2015 Paint Scheme Tracker-10-21-2014

By David G. Firestone

Two Jeff Gordon schemes this week, not much else to say, it should pick up in a few weeks.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

Jeff Gordon #24 Axalta Chevy SS-No Change

Jeff Gordon #24 Panasonic Toughbook Chevy SS-No Change

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion-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

My Thoughts on Racing-October 20, 2014

By David G. Firestone

The Contender Round is behind us, the Eliminator Round is upon us, and to my great surprise, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Jr., Kyle Busch, and Kasey Kahne were eliminated, and Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth remain. When it comes to these drivers, I’ll give you Denny and Matt, they are both hard nosed drivers with a lot of talent, granted Toyota does not, for whatever reason, seem to have the horsepower it needs. Carl is the only non-Penske Ford left in the Chase, but I don’t think he can win it all, I just don’t think he has the horsepower either. My bet at this point is either Joey Logano or Brad Keselowski, since Penske has gelled as a team, both drivers are great friends, get along well, and work well as teammates. I can’t wait until Homestead to see how this ends.

I don’t pay attention to TV ratings when it comes to racing. I say this as I have a degree in media studies, and I focused on TV production in college. That said, I’m going to be paying attention to the TV ratings on November 2 for the AAA Texas 500 and the US Grand Prix. I’m fascinated by the fact that F1 and NASCAR are racing in the same state at the same time. I don’t know who pulled the trigger on this, but F1 will never be able to win a popularity contest against NASCAR in the United States. It’s just not going to happen. F1 didn’t race in America between 1981-1988, 1992-1999, and 2007-2011. They never had a fan base in the US to begin with, and now, for some reason, Bernie Ecclestone now thinks that F1 can beat NASCAR in a ratings battle, good luck with that.

Formula 1 is used to being the big shot in every country they race at. The minute they come to the US, they are a second banana to NASCAR. They aren’t publicly stating that, but that’s what they are thinking. You know it and I know it. Every other country they go to in a season is a major event. At the Grand Prix of Russia, Vladimir Putin was in the audience. Hell, he gave the trophies to the podium. If F1 expects a politician to attend the race, they’d better expect someone like Anthony Foxx, the Secretary of Transportation, because that is the best they can expect. F1 is irrelevant in the United States. They expect to be the big racing story in the country, they won’t even be the biggest racing story in their state! Above that, both the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans are playing at home so at best they will be the fourth biggest sports story in Texas. Also, the NHRA is having Eliminations from the Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas, thus dropping F1 down to the third biggest racing story on November 2. I want to see the TV ratings for both races to see who won this battle for viewership, and I’m willing to bet it’s going to be NASCAR.

Do I blame F1 for wanting to be more aggressive in the American market? No, F1 wants to tap into American market to boost the sport, add new fans and increase the bottom line. Give Bernie Ecclestone credit for trying because he is very aggressive in forcing his way into the American market. You’ve got the US Grand Prix, there are plans for a street race in New York City for 2015, and he just announced this week that he wants to hold a street race in Las Vegas. Again, he won’t win the battle against NASCAR but give him credit for trying. One reason a lot of Americans don’t like F1, is that we have no vested interest in the sport. No American drivers or teams, so we have nobody to root for. Ask yourself this question, why would you follow a sport where you have no one to root for, and you are not represented? Can’t answer that? I thought so. F1 should focus more on the European and South American markets, where it is huge, and gets great TV ratings and grow the sport more with huge fan bases rather than try and fail to win a country that doesn’t care about it.

I’d like to say something else before I go. I’m a huge Dale Jr. fan, I was a fan of his father, and he is my favorite driver. That being said, can I just say to Junior Nation right now…SHUT UP! Although I like Dale Jr. I’m not myopic enough to expect him to win the Sprint Cup Championship this season, or any season for that matter. Junior is not a championship caliber driver. I will say that publicly, for the record, and I will not apologize or back down from that statement. Junior is the equivalent of the Chicago Cubs, the Cleveland Browns, the New York Knicks, and the St. Louis Blues, all these teams have great fan bases who are dedicated to their teams and follow them and support them, but these teams will never win championships, not now not ever. I’m tired of hearing Junior Nation cry about not winning the championship every year, get over it.

Introduction to Sports Memorabilia-Jeff Jones Race-Used Set

A set of items, a driver suit, arm restraints, 2 sets of goggles, gloves, and shoes worn by 1980’s SCCA driver Jeff Jones will be examined this week.

Tunnel Vision…A Good Thing?

zizzovisor-1By David G. Firestone

lepage94-2This is a helmet worn by Kevin LePage in 1994. This style of open-faced helmet was worn by drivers for many years in NASCAR, and it was allowed because NASCAR did not want to restrict the vision of the drivers. They felt that if this helmet kept drivers from losing situational awareness and help prevent tunnel vision on some level it would keep them from getting into dangerous wrecks. Why would a driver wear a visor to help create tunnel vision? Let me explain the whole story…

So this last Sunday, I had the day off, no motorsports on TV. I had purchased a racing slick from Zizzo Racing. TJ Zizzo is the driver, he’s based in Lincolnshire Illinois, I’m based in Evanston, and my friend Matt and I went down to pick up the slick. TJ was kind enough to show me around the shop, as they prepare the car for The Toyota Nationals at Las Vegas. TJ was awesome, and I had a great time.

One of the things that I got was a visor. I’ve been wanting to get an NHRA visor from some time, and I got one that had the modification I’ve been seeing, as seen below.zizzovisor-1 zizzovisor-2 zizzovisor-3 zizzovisor-4 zizzovisor-5I asked TJ why he had this modification, and he said that he wants to focus on the task at hand. He said that drag racing drivers can notice things, birds, scoreboards, women in the crowd, etc in the car in the moments leading up to the race, and this modification helps the driver by giving him tunnel vision. Tunnel vision is seen by the majority of people as a bad thing, but in something like drag racing, where intense focus for a brief period of time is a mandate, tunnel vision is a good thing. Top fuel dragsters have 10,000 horsepower and can go from 0 to 325 mph in less than 3 seconds.When you are behind the wheel of a car with that much power, you need to focus on the race as much as possible.  TJ wears this style of visor because, the less he can see out of the helmet, the more he can focus on the race.TJ even said that this visor is much less covered than his current version, which looks something like this…zizzovisor-1 - CopyThis version is not uncommon in this day in age, both Al-Anabi drivers Khalid alBalooshi  and Shawn Langdon wear visors similar to this design.

I didn’t bring my camera with me, I wish I had, because I got to see the remnants of his engine from his blow up in Indianapolis. As I have a tendency to do, I’ll let the footage speak for itself…

He still has the blower drive seen flying in the video. I was amazed how heavy it was. He has one shelf in his new shop that has the pieces of the engine, and the damage suffered, from a fan’s stand point. The manifold that blew was made of solid magnesium and was heavy duty. The crankshaft in question was not only broken, but was slightly bent near the break. I wound up getting one of the rear tires from that race.zizzortire-1 zizzortire-3

Rear tires from top fuel dragsters are 3 feet tall by 17 inches wide. I’m planning on getting a glass to and making a coffee table at some point. The level of wear on the tires is amazing, with large patches of damage from the explosion.zizzortire-4 zizzortire-5 zizzortire-6 zizzortire-7

zizzortire-10 zizzortire-11TJ also signed it and personalized it to me!zizzortire-2

I also got a front tire, which is 22 inches tall, by 3 inches wide. zizzoftire-1 zizzoftire-2 zizzoftire-3 zizzoftire-4 zizzoftire-5I’m not sure when it was raced, but it does show wear and it has ZIZZO written on the tread. To give an idea the size difference between the two, here are the two of them together in my office…zizzotiresI’ve gotta thank TJ Zizzo and Zizzo Racing for this chance. They are a great bunch of guys, they were all very nice, GO ZIZZO!

Paint Scheme Grades October 9-16

By David G. Firestone

I want to clarify something that I stated last week. My rule for pinkwashing is an automatic F. After a few people pointed out to me that almost everyone is wearing a pink ribbon, I’ve made the decision not to factor a pink ribbon into the grades. That said, pink lettering, numbers, or background will still earn an automatic F. Let’s get to the reviews.

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna/Beechcraft Chevy SS Pinkwashing is an automatic F

Brad Keselowski #2 Redd’s Wicked Ale Ford Fusion My only complaint is that this isn’t a Miller Genuine Draft scheme. The color scheme is really good, and the design scheme is really good, A+

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx One Rate Toyota Camry Um…huh? Someone explain to me what black leather and zippers have to do with FedEx? It’s not a bad design, though I could have done without the green at the bottom, so I’ll give it an A-, but I don’t get why they used that design at all.

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Halloween Toyota Camry M&M’s always have great Halloween schemes, and this is no different. Orange and black are always a good scheme, and the design fits both M&M’s and Halloween very well. I’ll give it an A+

Terry Labonte #32 C&J Energy Services Ford Fusion Terry is making his 890th start at Talladega, and this scheme is in honor of that. This is now, officially, my all-time favorite throwback scheme. The driver side is designed to look like his Kellogg’s scheme when he won the 1996 Sprint Cup Championship, and the passenger side is designed to look like his 1984 Championship winning Piedmont Airlines scheme. I couldn’t say anything bad about this if my life depended on is, A+

David Ragan #34 Dockside Logistics Ford Fusion The all white look works well, as does the red curved stripe down the sides. The color scheme is really good, and I give it an A+

Landon Cassill #40 Thunder Coal Chevy SS Between the paint scheme grades for last week, and the race at Charlotte, Cassill picked up Thunder Coal as a sponsor. The logo works well on a white background, and the car has a clean, smooth look that earns an A+

Kyle Larson #42 Energizer Chevy SS Same scheme as last year, same D grade

Michael Waltrip #66 My AFib Story Toyota Camry Ok, this one needs some explaining. Michael Waltrip suffers from Atrial fibrillation or AFib, an abnormal heart rhythm. He is working with The American Heart Association to inform people about AFib, and this scheme features pictures of those who have shared their stories about dealing with the disease, and I have to give this an A+ for that. It also doesn’t hurt that the color and design schemes are really good too!

Michael McDowell #95 Jordan Truck Sales Ford Fusion Pinkwashing earns an automatic F. It should be noted that this is the first time a team has put a Twitter handle on the side of their car.

Josh Wise #98 Provident Metals Ford Fusion A much more scaled down version of the paint scheme, which is much smoother and better looking. It has a great color scheme, so I’ll give it a B+.

2015 Paint Scheme Tracker

By David G. Firestone

This week, Toyota rolled out their new 2015 Toyota Camry, and came out with the new Gen 6 car design, nothing really besides that.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion-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

Introduction to Sports Memorabilia-Richard Petty Experience Suit

This week’s episode features something that countless racing enthusiasts wore this Richard Petty Driving Expirence suit to race in real race cars on real tracks.

My Thoughts on the Racing Week, October 5-12, 2014

By David Firestone

In the spirit of my recent additions to The Driver Suit Blog, I’m gonna start writing “My Thoughts on The Racing Weekend” articles on Mondays. These will be pretty straight forward articles, where I recap my thoughts on the racing of the past weekend. If there isn’t, I will comment on any and all announcements made concerning racing and racing news. That said, let’s get started.

Let’s focus on F1 first. The first Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix took place at the brand new Sochi Autodrom in Sochi Russia. The race itself was not without controversy, given the recent events between Russia and the Ukraine. It should be noted that the circuit is a street circuit, with some public roads as part of it. What shocked a lot of drivers was the lack of grip. The surface itself was very nonabrasive to tires, which given that it is brand new does not come as a shock, but the lack of grip made strategy much more complicated. I was wondering which tire compounds Pirelli would bring to the race, and the white mediums and yellow softs did come as a shock. I thought for sure that the red super softs would be used, as did many teams. The racing itself was good, the track is long and it is a really good track.

The Jules Bianci situation was a heavy topic of conversation. He is still in critical condition, but he is in stable condition. Every team and driver had their own tribute, and even F2 and F3 teams wore decals to commemorate him. Mariussa brought his car, and put it in race trim as their tribute. This was a shocking accident in a race that should have been canceled and I am waiting for an explanation as to why the race had to be held.

As for NASCAR, the race at Charlotte was a good one. A rain storm mandated a competition caution, which I don’t like but I accept, and Toyota showed some horsepower in their cars for the first time in a while. Kevin Harvick was putting together a winning effort, but for many similar efforts he put together this year, he came up short. But the major story was a disagreement between Matt Kenseth and Brad Keselowski, and I’ll let the footage speak for itself…

It’s emotion, plain and simple. Kenseth and Keselowski are two passionate drivers. Kenseth suffered the heartbreak of being eliminated from the Chase in the Challenger round. Keselowski had a disagreement with Denny Hamlin, and accidentally ran into Kenseth. Kenseth had his seat belt and some of his safety equipment off, and could have been seriously hurt. I don’t blame Kenseth for what he did, I would have done the same thing. I think Keselowski was being very brash, but you don’t win championships without being a little brash. What will happen penalty wise we will find out later in the week.

As for me, I spent the day yesterday with my best friend Matt and we went to Zizzo Racing to pick up some memorabilia, but more on that on Sunday. I will be back on Wednesday with the Paint Scheme Tracker and on Friday with Paint Scheme Grades. I’m gonna try something I’ve been wanting to do for a while right now. I read and am a huge fan of Uni-Watch, and on Saturdays, they run a piece called 5+1. Written by Catherine Ryan, 5+1 ranks the top 5 college football games in terms of attractiveness of uniforms, and the +1 is the worst. So I’m gonna try this for the race at Charlotte.

5 Jamie McMurray #1 McDonalds Monopoly Chevy SS Smooth look, great color scheme, and I like the use of Big Mac on the name rail.

4 Landon Cassill #40 Hillman Racing Chevy SS Less is more…a lot more. White works well as a background color, and you can’t go wrong with a good shade of red!

3 Kyle Busch #18 Double Mint Toyota Camry While green has traditionally been an unlucky color for race cars, it has been used very well here. The rather simple clean design works well too.

2 Brad Keselowski #2 Detroit Genuine Parts Ford Fusion If the lettering had a black outline, it would have been more visible, but even still, the baby blue works well, as it usually does. The simple design works very well too.

1 Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowes Chevy SS Perfect design and color schemes combine for an awesome scheme!

And the +1 Danica Patrick #10 Go Daddy Chevy SS Pink for October is usually bad, but Go Daddy likes to use a really bad shade of pink. Combine that with an already bad color scheme, and design scheme, and it just looks horrible.

Politics Never Looked This Good!

21-monsamBy David G. Firestone

John Monsam is a NASCAR Camping World Series crew chief. While he has limited experience in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, he has 8 wins in 14 seasons. He also has 2 wins in the ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series. His most impressive season came while he was the crew chief for Mike Bliss in 2002 when they won the Craftsman Truck Series Championship, with 5 wins, 13 top 5’s and 18 top 10’s. In 2003, Jon Wood took over for Mike Bliss and they had two wins, 10 top 5’s, and 20 top 10’s. They wound up finishing 5th in the points standings.

Starting at the 2003 O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas, Jon Wood picked up Bob Graham’s Presidential bid as a sponsor. This lasted until the 2003 Advance Auto Parts 200 at Martinsville on October 18, almost two weeks after he dropped his bid for the Presidential ballot in 2004. Monsam wore this firesuit, since the threat of fire on pit road is great, and fire does not care who you are.

I’ve complained about politics in racing before, and that complaint is still valid. But as a collector, and a researcher, I don’t pass up something like this. A race-used crew chief suit is not easy to come by. So I will discuss its traits like I would a driver suit. It is a single-layer suit, SFI certified. 21-monsam 21-monsamb The chest has a CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES, FORD, and ROUSH RACING logos on the right side21-monsam-collar 21-monsam-tag 21-monsam-rchest , and a WILDERNESS FOUNDATION logo on the left chest.21-monsam-lchest The torso has BOB GRAHAM RACING TEAM sewn into it.21-monsam-flogo It has full arm gussets, no design on the shoulder epaulets, and has no television logos. 21-monsam-rshoulder21-monsam-rsleeve121-monsam-rsleeve221-monsam-lsleeve121-monsam-lsleeve2 The legs have an odd design in that they say Bob Graham’s racing motto on the side, “Workday Bob Graham, Racing For America” which is the first time I have ever seen a motto on the legs.21-monsam-legs Monsam’s name is on the belt, but on the back as opposed to the front. 21-monsam 21-monsambOn the back is a JR’S GARAGE logo, WWW.ROUSHRACING.COM, and the same BOB GRAHAM’S RACING TEAM logo that is on the front.21-monsam-bneck 21-monsam-blogo

Paint Scheme Grades…A Change to the Format

By David G. Firestone

So after giving this some thought after the 2015 tracker, I decided that I need to do more on this blog.  Toward that end, starting on Fridays, I will post paint scheme grades.  I will work on them during the week up to Thursdays, and then post them on Friday morning.  Once the 2015 season starts, I will move this to Wednesdays.  So without further ado…paint scheme reviews!  Let’s start with 2015 grades from new schemes featured on Wednesday…

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion The same basic scheme as 2014, but the hop design, gold trim, and old Miller crest have been removed, and the look is much smoother and cleaner. I didn’t think they could improve on an A+ design, but they proved me wrong, so I’ll give it an A++!

Austin Dillon #3 Cheerios Chevy SS Good color scheme, great design, A+

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Chevy SS While I like the color scheme and number and logo designs, the white stripe up the side kills the look. It takes an A scheme to a B+ scheme.

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

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmie Johns Chevy SS Great color and design, but I still don’t understand why Jimmy Johns sponsors Harvick instead of Jimmie Johnson…still a solid A scheme

Kevin Harvick #4 Outback Steakhouse Same Scheme as last year, same grade, A

Kevin Harvick #4 Ditech Chevy SS New sponsor for 2015, and it has a great look. The blue as a whole is good, and the contrasting blue on the door numbers looks really good. The door design gives the appearance of an old school brake duct, and this car just looks great! I give it an A+!

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

Kasey Kahne #5 Time Warner Cable Chevy SS It is a good color scheme, but the design on the side needs a little tweaking. Get rid of the needless zig-zag pattern and it works a whole lot better. It is still a decent scheme, so I will give it a C

Trevor Bayne #6 Advocare Ford Fusion New team, new design for 2015. I love the basic design, and the color scheme is great. However the candy cane stripes on the nose are pointless, and take away from the overall design. I’ll give it an A-

Danica Patrick #10 Aspen Dental Chevy SS Same scheme as last year, same C grade

Tony Stewart #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy SS A perfect example of why camo does not work on race cars. If it were just the orange and black, I would give it an A- but the camo takes it down to a B- and the white takes it down to a C+

Tony Stewart #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevy SS Much smoother look, much better design, I’ll give it an A

Tony Stewart #14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil1 Chevy SS Same design as last year, same C grade

Greg Biffle #16 Ortho Bug-B-Gon Ford Fusion Red and black is a great color scheme, and the fade effects are pretty cool too. The ant design is really good, so for the first time in a while, Greg earns an A+

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Ford Fusion New design for 2014, great color scheme, blue and white is highly underrated, and a good design earns an A

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

Paul Menard #27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menard’s Chevy SS Same design as last year, same A grade

Ryan Newman #31 Cat Chevy SS Same color scheme as last year, but with a much smoother and simpler design. I can’t give it anything less than an A+ so I won’t

Ryan Newman #31 Quicken Loans Chevy SS Same scheme as last year, same A+ grade.

Kurt Busch #41Haas CNC Chevy SS Complete redesign, and like Brad Keselowski, I didn’t think they could improve on an A+ design but I was wrong. A+

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

Aric Almirola #43 Smithfield Ford Fusion One of the rare instances where I will change a grade. I didn’t like this design initally, I gave it a D+, but it has grown on me, and I think it deserves a B-

Now on to 2014

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna/McDonalds Monopoly Chevy SS Another instance of two different car designs clashing with each other, and it does not look good at all. D-

Kasey Kahne #5 Pepsi Chevy SS Good color scheme, but much too overdesigned. C-

Trevor Bayne #6 Advocare Ford Fusion See Above

Danica Patrick #10 Go Daddy Chevy SS-Pinkwashing is an automatic F.

Matt Kenseth #20 Home Depot Toyota Camry A fitting end to 15 years of NASCAR sponsorship is with a C- design. Love the color scheme, hate the overall design scheme.

Joey Logano #22 Pennzoil Platnum Ford Fusion Contrasting colors and being over designed to the point of absurdity earns this scheme a solid F.

Cole Whitt #26 Moen Toyota Camry Great color scheme, great overall design, A+

Blake Koch #32 Leaf Filter Ford Fusion Good color scheme, much too over designed, C-

Timmy Hill #33 Retro Infinity Chevy SS Great color scheme, much too over designed. C-

Reed Sorenson #36 Zing Znag Chevy SS It has pinkwashing elements which earn it an automatic F

Corey LaJoie #77 Essex Homes Ford Fusion great design, mediocre color scheme earn this scheme an A-

Ryan Truex #83 Painters Ice Cream Toyota Camry Great color scheme, and simple smooth design earn this scheme an A+

Michael McDowell #95 Pieter’s Pals Ford Fusion Another great A+ Levine Family Racing scheme!

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