firestone

Kyle Busch has a new primary scheme for 2015, not much to report otherwise.

2015 Toyota Camry-The first Gen 6 redesign comes to the Camry for 2015. The front is sleeker, with a more aggressive nose, and grill area, the tail has been redesigned as well.

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna/Beechcraft Chevy SS-No Change

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion-Same basic design as 2014, but with no gold stripe, vintage Miller Crest, or hop designs on the side.

Austin Dillon #3 Cheerios Chevy SS-No change

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Chevy SS-No change

Austin Dillon #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevy SS-No Change

Kevin Harvick #4 Budweiser Chevy SS-No change

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmie Johns Chevy SS-No change

Kevin Harvick #4 Outback Steakhouse-No Change

Kevin Harvick #4 Ditech Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2015, blue, and white is the primary color scheme

Kasey Kahne #5 Great Clips Chevy SS-No Change

Kasey Kahne #5 Time Warner Cable Chevy SS-No Change

Kasey Kahne #5 Farmers Insurance Chevy SS-Complete redesign from last year, black, and dark blue replaces light blue and silver, and the design has been completely revamped.

Kasey Kahne #5 Liftmaster Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2015, red and white redesign of the Time Warner scheme.

Trevor Bayne #6 Advocare Ford Fusion-New team, new sponsor, red, white and blue is the color scheme.

Danica Patrick #10 Aspen Dental Chevy SS-Same basic design as last year, but the blue ovals on the white are more pronounced.

Danica Patrick #10 GoDaddy Chevy SS-New redesign with more black and less orange.

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry-New redesign with a much simpler front and more design on the sides.

Tony Stewart #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy SS-Same color scheme as last year, but with a new design on the side.

Tony Stewart #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevy SS-Same color scheme as last year, but with a new design on the side.

Tony Stewart #14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil1 Chevy SS-No Change

Clint Bowyer #15 5 Hour Energy Toyota Camry-No Change

Greg Biffle #16 Ortho Fire Ant Killer Ford Fusion-No change

Greg Biffle #16 Ortho Home Defense Ford Fusion-New sponsor, white design with a red and yellow stripe on the bottom, with a net design on the side.

Greg Biffle #16 Ortho Bug-B-Gon Ford Fusion-New sponsor, new design, red, black, and white is the primary color scheme.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Ford Fusion-New primary sponsor, blue, and white is the color scheme.

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Toyota Camry-No change

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Crispy Toyota Camry-New design for 2015, with a green background and more emphasis on M&M’s Crispy, as well as a new hood logo.

Carl Edwards #19 Stanley Toyota Camry-New team and new sponsor, yellow, black, and white is the color scheme.

Matt Kenseth #20 DeWalt Toyota Camry-New sponsor, black, green, yellow, and white is the color scheme.

Ryan Blaney #21 Motorcraft/Quicklane Ford Fusion-No Change

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion-No change

Joey Logano #22 AAA Ford Fusion-The AAA logo has been straightened up in 2015.

Joey Logano #22 Pennzoil Platnum Ford Fusion-No Change.-

Jeff Gordon #24 Axalta Chevy SS-No Change

Jeff Gordon #24 Panasonic Toughbook Chevy SS-No Change

Paul Menard #27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menard’s Chevy SS-No change

Ryan Newman #31 Cat Chevy SS-Same color scheme, but the car as a whole has been redesigned

Ryan Newman #31 Quicken Loans Chevy SS-No change

Ty Dillon #33 Yuengling Brewery Chevy SS-New sponsor, red, white, and blue is the primary color scheme.

Ty Dill0n #33 Cheerios Chevy SS-New sponsor for the Daytona 500, based on Austin Dillon’s Cheerios scheme, but with a Krogers logo on the hood.

Kurt Busch #41Haas CNC Chevy SS-Same color scheme, but the car has been completely redesigned.

Kurt Busch #41 Slate Water Heaters Chevy SS-No change

Aric Almirola #43 Smithfield Ford Fusion-No change

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide Chevy SS-No Change

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevy SS-No major changes,except a Nationwide logo replaces the National Guard logo.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Kelly Blue Book Chevy SS-Same basic design but blue has replaced white as the primary color.

Paint Scheme Leaderboard, Week 3-Toyota

Toyota

By David G. Firestone

The Paint Scheme Ranking Executive Committee met this week to rank Toyota. I worked while Alejandro amused himself with a bottle cap. Now here are the rankings, and you already know what NR stands for, so I don’t have to explain it.

1-Michael Waltrip Racing #55 Rank Last Year: 1st of 14-The color schemes are good, and the design schemes work very well.

2-Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Rank Last Year: 2nd of 14-The zebra stripe Interstate Battery scheme wrecks a perfect score for Kyle this year.

3-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.

4-BK Racing #26 Rank Last Year:14th of 14-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.

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

6-Joe Gibbs Racing #11 Rank Last Year:9th of 14-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.

7-BK Racing #83 Rank Last Year:3rd of 14-VooDoo Barbecue is an over-designed mess. Dip your car is terrible, as is Zak. Burger King and Borla work well though.

8-Joe Gibbs Racing #20 Rank Last Year:8th of 14- Can all be summed up with medicore color schemes and mediocre design schemes

9-Swan Racing #30 Rank Last Year:14th of 14-The only time the car looked good was when it was unsponsored, but compared to last year’s design it looks amazing!

10-BK Racing #93 Rank Last Year:4th of 14-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.

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

12-Michael Waltrip Racing #15 Rank Last Year:11th of 14-The Peak scheme is defendable, the color scheme is good, but the rest of the schemes are just awful.

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

Next week is the grand finale!  All 55 teams will be ranked!

Paint Scheme Tracker-December 3, 2014

By David G. Firestone

After a hectic Thanksgiving week, I can now report that Austin Dillon, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, and Joey Logano all have new schemes ready.

2015 Toyota Camry-The first Gen 6 redesign comes to the Camry for 2015. The front is sleeker, with a more aggressive nose, and grill area, the tail has been redesigned as well.

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna/Beechcraft Chevy SS-No Change

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion-Same basic design as 2014, but with no gold stripe, vintage Miller Crest, or hop designs on the side.

Austin Dillon #3 Cheerios Chevy SS-No change

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Chevy SS-No change

Austin Dillon #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevy SS-No Change

Kevin Harvick #4 Budweiser Chevy SS-No change

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmie Johns Chevy SS-No change

Kevin Harvick #4 Outback Steakhouse-No Change

Kevin Harvick #4 Ditech Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2015, blue, and white is the primary color scheme

Kasey Kahne #5 Great Clips Chevy SS-No Change

Kasey Kahne #5 Time Warner Cable Chevy SS-No Change

Kasey Kahne #5 Farmers Insurance Chevy SS-Complete redesign from last year, black, and dark blue replaces light blue and silver, and the design has been completely revamped.

Kasey Kahne #5 Liftmaster Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2015, red and white redesign of the Time Warner scheme.

Trevor Bayne #6 Advocare Ford Fusion-New team, new sponsor, red, white and blue is the color scheme.

Danica Patrick #10 Aspen Dental Chevy SS-Same basic design as last year, but the blue ovals on the white are more pronounced.

Danica Patrick #10 GoDaddy Chevy SS-New redesign with more black and less orange.

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry-New redesign with a much simpler front and more design on the sides.

Tony Stewart #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy SS-Same color scheme as last year, but with a new design on the side.

Tony Stewart #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevy SS-Same color scheme as last year, but with a new design on the side.

Tony Stewart #14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil1 Chevy SS-No Change

Clint Bowyer #15 5 Hour Energy Toyota Camry-No Change

Greg Biffle #16 Ortho Fire Ant Killer Ford Fusion-No change

Greg Biffle #16 Ortho Home Defense Ford Fusion-New sponsor, white design with a red and yellow stripe on the bottom, with a net design on the side.

Greg Biffle #16 Ortho Bug-B-Gon Ford Fusion-New sponsor, new design, red, black, and white is the primary color scheme.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Ford Fusion-New primary sponsor, blue, and white is the color scheme.

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Toyota Camry-No change

Carl Edwards #19 Stanley Toyota Camry-New team and new sponsor, yellow, black, and white is the color scheme.

Matt Kenseth #20 DeWalt Toyota Camry-New sponsor, black, green, yellow, and white is the color scheme.

Ryan Blaney #21 Motorcraft/Quicklane Ford Fusion-No Change

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion-No change

Joey Logano #22 AAA Ford Fusion-The AAA logo has been straightened up in 2015.

Joey Logano #22 Pennzoil Platnum Ford Fusion-No Change.

Jeff Gordon #24 Axalta Chevy SS-No Change

Jeff Gordon #24 Panasonic Toughbook Chevy SS-No Change

Paul Menard #27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menard’s Chevy SS-No change

Ryan Newman #31 Cat Chevy SS-Same color scheme, but the car as a whole has been redesigned

Ryan Newman #31 Quicken Loans Chevy SS-No change

Ty Dillion #33 Yuengling Brewery Chevy SS-New sponsor, red, white, and blue is the primary color scheme.

Kurt Busch #41Haas CNC Chevy SS-Same color scheme, but the car has been completely redesigned.

Kurt Busch #41 Slate Water Heaters Chevy SS-No change

Aric Almirola #43 Smithfield Ford Fusion-No change

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide Chevy SS-No Change

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevy SS-No major changes,except a Nationwide logo replaces the National Guard logo.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Kelly Blue Book Chevy SS-Same basic design but blue has replaced white as the primary color.

Thankful for Thanksgiving

By David G. Firestone

I had wanted to do this on Thursday, but due to time constraints, and the fact that I work in a grocery store when I’m not doing this, I didn’t get to it until today. I try to keep it light around The Driver Suit Blog, but I have a few things to say to my readers, and some things to say about what I really am thankful for.

I am thankful for my readers. Without you, The Driver Suit Blog would not exist. I knew there was some interest in this, but almost 34,000 views makes it worth the effort. I love you guys, and I really mean that.

I am thankful for the opportunities I have had over the years to analyze different things concerning uniforms and racing memorabilia. I’ve gone down roads I never thought I would have, and I’ve learned so much over the years!

I am thankful for my job. It’s always easy working at a grocery store, especially before Thanksgiving, but I’ve been there for 7 years, and I’m still going strong.

I am thankful for my co-workers. I have a great group of co-workers, and while we don’t always get along, we can always count on each other.

I am thankful to my pets, my cat Alejandro, and my dog Lucy, who can help bring me up, even when I feel down.

I am thankful to my personal friends, who are a great support in life, and who can help bring me up, even when I feel lower than down.

I am thankful that I have a place to live, food to eat, a job for work, and great people around me for support.

Last and certainly not least, I am thankful for my family. Without them, I would be nowhere in life, and I would have nothing.

I really am thankful for everything I have. Thank you readers! You guys really are awesome!

Paint Scheme Leaderboard-Week #2-Ford

Ford

By David G. Firestone

Last Week, Chevy teams were ranked. This week, the Paint Scheme Ranking Executive Committee, made up of myself, and Alejandro my black cat have determined how Ford’s teams will be ranked. Alejandro was slightly more useful this week, keeping my leg warm while he slept. As with last week, teams that did not exist or did not run Fords last year will be marked with NR for Not Ranked.

1-Wood Brothers #21 Rank Last Year:1st of 17-The Wood Brothers always design great cars, and the Quick Lane scheme uses the blue very well. It all looks good!

2-Team Penske #2 Rank Last Year:6th of 17-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.

3-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.

4-Richard Petty Motorsports #43 Rank Last Year:2nd of 17-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.

5-Levine Family Racing #95 Rank Last Year:16th of 17-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.

6-Front Row Motorsports #34 Rank Last Year:11th of 17-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!

7-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.

8-Front Row Motorsports #35 Rank Last Year:10th of 17-The Hefty scheme is a little unorthodox, silver and orange isn’t a great combo, but the design looks good. MDS looks good.

9-Team Penske #12 Rank Last Year:3rd of 17-The SKF scheme works very well. The Penske Truck Rental scheme uses a horrible shade of orange, and just looks hideous.

10-Phil Parsons Racing #98 Rank Last Year: 15th of 17-While I like the Dogecoin,Trench Shoring,iRacing, black Curb Records, and unsponsored black schemes, anything else looks horrendous.

11-Front Row Motorsports #38 Rank Last Year:9th of 17-Most of the schemes are good, but the Love’s Truck Stops, and Love’s Truck Stops Camo schemes are horrific.

12-Roush Fenway Racing #17 Rank Last Year:5th of 17-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.

13-Richard Petty Motorsports #9 Rank Last Year:4th of 17-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.

14-Team Penske #22 Rank Last Year:14th of 17-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.

15-Roush Fenway Racing #99 Rank Last Year:12th of 17-Fastenal looks good, but anything else looks terrible.

16-Go FAS Racing #32 Rank Last Year:8th of 17-The Terry Labonte throwback scheme was amazing, but most of their other schemes are over-designed messes.

17-Roush Fenway Racing #16 Rank Last Year:7th of 17-Every scheme is terrible.

Ford is in the rearview mirror, but next week we move on to Toyota!

My Thoughts on 2014 Manufacturers Strategies

By David G. Firestone

The 2014 racing season is officially history. The racing as a whole was great to watch, and congrats to Lewis Hamilton, Will Power, Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliot, Matt Crafton, Tony Schumacher, Matt Hagan, Erica Enders-Stevens, and Andrew Hines on their championships. You’ve earned them, so enjoy them.

I noticed a few things this year that kind of surprised me, when it comes to how manufacturers approach racing. I’ll address them each in this article. I’ll start with Chevrolet, who I have to confess I have a lot of respect for. They are doing everything right. Chevy has the horsepower, the durability, and the momentum. In NASCAR, in the Camping World, Nationwide and Sprint Cup series they won 38 of 91 races. They have been the dominant team in NASCAR, and their return to IndyCar has been successful as well, winning 12 of 18. I like what they are doing this season.

It seems, at least to me that they foster competition between the teams that build engines, and then take the technical data and improve their racing department as a whole. That gives them an advantage over Ford and Toyota, at least in NASCAR, who tend to take an “all for one and one for all approach,” but I’ll get to that in a bit. Bottom line, I like what Chevy has done

Moving on to Ford, they were strong, winning 24 of 91 races. But in my mind, this was Ford’s season to make something happen. Ford has struggled in NASCAR over the years, and I thought that if Ford didn’t make something happen they might pull back on their NASCAR program. I think that they dropped the ball this season. In NASCAR, their “all for one and one for all” approach might work, if not for the fact that in includes Jack Roush. As an owner, I regard him the same way I regarded Al Davis of the Oakland Raiders, or William Wirtz of the Chicago Blackhawks. Basically I hold little hope for the team having real success until Jack Roush dies. Sounds crass, but that is the truth. Roush Fenway Racing should have more Sprint Cup Championships than they do, and I think Roush is the problem. Why he distrusts the free agent market is a mystery to me. He has rigidly stuck with his “gong show” format for signing development drivers but won’t sign a free agent to save his life. Even Joe Gibbs, as stubborn as he is, will now use the free agent market to his advantage.

I would like to see Ford do better in NASCAR, but I think that the lack of competition is hurting them. Ford has a lot of talent, but they don’t have the success to back it up in NASCAR. In the NHRA I don’t understand why they announced they were pulling out when they did. Both Ford and Castrol announced within a week of each other that they were leaving the NHRA, and it put John Force under a lot of pressure, and I think cost them the Championship. I have to question the judgment of Ford when your decision costs your most noticable team a championship in the long run. Not smart at all.

Toyota, you’re up. They won 28 of 91 races in NASCAR but that doesn’t tell the story entirely. They won 17 of 22 Camping World Truck Series races, and the Championship. In the Nationwide Series, they won 10 races, but in the Sprint Cup, they won two points races. At Daytona, they looked to be the team to beat, winning the Sprint Unlimited and both duel races, but had no success, winning two races, the second of which was the 10th of 36. So to recap, from May 10 at Kansas to November 16 at Homestead Miami, Toyota didn’t win a single race. It’s amazing how a team that is as close-knit as Toyota can have as little success as they do. How can a team be so dominant in the Truck Series, but all but dead in the Sprint Cup? It boggles the mind. Toyota has talent on their roster, but they didn’t do anything with it in 2014. It’s amazing how the most solid of the 3 major manufacturers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has no direction or leadership at all.

And forget Toyota in the NHRA. Again it amazes me how a team with lots of talent on the roster can be all but invisible when it comes to the championship. Toyota had a lot of drivers in the Countdown to One but none of them did anything worthwhile in the Countdown. I was amazed that Dodge swept the nitro Championships considering who was on Toyota’s roster. It came down to Dodge Vs. Ford for the Championship. It wasn’t what Toyota had wanted at all.

While we’re on the subject of Toyota, I’d like to talk about Don Schumacher Racing for a minute. Why of the 7 drivers at DSR is Antron Brown the only Toyota driver when the other cars are using Dodge equipment? I can’t be the only one to have noticed this. 6 of the 7 cars are running Mopar equipment, Hell Matt Hagan is SPONSORED by Mopar, but for reasons I still don’t get, Antron Brown is running Toyota engines. Instead of having all 7 teams on one page, 6 teams are on one page, 1 team is on another page. I don’t get this logic at all. Why not use the Hendrick method, where all teams are running the same equipment, and are working as a cohesive unit to make the team better as a whole? Well I don’t know, and it doesn’t make sense to me.

Honda, you are last. You were the top dog in IndyCar for many years, but the moment Chevy comes back, you get smacked down to the worse of two teams. In 3 seasons back in IndyCar, Chevy has had your number for all 3 of them. Again you have talent, but because there was no development through competition over the years, you have been catching up. So I expect you to start stepping up, and stepping up soon.

While there were issues with the various manufacturers in 2014, the racing as a whole was worth watching, and made the sport so much fun this season. I look forward to 2015, and so will you!

Paint Scheme Leaderboard, Week #1-Chevy

By David G. Firestone

Starting this week, and for the next four Fridays, we will rank the paint schemes of all 55 race teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup. I will not grade any paint schemes until these rankings are done, but I will still update the Paint Scheme Tracker on Wednesday. The rankings were determined by the Paint Scheme Ranking Executive Committee, made up of myself, and Alejandro my black cat, though all he did was sleep through the proceedings. First up will be Chevy. I will also add the rank each scheme held last year. Teams that did not exist or run Chevy cars will be marked as NR for Not Ranked..

1-Hendrick Motorsports #48 Rank Last Year: 1st of 19-Classic, smooth looks with no needless clutter. Jimmie always runs great schemes

2-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.

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

4-Richard Childress Racing #31 Rank Last Year: 13th of 19-A lot of great schemes this year, but Wix is overdone, and the Cat/Quicken Loans hybrid looks awful

5-Chip Ganassi Racing #1 Rank Last Year: 9th of 19- 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

6-Furniture Row Racing #78 Rank Last Year: 2nd of 19-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.

7-Hendrick Motorsports #88 Rank Last Year: 8th of 19-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.

8-Chip Ganassi Racing #42 Rank Last Year: 4th of 19-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.

9-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.

10-JTG Daugherty Racing #47 Rank Last Year: NR-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.

11-Hendrick Motorsports #24 Rank Last Year: 14th of 19-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.

12-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.

13-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.

14-HScott Motorsports #51 Rank Last Year: 5th of 19-If the car is running a Brandt scheme it looks good, anything else looks terrible.

15-Richard Childress Racing #27 Rank Last Year: 6th of 19-Neon yellow looks terrible, when they use the stripes on the sides it looks even worse. The Pittsburgh Paints scheme looks really good though.

16-CircleSport/Richard Childress Racing #33 Rank Last Year: 19th of 19-

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

18-Tommy Baldwin Racing #36 Rank Last Year:10th of 19-Another example of a team where when the car is unsponsored, it looks better.

19-Stewart Haas Racing #14 Rank Last Year: 7th of 19-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.

20-Tommy Baldwin Racing #7 Rank Last Year:16th of 19-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.

21-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.

22-Germain Racing #13 Rank Last Year:NR-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.

23-Hendrick Motorsports #5 Rank Last Year:17th of 19-The only half decent scheme is Pepsi. Everything else is an over designed mess.

24-Stewart Haas Racing #10 Rank Last Year:14th of 19-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.

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

Next week, we move on to Ford…See you soon!

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