My Thoughts On The Question-Are Bloggers Journalists?

By David G. Firestone

I’ve been wanting to throw my hat into this discussion for a while. A question that has been around as long as blogs have existed is “are bloggers journalists?” It’s not so cut and dry as you might think. Blogs can range from a teenager discussing their feelings to people exposing real news stories to the world. According to the United States court system, bloggers like myself are journalists from a legal standpoint, but am I a journalist?

I really don’t feel like a journalist. I don’t hit the streets looking for stories. I have yet to do a formal interview with a driver about uniforms and memorabilia. I’m not breaking news stories from sources. I don’t consider myself a journalist. Uni-Watch founder Paul Lukas on the other hand is a journalist, because unlike me, he has done all of the things I haven’t done. He has written for many publications, and was a journalist before he was a blogger.

I also don’t consider myself to be a journalist because this isn’t my occupation. I work retail, and do this not for profit but for fun. The Driver Suit Blog wasn’t started as a chance to reinvent myself, and become a professional blogger, but rather as a way to express my love of driver suits and racing memorabilia and help collectors out any way I can. The Driver Suit Blog started from Introduction to Sports Memorabilia, which came to be because I was bored, and needed a new challenge in my life. I goof around a lot on here, and try not to take things too seriously. T

I know that each individual blog is different, and each blog adds a certain amount of perspective to the subject. My analysis of driver suits and memorabilia comes from my personal experience from my personal collection. That’s something that is also a critical difference. Traditional journalism is focused on reporting the facts, and not becoming part of the story. If I were to write an analysis of a driver suit with no perspective on the design, it would be a totally different article than my normal articles. The way I do things, I discuss the driver suit and will discuss various aspects of the suit as compared to other suits, some in my possession, others I have seen in catalogs or eBay.

I guess there isn’t an answer that satisfies everyone, so I think that the answer is that there is no answer. Are bloggers journalists? You decide.


Paint Scheme Grades-December 27, 2014

Carl Edwards #19 Aaris Toyota Camry-The dark orange looks good, and I like the new “logo as door stripe” design scheme and I’ll give it an A

Matt Kenseth #20 Dollar General Toyota Camry-A great simple scheme with a great color scheme and a great look, can’t give this scheme anything less than an A

Jimmie Johnson #48 Kobalt Chevy SS-If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This appears to be inspired by the 2010 paint scheme, but that was horrible. It is over designed, and it just looks bad, C-, and I cant’ help but say how disappointed I am for this scheme.

Michael McDowell #95 Thrivent Financial Ford Fusion-While I am disappointed that Levine Family Racing is moving away from their award winning scheme last year, the scheme does look good, and I do like the new logo as door design scheme, so I’ll give it an A.

Paint Scheme Tracker, December 24, 2014

By David G. Firestone

Let’s just get this out of the way, Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanza, and Happy Festivus.  Lots of new schemes this week, including Austin Dillon, Greg Biffle, Sam Hornish Jr., Ty Dillon, Aric Almirola, Jimmie Johnson and Brian Vickers.

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

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna/Beechcraft Chevy SSNo Change

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

Austin Dillon #3 Cheerios Chevy SSNo change

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Chevy SSNo change

Austin Dillon #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevy SSNo Change

Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol Chevy SSNo Change

Kevin Harvick #4 Budweiser Chevy SSNo change

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmie Johns Chevy SSNo change

Kevin Harvick #4 Outback SteakhouseNo 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 SSNo Change

Kasey Kahne #5 Time Warner Cable Chevy SSNo Change

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

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

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

Sam Hornish Jr. #9 Twisted Tea Ford FusionNo Change

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

Danica Patrick #10 GoDaddy Chevy SSNew redesign with more black and less orange.

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

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

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

Tony Stewart #14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil1 Chevy SSNo Change

Clint Bowyer #15 5 Hour Energy Toyota CamryNo Change

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

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

Greg Biffle #16 Ortho Fire Ant Killer Ford FusionNo change

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

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

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

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Toyota CamryNo change

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

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

Carl Edwards #19 Aaris Toyota Camry-New team and new sponsor, reddish orange with the Aaris logo used as part of the side stripe.

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

Matt Kenseth #20 Dollar General Toyota CamryMuch simpler than the 2014 scheme, with fewer side designs.

Ryan Blaney #21 Motorcraft/Quicklane Ford FusionNo Change

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford FusionNo change

Joey Logano #22 AAA Ford FusionThe AAA logo has been straightened up in 2015.

Joey Logano #22 Pennzoil Platnum Ford FusionNo Change.

Jeff Gordon #24 Axalta Chevy SSNo Change

Jeff Gordon #24 Panasonic Toughbook Chevy SSNo Change

Paul Menard #27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menard’s Chevy SSNo change

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

Ryan Newman #31 Quicken Loans Chevy SSNo change

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

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

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

Kurt Busch #41 Slate Water Heaters Chevy SSNo change

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

Aric Almirola #43 Smithfield Ford FusionNo change

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

Jimmie Johnson #48 Kobalt Chevy SSNew design, redesigned version of the current Lowe’s scheme.

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

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide Chevy SSNo Change

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevy SSNo major changes,except a Nationwide logo replaces the National Guard logo.

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

Michael McDowell #95 Thrivent Financial Ford FusionRedesign of last year’s scheme, another example of logo as a stripe pattern.

My Thoughts on Sprint Leaving The Sprint Cup Series in 2016

By David G. Firestone

I had planned something concerning bloggers for this week’s My Thoughts On, but then something was announced this week, and I postponed it to discuss it. Sprint has announced that after 2016, they would be leaving the Sprint Cup Series as the titular sponsor. Now this did not come as a shock to me, as the cel phone wars, or smart phone wars are heating up. Unless you’ve been living under a rock with no communication with the outside world, and since you are reading this, that is impossible, the major cel phone carriers are in the midst of a war for customers. Service is going up, prices are going down. The consumer wins in this war, because we are going to get better service and better rates in the long run. Sprint decided to stop with NASCAR as a result of this war.

There is no doubt that this will impact NASCAR, but I think that we will have an announcement of some kind before the end of the 2015 season. I would normally not speculate on who it will be, but I’m thinking it might be Coca Cola, or one of their other brands. This is not without precedent, as they already sponsor the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series in the NHRA. They are also the official soft drink sponsor of NASCAR, and have the pockets deep enough to fund the series. I also think that Coke would make a great sponsor, since they are as aggressive with marketing as they are. Could I be wrong, absolutely, but again this is mere speculation.

What I’m worried about would be an alcohol sponsor taking over, say Miller Lite or Coors Light. When the Xfinity Series was the Busch Series, they did not allow anyone under the age of 21 to race in it, and all that did was screw rookies who need experience out of a few years of their career. Futhermore, it makes marketing difficult as the stuff sold to kids can’t have the logo on it. I don’t know if NASCAR has rules in place or not, but I hope it doesn’t happen.

This will be an interesting story to follow, and I’m interested in seeing who steps up to sponsor the biggest racing series in America.

Paint Scheme Grades, December 20, 2014

Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same A- grade.

Austin Dillon #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same F grade!

Kasey Kahne #5 Liftmaster Chevy SS-A redesign of the C graded Time Warner scheme, but the color changes takes it from a C to a C+

Sam Hornish Jr. #9 Twisted Tea Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same A grade

Danica Patrick #10 Go Daddy Chevy SS-This is the worst Go Daddy scheme yet! Too over designed, awful color scheme, and an all around horrible look earns an F

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry-New look for the FedEx Camry and it is a great one! It has a smooth look with a great color scheme, and it works very well. A+

Greg Biffle #16 Cheez Its Ford Fusion-New design for 2015, and I like this. Red is always a great color for a race car, and the cheese stripe on the bottom works well, as do the crackers on the side. A+

Greg Biffle #16 Clean Harbors Ford Fusion-Red, black, and white is a great color scheme, and the design looks decent, so I’ll give it an A-

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Crispy Toyota Camry-The new design is decent, though the green could use a little tweaking. I do not like the new hood design, I thought the M&M’s were enough. I will give it a B-, I like it, but there is some work to do.

Ryan Blaney #21 Motorcraft/Quicklane Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same A+ grade.

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

Ty Dillon #33 Cheerios Chevy SS-Same Scheme as Austin Dillon, Same A grade.

Aric Almirola #43 Eckrich Ford Fusion-The same scheme as 2014, but with a Nathan’s logo on the back. The color clash makes it look awkward, and it takes the scheme from an A to a C+

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Chevy SS-If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This appears to be inspired by the 2010 paint scheme, but that was horrible. It is over designed, and it just looks bad, C-, and I cant’ help but say how disappointed I am for this scheme.

Brian Vickers #55 Aaron’s Toyota Camry-They took the A+ scheme from last year, got rid of the gold, and replaced it with light blue, while making the current blue a tad darker. It works well and will keep the A+ grade.

2014 In Memorandum

By David G. Firestone

In 2014 we lost a lot of members of the motorsports community, so I felt that we should take the time to honor their passings.

Simon Andrews-English Motorcycle racer

Tommy Aquino-American motorcycle racer

Raymond Beadle-Former NHRA funny car champion and NASCAR team owner.

Gary Bettenhausen-Former IndyCar and NASCAR driver

Bill Bigley, Sr.-Former stock car driver

Ron Bishop-Former off-road motorcycle racer

Ben Blake-Racing journalist

Jack Brabham-3 time F1 World Champion

Alene Brownlee-Former NASCAR team member

Ralph Bryans-Northern Ireland motorcycle road racer

John Button-Former Rallycross driver and father of Jenson Button

Henry “Spook” Caspers-Long time NASCAR crew member

Bob Cronin-Longtime NASCAR engine designer

Tony Crook-British Formula 1 driver

Gary Cross-Long time NASCAR employee

Richard Cozze-Former stock car driver and owner.

Denny Darnell-Sportswriter and track general manager.

Andrea de Cesaris-Former Italian F1 driver

Ernie Derr-Former IMCA champion

Ray DeWitt-Former NASCAR team owner

Carl Dickinson-Former NASCAR team member

Junie Donlavey-Former NASCAR owner

Richard ‘Dick’ Duff-Former racing scorer and NASCAR crew chief

Hoss Ellington-Former NASCAR driver and owner

Capt. Herb Emory-Former NASCAR journalist

Paul England-Australian Race car driver

Rod Eulenfeld-Former NASCAR driver and team owner.

Ray Fox-NASCAR owner, and engine builder.

Dan Ford-Former racing mechanic and crew chief.

William Clay Ford, Sr.-Former Ford CEO

Richmond Gage-Former motorsports educator

David Garvin-Founder of Camping World and NASCAR team owner

Gordon Gibbs-Former NASCAR team member

Sandy Grossman-Long time Fox sports member

Sharon Grubb-Mother of NASCAR driver Kevin Grubb

Philippe Gurdjian-French race car driver and promoter

Al Hammond-Former American stock car driver

Joyce Hutcherson-Wife of former NASCAR owner Ron Hutcherson

Karl Harris-British Supersport racer

Brian Hart-British racing driver and engineer

Ronald Johndrone-Longtime NASCAR crew member

Grzegorz Knapp-Polish Speedway rider

Norman Toshio Koshimizu-Long time NASCAR crew member

Paul Kuhl-Former track owner and promoter

Gary Lee-Long time motorsports broadcaster

Marty Little-Long time racing journalist, promoter, and track announcer

Gary Marshall-HScott Racing mechanic

Dr. John Melvin-NASCAR safety pioneer

Tom Mitchell-Former NASCAR team owner

Ed Negre-Former NASCAR driver

Gary Overmann-Longtime NASCAR mechanic

Eric Palante-Belgian motorcycle rally driver

Jim Parsley-Former NASCAR driver

Enzo Pastor-Filipino race car driver

Bruce Patrum-NASCAR souvenir pioneer

Al Pease-Former F1 driver

Lynda Petty-Wife of Richard Petty

Patricia Petty-Wife of long time NASCAR mechanic Maurice Petty

Wilbur Rakestraw-Former NASCAR driver

Earl Ross-Former Canadian race car driver

Wayne Rust-Former NASCAR and Sunoco employee

Feliciano “Chany” Sabates-Grandson of NASCAR owner Felix Sabates

Jim Sauter-Former NASCAR driver and father of Johnny, Jay and Tim Sauter

Bill Schmitt-Former NASCAR driver

Landy Scott-Former midget car driver

Malcolm Simmons-English Speedway rider

Ed Spencer-Former NASCAR driver and father of Jimmy Spencer

Billy Standridge-Former NASCAR driver and owner

Nigel Stepney-Former F1 Engineer

George Tet-First Japanese driver to race in the Sprint Cup

Don Tilley-Former NASCAR driver

Roy Trantham-Former NASCAR driver and engine developer

Reino Tulonen-Former American stock car racer

Layman Utsman-Former American racing driver

Björn Waldegård-Former Swedish rally driver

Bobby Waltrip-Brother of NASCAR drivers Darrell and Michael Waltrip

Kevin Ward Jr.-Sprint car driver

A. J. Watson-Former IndyCar Builder and chief mechanic

Ed Whitaker-Former NASCAR team owner.

Jonathan Williams-Former British race car driver

Bob Wright-Former racing pioneer

Shinichi Yamaji-Former Japanese race car driver