Paint Scheme Grades-January 20, 2018

By David G. Firestone

Ryan Blaney #12 Dex Imaging Ford Fusion-The Penske Template works well with red and white. Red as the primary color works well too. It’s an all-around great scheme, and earns an A.

William Byron #24 UniFirst Chevy Camaro-The scheme is clunkier than last year, the side designs could be cleaned up a bit. Still, it’s not horrible, so I’ll give it a B-.

Brendan Gaughan #62 Beard Oil/South Point Chevy Camaro-The car has a great color scheme, and the design scheme looks really good too. A

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Wheel Reviews-Greased Lightning

By David G. Firestone

Richard Pryor will forever be known as one of the greatest comedians of all time. He started as a clean, middlebrow comic, which was decent, until September 1967, where he walked on stage, exclaimed “What the fuck am I doing here!?” and walked away. This was the jump-start he needed. He started working in profanity, and started doing blue material. This combination, along with a talent for storytelling, raised stand up comedy to a new level. Taboos were broken, lines were crossed, and Richard Pryor became a household name. Pryor’s material was so ahead of its time, that even today, much of what he said on stage still holds up, and is still relevant.

Pryor’s writing talent and acting talent led to television appearances, television shows, movies, and awards. He co-wrote Blazing Saddles, with Mel Brooks, and also won an Emmy for writing a Lily Tomlin special. One of his more serious roles was Wendell Scott in Greased Lightning.

If I told you there was a NASCAR movie written by Melvin Van Peebles, and stars Richard Pryor and Pam Grier, would you believe me? Well the movie does exist. Released in 1977, Greased Lighting is a sports biological film about Wendell Scott, the first African American driver to win in what is now the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

The movie starts off by setting a tone that follows the course of the movie. In Danville, Georgia in the early 1930’s, a young Wendell Scott is challenged to a bike race by some white children. After beating them in the race, and earning their respect, one of them congratulates him with with a racial epithet. The movie then jumps forward to the end of World War II, and Scott comes home from the army.

At a party celebrating his return, he meets Mary Cole, played by Pam Grier. The two fall in love. Mary invites him to dinner at her family’s house. During dinner, he announces he is going to buy a taxicab, and wants to eventually open a garage. Her father asks Wendell if he has any crazy ideas, to which he responds “I want to be a racing champion,” which her father laughs off. After the two are married, the taxi business goes downhill, and Wendell is desperate for money. He witnesses a bootlegger chase, and drives down the driver, asking for a job.

He meets his best friend, who is also working for the bootlegger, and they both start running moonshine. The shine is moving well, the money is good, and Wendell is happy he gets to drive a car for a living. Wendell is so good at driving, that the police spend years trying to catch him. Finally, Wendell is arrested, and while in jail, the local track owner talks with the sheriff, and talks him into a deal. Wendell will race at the local dirt track, and if he finishes the race, Wendell will get probation and a fine. The track owner wants Wendell there because the white drivers will try to kill him, which the white people want to see, and the black people just want to see a black driver race.

The track owner turns the other drivers against Wendell by offering a $25 bounty for the driver that takes him out. Every driver takes him up on it, except one named Hutch. The race starts, the other drivers try to take Wendell out, but he preservers and is given probation. The next race he attempts, he is turned down because of his race.

Eventually he finds a track that will take him, and he finishes 4th, where he meets up with Hutch. 4th place earns two steak dinners at a whites-only steakhouse. Wendell and Hutch go there, get their dinners, but are chased out by the locals. Eventually, Hutch joins Wendell’s team as a mechanic. The next race, he finishes first, but racist driver Beau Welles is declared the winner. Wendell is obviously disgusted, and hangs around the track. After a while, one of the officials approaches Wendell and confirms that he did win the race. Wendell demands to know where the trophy, and is told that Beau Welles will give it back.

At a celebratory picnic, Wendell is presented with the trophy, and tells Hutch that there’s an opening at a new race shop. Hutch and Wendell part ways, and Wendell’s career takes off. He is seen racing at many different race tracks, including Talladega, where he is injured in a crash. The crash shown is the actual crash that ended Wendell’s career in real life.

He wakes up in the hospital, where he had a pole inserted into his leg. Mary begs him to retire. He mopes around the house, hearing about how great Beau Welles is as a driver, and decides to enter the “Grand National” at “International Speedway.” Most of his team comes back, the sheriff who wanted him to rot in jail is now the mayor, and he recruits sponsors for Wendell. Wendell’s wife states that she won’t watch him race. Wendell himself visits Beau Welles to try to buy an engine, and meets with Hutch. The two old friends share a few words, and even Beau Welles is cordial to Wendell. Hutch decides to reunite with Wendell’s team.

The Grand National arrives, Wendell is near the back of the pack, Beau Welles is at the front. Just before the race starts, Mary returns. The race starts, and it seems that Wendell is scared, not wanting to race. Eventually, his confidence returns, and he starts passing cars, until he is 2nd, just behind Beau Welles. Beau and Wendell pit at the exact same time, but Beau leaves first. Wendell drives away, with his right rear wheel not fully tight, and wobbling. The racing is fast, the battle for the lead is great, and eventually Wendell comes out on top, and the movie ends with his family celebrating around him.

This movie is one of the better vintage racing movies I’ve seen. Pryor and Grier’s acting and chemistry are great. Beau Bridges is great as Hutch. Earl Hindman, who will forever be known as Wilson Wilson from Home Improvement gives quite a great performance. There isn’t that much padding, and every scene has relevance. The music and racing scenes work very well, and the race cars look great. All in All, this movie is worth the A I’m giving it.

Next week, a 1990’s NASCAR comedy movie.

Throwback Thursday-1959 #11 Ferrari 250 GT LWB

Jean Blaton and Leon Dernier 1959 #11 Ferrari 250 GT LWB

I’m not a fan of the Ferrari 250 GT LWB’s design. It doesn’t have the same look as some of Ferarri’s greatest cars, rather, it has more of a Plain Jane look. I get that the car was run by a Belgian team, but the use of the shade of yellow from the Belgian flag didn’t work. If they had gone with black instead of red, it would have been better. It’s not a terrible look, so I’ll give it a B+

Paint Scheme Tracker-January 17, 2018

By David G Firestone

CHIP GANASSI RACING #1

Jamie McMurray #1 GearWrench Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black with green stripes and roof. A

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black with blue waves on sides. A

TEAM PENSKE #2

Brad Keselowski #2 Wurth Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, white and red Penske template. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Discount Tire Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2018, white with black outline. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford FusionNo change. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford FusionNo Change. A

Brad Keselowski #2 Auto Trader Ford FusionNo Change. D-

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #3

Austin Dillon#3 Dow Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black fade to red to black across whole car. A

Austin Dillon #3 AAA Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, all red, with white stripe pattern on sides. A

Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, green front, black rear, white and black waves on sides. C-

STEWART-HAAS RACING #4

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Ford FusionNo change. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Mobil 1 Ford FusionNo change. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmy Johns Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, black and white reversed. A

ROUSH-FENWAY RACING #6

Trevor Bayne #6 Advocare Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, black with grey, silver and blue stripes. A

Trevor Bayne #6 Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford FusionNo change. B-

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #9

Chase Elliott #9 NAPA Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2017, blue with white designs on sides. B+

Chase Elliott #9 Hooters Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, orange back and white front, with Y design across sides. B-

Chase Elliott #9 Sun Energy Chevy CamaroNo change. F

STEWART-HAAS RACING #10

Darrell Wallace Jr. #10 Smithfield Foods Ford FusionNew sponsor for 2018, black and white with slash patterns on sides. A

JOE GIBBS RACING #11

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Express Toyota CamryNo change. B-

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Freight Toyota CamryNo change. B-

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Ground Toyota CamryNo change. B-

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Office Toyota CamryNo change. B-

TEAM PENSKE #12

Ryan Blaney #12 Duracel/Menard’s Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, yellow with narrow stripes. A

GERMAIN RACING #13

Ty Dillon #13 Twisted Tea Chevy CamaroNo change. A

Ty Dillon #13 Geico Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, similar scheme to 2017, but some cutting edge designs replace stripe on sides. C

Ty Dillon #13 Geico Millitary Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, similar scheme t0 2017, but with some changes to the front. F

ROUSH-FENWAY RACING #17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, blue with white and black diagonal stripes across sides. A

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fifth-Third Bank Ford FusionNo change. B-

JOE GIBBS RACING #18

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

JOE GIBBS RACING #19

Daniel Suarez #19 Stanley Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2017, yellow with a series of gray and black cutting edge designs on sides. D-

Daniel Suarez #19 Arris Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2018, orange replaces silver on quarter panel. A

Daniel Suarez #19 Peak Toyota CamryNo change. A

JOE GIBBS RACING #20

Erik Jones #20 DeWalt Toyota CamryNo change. A

WOOD BROTHER RACING #21

Paul Menard #21 Motorcraft Ford FusionNo change. A

Paul Menard #21 Menard’s Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2018, same as #12. A

TEAM PENSKE #22

Joey Logano #22 AAA Ford FusionNo change. D

Joey Logano #22 Auto Trader Ford FusionNo Change. D-

Joey Logano #22 Pennzoil Ford FusionNo change. A

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford FusionNo change. D

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #24

William Byron #24 Axalta Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2017, blue with flame motif across whole car. A

William Byron #24 Liberty University Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2017, blue with red flames on front. A

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #31

Ryan Newman #31 Granger Chevy CamaroNo change. A

Ryan Newman #31 Caterpillar Chevy CamaroNo change. B-

Ryan Newman #31 Liberty National Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, green front, rear and roof, blue sides. F

Ryan Newman #31 Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, red top, yellow stripes, black bottom. C-

GO FAS RACING #32

Matt DiBenedetto #32 Keen Parts/Corvette Parts Ford FusionNew scheme for 2017, red, with slight wave formation across sides. A

CHIP GANASSI RACING #42

Kyle Larson #42 Credit One Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, blue with white and lighter blue stripes. A

RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS #43

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Click N Close Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2017, dark blue with Click N Close. A

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Air Force Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, same as 2017, but with black stripe across bottom. A

JTG DAUGHERTY RACING #47

AJ Allmendinger #47 Kroger Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, white with blue and red stripes on sides. B-

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #48

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black with gray outlines. A

BEARD MOTORSPORTS #62

Brendan Gaughan #62 Beard Oil/South Point Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, white front, yellow curve, black rear. A

FURNITURE ROW RACING #78

Martin Truex Jr. #78 Bass Pro Shops/5-Hour Energy Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2018 black with orange designs on sides. C-

Martin Truex Jr. #78 5-Hour Energy/Bass Pro Shops Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2018 black with red designs on sides. C-

Martin Truex Jr. #78 Auto Owner’s Insurance Toyota CamryNo change. A

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #88

Alex Bowman #88 Nationwide Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2017, blue with white designs on sides. B+

Alex Bowman #88 Axalta Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black with blue,red,white,and yellow cutting edge designs across sides. F

LEAVINE FAMILY RACING #95

Kasey Kahne #95 Procore Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, black, white, and orange with cutting edge designs across whole car. F

My Thoughts on Why Malls Suck

By David G. Firestone

Recently, I decided to go to a mall in Schaumburg, to redeen a few free coupons I had. I hadn’t been to the mall in some time. After walking around the mall for a while, I realized why I don’t go to malls anymore. Malls annoy me on a profound level. Sometimes it’s the people, sometimes it’s other things. I’ve done mall rants before, but I’ll do one now, all original gripes.

*How much demand is there that an entire store devoted to Alpaca made products exists?

*There are a total of 3 stores devoted to either LEGO or LEGO ripoffs.

*Why is the mall playing Christmas music ON JANUARY 7, please? The only store that should be playing Christmas music is the Christmas store that’s going out of business.

*Speaking of the Christmas store music, dubstep Christmas music should NOT exist!!!

*Also, to the Christmas store, I can buy a full-size street light for a lot less than the one you are selling, and I can add my own fake snow and still save money.

*When it comes to Teavania closing, I don’t feel bad. I know they were full of shit when they claimed that they offered me a free sample of what they claimed was “the rarest tea in the world.”

*I’m wearing a NASCAR jacket, and an NHRA hat, I do NOT want a mani pedi.

*To the store that has a sale logo inside a disco ball…that’s actually pretty cool. I would have never thought of that, and it looks awesome.

*Dear Panda Express, if I’m eating in a closed restaurant across the hall from you, I DO NOT WANT TO SMELL YOUR ORANGE CHICKEN!!!!!

*It’s nice to know that a mall that has been around since 1971 is finally getting a food court in 2018. Why did it take that long to install something that has come standard in every other mall everywhere has ever had.

*If you are over the age of 12, you should not be wearing LED shoes, unless you are the person selling them.

*You are the ones who named your restaurant “Kin Fork,” so don’t be surprised when I quip “Kin fork said Jed move away from there.”

*Why the fuck is the hot sauce store selling balloon animals?

*It doesn’t look suspicious when a man walks into a woman’s bathing suit store by himself…not at all.

*Dear males over the age of 12, there is NO REASON to walk into a Hot Topic store.

*Forgive me for wondering about the quality of macaroons sold in a mall kiosk…Mall kiosks are not exactly world renowned for quality.

*So apparently there is such a demand for pretzels, that there are three different stores that sell them, two of them the same company…

*Michael Jordan has his own store, and it doesn’t have that much stuff in it.

*It shouldn’t be this hard to find a bathroom. WHY DO YOU ONLY HAVE THREE BATHROOMS?

I’m sorry I went, and I won’t go back for a while.

Paint Scheme Grades-January 13, 2017

By David G. Firestone

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna Chevy Camaro-Love the black and dark blue, the design scheme works, and the car looks great! A

Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol Chevy Camaro-They took a great design, and just needlessly over designed it. The wave form could work, but it just doesn’t. It’s not horrible, so I’ll give it a C-.

Daniel Suarez #19 Peak Toyota Camry-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Matt DiBenedetto #32 Keen Parts/Corvette Parts Ford Fusion-It has a great color scheme, and the design scheme looks really good here. Nothing bad to say. A

Wheel Reviews-NASCAR Presents Greatest Dominators and NASCAR Presents Greatest Finishes

By David G. Firestone

Most sports have their own media production company, to produce television or DVDs. NASCAR is no exception having founded the NASCAR Media Group. The NASCAR Media Group has produced many books, television commercials, television programs and DVDs showing the history and the competitors of NASCAR. They are a promotional tool used by NASCAR for self promotion.

One of the DVDs that they produced in 2009 was NASCAR Presents Greatest Finishes & Dominators. This single DVD contains NASCAR Presents Greatest Dominators and NASCAR Presents Greatest Finishes. These are two 37 minute long specials which could have aired on television at some point. The DVD also has 60 minute long versions of the 2007 Daytona 500 and the 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400.

NASCAR Presents Greatest Finishes features a group of picks for the 10 greatest race finishes in NASCAR history. Their picks are:

10-1997 Mountain Dew Southern 500-Jeff Gordon Wins the Winston Million beating Jeff Burton

9-1999 Goody’s Headache Powder 500-Dale Earnhardt is racing for the win. He gets into the back of Terry Labonte, and spins him out, and collects the win.

8-2001 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500-Kevin Harvick wins a close finish against Jeff Gordon, his first race in what used to be Dale Earnhardt’s car.

7-1992 The Winston-Kyle Petty wrecks Dale Earnhardt to set up a close finish with Davey Allison. Allison would win, but the two cars wrecked, and Davey had to be flown to a hospital.

6-1992 Hooters 500-In the final race of the 1992 season, Bill Elliot, Davey Allison, and Alan Kulwicki were each racing for the championship. Davey Allison got wrecked by Ernie Irvan, and Alan Kulwicki would go on to win the 1992 Championship. Factor in the fact that this was Richard Petty’s last race, and Jeff Gordon’s first, and you have a race for the ages.

5-2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400-The then closest finish in NASCAR history saw Ricky Craven beat Kurt Busch in a frantic and physical race to the finish by 0.002 seconds.

4-1986 Miller High Life 400-Darrell Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt had a battle for the lead, which saw both drivers wreck, and Kyle Petty winning. Both cars were destroyed, Earnhardt had to pay $10,000,($29,284.19 today) had his neck broken, and was suspended for his actions.

3-1984 Firecracker 400-With President Reagan traveled to Daytona to watch the Firecracker 400. The race came down to Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough race for the checkered flag. Petty would win his 200th, after a wreck forced a late race caution.

2-1979 Daytona 500-Considered the most important race in NASCAR history. Broadcast nationwide by CBS, the race came down to a two car battle for the lead formed between Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough in the closing laps. The two would wreck, and Richard Petty would win the race. A legendary fist fight between Allison and Yarborough took place in the infield, which made the front page of the New York Times sports section, thus bringing NASCAR into the national picture.

1-1976 Daytona 500-David Pearson had finished second to Richard Petty in the Daytona 500 on several occasions. In 1976. Pearson would finally get the better of Petty in a legendary wreck, where Pearson limped across victory lane with both cars destroyed.

I can’t say I disagree with their choices, they are all great finishes. They feature some of the greatest drivers in the sport. This is the better of the two features because everything about the program is good. The narration, editing, interviews, and music are all great. NASCAR Presents Greatest Finishes is a great production.

The same cannot be said for NASCAR Presents Greatest Dominators features the top 10 NASCAR Dominators. They are:

10-Rusty Wallace

9-Bill Elliott

8-Lee Petty

7-Darrell Waltrip

6-David Pearson

5-Cale Yarborough

4-Tim Flock

3-Jeff Gordon

2-Dale Earnhardt

1-Richard Petty

The first issue here is that THEY PUT THE LIST ON THE BACK OF THE DVD COVER! Who thought it would be a good idea to spoiler alert the outcome on the back of the DVD cover? I should purchase the DVD to see who made the list, but they couldn’t get that right.

NASCAR Presents Greatest Dominators is also quite dated. The DVD depicts Dale Jr. in Budweiser gear, Jimmie Johnson is never mentioned, the Gen 4 car is the newest car racing, and Rusty Wallace hasn’t retired yet. Another thing is that Cale Yarborough is lauded as being the only driver to win three championships in a row, and the point is driven that this will probably never happen again. This might not seem that bad, but again, it was released in 2009, AFTER JIMMIE JOHNSON HAD WON HIS THIRD CHAMPIONSHIP IN A ROW.

With that out of the way, NASCAR Presents Greatest Dominators is a mediocre showing. The structure for how the segments work is non-existent. Some segments run longer than others, and there are long awkward pauses for no reason. The music is decent though, and I do like the showing footage on vintage stock cars. Ken Squier’s narration is amazing, but Ken Squier could read the legalities of a mortgage, and make it sound amazing.

The two races, the 2007 Daytona 500 and the 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400, are trimmed down versions of the telecasts, but they are decent, and show some great racing action. I’m a fan of these kinds of things. The DVD is worth it for that alone. The top 10 list thing has been done better, but the races are worth the price of the DVD. Across the board, I’m giving this a B-. It’s decent, some parts are worth the money, other parts aren’t.

Next week, another vintage stock car racing movie.