By David G. Firestone
The Driver Suit Blog Paint Scheme Review Committee has met again, and after the latest round of negotiation and meetings, we have released our rankings on Ford’s paint scheme for 2017. Here we go:
#1-Wood Brothers Racing #21 Ford Fusion Rank Last Year: 2 of 13
The Wood Brothers have had a great look in recent years. The throwback inspired scheme works very well. While the orange OmniCraft scheme was the low point, the A- it earned should show how solid a year The Wood Brothers had. That A- kept The Wood Brothers from a solid 4 GPA and a tie for the top spot.
#2-Stewart-Haas Racing #41 Ford Fusion Rank Last Year: NA
A great showing for the #41, with 4 A’s and a B+. The schemes were all great, and the overall grade is very respectable.
#3-Stewart-Haas Racing #14 Ford Fusion Rank Last Year: NA
Cars 3 and 5 Star Urgent Care were the low grades, and when the lowest grade you get in a season is a B, you know you are doing very well. Aside from the two B grades, all of their grades were solid A’s, but the law of averages keeps the #14 from a higher spot.
#4-Stewart-Haas Racing #4 Ford Fusion Rank Last Year: NA
The new Busch and Busch Light schemes as well as the new Mobil 1 schemes were great, and the Jimmy John’s scheme were all great in 2017. The Busch Bucks, Busch Outdoor,Busch Light Outdoor, and Busch NA schemes took the grade down from a solid A scheme to a much lower GPA.
#5-Team Penske #2 Ford Fusion Rank Last Year: 3 of 13
The Penske Template can work well with the right color combination. Auto Trader, Detroit Genuine Parts, and Fitzgerald Glider Kits aren’t the right color combinations. Miller Lite had a great scheme, and the other schemes that used the Penske Template worked very well.
#6-Front Row Motorsports #38 Ford Fusion Rank Last Year: 5 of 13
Jacob Companies had some bad schemes this year, and 1000 Bulbs isn’t that great either. Those are the only bad schemes, as the rest are A grades. The average of grades is a harsh mistress, and the total average of the grades is mediocre.
#7-Roush Fenway Racing #6 Ford Fusion Rank Last Year: 9 of 13
The range of grades was all over the place, with some amazing and some awful grades.
#8-Richard Petty Motorsports #43 Ford Fusion Rank Last Year: 12 of 13
Smithfield and STP were blah. The throwback was amazing. The less said about Fresh From Florida, the better. The grade averages were average, and the #43 gains a bit this year, but has a lot of work to do. Hopefully a new sponsor set will bring the grades up.
#9-TriStar Motorsports #72 Chevy SS/Ford Fusion Rank Last Year: NA
I still hate the door numbers, but TriStar made it work. Many of the schemes range from decent to awful. They had many one and two race sponsors, but unlike Premium, weren’t able to make their schemes work as well, and the overall rankings took a major hit.
#10-Front Row Motorsports #34 Ford Fusion Rank Last Year: of 13
Fr8 Auctions is the same disaster it was. The camouflage scheme has somehow gotten worse from last year. Jacob Companies has to smear their designs on the sides of the car. These three are the only downs for the year, but their low grades had an impact, taking a car that usually has a great look has a lower grade.
#11-Team Penske #22 Ford Fusion Rank Last Year: 13 of 13
Of 9 grades, 4 of them are D’s, and 5 of them are A’s. This can be attributed to the pickiness of the Penske Template. Some color schemes work well, others don’t work at all. The throwback and Duralast schemes work very well, as do the Red Cross and the Indy 500 scheme, and the Pennzoil scheme. The rest of the schemes are just awful. The of average of all of these is a mediocre grades.
#12-Roush Fenway Racing #17 Ford Fusion Rank Last Year: 8 of 13
Go Bowling, NESN, and the new Fifth-Third Bank were meh. Sunny D and a Pinkwashing scheme earned F’s. Eco-Boost was awful. The rest of the schemes including two great throwbacks were all solid this year. Sadly, the average of all of these is a lower score than what could have been.
#13-Stewart-Haas Racing #10 Ford Fusion Rank Last Year: NA
Aspen Dental and Warriors in Pink were the bottom of the barrel. Colorado State and Warrior by Danica were bad. The rest of the schemes were great. Averaging all the grades out leaves the #10 near the bottom of the list.
14-Go FAS Racing #32 Ford Fusion Rank Last Year: 10 of 13
The #32 grades were all over the place, with numerous F’s, numerous A’s, and many in between. Go FAS is a team that gets many one or two race sponsors, and so the team is changing schemes all the time, some great, and some awful. The final report places Go FAS at the bottom of the list.
That does it for Ford, the Driver Suit Blog Paint Scheme Review Committee will have another round of meetings this week, and next week, I will discuss Toyota’s rankings!