Paint Scheme Grades-January 14, 2017

By David G. Firestone

Kasey Kahne #5 UniFrst Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Trevor Bayne #6 Liberty National Ford Fusion-The color scheme is a good choice, but I don’t like the dual stripes, and the cut out around the numbers looks odd. It’s still not a bad scheme, and all things considered, I give it a B-.

Danica Patrick #10 Nature’s Bakery Ford Fusion-The same basic scheme as last year, which is a good scheme to begin with, has been improved by removing the black stripe across the bottom. I give it an A.

Danica Patrick #10 Code 3 Associates Ford Fusion-The color scheme is good, and I like the basic design. It’s simple, and looks good. I give it an A.

Clint Bowyer #14 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion-I like the new Mobil 1 scheme, it has a good color scheme, and the design scheme looks great. It earns an A.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Sunny D Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same F grade.

Rickey Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Ford Fusion-Reversing the color scheme can be hit or miss, and this new Fastenal scheme is a hit. The scheme looks good, and it earns an A.

Joey Gase #23 Best Furnishing Toyota Camry-It’s a decent color scheme, but an over done, needlessly bad design scheme kills it. It just doesn’t look good. If the blue were a little darker, I could give it a D-, but with the light blue, it earns an F.

Chase Elliott #24 Sun Energy Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same F grade.

Kurt Busch #41 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion-The Mobil 1 scheme looks good this year, and while I’m not a fan of the green, it still is a solid A scheme.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, NASCAR,Chevy, SS, Chevy SS, Ford Fusion, Ford, Fusion, Toyota Camry, Toyota, Camry, UniFirst, Trevor Bayne, Liberty National, Danica Patrick, Nature’s Bakery, Code 3 Associates, Clint Bowyer, Mobil 1, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Sunny D, Fastenal, Sun Energy,

NASCAR Book Club-NASCAR: A Complete History

1By David G. Firestone

Many NASCAR fans are NASCAR historians, as am I. I love learning about the history of auto racing, and the history of automobiles. I also love being able to access information about the history of NASCAR. For those who love NASCAR, one of the best books is NASCAR The Complete History. I have the 2013 edition, which covers up to the end of the 2013 season.1The book is a heavy-duty leather covered book with a stock car depiction on it. Inside, each season is given a few pages, in which the story of the season, photos and statistics are present. There is a bit of generalization involved with the seasons review, but it’s forgivable because a lot of details about the season, the drivers, and the racing that is really good. It’s a long read, but a good read.2 3 4 7 8 9 As a reference material, it’s great because it contains a lot of things that can’t really be found in other books, especially about the early seasons of NASCAR, and some of the early drivers. It’s easy to lose track of time while reading this book, there are so many good stories, and good information. As a book, its a great read that could be read over the course of a weekend. The writing is great, and interestingly, there are times where you take an interest where it wouldn’t seem that interesting.

Each year, a new edition is published, in order to add the previous season’s information into the book. I find that the new editions aren’t as interesting, because much of the new information is stuff we’ve just seen, and I like the older, more obscure things the books discusses.

My final assessment is that this book is a must-have for NASCAR fans and I would go so far as to say that it should be in the possession of all racing fans. It’s a great reference, and a great read.

Throwback Thursday-Bobby Unser 1981

1981 saw Bobby Unser won the Indy 500, in this 1981 #3 The Norton Spirit Penske Cosworth

Blue, yellow, and white can be iffy, but the shades are all good, and the scheme as a whole is good. I like the yellow and white design by the windshield. My one complaint is that the front wing and rear wing would look better blue than white. Still, it’s a good solid A- scheme.

Paint Scheme Tracker-January 11, 2017

By David G. Firestone

CHIP GANASSI RACING TEAM #1

Jamie McMurray #1 GearWrench Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, black, with yellow, and red stripes across bottom. A

TEAM PENSKE #2

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford FusionNo Change A

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

Brad Keselowski #2 Wurth Ford FusionNo Change. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Auto Trader Ford FusionNo Change D-

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #3

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, black front, with red designs near wheel well, white fade across quarter panels. A-

Austin Dillon #3 AAA Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, same basic scheme, but with a few minor stripe changes. D+

Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol Chevy SSNew sponsor for 2017, same basic scheme as 2016, but many of the stripes have been removed. A

STEWART-HAAS RACING #4

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, all blue with more detail in the mountains. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmy John’s Ford FusionNo Change. A

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #5

Kasey Kahne #5 Farmers Insurance Chevy SSNo Change. C+

Kasey Kahne #5 Great Clips Chevy SSNo Change. D+

Kasey Kahne #5 Liftmaster Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, silver, with black door, and red stripes. A

Kasey Kahne #5 UniFrst Chevy SSNo Change. A

ROUSH-FENWAY RACING #6

Trevor Bayne #6 Liberty National Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2017, blue with silver and white across sides, white roof. B-

STEWART-HAAS RACING #10

Danica Patrick #10 Nature’s Bakery Ford FusionSame basic scheme as 2016, but black and white stripe has been removed. A

Danica Patrick #10 Code 3 Associates Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2017, white front, green stripe, and blue bottom. A

STEWART-HAAS RACING #14

Clint Bowyer #14 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion-New scheme for 2017, white top, red and white stripe across side, blue bottom. A

ROUSH-FENWAY RACING #17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Sunny D Ford FusionNo change. F

Rickey Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, same basic scheme, but the colors have been reversed. A

TEAM PENSKE #22

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford FusionNo change D

Joey Logano #22 AAA Ford FusionNo Change. D

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

BK RACING #23

Joey Gase #23 Best Furnishing Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2017, blue with paintbrush style white and yellow designs across side. F

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #24

Chase Elliott #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, same basic scheme as 2016, but with yellow accents across sides. A

Chase Elliott #24 Kelly Blue Book Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, design similar to #11 FedEx. A

Chase Elliott #24 Sun Energy Chevy SSNo Change. F

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #27

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Richmond Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, black front, yellow sides, black at bottom of wheel well. A

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #31

Ryan Newman #31 CAT Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, white with black cutting edge design on front, black stripe across hood and top of car. B-

STEWART-HAAS RACING #41

Kurt Busch #41 Monster Ford FusionNo Change. A

Kurt Busch #41 Haas Ford FusionNo Change. A

Kurt Busch #41 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2017, same as #14, but with green replacing blue. A

RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS #43

Aric Almirola #43 Smithfield Ford FusionNo Change. B+

Aric Almiroa #43 U.S. Air Force Ford FusionNew scheme for 2016, same basic scheme, but with more lightning.

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #48

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, light blue with diagonal stripes and geometric patterns on side. F

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, dark blue with diagonal stripes and geometric patterns on side. F

FURNITURE ROW RACING #77

Erik Jones #77 5-Hour Energy Toyota CamryNew team for 2017, red front, red and yellow lightning stripe across black sides, red rear. C-

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #88

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, blue design similar to last year’s. with blue vertical stripes next to silver door numbers. A

My Thoughts On Outrage For Something Stupid

By David G. Firestone

I hate internet outrage! I don’t mind when the outrage is about a serious matter, but when the outrage is about something that doesn’t matter at all, it’s annoying as all hell! I read something earlier this week, and I heard the reaction surrounding it, and it boggles my mind on so many levels.

NBC is considering canceling Days Of Our Lives, which has been on since 1965 for a news show starring Megyn Kelly. For some reason, people are angry about this. Let me explain something to you who are mad: NBC doesn’t have to lose money to make you happy. The soap opera is a thing of the past, just like milkmen, and the evening newspaper. NBC is a for profit company, and if a show isn’t profitable, it goes away. If Days of Our Lives was as popular as people claim, wouldn’t NBC make every attempt to keep it on the air?

The television market is a constantly evolving market. Obviously the ratings matter. I’m amazed at people who think that what is profitable and what the market is showing to be profitable doesn’t matter because it’s not what they want. I’m sorry the world doesn’t work the way you want it to. Entertainment and technology are going to progress the way they are, and if you aren’t happy, then that’s too bad. Also, it’s not impossible that a cable channel could pick the series up. Stay tuned.

Paint Scheme Grades-January 7, 2017

By David G. Firestone

Jamie McMurray #1 GearWrench Chevy SS-The black background works very well, and the stripes work very well too. Add in a great color scheme, and you have an A scheme.

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

Brad Keselowski #2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Brad Keselowski #2 Wurth Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Brad Keselowski #2 Auto Trader Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same D- grade.

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Chevy SS-Overall, it’s a great scheme, with a great design. My one complaint is those designs in the red just in front of the door number. They are ugly, and they take an A scheme down to an A-.

Austin Dillon #3 AAA Chevy SS-It’s an over designed, ugly mess of a car. There are too many designs, and not enough thought put into the design. The color scheme is the only good thing, and earns a D+.

Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol Chevy SS-The side stripes being removed gives the car a great look. The color scheme is good too. It earns an A.

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Ford Fusion-The blue scheme works well, and I like the detail in the mountains. Its a great looking scheme, and I give it an A.

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Kasey Kahne #5 Farmers Insurance Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same D+ grade.

Kasey Kahne #5 Liftmaster Chevy SS-It’s a much cleaner scheme. It’s a much simpler scheme. It’s an A scheme.

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

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

Joey Logano #22 AAA Ford FusionSame scheme as last year, same D grade.

Joey Logano #22 Auto Trader Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same D- grade.

Chase Elliott #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevy SS-I like the yellow accents added to the sides, roof, and front fender. The car still has a great look, and it earns an A.

Chase Elliott #24 Kelly Blue Book Chevy SS-It’s a much simpler design, and it has a great color scheme. An upgrade from last year that earns an A.

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Richmond Chevy SS-The new Menard’s template works well…if this is a template. The front can work, and the lack of side stripes works well too. It earns an A.

Ryan Newman #31 CAT Chevy SS-I love the hood and roof design, but I don’t like the side design between the wheel wells. It doesn’t match, and just look awkward. Still, even taking this in to consideration, it’s still a B- scheme.

Aric Almirola #43 Smithfield Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same B+ grade.

Aric Almiroa #43 U.S. Air Force Ford Fusion-What’s cooler than lightning…more lightning! That’s what this new scheme has. It looks great, and it’s still an A scheme.

Kurt Busch #41 Monster Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same D grade.

Kurt Busch #41 Haas Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same D grade.

Erik Jones #77 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry-I get what they were trying to do, but the scheme as a whole just doesn’t look good. The lightning stripes look bad. It just doesn’t work. The color scheme works well though, so I’ll give the scheme is a C-.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide Chevy SS-The loss of silver works with this scheme. The design works well, and I like the stripes up the sides. I give it an A.

Wheel Reviews-Senna

By David G. Firestone

January is Wheel Reviews Month. This month, I will feature four Wheel Reviews, two movie and two book reviews. I’ve got an obscure movie next week, and a couple of interesting books prepared for the weeks after that. This week, I’m going to focus on one of, if not the, best racing documentaries ever produced.

One of the most important laps in Formula One history was the seventh lap of the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. That was the lap where Ayrton Senna lost control of his car on the Tamburello corner at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, located in Imola, Italy, and died as a result of his injuries. That accident was the genesis of the refocusing on safety that saw Formula One go without a fatality for 20 years, which is unheard of in the history of auto racing.

The dark clouds that were over that race were clear to everyone. Rubens Barrichello was seriously injured during a crash. During Saturday qualifying, Roland Ratzenberger was killed in a wreck. There was talk among the drivers and track staff about the issues, and if drivers would back out of the race. Senna and Dr. Sid Watkins allegedly discussed Senna backing out of the race and going fishing. Senna did appear to be visibly shaken and his mental state before the race clearly wasn’t where it needed to be. Senna decided against going fishing, and during lap seven, his life came to an end.

One of the best documentaries about Formula One, and for that matter auto racing, Senna was released in 2010. Produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, and James Gay-Rees, and directed by Asif Kapadia, Senna revolves around Ayrton Senna’s Formula One career. It touches on his time with Toleman in 1984, and Lotus from 1985 to 1987. Where it really starts to get in depth is when it discusses his signing with McLaren in 1988.

Senna won five races prior to 1988, but when he joined McLaren, he became a top-shelf driver. The film discusses in detail his personal life, and his relationships with his family off track, and his rivalries with Alain Prost, and Jean-Marie Balestre, among others. The rivalry between Prost and Senna is the main conflict. You get a sense that the two didn’t like each other on a personal level, but they had a deep respect for each others driving skills.

You also see that Senna had a deep respect for Brazil, even though politically the country was in a bad place at the time. The country rallied around him because he gave the country something to root for in a dark time. Senna was a devout Catholic, and his faith plays in to who he was as a driver and a person. The conflict between his on-track and off-track lives makes the ending even harder.

One of the things that I like is that the documentary doesn’t have a single narrator, but that Senna speaks via archival footage, and what interviews were done aren’t shown, but heard audibly. It’s hard to watch the ending, seeing the wreck that took the life of a great driver. The personal life/professional life conflict is also a great part of the film.

I would make a few changes to the film. I would like to see more on his racing upbringing. The first 4 years of his career are covered, but I’d like to see more focus on 1984-1987. More importantly, nothing is discussed concerning how he went from Karting to Formula One. I’d like to see Ayrton Senna before he was a legend in the industry. I also would love to see more background on the political issues that Brazil was facing. It’s covered somewhat, but I would love to see the documentary get more into the issues, and how they affected him, both personal and professional.

All in all, Senna has a few minor issues, but it’s still in my mind the best racing documentary ever made. If you haven’t seen it yet, go out and rent a copy.

Next week, an obscure Formula One documentary.

Throwback Thursday-Johnny Rutherford-1981

Johnny Rutherford, defending Indy 500 and Series Champion is seen with his 1981 #1 Pennzoil Chaparral Cosworth

For the 2017 edition of Throwback Thursday, we are going to spend the first 13 editions focusing on entries to the 1981 Indy 500. Our first edition is this Pennzoil Chaparral Cosworth. I’m not a huge fan of yellow on race cars in this day in age, because many of the sponsors insist on highlighter yellow shades which will “stand out” to the fans. Pennzoil is one of two companies besides Kodak that has a great shade of yellow, and this is the perfect example. Add in a great shade of red, and you have a great paint scheme. I give this an A

Paint Scheme Tracker-January 4, 2017

By David G. Firestone

CHIP GANASSI RACING TEAM #1

Jamie McMurray #1 GearWrench Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2017, black, with yellow, and red stripes across bottom. A

TEAM PENSKE #2

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford FusionNo Change A

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

Brad Keselowski #2 Wurth Ford FusionNo Change. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Auto Trader Ford FusionNo Change D-

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #3

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, black front, with red designs near wheel well, white fade across quarter panels. A-

Austin Dillon #3 AAA Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, same basic scheme, but with a few minor stripe changes. D+

Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol Chevy SSNew sponsor for 2017, same basic scheme as 2016, but many of the stripes have been removed. A

STEWART-HAAS RACING #4

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, all blue with more detail in the mountains. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmy John’s Ford FusionNo Change. A

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #5

Kasey Kahne #5 Farmers Insurance Chevy SSNo Change. C+

Kasey Kahne #5 Great Clips Chevy SSNo Change. D+

Kasey Kahne #5 Liftmaster Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, silver, with black door, and red stripes. A

TEAM PENSKE #22

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford FusionNo change D

Joey Logano #22 AAA Ford FusionNo Change. D

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

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #24

Chase Elliott #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, same basic scheme as 2016, but with yellow accents across sides. A

Chase Elliott #24 Kelly Blue Book Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, design similar to #11 FedEx. A

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #27

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Richmond Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, black front, yellow sides, black at bottom of wheel well. A

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #31

Ryan Newman #31 CAT Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, white with black cutting edge design on front, black stripe across hood and top of car. B-

STEWART-HAAS RACING #41

Kurt Busch #41 Monster Ford FusionNo Change. A

Kurt Busch #41 Haas Ford FusionNo Change. A

RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS #43

Aric Almirola #43 Smithfield Ford FusionNo Change. B+

Aric Almiroa #43 U.S. Air Force Ford FusionNew scheme for 2016, same basic scheme, but with more lightning.

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #48

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, light blue with diagonal stripes and geometric patterns on side. F

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, dark blue with diagonal stripes and geometric patterns on side. F

FURNITURE ROW RACING #77

Erik Jones #77 5-Hour Energy Toyota CamryNew team for 2017, red front, red and yellow lightning stripe across black sides, red rear. C-

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #88

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide Chevy SSNew scheme for 2017, blue design similar to last year’s. with blue vertical stripes next to silver door numbers. A

My Thoughts on 2017

By David G. Firestone

2017 is upon us. We all celebrated New Years in our own way. I celebrated my 35th birthday yesterday. I don’t make resolutions for myself, but I’m going to make some for The Driver Suit Blog.

*Politics is banned forever from The Driver Suit Blog. You come here to get away from the worries, and I will help you as I can.

*I will not make any major changes to the Driver Suit Blog formula. Everything will be the same.

*For current events, I will try to be as neutral as I possibly can.

*As promised, I will have a few Tailgating Time recipes for this year.

*I’m also going to work on a few videos as Friday Features. For some subjects, it’s easier to express certain things with a video than it can through text.

*If you send me an email, I will respond. I wasn’t as good as I could have been last year, you guys and gals rule, and I love looking up stuff for you!

*As always, I’m going to keep trying new projects, some for The Driver Suit Blog, some for my own enjoyment.

*Finally, as always, all are welcome here, no questions asked.

I wish you all the best 2017!