auto racing

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.

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auto racing

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.

auto racing

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.

auto racing

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.

auto racing

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.

auto racing

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

auto racing

Paint Scheme Tracker, December 17, 2015

By David G. Firestone

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.

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

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.

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.

auto racing

My Thoughts on Live Television

By David G. Firestone

Just gonna do a quick one this week. I saw this in the NASCAR Awards Banquet, and I’d like to discuss this for a minute. I love watching live television. As you may or may not know, my background is in television production, I did a lot of shoots in high school and college. Live TV is fun to watch, as opposed to pre produced television.

When you have a pre produced TV show, such as The Big Bang Theory, or NCIS, the show broadcast is refined, perfected, and is smooth. No major errors, no mistakes, and the show is perfect. Live television is so much more fun because if something goes wrong, you can’t edit it out. When you watch live sports, there is a 5 second time delay, but that really isn’t enough time to fix something that goes wrong. A great example is when Jimmie Johnson’s engine blew, and the TV broadcast tuned into his radio in perfect time to hear Chad Knaus shout “You have got to be f–king kidding me!” Another example is the power outrage during Super Bowl XLVII. I love moments like that, because it’s always fun watching on air talent scramble to explain what’s going on.

I’ve also watched Peter Pan Live! and The Sound of Music Live! I did this, not just because I love watching live television, but in addition to working behind the camera, I’ve acted on stage. So having worked on both sides of the camera, I understand some of the pressure behind it. So I watched the production and the one thing that stuck out to me about Peter Pan Live is that the on-air talent did not seem as comfortable as they should have doing it. There were minor issues with the broadcast but it went over well.

Live news can be feast or famine. 95% of live news shows go over smoothly, but the other 5% are amazing to watch. I saw this on 9/11 and again with the Ferguson riots, where so much is going on, and it’s so hard to cover all of the news in the area, that professionalism goes right out the door. In both these events, the havoc going on around the reporters and camera crews made a professional broadcast a pipe dream.

Television has bonded us as a country, and live broadcasts are always fun to watch, whether it’s sports, news or a musical.

auto racing

Paint Scheme Leaderboard-Week 4, The Grand Finale

By David G. Firestone

The Paint Scheme Ranking Executive Committee meetings have been long, but not too contentious, I can’t stay mad at Alejandro when he shows me his belly, so now we present all 55 NASCAR Sprint Cup teams ranked from first to last on how their paint schemes looked. NR has a different meaning this week. NR now specifically referrs to teams that didn’t exist in 2013. Teams that ran different manufacturers in 2013 will be ranked when it came to last year. So, without further ado,

1-Wood Brothers #21 Rank Last Year:1st of 50 -The Wood Brothers always design great cars, and the Quick Lane scheme uses the blue very well. It all looks good!

2-Hendrick Motorsports #48 Rank Last Year:2nd of 50-Classic, smooth looks with no needless clutter. Jimmie always runs great schemes

3-Michael Waltrip Racing #55 Rank Last Year:3rd of 50-The color schemes are good, and the design schemes work very well.

4-Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Rank Last Year:5th of 50-The zebra stripe Interstate Battery scheme wrecks a perfect score for Kyle this year

5-Stewart Haas Racing #4 Rank Last Year:NR-With the exception of Hunt Brothers Pizza, which uses an awful shade of green, Kevin has consistently run a series of great schemes.

6-Team Penske #2 Rank Last Year:18th of 50-The Wurth and Redd’s Apple Ale schemes are a bit over designed, but the white Miller Lite schemes, Alliance Truck Parts, and Detroit Genuine Parts schemes make up for it.

7-Richard Childress Racing #31 Rank Last Year:35th of 50-A lot of great schemes this year, but Wix is overdone, and the Cat/Quicken Loans hybrid looks awful

8-BK Racing #23 Rank Last Year:NR-The Dip Your Car scheme is awful, but the rest of the schemes are very good, and are very attractive.

9-Stewart Haas Racing #41 Rank Last Year: NR-The Slate scheme does not work, but all the other schemes work very well.

10-Roush Fenway Racing #6 Rank Last Year:NR-This would be ranked higher, as it has a somewhat vintage look, but the candy cane on the nose looks odd. It’s still a good scheme.

11-Richard Petty Motorsports #43 Rank Last Year:6th of 50-The Ekcrich camouflage scheme doesn’t work, camouflage schemes rarely do. The Charter green is horrible, but the rest of the schemes look really good.

12-Chip Ganassi Racing #1 Rank Last Year:24th of 50-A pink-washing scheme and a terrible shade of green on the WEMO scheme cost this team the 2nd place spot,knocking them down to 5th. They have run a lot of great schemes this season

13-Levine Family Racing #95 Rank Last Year:45th of 50-The TWD schemes look medicore, but could be worse. The template Levine Family Racing switched too this year looks great and the cars look very good too.

14-Furniture Row Racing #78 Rank Last Year:4th of 50-The World Vision scheme needs work, as the color does not support a fade, but the Furniture Row, and Colorado Freedom Memorial work very well.

15-BK Racing #26 Rank Last Year:50th of 50-Bully Hill Vinyards is an over-designed joke with an awful color scheme. The yellow numbers on the Burger King scheme are awful, but the rest of the schemes are good, and defendable.

16-RAB Racing #29 Rank Last Year:NR-Good color scheme, mediocre design scheme.

17-Hendrick Motorsports #88 Rank Last Year:22nd of 50-National Guard, Mountain Dew, Kickstart, and Superman look good, and work well with the new number design, but Michael Baker, Kelly Blue Book, and Nationwide don’t at all.

18-Chip Ganassi Racing #42 Rank Last Year:11th of 50-While Cottonelle, the Silver Scheme, and Energizer work very well, but the rest of their schemes are mediocre at best. The white on the back doesn’t work.

19-Beard Oil Racing #75 Rank Last Year:NR-If the sides had a sponsor, and the stripe at the bottom was eliminated, it would work a lot better.

20-Front Row Motorsports #34 Rank Last Year:28th of 50-The majority of the schemes look great, but the upside down lettering on the hood of the CSX scheme looks odd. The Wendell Scott scheme is amazing!

21-JTG Daugherty Racing #47 Rank Last Year:15th of 50-While Bush’s, Clorox, Scott’s, Sullivan/Palatek, Kingsford, and Bush’s Grilling Beans work well,Kroger/USO is overdone, Charter Communications uses a horrid shade of green, and Hungry Jack just looks terrible.

22-Hendrick Motorsports #24 Rank Last Year: 36th of 50-Drive to end Hunger is too overdone, and the upside down D on the hood looks terrible. Their orange scheme is even worse. Panasonic is mediocre at best. Pepsi looks good, and all of the Axalta schemes are really good.

23-Humphery Racing #77 Rank Last Year:NR-Plinker Arms doesn’t look great but it could be worse. That applies to Essex Homes as well. The rest of the schemes look good.

24-Joe Gibbs Racing #11 Rank Last Year:31st of 50-The Autisim Speaks scheme works well. The zipper scheme is decent, but odd. Sport Clips is over-designed, but with a good color scheme. The FedEx schemes have decent color schemes, but are over-designed on the front.

25-BK Racing #83 Rank Last Year:7th of 50-Voo Doo Barbecue is an over-designed mess. Dip your car is terrible, as is Zak. Burger King and Borla work well though.

26-Team Penske #12 Rank Last Year:9th of 50-The SKF scheme works very well. The Penske Truck Rental scheme uses a horrible shade of orange, and just looks hideous.

27-Hillman Racing #40 Rank Last Year: NR-When the car doesn’t have a scheme, it looks very good. When it has a sponsor it looks awful.

28-Front Row Motorsports #35 Rank Last Year:27th of 50-The Hefty scheme is a little unorthodox, silver and orange isn’t a great combo, but the design looks good. MDS looks good

29-HScott Motorsports #52 Rank Last Year: NR-The black scheme is good, but the orange Florida Lottery scheme is a trainwreck. Less is more on a paint scheme.

30-HScott Motorsports #51 Rank Last Year:13th of 50-If the car is running a Brandt scheme it looks good, anything else looks terrible.

31-Phil Parsons Racing #98 Rank Last Year: 44th of 50-While I like the Dogecoin,Trench Shoring,iRacing, black Curb Records, and unsponsored black schemes, anything else looks horrendous.

32-Front Row Motorsports #38 Rank Last Year:26th of 50-Most of the schemes are good, but the Love’s Truck Stops, and Love’s Truck Stops Camo schemes are horrific.

33-Joe Gibbs Racing #20 Rank Last Year:23rd of 50-Can all be summed up with medicore color schemes and mediocre design schemes

34-Swan Racing #30 Rank Last Year:50th of 50-The only time the car looked good was when it was unsponsored, but compared to last year’s design it looks amazing!

35-Roush Fenway Racing #17 Rank Last Year:16th of 50-Eco-Power has awful shades of green. Pit for a pair is awful even for a pink-washing scheme. Zest has a good color scheme, but awful design scheme,as does Fifth-Third Bank. Their all-star scheme was terrible. Ford Eco-Boost, NOS, and Nationwide work very well.

36-Richard Childress Racing #27 Rank Last Year: 20th of 50-Neon yellow looks terrible, when they use the stripes on the sides it looks even worse. The Pittsburgh Paints scheme looks really good though.

37-BK Racing #93 Rank Last Year:8th of 50-The Support Millitary scheme is the worst, and although Burger King, Dr. Pepper, and Iowa City Chop House do make up for it, it just isn’t enough.

38-CircleSport/Richard Childress Racing #33 Rank Last Year: 47th of 50-

39-Tommy Baldwin Racing #37 Rank Last Year: NR-Accell Construction has a great color scheme, but the design scheme ruins it.

40-Tommy Baldwin Racing #36 Rank Last Year:29th of 50-Another example of a team where when the car is unsponsored, it looks better.

41-Richard Petty Motorsports #9 Rank Last Year:12th of 50-Can all be summed up with Great color schemes but mediocre design schemes. The camo scheme looks bad, but the upside is that the camo is subtle.

42-Team Penske #22 Rank Last Year:41st of 50-The Shell/Pennzoil scheme has a decent color scheme but a bad design scheme. Anything Pennzoil Platnum is awful, as is Auto Trader. The Auto Club scheme has a great color scheme but a bad design scheme.

43-Identity Ventures Racing #87 Rank Last Year:NR-300 is a mess, and Morris,Hardick and Schinder/SmartBen looks too dull.

44-Michael Waltrip Racing #15 Rank Last Year:38th of 50-The Peak scheme is defendable, the color scheme is good, but the rest of the schemes are just awful.

45-Roush Fenway Racing #99 Rank Last Year:34th of 50-Fastenal looks good, but anything else looks terrible.

46-Go FAS Racing #32 Rank Last Year:25th of 50-The Terry Labonte throwback scheme was amazing, but most of their other schemes are over-designed messes.

47-Stewart Haas Racing #14 Rank Last Year:21st of 50-The over designing of the Bass Pro Shops schemes, as well as the use of orange and camo just look horrible. Mobil 1, Rush Truck Centers, and Code 3 look decent, but to some extent have issues. Mobil 1 is over designed, Rush uses too dark a yellow, Code 3 uses too bright a yellow.

48-Tommy Baldwin Racing #7 Rank Last Year:43rd of 50-Allstate Peterbuilt, and Pilot-St Jude Children’s Network work well, as both have good color schemes and design schemes. Anything else just looks awful.

49-Richard Childress Racing #3 Rank Last Year:NR-Cheerios is very good, and has a classic look. Dow schemes have a great color scheme, but have mediocre design. Anything else looks terrible on this car.

50-Germain Racing #13 Rank Last Year:40th of 50-The blue is too bright, as is the yellow. The car is overdesigned, and the whole car looks like a mess. The camo scheme is much worse.

51-Hendrick Motorsports #5 Rank Last Year:46th of 50-The only half decent scheme is Pepsi. Everything else is an over designed mess.

52-Stewart Haas Racing #10 Rank Last Year:37th of 50-The only scheme that doesn’t make my eyes hurt here is Aspen Dental. Terrible shades of orange and green, with ugly design. The pink-washing scheme is terrible.

53-Xxxtreme Motorsports #44 Rank Last Year: 49th of 50-Every single one of their cars is an ugly, over-designed mess that doesn’t look good at all.

54-Roush Fenway Racing #16 Rank Last Year:19th of 50-Every scheme is terrible.

55-Michael Waltrip Racing #66 Rank Last Year:NR-Nothing about any of these schemes is good.