Pit crew member Tom Johansen was involved with this prototype suit from 2006.
Month: September 2014
Two For One! Steve Lorenzen and Miss Winston
Gonna do a two for one this week. Two suits this week, in a good mood, gonna spread the love. Our first week is my first Stand 21 suit, a 2000-2001 Toyota Atlantic series suit worn by Steve Lorenzen. The Toyota Atlantic Championship was a racing series in Champ Car that ran from 1977 to 1988 as the Formula Atlantic Championship. It then became part of Champ Car from 1989 to 2005, then it became Champ Car Atlantic from 2006-2007. After than from 2008-2009 it was unaffiliated with any major racing series, and is currently on hiatus.
This particular suit was worn by driver Steve Lorenzen. Lorenzen raced in the Toyota Atlantic Championship from 2000-2001 for 6 races in total. He did not have any success, and left the series after 2001. The suit shows light use, having been raced for only 6 races, and is FIA certified. The collar has a Stand 21 logo on either side. A warranty label is present on the inside of the collar in French and English. The front of the suit has a YOKOHAMA and MCI WORLD COM logo on the right side, and on the left is a TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP logo, and nothing except stripes on the torso. The shoulders have no epaulets, no logos on the top of the sleeves and STAND 21 logos on the ends, just below an arm restraint on each sleeve.
The second item is a jump suit worn by Miss Winston in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s. Miss Winston was an idea thought up in the 1970’s. The idea was to have a beauty queen with the drivers in Victory Lane after races. The idea died after the Winston Cup turned to the Nextel Cup, but when Sprint took over in 2009, the idea was revived. It is a simple red polyester jumpsuit with a Winston logo on the chest, a white belt, straps on the legs, and short short sleeves. Miss Winston was an idea thought up in the 1970’s. The idea was to have a beauty queen with the drivers in Victory Lane after races. The idea died after the Winston Cup turned to the Nextel Cup, but when Sprint took over in 2009, the idea was revived.
Now we move on to…
PAINT SCHEME REVIEWS!
Kasey Kahne #5 Design the 5 Chevy SS This is an awful scheme, even by Kasey Kahne standards. I can’t say anything good about it, so I will just give it an F
Greg Biffle #16 3M/W.B. Mason Ford Fusion Another terrible Greg Biffle scheme, another D grade.
Ryan Newman #31 Quicken Loans Fan Designed Chevy SS Great scheme, I like the black and gray effect, and the color scheme is good, A+
David Ragan #34 Wendell Scott Tribute Ford Fusion There is nothing wrong with this paint scheme. Color and design are perfect and it earns an A+
David Ragan #34 Plimpton Hills Ford Fusion See above, and you know it’s fall when pumpkin chucking ads start popping up. A+
Kurt Busch #41 Haas CNC 500th Start Chevy SS Kurt is starting his 500th race this week at Dover, and to celebrate, he is running a special paint scheme. The color scheme is decent, it has a gray scale look, but it is somewhat overdesigned. I wish Kurt would have a scheme for his 500th start that is better than a C, but that is how the cookie crumbles.
I Love The Tide Ride!
When I did The Paint Schemies last year, I also did a Top 10 list of Sponsors I Miss In NASCAR. Number 7 was Tide detergent. Tide was a major sponsor of NASCAR from the 1980’s to the mid 2000’s. That orange, yellow, white and blue car was distinctive without going too far. The scheme never evolved because it didn’t have to. It was one of the best schemes ever.
Like The Family Channel and Kodiak, I sometimes buy racing stuff because it is from the Tide Ride. Started in 1987, the “Tide Ride” was a staple in the Sprint Cup Series, and was used heavily until 2006, when the sponsorship left PPI Racing, and wasn’t seen in NASCAR since. Some of the most memorable Tide Ride moments were the 1989 Daytona 500 where Darrell Waltrip did the Icky Shuffle in victory lane, the 1997 Brickyard 400 won by Ricky Rudd, and the 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 which is tied as the closest race in NASCAR history, won by Ricky Craven over Kurt Busch.
One of my favorite items is a Bobby Hamilton driver suit circa 2004-2005. This design can be seen in photos from 2004 and 2005, so I’m not exactly sure when it was used. Unlike most suits I have seen, it has the car number on the collar. It has a white top, and on the torso logo, there is a yellow and blue stripe in a diagonal arrangement. On the back of the suit, the Tide logo is on the same place in the front, with the same stripe pattern as the front. The belt has Bobby Hamilton Jr. on the front and http://www.ppi-racing.com on the back. The suit has no TV logos on the sleeves or legs.
Ricky Rudd was Tide’s driver in the 1990’s, and there is a lot of Rudd merchandise. For example, this Simpson mini helmet from the late 1990’s. It is a perfect replica of his late 1990’s helmet, but in a 1/4 scale. This Ricky Rudd 1/24 scale die-cast from 1998 goes with it…
The last Tide Ride item I have is this 1:87 replica hauler. This was a perfect replica of what Ricky used during his time with Hendrick and was sponsored by Tide.
Now we move on to…
PAINT SCHEME REVIEWS!
Before we start, I have something I need to address, earlier this week, I discussed why I did not like the new paint scheme elements for the Chase drivers. I thought a long time about how I would approach this in the paint scheme grades, and decided that since the drivers were forced into this situation, that I would not hold it against them in the grading rules. So the Chase schemes, unless they are new schemes will not be affected since this was not of their choosing.
We have a couple of 2015 schemes, courtesy of Joe Gibbs Racing
Carl Edwards #19 Stanley/DeWalt Toyota Camry The color scheme is good, the side design could be a little more toned down, and again, I’m taking this with a grain of salt, since there can be design changes before the season starts, but this is a solid B+ design.
Matt Keseth #20 DeWalt/Stanley Toyota Camry…The Killer Bees have returned! Good solid design with a great color scheme earns an A+, and like Carl Edwards above, I’m taking it with a grain of salt.
Now on to the 2014 Schemes…
Jamie McMurray #1 Belkin/WEMO Chevy SS Lime green does not work on a race car. It has a good design scheme but the color scheme is awful! I can’t help but give it a D-
Kevin Harvick #4 Budweiser Designate a Driver Chevy SS Good color scheme, decent design scheme, A
Michael Annett #7 Cypress HQ Chevy SS No. Redeeming. Design. Elements. Whatsoever. F.
Michael Annett #7 Golden Coral/Feed the Children Chevy SS See Above. F.
David Ragan #34 Clean Harbors Ford Fusion Same scheme as The Pete Store, same A+ Grade
David Gilliland #38 Love’s Truck Stops Ford Fusion The only bad thing I can say about this scheme is I don’t like the back bumper design. Other than that, great color scheme and reasonably simple design. Final Grade: B+
David Gilliland #38 Love’s Truck Stops/Jack Czapla Ford Fusion See Above
Justin Allgaier #51 Plan B Sales Chevy SS See Michael Annett above. F
Home Beer Brew Project:Final Update
After two weeks of brewing, and two weeks of carbonation, I finally got to enjoy the fruits of my labor. After work last night, I cracked one of these babies open, and I have to say that it was really good! I will definitive do this again!
What Happened at the Carolina Nationals Yesterday?
By David G. Firestone
Yesterday, I called out NASCAR, today, I’m calling out the NHRA. I’m demanding an explanation for what happened during the Carolina Nationals on Sunday! Here is how I watch racing, I’ll watch a live telecast whenever possible, but I’ll watch the NHRA whenever it’s on ESPN or ESPN2 since I don’t get ESPN3. So after watching NASCAR on Sunday, I sat down to watch the Carolina Nationals Final Eliminations. The first round of top fuel and funny car went well, at least from my perspective. Then, pro stock started their first round, and the Allen Johnson/V Gaines race started, and I’ll let the video speak for itself.
The 67 year old Vieri Gaines was unhurt, but what happened next stunned me. What followed was an hour of discussion between the crews and the NHRA officials concerning track conditions. The wreck itself did damage to the track, but there were problems leading up to that race. The track had been dealing with concrete issues on the racing surface. Allen Johnson was interviewed while the wreck was being cleaned up, and he slammed the NHRA for letting the cars race on the surface. John Force was very upset, and Tony Schumacher called the racing surface “un-race-able.” Obviously the NHRA officials were aware of the fears of the drivers and of the conditions of the track. There were attempts made to solve the issues, but rain and a bad surface caused the cancellation.
I want an explanation, from Z-Max Dragway, the NHRA or someone involved as to how a racing surface can get that bad. Obviously there was a failure somewhere, and something like that happened. How could the NHRA and Z-Max Dragway allow the competitors to race on a surface that was obviously not capable of holding races safely! I normally wait until Saturday to post new blogs, but this needs to be discussed right now!
I’m demanding an explanation, and the NHRA and Z-Max Dragway owe not just me, but all of their drivers, crew members, sponsors and fans an explanation. Many fans left disappointed, fans watching from home were too, and there was no reason for this. Why wasn’t the racing surface safe? Why was concrete lifting off the track? Why in the world was the track sub par? What makes it even worse is that someone high up on the NHRA chain of command made a decision to allow the race to go ahead despite an unsafe racing surface, and I want to know why they would risk driver safety in that respect!
Both groups have a duty to ensure the safety of the competitors and fans, both groups failed horribly in that respect. V Gaines got lucky, and wasn’t seriously hurt, but that could have been a lot different. How could something like this take place in this day in age? Tom Compton, Dallas Gardner, Bruton Smith, you owe everyone involved, drivers, crew members, sponsors and fans an explanation for yesterday’s debacle. What happened was unacceptable, and someone needs to stand up and explain what decisions were made prior to the event, what the officials knew, and why the decisions were made the way they were.
Introduction to Sports Memorabilia-Autograph Collection
A collection of baseball, basketball, football, hockey, auto racing, and other autographed items.
The Chase Design Elemets…Too Much of a Good Thing!
By David G. Firestone
Well the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup has begun. What that means for the 16 drivers in the Chase is special paint scheme rules. Specifically, all Chase drivers will have yellow numbers on the roof, a yellow windshield banner, a yellow front splitter, and special decals. I waited on discussing this issue because I wanted to see how the cars looked on track. While some cars looked good, with the yellow elements working well, other cars looked awful, with the yellow clashing with the current design scheme. No car suffered as much as Brad Keselowski and the Miller Lite Ford. I can live with the yellow roof numbers, it has been done before, the and I can live with the windshield banners and decals, I’ll comment on that later, the splitter design is pointless and it makes the car look ugly. Why in the world did NASCAR make the splitter yellow? It serves no purpose, and clashes with the rest of the paint scheme.
Now I wanted to comment on something I noticed that NASCAR is doing. I was worried about this and these fears are now coming true. When the windshield banner was introduced with the Gen 6 cars in 2013, I did not like it. I thought it was pointless, and it didn’t add to the car at all. What I was worried about, but I didn’t discuss it was what else NASCAR had planned for the banner. Well we found out this year. In addition to the plain black, there have been green designs for environmental awareness, patriotic designs for memorial day and the 4th of July, and of course the yellow Chase designs. NASCAR is using this as their vehicle for promoting causes. Like pink bats on Mother’s Day, or patriotic jerseys for Memorial Day in baseball. October is around the corner, and the Pink-washing will begin in earnest, and I’ll be shocked if there aren’t pink banners on the windshields.
I noticed something else when it comes to banners. There are two decals that cars carry, one is the Sprint Cup Series decal, and above that is a NASCAR Race Car decal. When the windshield banner is a special design, the NASCAR decal is a matching design. Let’s look at that Brad Keselowski Memorial Day scheme again. Notice the decal just above the Sprint Cup Series decal? It is a star with NASCAR written on it. Now let’s look at Brad’s car from the Brickyard 400. The NASCAR decal is a simpler, more plain design. This is Kevin Harvick’s car with the green banner. Notice the NASCAR decal…it matches the banner. Why is this important for the Chase schemes? Well because whoever came up with this idea felt the need to give the Chase drivers special NASCAR decals. 16 drivers get yellow decals, the rest get silver. I’m reminded of the Star-bellied Sneetches in this situation…the second time that reference has been made in regard to sports uniforms this year.
I’m really wondering how much more NASCAR can over-complicate this, I really am. Why not add yellow wheels and yellow spoilers? I’m amazed that NASCAR could mess this up they way they did. Get rid of the yellow spoilers and NASCAR decals, and I wouldn’t have a problem with it, but too much salt spoils the soup…every time.
The SCCA Set
I’ve been getting off track(pun intended) lately, and I’m gonna get back to basics. I’ve been wanting to do an article on a set like this for a while. I bought a set of items used by one driver at the same time, namely a driver suit, driving gloves, shoes, goggles, and arm restraints worn at the same time by a driver by the name of Jim Jones, an SCCA racer in the late 1970’s through the late 1980s. He was a weekend warrior who raced for the love of racing. In the late 1980’s he raced a Pontiac Trans Am and was sponsored by Boston-based Nimrod Press.
The first and most prominent item is this driver suit. It was worn by Jones in the 1980’s, and is black with red safety stripes and a quilt pattern. The suit shows a nice amount of wear. There are a number of small sponsor patches on the chest and it has a blood type indication sewn into the suit under the number. This is so that in the event of a very severe accident, the hospital can know quickly what blood type Jones is and get him a transfusion. You also often see this on motorcycle helmets. The shoulders have safety straps, the sleeves have safety stripes in red, and the old school SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS patch on the sleeve. The belt, legs, and back have no decoration to speak of. There is a small tear just above the belt.The second item is a pair of Worth racing gloves. The gloves show a large amount of wear, with the Worth racing logo damaged on both gloves, and the padding on the gloves is highly soiled.
The third item is a pair of Simpson racing shoes, which show a decent amount of wear. I love the fact that the inside of the shoes is neon yellow, whereas the outside of the shoes are all black.
The third and fourth items are pairs of goggles. The first is a French pair of Bolle goggles, which show a decent amount of wear. The second pair is an Italian pair of Carerra goggles, which also show a large amount of wear. These were from a time when drivers wore helmets that mandated goggles. Even full-faced helmets needed goggles.
The last item is a pair of arm restraints. Many racing series mandate these to prevent arm injuries that occur from crashes when the drivers are in restricted driver cockpit. This particular pair of restraints were made by Auto Pro, and show a decent amount of use.
Now we move on to…
This week, I’m gonna share my recipe for Dave’s Nitro Burning Ribs. These ribs are easy to prepare and have a unique sauce. I like to use a Siracha Stout barbeque sauce for my ribs. So, without further ado, the rib recipe!
For the ribs:
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
3 racks baby back ribs, about 5 pounds
For the barbecue sauce:
2 tbs olive oil
8 cloves of garlic, minced
2/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 1/3 cup ketchup
4 tbs worcestershire sauce
3 tsp sriracha
4 tsp smoked paprika
2 cup Stout
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp onion powder
1. Mix together the cumin, garlic, granulated onion, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, white pepper, salt, and black pepper. Rub the spice mixture over both sides of the ribs. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Unwrap the ribs and place them on a baking sheet. Cover completely with foil. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove the foil and let the ribs cool. Refrigerate them, wrapped in plastic, until you are ready to pack, up to 24 hours.
3. While the ribs are cooking, it’s time to make the sauce. In a pot over medium heat, add the oil and allow to get hot but not smoking. Add the garlic and stir until you can smell it, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Allow to cook until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Store in an air tight container in the fridge. Until you are ready to leave.
4. Just before leaving, Place the racks in a large, seal-able plastic container. Add 1 cup of the barbecue sauce and stir so all the ribs are coated.
5. At the track, Prepare the coals. When the coals are hot, grill the ribs for 10 minutes, until they are lightly charred and heated through, turning them several times and applying several more coatings of sauce.
Serve the ribs hot, accompanied by more sauce.
Introduction to Sports Memorabilia-Race-Used Equipment
A collection of NASCAR, and NHRA race used equipment, including parts and sheet metal.
Oakley…Not Just For Sunglasses Anymore!
When you say “driver suit” you think of names like Simpson, Sparco, Impact!, OMP, Stand 21, and Momo, you don’t automatically think of Oakley. Oakley started in 1975 as a sunglasses company by Jim Jannard in his garage in Foothill Ranch California. He got the name from Oakley, his English Setter. He went from working in his garage to one of the biggest sunglasses companies in the world. They design eyewear for athletes, the military, skiers, and, starting in the late 2000’s, motorsports apparel.
Oakley makes a number of racing items, the most prominent being driver suits. IndyCar drivers Justin Wilson, Ed Carpenter, Mike Conway, and Josef Newgarden all wear Oakley driver suits as do Alex Bowman, Ryan Truex, Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Michael Waltrip, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in NASCAR and Tony Schumacher in the NHRA. While they make suits for the top drivers in the sport, for some reason they don’t seem to sell suits through their own site, you have to go to a third-party site to buy their racing suits…which to me seems odd, because no one else ever does that. This particular suit was worn by Jason Romesburg, who was the rear tire changer for Paul Menard in 2010. Menard had a decent season, with a top 5, and 6 top 10’s and 17 laps led. The suit shows heavy use, with the right cuff on the pant leg destroyed. In addition to the damage to the pant leg, what strikes me about this suit is that the material seems so light. While it is safety certified, it does not feel like a Nomex suit. It is very light for a suit of its size.
The suit is a two-piece and the jacket does not show as much wear as the pants, and I understand the reason. The logo about the Menard’s logo is for Mastercraft Doors. Paul Menard races with Menard’s on the quarter panel and a rotating set of sponsors on the hood. Mastercraft Doors was on the hood for 3 races in 2010, the Brickyard 400, the Carfax 400 at Michigan, and the Ford 400 at Homestead. While the jacket doesn’t show as much wear, it does show some staining on the sleeves. There are stains on the white area of the sleeves. Since Romesburg was a tire changer, this is to be expected.
The two piece suit is very popular with pit crews because it has the same fire protection as a one piece but with less restriction than a one piece. If you have ever worn a one-piece jumpsuit you know that it does restrict movement, as opposed to a jacket and pants of the exact same size. So when you are changing 4 tires in 14 seconds, you need every edge you get. What I don’t see on the jacket are arm gussets. These would be used to add movement without subtracting fire protection. I have two theories on this, either the suit fit well enough that they weren’t needed, or because the crews were switching jackets so often that expense or time dictated that arm gussets couldn’t be used.
One detail I love are the television logos on the sleeves. The dual logos on the sleeves look good and actually work well for both sponsors. The suit actually looks pretty good, but I do not like the quilt pattern on the legs, because it isn’t represented on the jacket, and it does look pretty odd in this respect. It does look like the two were designed and made by different people. I’m also amazed by how lackluster the warranty label is… That is the shortest warranty label I have ever seen on a modern suit. Let’s compare it to a Simpson tag…Wow that is a short warranty label, also, I don’t think a skull and crossbones don’t belong on this kind of suit, but it does say what it needs to say, just in a much shorter form than most driver suits.
In short, Oakley is making decent suits, and they are doing what they are designed to do, protect the driver from fire. I think Oakley suit could catch with minor league racers, provided they start marketing them better. The fact that they don’t sell them through their own website, and provide more info on the drivers who wear their suits make it hard to sell them to the general public. Puma, which has a lot of talent on its roster too, does not want to sell through its own website. Why they don’t is a mystery, as there is a lot of money in these suits, and people will pay for high quality suits made by a reputable company.
Before I get to the Paint Scheme Reviews, we have some breaking news on a story I had discussed in my Silly Season post a few weeks ago. I had mentioned at the time that Comcast was in negotiations with NASCAR to become the title sponsor of the Nationwide Series. Nationwide Insurance is leaving the series at the end of the season. Well it was announced on Wednesday that Comcast and NASCAR have come to a deal for a 10 year sponsorship of what will be called the Xfinity Series. It was not revealed how much the deal was worth, but we are talking hundreds of millions of dollars. I will be interested to see the series logo and what Xfinity does with the new deal. Now on to…
PAINT SCHEME REVIEWS!
Kevin Harvick #4 Budweiser Aluminum Pint Chevy SS A bit cluttered, the solid red works well with Budweiser, and it has a classic look with a modern twist. A-
Jeff Gordon #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevy SS The front is a bit over designed, the ribbon on the side does work somewhat, and the orange, I’d never thought I would say this, is too dull. I’ll give it a C+
Joe Nemechek #66 Friedman Law Firm Toyota Camry Law firms can be good at what they do, and they are apparently great at designing race cars. Clean, simple, attractive with a good color scheme eans an A+
Clay Rogers #75 Beard Oil Chevy SS Beard Motorsports is making their debut with Clay Rogers at Richmond in the Beard Oil Chevy. Their first time car has a great design scheme and a great color scheme and earns an A+
Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide Chevy SS A great design with a great color scheme and a great simple design. My sticking point with this is that I do not like the silver numbers, the font design just doesn’t work. I’ll give it a B+
David Stremme #90 Junie Donlavey Tribute Chevy SS Junie Donlavey passed away earlier this year, and Circle Sport Racing will run this design based on his 1972 Ford Gran Torino. It looks amazing, and I have to give it an A+
Josh Wise #98 Provident Metals Ford Fusion Looks good, good color scheme, decent design scheme. Too many stripes. I looked Provident Metals up and found that they are a precious metal dealer who make a currency called “Zombucks” which they jokingly market as “currency for the Apocalypse.” I’ll give it an A-
Home Beer Brewing Project Update…
Two weeks ago, I started the work on brewing beer using the Mr. Beer Homebrewing Kit. It fermented for two weeks, and I bottled it this week. The recipe will make 2 gallons of beer, which fits into four 2-liter bottles. I added the sugar to the bottles…added some liquid to the bottom to get the mixture started…then I bottled the four 2-liter bottles…Now I have to wait two more weeks for the carbination to complete….then I have to chill for two days prior to enjoying…Ugh! Well, I’ll keep you posted, and I’ll have some jam while I wait…
Introduction to Sports Memorabilia-Racing Figurines
A collection of NASCAR, and NHRA Starting Lineup figures from the late 1990’s.