By David G. Firestone
The air is cold, festive music is on the radio, and in stores. Red and green is the color scheme this season, and you know what that means for The Driver Suit Blog…The Paint Scheme Leaderboard. This year, as in years past, The Executive Paint Scheme Ranking Committee has met again, and my kitty Alejandro and I will present the paint schemes of all the teams ranked from best to worst. First up, while I ranked Chevy, Alejandro had some cat grass. Here are the results:
1-#98 Premium Motorsports Chevy/Toyota-Position Last Year-NA-The #98 of Premium Motorsports has- done the impossible…They’ve had a perfect season! Not one of their paint scheme grades was below an A! The have dethroned The Wood Brothers for the top spot, in both their manufacturer, and across the board. A
2-#55 Premium Motorsports Chevy/Toyota-Position Last Year-6th of 26-Becker Auto Trailers was the only paint scheme that kept the #55 out of the top spot. The #55 had a very solid year, and with the exception of the B+ Becker Auto Trailers scheme, and when your worst scheme is a B+, that’s worth an A
3-#47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevy-Position Last Year-2nd of 26-A few sub par grades kept JTG Daugherty from the top spot, namely Unwharrie Bank, Bush’s Baked Beans, and Pink-washing. Still, They had a very sold year, and they have earned an A for the season.
4-#30 TMG Chevy-Position Last Year-NA-TMG had a very solid and impressive year…until the D- level Feed The Children scheme debuted. It derailed a sold A year, and took the whole set from an A to an A-.
5-#41 Stewart Haas Racing Chevy-Position Last Year-26th of 26-Kurt Busch had a very solid year, and while the Slate and Hass VF1 schemes weren’t great, they were still B+ level. All in all, Kurt earns an A- this season.
6-#46 HScott Motorsports Chevy-Position Last Year-14th of 26-Northland Oil, and St Jude’s were two B+ grades, that took an otherwise solid A season down to an A-.
7-#14 Stewart Haas Racing Chevy-Position Last Year-20th of 26-Tony Stewart’s final season saw a series of very solid A schemes, and several mediocre schemes. Bass Pro Shops, Ducks Unlimited, and TaxAct didn’t do him any favors. Still his average ends up being an A-.
8-#15 HScott Motorsports Chevy-Position Last Year-NA-While Visine needed a few tweaks, and AccuDoc needed a lot of work, Clint had a great season. Solid A- season for sure.
9-#4 Stewart Haas Racing Chevy-Position Last Year-4th of 26-The one real black mark on Kevin Harvick’s season was the Bloomin Monday paint scheme. Outback needed a little work, the hunting camouflage scheme needed a decent amount of work. It was a season that could have been much better without those schemes. B+
10-#88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy-Position Last Year-19th of 26-Nationwide’s and Axalta’s schemes were great, but Mountain Dew is where the schemes began to go off the rails. Many of them were great, but Dewcision was a disaster, the camouflage scheme was horrid. The worst of them all was the green, yellow, and white “Patriotic” scheme, that couldn’t have been less patriotic if their lives depended on it. Most of their schemes were A’s, but the two F’s and a C brought the total down to a B+.
11-#5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy-Position Last Year-17th of 26-Kasey had a pretty decent year this year. His average scheme grade is higher, B over a C+. Also, his schemes were notably better than last year, so he really earned the B.
12-#31 Richard Childress Racing Chevy-Position Last Year-13th of 26–Ryan Newman’s schemes were all over the map, some were great, some were awful. Wix was a disaster, Florida Lottery was bad, Kalahari Resorts was worse. Still, there were a decent amount of A’s to make up for it, bringing their total up to a B.
13-#42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevy-Position Last Year-11th of 26-Clorox and Huggies dragged a solid A season down to a B. The Target fade scheme was good, though some variations needed work. The Coca Cola scheme needed work, but it wasn’t awful. It’s still a solid B scheme.
14#10 Stewart Haas Racing Chevy-Position Last Year-24th of 26-Replacing GoDaddy with Nature’s Bakery was a good move, and Mobil 1 worked too. Sadly, the Patriotic scheme, April O’Neil, and Aspen Dental killed off what would have been a Solid A season. It’s still a B for the year though.
15-#59 Circle Sport – Leavine Family Racing Chevy-Position Last Year-NA-This is a case of two mediocre schemes that average out to a B. Nothing great, and nothing awful.
16-#3 Richard Childress Racing Chevy-Position Last Year-15th of 26-There are a lot of schemes on this list that needed improvement. There were a number of good schemes, and a number of awful schemes. Credit to Bass Pro Shops, in that their scheme didn’t look that bad here. The AAA scheme needs to go. B-
17-#95 Circle Sport – Leavine Family Racing Chevy-Position Last Year-8th of 26-If not for Donatello, ON Semiconductor, and Advil, the #95 would rank much higher ere. There were a lot of A’s and B’s handed out over the course of the season. Still, with some of the designs, it ended as a B- season.
18#7 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevy-Position Last Year-21st of 26-Nikko had a lot of bad schemes this season. Citizen Soldier wasn’t that good either. Add in not one, but two pink-washing schemes, and Tommy Baldwin Racing couldn’t earn anything better than a C+. What kept them above water, in terms of grades, was the many good non-Nikko and throwback schemes.
19-#24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy-Position Last Year-3rd of 26-Sun Energy was the worst scheme of the bunch, coupled with Dewcision Baja Blast,and two bad patriotic schemes leads to a final grade of C+.
20-#27 Richard Childress Racing Chevy-Position Last Year-12th of 26-With two temperamental templates used this season, it’s no surprise that Paul Menard was all over the spectrum this season, in terms of grades. His schemes could be great, or they could be awful. Averaging all the grades out, he winds up with a C+.
21-#48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy-Position Last Year-18th of 26-It’s not a good sign when all three primary schemes earn a C-, and most of the special schemes earn much higher grades. The Jimmie Johnson Foundation scheme is a disaster though, and the final grade is a C+.
22-#1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevy-Position Last Year-16th of 26-The season started out solid…then Credit One came on board. Bass Pro Shops didn’t help, and did I mention that I HATE THE MAC TONIGHT SCHEME? In the end, the best they could muster is a C.
23-#13 Germain Racing Chevy-Position Last Year-25th of 26-A great primary scheme, and a great throwback scheme were neutralized by two bad military schemes. Two A’s and two F’s averages out to a C.
24-#40 Hillman Racing Chevy-Position Last Year-10th of 26-Their Daytona 500 scheme was a D-, then, the team went belly up.