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My Thoughts on Stuff Going On Under the Surface

By David G. Firestone

I’ve been following auto racing for 26 years, and have lived in Illinois even longer than that. If you want to understand why people hate politics, look at Illinois. Our state and city governments are corrupt, and this budget impasse is even worse. But I’m not going to discuss that, what I’m here to do is to discuss the fact that often times, in both politics and auto racing, there is more going on than meets the eye.

Many times in both politics and auto racing, there is something that happens, and an explanation given, or not given, but as time goes on, it becomes clear that there is something deep beneath the surface that is causing what is going on, despite the explanation. I think this is happening with Bob Vandergriff Racing and Mercedes F1 program.

Bob Vandergriff raced in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series from 1994 to 2014. He has three national event wins. He owned Bob Vandergriff Racing. After he retired from driving in 2014, he was still the owner, and in charge of operations…until April 11th, when he unexpectedly shut down all operations in order to retire. The reasoning given for this was the passing of a team friend, and his thinking of the important things in life. He wants to spend more time with his grand-kids and family.

This may be a legit explanation, a very legit one at that, but something tells me that there is more to this story than meets the eye. I could be totally wrong about this, and that may be the legit explanation. If that is, I apologize, and best of luck to Bob. But again, after having lived in Illinois for as long as I have, I have to wonder if something else is going on.

What I really don’t understand is how you could just shut down two full-time top fuel teams on what seems like a whim. I could understand if BVR was undersponsored, low on funds, and couldn’t continue full-time operations. Alan Johnson Racing’s shutdown was understandable in this sense. But both of BVR’s teams were fully sponsored, and had a full support crew. I might even be able to kind of understand the decision if they hadn’t won an event, but that isn’t a factor, as Leah Pritchett won her first top fuel national event at Phoenix.

Again, I could be wrong, and if I am, I am, but nothing about this whole scenario makes any sense. I’m convinced that there is something else going on that will come to the surface later. It could be financial issues, legal issues, PR issues, or something else. Same thing with Louis Hamilton and Mercedes’ F1 team.

I get that power shifts happen in auto racing from time to time, and Nico Rosberg’s rise on the surface isn’t that shocking, he’s a talented driver on a powerhouse team, but the fact that Louis Hamilton has suddenly lost all momentum makes it confusing. Nico has had a great year, and Louis’s year can, at best, be described as disastrous. The Australian Grand Prix and Bahrain Grand Prix were straightforward enough, Louis started first on the grid, and finished 2nd in both races. Then the Chinese Grand Prix started, and the team made an unscheduled gearbox change. This resulted in a 5 grid place penalty, and after he suffered from a hybrid system failure in the turbo charger. he started 22nd. After a dramatic run, he finished 7th.

Ok, that seems innocent enough, engine parts can fail at any time, so that isn’t too shocking, but fast forward to this last weekend. Before Q3, Hamilton wasn’t going to go out and qualify, due to…him suffering suffering from a hybrid system failure in the turbo charger, or THE SAME EXACT FAILURE THAT PLAGUED HIM DURING QUALIFYING AT THE LAST EVENT. Are you expecting me to believe that this isn’t an issue? Once is a coincidence, twice it’s more than that. I’m not the only one who realizes that. So many people are wondering if there is something else going on.

I can’t believe that this isn’t a coincidence. Typically, mechanical problems impact any team running that equipment. But the fact that these failures seem to be impacting only one driver when the other driver is dominating seems odd. It also seems odd that the driver its impacting is the stronger of the two. It’s also hard to ignore the fact that many F1 fans were getting tired of Louis’ domination as well. Again, this may be a legit thing, and nothing else is going on, but it is kind of odd that this is happening how it is and when it is. I’m cynical, I don’t even try and deny that, and while I don’t put too much stock in conspiracy theores, these two stories are too odd to ignore.

I’m going to just stop for now, because I have something else to discuss. The project that preempted the Paint Scheme Grades this week was when I went to the NFL Draft on Thursday, and I will discuss that on Friday. Stay Tuned!

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2016 in auto racing, my thoughts on

 

Introduction to Sports Memorabilia-BrandArt Replica Helmets

BrandArt is the official replica helmet maker of NASCAR, and here are a couple of examples, a Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Best Buy helmet, and a Carl Edwards Aflac helmet.

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2016 in auto racing, Videos

 

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The Vest Project Part 1-Joe Nemechek 2007 Brunton Vinyards Pit Crew Vest

nemecheckBy David G. Firestone

Firesuits have evolved over the years. Their primary function has always been to protect the wearer from burns in the event of the fire. They also have to allow the wearer to perform whatever task they are required to do for the team. In recent years, they have also become advertising pieces for the sponsor of the team. These three requirements created one of the oddest firesuit setups in racing history…the three-piece firesuit.

Three-piece firesuits have a vest,nemecheck a corresponding undershirt,rensi-shirt and a pair of pants. 7-annett-pantIn theory, the three-piece allows for the same protection as a two-piece, with the advantage of giving the wearer less restriction while moving, and the ability to change the vest in case of sponsor change, fire damage, or in case the vest needs cleaning. This seems like a great idea, but for whatever reason, despite being used by many teams in the Truck, Xfinity, and Sprint Cup Series, the three-piece never took off, and remains an oddity in racing uniform design.

The drawbacks for the uniform design are quite obvious. Yes, the vest/shirt combo has an SFI 5 rating, however, without the undershirt, the vests are…well…useless. Fire doesn’t choose what to burn and what not to burn, and without the undershirt, the vest is little more than a fashion accessory. Also, this type of suit could have different vests for the top, but a new pair of pants is needed for new sponsors. Nothing is saved in terms of costs.

Recently, I purchased a huge amount of vests at a decent price, and I will examine the whole three-piece suit thing for a while. We are going to start with this Joe Nemechek vest from 2007.nemecheckHere is what it looks like with an undershirt, but more on that later.vest-shirtThe team was sponsored for three races by the Swig Inc. division of the now-defunct Brunton Vineyard Inc. They raced in three races, Daytona, Fontana, and Las Vegas, and had no real major successes during that season. The vest is designed exactly like Nemechek’s driver suit.nemecheckThe collar has BRUTON VINEYARDS embroidered into it.nemecheck-collarThe right chest has NASCAR NATIOWIDE SERIES, CHEVY, and NEMCO MOTORSPORTS logos present. The Nationwide Series logo is out of place, but more on that later.nemecheck-rchestThe left chest has MOONSHINE RACING and BCC SPORTS logos present.nemecheck-lchestThe front torso has SWIG and BRUNTON VINEYARDS logos embroidered into it.nemecheck-flogoThe warranty label is present inside the front zipper.nemecheck-tag1The unique thing about vest is that the bottom has a hem which can be tightened. There are Velcro straps which can be adjusted present.nemecheck-rhem nemecheck-lhemThe shoulders have red epaulets with GOODYEAR logos embroidered into them.nemecheck-rshoulder nemecheck-lshoulderThe vest has classic vest sleeve holes present where the sleeves and gussets would be.nemecheck-rsleeve nemecheck-lsleeveThe back of the suit has large SWIG and BRUNTON VINEYARDS logos present.nemecheck-b nemecheck-neck nemecheck-blogoThe second tag is in the back of the hem. This tag is an identification tag, which has been left black, except for what appears to be DB4 written in blue marker.nemecheck-tag2Next week, we will keep with the vineyard theme, and examine another vest, which, like this vest, has an oddity to it.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2016 in auto racing, friday feature

 

Throwback Thursday-Dick Trickle-1989

By David G. Firestone

Dick Trickle is racing around in his 1989 Miller High Life Buick.

Metallic gold is an attractive and underused color when it comes to race cars. The lettering loosk really good, and the red Miller Logo works well on the wheel well. The overall design looks good. The gold wheels look good with the car. I don’t like the yellow rookie stripe on the back bumper, but I understand why it’s there.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2016 in auto racing, throwback thursday

 

Paint Scheme Tracker-April 27, 2016

By David G. Firestone

CHIP GANASSI RACING TEAM #1

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna/Beechcraft Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, blue top, reverse wave formation across sides, white bottom, with silver accents. B+

Jamie McMurray #1 Sherwin Williams Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, main design has been moved slightly to the rear. 150’th anniversary logo added to hood.B+

Jamie McMurray #1 McDonald’s Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, red and yellow front with a spike transition to rear. A+

Jamie McMurray #1 McDonalds/Cessna Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, red and blue amalgamation of McDonald’s and Cessna. B-

Jamie McMurray #1 Credit One Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, blue, purple and white, with a series of designs across whole car. F

Jamie McMurray #1 Bad Boy/Beechcraft Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, same as Beechcraft, but with Bad Boy on the hood. B+

TEAM PENSKE #2

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford FusionSame basic scheme as 2015, but Miller has been removed from hood, similar 2014. 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 FusionNew sponsor for 2016, same as #22 Auto Trader. D-

Brad Keselowski #2 SKF Ford FusionNew scheme for 2016, similar to 2015 scheme, but fits to Penske Template. A+

Brad Keselowski #2 Thomas Build Buses Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2016, Penske Template, red front, black back. A+

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #3

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Chevy SSSame basic scheme, but the hood logo is slightly larger. B+

Austin Dillon #3 Cheerios Chevy SSNo change. A+

Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol Chevy SSNo change. A-

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Intellifresh Chevy SSNew sponsor for 2016, same as Dow Energy and Water. B-

Austin Dillon #3 AAA Chevy SSNew sponsor for 2016, similar to Robert Hight’s funny car, but with colors rearranged. D+

Austin Dillon #3 Dow FlexoLyt Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, same as Intellifresh B-

Austin Dillon #3 Bass Pro Shops/Ranger Boats Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, black with camo and orange diagonal triangle on side. B+

STEWART-HAAS RACING #4

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2015, designed around a Busch throwback can. A+

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Light Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2015, designed around a Busch Light can. A+

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmy John’s Chevy SSNo change. A+

Kevin Harvick #4 Outback Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, mountain design starts near brake duct, instead of at front of car. B+

Kevin Harvick #4 Ditech Chevy SSNo change. A+

Kevin Harvick #4 Mobil 1 Chevy SS-New scheme for 2016, white background, with the Pegasus wing starting at the side of the front, extending to the door numbers. A+

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Throwback Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, based on Cale Yarborough’s 1979 Daytona 500 Scheme. 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 2016, geometrical designs on side changed. C

Kasey Kahne #5 Panasonic Toughbook Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, blue fade to black, with a couple of wave stripes, and some fade designs on side. A+

Kasey Kahne #5 Quicken Loans Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, red with hockey stick designs on sides, as well as geometrical designs on front and back. C+

Kasey Kahne #5 Mountain Dew Pitch Black Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, black with blue trident inspired design on sides, oval design on roof, and Vortex design on hood. D-

Kasey Kahne #5 Drive to End Hunger Chevy SSNew sponsor for 2016, dark red with light red stripes and white letters on sides. A+

ROUSH-FEWNAY RACING #6

Trevor Bayne #6 Advocare Ford FusionNew scheme for 2016, white with blue line and checkered flag on bottom. A+

TOMMY BALDWIN RACING #7

Alex Bowman #7 Road Rippers Chevy SS-New scheme for 2015, shark motif on front, fades to fire motif and logo on back. F

Regan Smith #7 Golden Corral/Niko Toy State Chevy SS-New scheme for 2016, amalgamation of Golden Corral and Niko Toy State. F

Regan Smith #7 Nikko Street Bratz Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, blue and white with a series of designs across sides. F

Regan Smith #7 Chevy SS-Black with white and blue numbers and stripe across bottom. A+

Regan Smith #7 APC Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, black with white and blue numbers and stripe across bottom, APC logo on hood. A+

Regan Smith #7 AIPAC Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, black with white and blue numbers and stripe across bottom, AIPAC logo on hood. A+

Regan Smith #7 Fire Alarm Services Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, black with yellow hood, and orange city motif on sides. A+

Regan Smith #7 Nikko/Road Rippers Alan Kulwicki Throwback Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, based on the “Underbird” design used by Kulwicki in 1992. C+

STEWART-HAAS RACING #10

Danica Patrick #10 Nature’s Bakery Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, blue with white lettering on sides, white and black stripe across hood and roof. A+

Danica Patrick #10 TaxAct Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, white front, red TaxAct X logo, gray back. A+

Danica Patrick #10 Nature’s Pride Pumpkin Spice Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, same basic scheme as Nature’s Pride, but with orange and red color scheme, and some slight redesigns on the side. A+

Danica Patrick #10 Mobil 1 Chevy SS-New scheme for 2016, Bass Pro Shops has left, so the Mobil 1 scheme features a white background, with the Pegasus wing starting at the side of the front, extending to the door numbers. A+

Danica Patrick #10 Aspen Dental Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, similar to Clint Bowyer’s template, but with a Post-It esque design. F

Danica Patrick #10 Nature’s Bakery Brownies Chevy SS-New scheme for 2016, blue, white and brown scheme, stripes start on hood, and extend to the rear of the side.  B-

JOE GIBBS RACING #11

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Express Toyota CamrySlight redesign for 2016, hood logo moved slightly to the right, side stripes wider. A+

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Freight Toyota CamrySlight redesign for 2016, hood logo moved slightly to the right, side stripes wider. A+

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Ground Toyota CamrySlight redesign for 2016, hood logo moved slightly to the right, side stripes wider. A+

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Office Toyota CamrySlight redesign for 2016, hood logo moved slightly to the right, side stripes wider. A+

Denny Hamlin #11 SportClips Toyota CamryNo Change. C-

GERMAIN RACING #13

Casey Mears #13 Geico Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, much more subdued version of the 2015 scheme. A+

Casey Mears #13 Geico Millitary Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, black with camo motif across car. F

STEWART-HAAS RACING #14

Tony Stewart #14 Mobil 1 Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, the Mobil 1 scheme features a white background, with the Pegasus wing starting at the side of the front, extending to the door numbers. A+

Tony Stewart #14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevy SSSlight redesign, removal of Bass Pro Shops logo, cleaner rear end of the car. A+

Tony Stewart #14 Rush Truck Stops/Mobil 1 Chevy SSSlight redesign, removal of Bass Pro Shops logo, cleaner rear end of the car. A+

Tony Stewart #14 Bass Pro Shops Chevy SSNo Change. C+

Brian Vickers #14 Janssen Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, simple curve replaces the wave pattern from 2015. A+

Brian Vickers #14 TaxAct Millitary Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, similar to TaxAct but with camouflage motif. C+

HSCOTT MOTORSPORTS #15

Clint Bowyer #15 Five-Hour Energy Chevy SSNew scheme for 2015, the front stripe has been moved up to the top of the side, and the roof matches with the design. A+

Clint Bowyer #15 Peak Chevy SSNew scheme for 2015, Blue with white geometrical designs on side. A+

Clint Bowyer #15 Visine Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, same as 5-Hour Energy, but with black, white, and blue color scheme. B+

Clint Bowyer #15 Aaron’s Chevy SSNo Change. A+

ROUSH-FEWNAY RACING #16

Greg Bffle #16 Cheez-its Ford FusionNew scheme for 2015, stripe has been extended down tot he bottom of the car, some slight rearangment of the crackers on the side of the car. A+

Greg Biffle #16 KFC Nashville Hot Ford FusionNew sponsor for 2016, all red with fire designs on quarter panel, and KFC stripes on roof. A+

Greg Biffle #16 Kleen Performance Products Ford FusionNo Change. B+

Greg Biffle #16 Roush Performance Ford FusionNew scheme for 2016, black with red and white check pattern design on side. A+

ROUSH-FEWNAY RACING #17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Ford FusionNo Change. A

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Ford Eco-Boost Ford FusionNew scheme for 2016, much simpler design, with red added on top. B+

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Sunny D Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2016, orange front, rainbow sunburst pattern across sides, blue hood, roof, and decklid. F

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Zest Ford FusionNew scheme for 2016, much simper design, with soap motif. C+

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Throwback Ford FusionNew scheme for 2016, based on Darrell Waltrip’s 1975 scheme. A+

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fifth-Third Bank Ford FusionNo Change. A+

JOE GIBBS RACING #18

Kyle Busch #18 Interstate Batteries Chevy SSSlight redesign for 2015, stripes are wider, black stripe on bottom gone. F

Kyle Busch #18 Skittles Toyota CamryNo Change. A+

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2016, similar to 2014 scheme, but with vintage characters to celebrate M&M’s 75th anniversary. A+

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Throwback Toyota Camry-New scheme for 2016, vintage look with vintage characters, yellow, with brown letters. A+

Kyle Busch #18 Banfield Pet Hospital Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2016, blue with diagonal logo on hood, EKG motif on sides, injured cute pet pictures on quarter panel. A+

Kyle Busch #18 Pedigree Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2016, green is brighter, side and hood logos are larger, and blue stripe on bottom has been removed. A+

JOE GIBBS RACING #19

Carl Edwards #19 Stanley Toyota CamryNo Change. B+

Carl Edwards #19 Stanley Toyota CamrySlight redesign for 2016, logos are bigger, outlines are bolder. A

Carl Edwards #19 Subway Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2016, green replaces black, box motif replaces stripe motif. B+

Carl Edwards #19 Comcast Business Toyota CamryNo Change. D-

Carl Edwards #19 Xfinity Toyota CamryNo Change. B-

JOE GIBBS RACING #20

Matt Kenseth #20 Dollar General Toytota CamrySlight redesign for 2016, black stripe across bottom now gone. A+

Matt Kenseth #20 DeWalt USA Toyota CamryNo Change. A+

Matt Kenseth #20 DeWalt Toyota CamryNo Change. A+

WOOD BROTHERS RACING #21

Ryan Blaney #21 Motorcraft Ford FusionNo Change. 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-

Joey Logano #22 AAA of Southern California Ford FusionNo Change. D

Joey Logano #22 Pennzoil Ford FusionNew scheme for 2016, all yellow, with some lighter yellow geometrical designs across car. A+

BK RACING #23

David Ragan #23 Dr. Pepper Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2016, white hood, different designs on sides. B+

David Ragan #23 Sweet Frog Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2016, green and pink stripes across sides, white hood with Sweet Frog logo. F

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #24

Chase Elliott #24 NAPA Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2015, blue with white stripes across side which start at brake duct. A+

Chase Elliott #24 3M Chevy SSNew scheme for 2015, black and white replaces silver, extra geometrical designs on sides. B+

Chase Elliott #24 Kelly Blue Book Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, same basic color scheme but gold has been removed. Scheme has been redesigned into a more haphazardly designed stripe pattern. C+

Chase Elliot #24 Sun Energy Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, black background with solar flare inspired design fades to blue towards wheel well, and finishes with red gradient on back. F

Chase Elliott #24 Dewcision Mountain Dew Baja Blast Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, black with blue trident inspired design on sides, oval design on roof, and Vortex design on hood. D-

BK RACING #26

Robert Richardson #26 Stalk It Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2016, black with large blue and white stripe across sides, and Stalk It logos on hood and sides. A+

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #27

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Moen Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, black front, extending into Menard’s template, yellow rear. B-

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Peak Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, redesigned to match Clint Bowyer’s Peak Chevy. A+

Paul Menard #27 Valvoline/Menard’s Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, follows new Menard’s template, white Valvoline front, yellow Menard’s rear. F

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Dutch Boy Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, Menard’s template, with peeling blue and white paint design. F

Paul Menard #27 Richmond/Menard’s Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, same basic color scheme with new Menard’s template. A+

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/FVP Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, New Menard’s template with FVP colors. A+

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Libman Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, Menard’s 2016 template with green Libman motif on front, Menard’s on back. A+

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Rockstar Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, Menard’s template with black Rockstar front. A+

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Tarkett Chevy SS-New scheme for 2016, Menard’s template with blue front for Tarkett. A+

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Duracel Chevy SSNo Change. A+

THE MOTORSPORTS GROUP #30

Josh Wise #30 Toyota Camry-Plain white with blue, black, and white numbers. A+

Josh Wise #30 Toyota Camry-Plain black with blue, black, and white numbers. A+

Josh Wise #30 Crawfest/City of New Braunfels Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, same as all black with Crawfest/City of New Braunfels logo on hood. A+

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #31

Ryan Newman #31 Cat Chevy SSSlight redesign for 2016, yellow stripes are narrower, and hood logo is slightly larger. A+

Ryan Newman #31 Granger Chevy SSNo change. B +

Ryan Newman #31 Wix Filters Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, one large multi-colored stripe replaces the multi-stripe on the sides, design extends to hood. F

GO FAS RACING #32

Jeffery Earnhardt #32 Can-Am/Kappa Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2016, black, green, and yellow, with a series of geometrical designs across whole car. F

Jeffery Earnhardt #32 Keen Parts/Corvette Parts Ford FusionNew sponsor for 2016, black, white, and yellow, with a series of geometrical designs across whole car. F

Bobby Labonte #32 C&J Energy Services Ford FusionNo Change. F

Joey Gase #32 JT Concrete Inc Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2016, white with blue and white lettering. A+

Joey Gase #32 Donate Life Ford FusionNew scheme for 2016, all white with Donate Life logo on hood, and Allo-Source logo on quarter panels. A+

Jeffery Earnhardt #32 Visone/Corvette Parts Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2016, same as Corvette Parts. F

FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS #34

Chris Buescher #34 Love’s Truck Stops Ford FusionNew scheme for 2016, Front Row Template has been reversed, red replaces back as secondary color. A+

Chris Buescher #34 Dockside Logistics Ford FusionNew scheme for 2016, all white with Dockside Logistics logos on sides and hood. A+

Chris Buescher #34 CSX Play it Safe Ford FusionNo Change. A+

Chris Buescher #34 A&W Ford FusionNo Change.  A+

FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS #35

David Gilliland #35 Ford Fusion-White with black and red letters. A+

FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS #38

Landon Cassill #38 Florida Lottery Ford FusionNo Change. C+

Landon Cassill #38 FR8 Auctions Ford FusionNo Change. A+

Landon Cassill #38 MDS Ford FusionNew scheme for 2016, all white with MDS logos on sides and hood. A+

Landon Cassill #38 Snap Fitnaess Ford FusionNew scheme for 2015, all red with Snap Fitness logos on sides and hood. A+

HILLMAN RACING #40

Reed Sorenson #40 CRC Brakleen Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, black replaces red as primary color. D-

STEWART-HAAS RACING #41

Kurt Busch #41 Monster Energy Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, black with yellow and white numbers and lettering. A+

Kurt Busch #41 Haas Automation Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, red front, fades to black rear end. A+

Kurt Busch #41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevy SS-New scheme for 2016, red front, fades to black rear end. A+

Kurt Busch #41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Chevy SS-New scheme for 2016, same as Monster Energy, but with Haas on rear. A+

Kurt Busch #41 State Water Heaters Chevy SSNo Change. B+

Kurt Bush #41 Hass VF1/Monster Chevy SS-New scheme for 2016, similar in design to Danica’s Brownie scheme, with Haas VF1 on hood, with stripes fading to black and Monster rear. B+

CHIP GANASSI RACING TEAM #42

Kyle Larson #42 Target Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, vertical fade from red to white replaces side fade from 2015. A+

RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS #43

Aric Almirola #43 Smithfield Ford FusionSlight redesign for 2016, roof numbers turn from yellow to red. B+

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

Aric Almirola #43 STP Ford FusionNew scheme for 2014, STP colors with stripes that correspond to the door logos. B-

Aric Almirola #43 Waffle House Ford FusionNew scheme for 2016, yellow replaces patriotic motif. D-

RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS #44

Brian Scott #44 Twisted Tea Ford FusionAside from the number change, no significant changes for 2016. A

Brian Scott #44 Albertsons’s Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2016, all blue with white hood. A+

Brian Scott #44 Vonn’s Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2016, same as Albertson’s, but with Vonn’s on the hood.. A+

Brian Scott #44 Goody’s Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2016, blue with a honeycomb pattern, with yellow stripes on bottom and front. B+

Brian Scott #44 Go Bowling Ford FusionNew scheme for 2016, bowling ball motif returns, blue sides, and white lettering. A+

Brian Scott #44 Albertson’s/Tom Thumb Ford Fusion-New scheme for 2016, Tom Thumb debuts on sides, other than that, same as Albertson’s. A+

Brian Scott #44 Shore Lodge Ford FusionNew scheme for 2016, same as 2015 scheme, but with side stripe removed, and Petty door design on sides. C+

HSCOTT MOTORSPORTS #46

Michael Annett #46 Pilot/Flying J Chevy SSNo Change. A+

Michael Annett #46 Pilot/Flying J Chevy SS-New scheme for 2016, all red with white front. A+

Michal Annett #46 Pilot/Flying J/Battle of Bristol Chevy SS-New scheme for 2016, same as white design, but with Battle of Bristol on hood. A+

JTG DAUGHERTY RACING #47

AJ Allmendinger #47 Kroger/Stoffer’s/Lean Cuisine Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, same as Kroger/Scott, minus the stars. A+

AJ Allmendinger #47 Kroger/Scott Chevy SS-New scheme for 2016, same as Kroger/Scott, minus the stars. A+

AJ Allmendinger #47 Food For Less Chevy SSNo Change. A+

AJ Allmendinger #47 Louisiana Hot Sauce Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, dark red, with flames on sides. A+

AJ Allmendinger #47 Kroger/Coffee Mate/Butterfinger Chevy SS-New scheme for 2016, same as Kroger, but with Coffee Mate and Butterfinger logos on sides and hood. A+

AJ Allmendinger #47 Bush’s Baked Beans Chevy SSNo Change. B+

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #48

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Chevy SSSlight redesign for 2016, stripes are narrower, and hood logo is slightly forward. C-

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Chevy SSSlight redesign for 2016, stripes are narrower, and hood logo is slightly forward. C-

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Pro ServicesSlight redesign for 2016, stripes are narrower, and hood logo is slightly forward. C-

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevy SS-New scheme for 2016, designed to look like Superman’s suit. A+

Jimmie Johnson Lowe’s Red Vest Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, Jimmie Johnson Foundation logo replaces the Lowe’s Template. D-

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Chevy SS– New scheme for 2016, same as basic scheme, yellow numbers replace white. B+

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Patriotic Chevy SSNo Change.  B+

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevy SS-New scheme for 2016, same as basic scheme, but with yellow door numbers. A+

PREMIUM MOTORSPORTS #55

Reed Sorenson #55 Chevy SS-All black with white and blue numbers. A+

CIRCLE SPORT/LEAVINE FAMILY RACING #59

Michael McDowell #59 Thrivent Financial Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, same as #95, with door numbers reversed. B+

FURNITURE ROW RACING #78

Marin Truex Jr. #78 Furniture Row Toyota CamryOther than the switch from Chevy to Toyota, there are no major changes. A+

Martin Truex Jr. #78 Auto Owner’s Insurance Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, vertical fade from bottom to top, light blue fades up to dark blue. A+

Martin Truex Jr. #78 Bass Pro Shops Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, orange with trace amounts of black and camo. F

BK RACING #83

Michael Waltrip #83 Maxwell House Toyota CamryNo Change. A+

Matt DiBendetto #83 Sewanee University Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2016, blue with white and gold logos on quarter panels, gold stripe on bottom, blue designs on side. B+

Matt DiBenedetto #83 Cosmo Motors Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2016, all black with Cosmo Motors logos on sides and hood. A+

Matt DiBenedetto #83 Schluter Systems Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2016, cream top, with stripes, and a waffle design on the bottom. D-

Matt DiBenedetto #83 Cosmo Motors Toyota CamryNo Change. C-

Matt DiBenedetto #83 RMC Events Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2016, black top, white zig-zag line separating black top from red bottom. B-

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #88

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 TaxSlayer Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, red top and front, white bottom and back, gold designs separate the two. A+

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide Chevy SSNew scheme for 2015, reminiscent of old Mountain Dew/Amp Energy scheme. A+

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Axalta Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, red top, fade to yellow bottom, across whole car. A+

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide/Batman Chevy SS-New scheme for 2016, designed to look like Batman’s armor. A+

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide Grey Ghost Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, based on the Grey Ghost that Buddy Baker used to win the 1980 Daytona 500. A+

Dale Earnhardt #88 Axalta/CarStar Chevy SS-New scheme for 2016, same as Axalta, but CarStar is on quarter panel. A+

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Dewcision Chevy SS-New scheme for 2016, black with yellow trident inspired design on sides, oval design on roof, and Vortex design on hood. D-

BK RACING #93

Matt DiBenedetto #93 Dustless Blasting Toyota CamryNo Change. B

Ryan Ellis #93 Science Logic Toyota CamryNo Change. D+

CIRCLE SPORT/LEAVINE FAMILY RACING #95

Ty Dillon #95 Cheerios Chevy SSNew sponsor and manufacturer for 2016 for Leavine Family Racing, after having merged with Circle Sport, and aligned with RCR. Aside from the new number, and a larger Kroger’s logo, no change. A+

Michael McDowell #95 Thrivent Financial Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, looks similar in design to the 2014, with a black, red, and white color scheme. B+

Michael McDowell #95 K-Love Chevy SSNew scheme for 2016, simpler template. A+

Michael McDowell #95 Monte Carlo Casino Chevy SS-New Scheme for 2016, same as WRL Contractors from 2014. A+

Ty Dillon #95 Nexium 24 Chevy SSAside from new team, no change. A-

Michael McDowell #95 WRL Contractors Ford FusionNo Change. A+

Michael McDowell #95 WRL Contractors/MastiClean Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2016, same as WRL, but with MastiClean leaf motif on quarter panels. B-

PREMIUM MOTORSPORTS #98

Cole Whitt #98 Premium Motorsports RTIC Coolers Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2016, black with RTIC Coolers logo on sides and hood. A+

Cole Whitt #98 Tweaker Energy Chevy SSNo Change. A+

Cole Whitt #98 Speed Stick Chevy SSNo Change. A+

Cole Whitt #98 Rinnai Ford FusionNew scheme for 2016, all black with Rinnai logos on sides and hood. A+

Cole Whitt #98 Chevy SS-All black with white and blue numbers. A+

Cole Whitt #98 RTIC Coolers Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2016, black with RTIC Coolers logo on sides and hood, with a new hood design. A+

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2016 in auto racing, paint scheme grades

 

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My Thoughts on Thunderstorms and a Terrible Weekend.

By David G. Firestone

I’ve got a few things to discuss, so buckle up. First thing, let’s get this out of the way. Yes this is another post on weather, yes it’s about weather that sucks, and no, I’m not apologizing for it. As I sit here, my back to the southern window in The Hauler, I’m getting reports that there are thunderstorms heading my way. I’m kinda looking forward to it, and at the same time I’m not.

Growing up, I’ve always had a fear of thunderstorms. I took some grief for it. Besides, what 6 year old would be afraid of darkness, heavy rain, loud noise, bright flashes, and the power going out? But, after growing up, and getting jobs that mandate me working outside, I’m very nervous about thunderstorms. I’m genuinely afraid of getting hit by lightning while working outside.

It’s why I started making thunderstorm videos. If I am making a video about something, I can’t be that scared of it. I don’t know what it is, but using a camera helps me stay calm in a situation that I consider frightening. I’m not sure why, but that’s how it is.

The second thing I want to discuss is the seemingly random postings over the last couple of weeks. There is are valid explanations for why this happened. Let’s rewind to April 8th. I wake up later than I had wanted to, and rush to the shower to catch the bus. I notice there is no hot water, but as I have to rush, I don’t think about it. I get to work, and then it dawns on me, what’s wrong with the hot water.

After my shift, I get home, and I need to state that I walk 2.5 miles home after my shift at work. I get home, check on Alejandro, and go downstairs to see what’s wrong, and I realize that the hot water heater has burst. After a few phone calls, I was able to spend most of my Saturday getting it fixed, and after $1800, it was fixed, and I have to admit, the new one works great.

The next day, I go into see a doctor. The reason I see him on Sunday is that he is Jewish, and has weekend hours, and will be open on Sundays. He insists I get a blood test, so I had to go through that pain in the ass. And while we’re on the subject of medical tests, can I ask a question? Is there any way that these forms you have to fill out CAN FUCKING BE SIMPLIFIED? HOLY SHIT THOSE ARE ANNOYING! I’ve gone to this same place every test I have ever had, I’ve gotten the same set of tests every time, I still have the same insurance, and I STILL HAVE TO SPEND 20 MINUTES FILLING OUT FORMS!

It’s also important to note that I was fasting for the test, so in addition to all the other bullshit, I’m hungry and I can’t have an energy drink, so I’m tired as well. After filling out forms, and spending ANOTHER 15 MINUTES IN THE WAITING AREA(Why are there as many people getting blood tests on a Sunday?) I get my test done, and I treat myself to Taco Bell, because I have that kind of money. I go home, watch the Masters. Towards the end of the evening, the doctor calls me, and apparently, I have some thyroid issues. So now, I have to make ANOTHER appointment, this one with a specialist. It goes without saying, I was NOT happy with these issues.

I made the command decision(I LOVE that term, by the way) to skip My Thoughts On, and I skipped working on my stuff, which is why the Tracker ran on Thursday April 14, as opposed to Wednesday April 13. Since then, I’ve gotten back on track, and I’m back to normal.

The last piece of news I have to discuss was a bit of a punch to the chest. I’ve grown up, and lived my whole life in Evanston, Illinois. I LOVE Evanston, and can’t picture myself living anywhere else. I learned last week that an Evanston institution closed this week, namely Dave’s Italian Kitchen. Dave’s was an Evanston institution 10 years before I was born. Dave’s was the first restaurant I ever went to. I had my middle school, high school AND college graduation parties there. We’ve had many family gatherings there. That news hit really hard.

What makes it even worse, is that nobody seemed to know why Dave’s closed. Then, as I was writing this, I saw this announcement on the Dave’s Facebook page:

“Bad news/ Good news
Bad: Getting out my cookbook/memoir may take longer than I thought as I’ve started another project.
Good news: That project is a new restaurant which will be known as Dave’s IK, a much smaller & more streamlined version. It will be the size of my very first place – the menu & dining room will be smaller but the heart will beat louder than ever. And it has a big front window! I hope to open on Noyes Street in late May. I thank all of you on FB who have been supportive and loving – without that support, I would be busking in New Orleans. I look forward to justifying your kindnesses. Thank you again — Dave “

While I will miss the original Dave’s, I can only hope that the new version is just as good as the original. I’ve eaten in Italian restaurants all over this great country, and I love to call Dave’s my favorite!.

One last piece of news, aside from The Vest Project, I will be involved in another project this week, something really ambitious, so I’m probably not going to do Paint Scheme Grades this week. I will bring it back next week. See you then!

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2016 in auto racing, my thoughts on

 

Introduction to Sports Memorabilia-Sports Coverup Helmets

A short-lived company called  Sports Coverup made NASCAR replica helmets in the late 1990’s, and here are five examples.

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2016 in auto racing, Videos

 

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