My Thoughts on the Stewart-Haas Announcement

By David G. Firestone

I wouldn’t normally post something during the weekend, but last week, Uni-Watch ran a very brief column discussing the Stewart-Haas Racing announcement concerning the 2017 switch to Ford. Specifically, the fan’s reaction is what stunned a lot of people. People were really upset that Stewart is making the move to Ford. The comment section included a number of really good observations concerning the move.

I got to thinking about this subject. While I understand the manufacturer loyalty, the average non-racing fan or non-car guy wouldn’t. Now let’s get the obvious out of the way. We are all brand loyal to some extent, I am, you are, we all are. We all have brands we like, and we all have brands we don’t like. For example, I live in Evanston, Illinois, and I am very partial to Gulliver’s Pizza, WBC Craft Sodas, and Green River. I have a good friend who HATES Gulliver’s, and will only drink Pepsi. We all have brands we are loyal to, and brands we avoid.

When it comes to vehicles, brand loyalty just seems to run a little deeper. Car guys are very, VERY brand loyal. It’s common for whole generations to be loyal to one brand of car. The same way generations of people root for sports teams, is the same way car guys feel about manufacturers. In the 34 years I have been alive, we have ALWAYS had at least one GM brand car in our driveway, and have never had a Ford, or a Nissan. In my dad’s case, he had a terrible experience with a Datsun in 1985, and to this day will never have a Nissan in our driveway. Growing up Jewish, my dad HATED the fact that Henry Ford was a raging anti-Semite, and so we will never own a Ford.

Hot rodders, car guys, and car collectors can be VERY loyal to one brand. Much ado was made about the condition of the Corvette Collection of artist Peter Max. There were a lot of Corvettes that were in bad condition that were covered in dust. Bill Stroppe was a long time Ford racing builder, who revolutionized off-road racing with the Rough Riders. Tim and Pam Wellborn run the Wellborn Muscle Car Museum and have one of, if not the biggest collection of Dodge muscle cars in the nation. Toyota has a fan club, the T.O.R.C., or Toyota Owners and Restorers Club. Every make has a deeply devoted fan base.

With loyalties that stretch for generations, it comes as no surprise that Chevy fans reacted the way they did to the announcement, but there is a bit more to it than that. In the world of racing, rivalry takes a much bigger scope than in most other sports. For example, when the Cubs play the Mariners, there are two major rivalries, the team rivalry, and the city rivalry. In a NASCAR race, there are the drivers, the teams, and the manufacturers. 40 individual drivers, as many as 30 different teams, and three manufacturers. All the drivers and teams racing for one manufacturer are considered technical partners.

To better explain the rivalry of manufacturers, I’ll use the analogy that each manufacturer is a team. Each individual team and driver is a member of that team, even if they against each other on track. So on a technical level, RCR, Stewart-Haas Racing, and JTG Daugherty Racing are teammates. Even though Richard Childress Rracing, Stewart-Haas Racing and JTG are all different teams, and have no connection with one another. This breeds an interesting partnership, which is knows as “coopertition” which is a portmanteau of “cooperation” and “competition.” All of Chevy’s teams have factory support, even though they are mostly independent teams. RCR supplies engines for JTG Daugherty Racing, Germain Racing, Tommy Baldwin Racing, and Circle Sport – Leavine Family Racing. Former clients included Furniture Row Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing. Hendrick Motorsports has a partnership with SHR, and The Motorsports Group has independently built engines.

Over on the Ford side, Roush Fenway Racing is one of the bigger Ford teams, and their engine program, known as Roush-Yates Engines, and has technical partnerships with Team Penske, Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM), Front Row Motorsports, Leavine Family Racing, Premium Motorsports, and FAS Lane Racing. While the Wood Brothers doesn’t have a partnership with RFR per se, they do have a partnership with Team Penske, so all of Ford is running the same equipment.

When it comes to Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota Racing Development supply engines to Gibbs, and Furniture Row Racing, and BK Racing has an in-house engine program, though it has factory support.

The reason manufacturers are as neck-deep in their racing programs as they are is because of one six-word phrase that the auto industry lived by for decades. That saying is “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday.” Long before the days of the internet, auto racing was seen as a way for manufacturers to show off their products, and whatever make won the race would see an increase in sales after the event. Since the majority of auto racing fans are car guys and car gals, this isn’t that far fetched. The other thing that manufacturers got from winning a race was bragging rights. If a GM won the Daytona 500, or the Southern 500, they had the right to gloat.

The point is that fans don’t just root for the driver, they root for the badge. The fact that Stewart-Haas Racing is seemingly turning their back on the Chevy badge is why Chevy fans are upset. I’m badge-neutral, I don’t have one specific badge I root for. I actually agree with their decision. Stewart is the team owner, and as such, his primary goal is to get his cars into victory lane, and achieve on-track success. If that means switching from Chevy to Ford, so be it. I disagreed with Joe Gibbs switching to Toyota, and when Penske switched to Dodge, but it paid dividends for the teams. If this switch is voluntary, then he obviously thinks he made the right move for the future of the team.

When I interviewed Jack Beckman back in January, he had a quote that I thinks help explain the move. When I asked if he taped the visor to remove distractions, he referred to it as the “Clydesdale Effect ” and said “…I’m a big proponent of doing anything that you think will make you perform better. If you think a red glove will make you drive better than a blue glove, it will.” That’s the logic Stewart uses. It’s why he’s the only team in the Sprint Cup, and in fact all of the major leagues of auto racing, who doesn’t have a team driver suit supplier. Stewart is a Simpson stalwart, Kevin Harvick is partial to Sparco, Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch wear Alpine Stars driver suits. If each driver thinks that wearing the brands of uniform they are partial to will help them win, Stewart supports it. If Stewart thinks switching badges will help them win more races, he’s all for it.

However, there is something that does need to be addressed. I’m thinking that there may be other forces at play here. Most of the time, a manufacturer change isn’t voluntary, or there is more than meets the eye. I’m not fully sure, but I have a couple of theories. The first theory is that at some point, Ford realized that they needed a better team than Roush-Fewnay to lean on, and that’s when negotiations started. The other theory is that at some point, Hendrick Motorsports made the decision to stop providing engines for satellite teams. The Hendrick theory is supported by the fact that towards the end of the season last year, Furniture Row Racing announced a similar switch, this one to Toyota. Hendrick provided the equipment to Furniture Row, as well as Stewart-Haas Racing. It’s also telling that Hendrick announced that they would not be replacing either team in their engine department.

One last thing that I need to address, because this has been irritating me. According to most people, Stewart might be seen as “GM stalwart.” He could be, provided you overlook 2008, where he raced 38 events, including the Budweiser Shootout, Gatorade Duel, and All-Star Race, and won the wreckfest that was the 2008 AMP Energy 500 in controversial fashion, and had 10 top 5’s and 16 top 10’s. If you wanted to argue that Jeff Gordon or Kevin Harvick are “GM Stalwarts,” I’ll agree with that. Gordon raced 797 consecutive races from 1992 to 2015, 93 wins and 4 Sprint Cup Championships, Harvick race 545 consecutive races, 32 wins and one Sprint Cup Championship, ALL OF THEM IN CHEVYS! I have a hard time taking the idea that a driver who had success in Toyota not too long ago could be a GM stalwart.

I’m not going to wrap this up in a nice little package, because there really isn’t one here. I also want to state that I’m working off the information I have as of right now. There could be something that changes in the future that would shed some more light, and if so, I’ll address it. I’m going to do another My Thoughts On this coming Tuesday.

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Paint Scheme Grades-April 16, 2016

By David G. Firestone

Brad Keselowski #2 Thomas Build Buses Ford Fusion-The Penske Template works very well with red and black. It’s a very solid look, and I have to give it an A+.

Austin Dillon #3 Bass Pro Shops/Ranger Boats Chevy SS-Not as bad as I was expecting, though I could do without the orange. The camo actually doesn’t look that bad here. B+

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Throwback Chevy SS– My one complaint about this throwback is that the door numbers don’t extend past the bottom of the blue. The original scheme has the door numbers below the blue, to the point that the blue bottom is the halfway point of the door numbers. Still, I can’t say it’s a horrible look, it is a great throwback. A

Regan Smith #7 Nikko/Road Rippers Alan Kulwicki Throwback Chevy SS-It would be a better throwback if the number was correct, and logos were color coordinated. I’ll be generous and give it a C+.

Danica Patrick #10 Nature’s Bakery Brownies Chevy SS-This is a case of a good design not working well with a color scheme. The brown, blue, and white color scheme is good, the design scheme is good, but they don’t work that well with each other. B-

Brian Vickers #14 TaxAct Millitary Chevy SS-The camo motif doesn’t look good in place of the green, which does look good, and this scheme earns a C+.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Throwback Ford Fusion-The orange looks good, and the overall design is very faithful to the original. It looks really good. A+

Carl Edwards #19 Comcast Business Toyota Camry-Same scheme as last year, same D- grade.

David Ragan #23 Sweet Frog Toyota Camry-Neon green and hot pink was NEVER a good look, nor will it ever be a good look. I also have to give Sweet Frog credit for finding a shade of green almost as bad as the Seattle Seahawks did. Any other color scheme, and I mean ANY OTHER color scheme would earn this scheme a passing grade, but this deserves an F.

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Tarkett Chevy SS-Blue works a lot better with the Menard’s template than I would have thought, and here is a perfect example. The shade of blue contrasts perfectly with the yellow, and earns an A+.

Jeffery Earnhardt #32 Visone/Corvette Parts Ford Fusion-Same scheme as Corvette Parts but with a different hood logo. It still looks awful and earns an F

Kurt Bush #41 Hass VF1/Monster Chevy SS-It’s the same basic scheme as Danica’s, but the color scheme is MUCH BETTER! The Haas VF1 logo looks good here too, and the stripe fade to the Monster rear looks good too. I do think that this scheme makes the car look cluttered. I’ll give it a B+.

Brian Scott #44 Go Bowling Ford Fusion-I LOVE the bowling ball motif, and the rest of the scheme looks really good, with a smooth look and a simple design. A+

Brian Scott #44 Albertson’s/Tom Thumb Ford Fusion-Same basic scheme as Albertson’s, same A+ grade.

Brian Scott #44 Shore Lodge Ford Fusion-If the Petty blue was removed, the scheme would work. The contrast of the black with the baby blue door number and door design looks out of place, and takes what could have easily been an A+ down to a C+.

AJ Allmendinger #47 Bush’s Baked Beans Chevy SSSame scheme as last year, same B+ grade.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide Grey Ghost Chevy SS-One of the more unique designs in the history of NASCAR is faitfully represented here. Earnhardt’s Buddy Baker Throwbacks are good, and I hope the driver suit matches. I will give this the A+ it deserves.

Dale Earnhardt #88 Axalta/CarStar Chevy SS-Same scheme as Axalta, same A+ grade.

Cole Whitt #98 RTIC Coolers Toyota Camry-A smooth look with a really good color scheme will always earn an A+.

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From The Depths of the Sea…To My Collection

gardnercoin2-1By David G. Firestone

Going off topic today.  I have always been interested in shipwrecks. I don’t know why, but the idea of the remains of a ship, and its contents lying on the bottom of the sea just fascinates me, as it does a lot of people. In fact, shipwreck memorabilia is an interesting hobby, as it is interesting to hold something that has spent decades at the bottom of the sea in your hands.

The most common shipwreck memorabilia are coins. Business and sailing were one in the same for many years, as companies made and shipped goods for sale all over the world, and the ships came back with large amounts of coins. When the unthinkable happened, and the ship sank, these coins were lost to the bottom of the sea, until recently, when the ability to dive down and explore these ships has become much more commonplace. Divers love to explore shipwrecks, and they will find items from the time, and bring them back to the service, either for their own collection, or to sell to other. These are examples of shipwrecked coins.

The Dutch East India company was founded on March 20, 1602, and the first company to sell stock in themselves. They were heavily involved in the spice trade, at one point having a monopoly on the Dutch spice trade. While profitable for a while, it was a corrupt venture, so much so, it ceased to exist on December 31, 1799. The ships used were known as “Dutch East Indiaman.” These are coins from the Dutch East Indiaman Merestein, which sank off which sank off the coast of Southern Africa in 1702. They spent over 260 years underwater, when they were discovered and recovered in the 1970’s. They still have silt on them from their time at the bottom.shipwreck-1 shipwreck-2 shipwreck-3 shipwreck-4 shipwreck-5 shipwreck-6

Admiral Alan Gardner, 1st Baron Gardner was a career sailor in the British Royal Navy. He is well known for negotiating during the Mutiny at Spithead in 1797, and introducing lemon juice to prevent scurvy. He had a East Indiaman named after him, which was built in 1796, and sank on the Goodwin Sands in 1809. There were a large amount of coins which were stored in tightly sealed barrels on board. They were recovered in 1986, and examples like these two, were sold to the general public. They were mounted in plastic containers with nice graphics, and the back story of the Admiral Gardner. They also came with COA’s.gardnercoin1-1 gardnercoin1-2 gardnercoin1-3 gardnercoin1-4 gardnercoin1-5 gardnercoin2-1 gardnercoin2-2 gardnercoin2-3 gardnercoin2-4

Moving away from coins, we move to this item from the SS Larchmont. The SS Larchmont was built in 1885 at Bath, Maine. It was a 252 foot long steamer that sailed from New York to Providence, Rhode Island. February 11, 1907, Larchmont collided with the Harry P. Knowles in a blizzard, and sank in 10 minutes. Between 10 and 19 people of the over 200 people on board survived. This brass item was pulled from the wreck site, and has been mounted to a wooden base with a brass plaque on it. I’m not sure what exactly it is.larchmont1 larchmont4 larchmont3 larchmont2 larchmont5

No other shipwreck is as well known and has inspired so much intrigue as the Titanic. Launched in 1912, and ironically, despite the fact that it was lauded as being “unsinkable,” it sank during its first voyage. While the ship and most of the heavier items sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, lighter items, such as wooden items floated and drifted for a while. This small sliver of wood was found during the search for survivors.titanic-wood1 titanic-wood2

In 1985, Jean-Louis Michel of IFREMER and Robert Ballard of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution found the wreckage of the Titanic at the bottom of the sea. Since his initial discovery, many artifacts have been recovered, including this piece of coal, which was sold at the Titanic artifact exhibition tour.titanic-coal1 titanic-coal2

Next week, we look at a remnant from a once-promising career.

Throwback Thursday-Dale Jarrett-1989

By David G. Firestone

Dale Jarrett’s 1989 Hardee’s Pontiac Grand Prix is tasting the track this week.

Red and white, simple color scheme, but very attractive. The Hardee’s logo looks good, but I don’t like that part of it got cut off of the scheme. The number 29 looks really good, and is designed to match the sponsor. I like the non-linear red stripe on the hood. I do think the back of the car looks quite cluttered with all the small logos. I also noticed that the spoiler looks much higher. NASCAR must have been tweaking the rule.

Paint Scheme Tracker-March 14, 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+

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+

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

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+

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+

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-

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+

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

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+

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+

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+

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+

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+

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-

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+

BK RACING #93

Matt DiBenedetto #93 Dustless Blasting Toyota CamryNo Change. B

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-

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+

Paint Scheme Grades-April 9, 2016

By David G. Firestone

Jamie McMurray #1 Bad Boy/Beechcraft Chevy SS-Same scheme as Beechcraft, same B+ grade.

Austin Dillon #3 Dow FlexoLyt Chevy SS-Same scheme as Intellifresh, same B- grade.

Regan Smith #7 Fire Alarm Services Chevy SS-Orange on black is a bold design, and the city motif looks really good. It’s subtle and bold at the same time, and that’s hard to do. A+

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Zest Ford Fusion-The simpler design works well, and the bubble motif works with the sponsor, but the color scheme still sucks, and the best I can give it is a C+.

Kyle Busch #18 Banfield Pet Hospital Toyota Camry-While I’m not a fan of the sick pets, the car as a whole is good, with a great color scheme, and a great design scheme. I give it an A+.

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Rockstar Chevy SS-Based on what I’ve seen so far, the new Menard’s template seems to work well with every color, and this scheme is no exception, with the black front working with the yellow as a whole. A+

Josh Wise #30 Crawfest/City of New Braunfels Chevy SS-It’s a simple design, and the hood logo looks really good. A+

Joey Gase #32 Donate Life Ford Fusion-It’s a smooth look, with a great color scheme, and a HUGE improvement on last year’s scheme. A+

Kurt Busch #41 State Water Heaters Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same B- grade.

Aric Almirola #43 Waffle House Ford Fusion-The bright yellow and Petty blue just don’t work with each other. They would work independently, but together, they look awful. D-

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Chevy SS-I hope the yellow logos stay, because this scheme looks so much better with yellow door numbers than white ones. B+

Reed Sorenson #55 Chevy SS-It’s a smooth look, with a great color scheme, and you can’t go wrong with that!. A+

Ty Dillon #95 Nexium 24 Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same grade. A-

Cole Whitt #98 Chevy SS-It’s a smooth look, with a great color scheme, and you can’t go wrong with that!. A+

The Signature of the Man Who Changed Fried Chicken Forever

sandersBy David G. Firestone

Going off topic today, but I’ve wanted to do this for a while. September 18 1968, was an uneventful day during an eventful year. While the rest of America listened to Harper Valley PTA, red Testimony of Two Men, or watched Hang ‘Em High, one lucky person got to meet, and get an autograph from a man who changed the face of fast food, fried chicken, and the cooking industry, all at the same time.

Even if you’ve never eaten at KFC, you know that Col. Harland Sanders founded the company, and came up with the famous “Secret Recipe.” You might not know that he was a jack of all trades prior to KFC. He was a military man, a railroad man, an amateur lawyer, an insurance sales man, a ferryboat operator, and, by 1930, a Shell gas station attendant in Corbin, Kentucky. That Shell gas station was the best thing to ever happen to Harland Sanders, but at the time, he didn’t know it. He served food, including his chicken, country ham, and steaks in the living quarters of the service station.

Sanders’ temper was well documented, having lost no fewer than three jobs due to disagreements or brawls with people, including one in a courtroom during his law practice. During an encounter with Matt Stewart, a competitor, a shootout took place. The story goes like this, Sanders painted an advertising sign to lure more customers to his station, which enraged Smith, who painted over Sanders’ sign. Sanders and two Shell officials caught Smith in the act, and the shootout occurred. Smith was shot in the shoulder, and wound up killing one of the Shell officials. Smith was sent to prison for murder, and Sanders had the market all to himself. Around that same time, Sanders was named a “Kentucky Colonel,” and was recommissioned one in 1950. He began to call himself Colonel Sanders, and the name stuck.

During the World War 2, he was worked as a supervisor in Seattle, and later ran government cafeterias. He had already perfected his now legendary “Secret Recipe” and discovered that frying in a pressure cooker made the chicken more moist and flavorful than pan frying. After the war, he returned to his kitchen, and in 1952, franchised his chicken to Pete Harman of South Salt Lake, Utah. A sign panted named Don Anderson came up with the name “Kentucky Fried Chicken” for the new Utah restaurant. This would be a turning point, as Sanders, who had failed at most of his businesses, found the recipe for success, no pun intended…he just didn’t know it yet.

In 1956, he sold the Corbin Restaurant that he had called home for so long. Realizing he needed money, he started his quest to franchise Kentucky Fried Chicken. Initially, it was slow going, but people began to see that Kentucky Fried Chicken would work, and, by the 1960’s, over 600 locations had opened, in the US, Canada, England, and Mexico. In 1964, an aging Sanders could not handle the stress of managing the restaurants, and sold Kentucky Fried Chicken to John Brown, and Jack Massey for $2 million, over $15 million in 2016 dollars.

Sanders was the mascot of KFC, and continued to appear on packaging, and advertising. Sanders himself wore the white suit and black string tie which he would forever be associated with. Sanders was, in real life, a foul-mouthed control freak, who would visit franchises to make sure that the chicken was being prepared correctly, and would snap if he found that it wasn’t. He remained active, even after being diagnosed with acute leukemia, and was active until his death from pneumonia on December 16, 1980, at the age of 90.

On that rather uneventful day, September 18, 1968, someone met Col. Harland Sanders, and got his autograph.sandersTorn from, appropriately enough, a chicken advertisement, this 7 inch long piece of paper was signed by Sanders, “Sincerely, Col Harland Sanders, 9/18/1964.” While the paper has aged with time, but the signature is still bold. It also looks as though there was something else written, either by Sanders, or an unknown hand, as at the top right corner, there is an underlined S. What was written, has been lost to history.

Next week, I will examine some unique items from the bottom of the sea.

Throwback Thursday-Patty Moise-1988

By David G. Firestone

Patty Moise poses with her 1988 Crisco Butter Flavored Buick.

No the Buick isn’t butter flavored.  Red, Yellow and white with a curved stripe up the side is a good look. I also like the logo curved over the wheel well. The gold reflective numbers look good, and the black outline works very well. The white looks really good on the Buick. The Butter Flavored letting could be in a different color, as it sort of blends in to the stripe. I also like the lettering on PATTY MOISE above the door.

Paint Scheme Tracker-April 5, 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+

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+

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+

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+

ROUSH-FEWNAY RACING #16

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+

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

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+

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

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+

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+

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+

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

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+

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+

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+

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+

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-

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+

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+

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+

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-

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-

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+

BK RACING #93

Matt DiBenedetto #93 Dustless Blasting Toyota CamryNo Change. B

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+

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+