auto racing · paint scheme tracker

Paint Scheme Tracker-January 31, 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

Jamie McMurray #1 DC Solar Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, dark blue and white with diagonal stripes. B-

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

Chase Elliott #9 Kelly Blue Book Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, blue with white diagonal side and cutting edge design. C

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

Ryan Blaney #12 Dex Imaging Ford Fusion-New scheme for 2018, Penske template, white front, red rear. A

Ryan Blaney #12 PPG Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2018, blue front, white rear, horizontal paint drip motif across car. 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

STEWART-HAAS RACING #14

Clint Bowyer #14 Rush’s Truck Stops Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, yellow front, red stripe, black rear. A

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

Daniel Suarez #19 Arris Ruckus Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2018, solid orange with white and black numbers and letters. A

JOE GIBBS RACING #20

Erik Jones #20 DeWalt Toyota CamryNo change. A

Erik Jones #20 Reser’s Fine Foods Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2018, black with red bottom. 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

FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS #34

Michael McDowell #34 Love’s Truck Stops/Speedco Ford FusionNo change. A

Michael McDowell #34 K-Love Ford FusionNo change. A

FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS #38

David Ragan #38 Shriner’s Children’s Hospital Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, blue with black and white stripe, and red bottom. 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

Kyle Larson #42 DC Solar Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, same design as #1, but with colors reversed. B-

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

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 STP Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, red sides, blue hood and roof, with some silver designs on borders. 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

RICKY BENTON RACING #92

David Gilliland #92 Carquest/Black’s Tire Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2018, white with black and blue wave on sides, black roof. C-

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

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auto racing · my thoughts on

My Thoughts On A Great Sporting Weekend

By David G. Firestone

So I spent the entire weekend watching sports, including the Rolex 24,  and the NHL All-Star Game. While I watch racing on a regular basis, I don’t always get to watch IMSA, so I’m not as polished with the rules and regulations and nuances of sports car racing as I am NASCAR, and the NHRA. I do enjoy it when I watch it.

I was perplexed when the officials executed what was termed “the nuclear option” on one of the race teams. “The nuclear option” is a five minute stop and hold penalty. This was apparently executed on the #29 Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 because the refueling time was shorter than allowed.

According to Autoweek, IMSA’s stance is as follows: “To measure refueling times, each entrants autonomous fuel tank is fitted with a mandated IMSA fuel level sensor and refueling restrictor, which are inspected and sealed prior to the race. During a standard, in-race data review, IMSA observed a consistent and beneficial variance of the No. 29 car’s refueling times compared to the GTD class average. Based upon IMSA’s current and past event refueling data, this was deemed to be unacceptable. The entrant was informed of IMSA’s position and a penalty was administered.”

It should be noted that while 5 minutes seems like an eternity in many forms of racing, the #29 only lost a lap. Due to the lack of full-course yellows, they never got the lap back, and their day ended with 29 minutes to go, due to a tire issue. Not the best end to a race, but it could have been different.

Then I watched the NHL All-Star Game via DVR. I have to say that because NBC and the NHL royally messed the All-Star Game up. On Sunday afternoon and evening, the Pro Bowl, the Grammys, and the WWE Royal Rumble, in addition to the NHL All-Star Game. The NHL is not going to win that ratings battle. Why wouldn’t you have the All-Star Game on Saturday night? Instead of fighting a battle that you couldn’t win, why not move it back a day, and be the top dog in the ratings? Unwinable fights aren’t worth fighting, so instead, make the move to Saturday night, move the skills competition to Sunday, and everyone wins.

Another thing I noticed about the All-Star game was the jerseys. The NHL has four divisions, Metropolitan, Atlantic, Central, and Pacific. Why was the main crest an NHL logo? Why wouldn’t you have the division logo as the crest, and the NHL logo on the shoulder, as opposed to the other way around? This is not a minor issue, because the game is three 20 minute 3-on-3 games between divisions. Who thought that the NHL logo worked better than the divisions? It just looked odd.

I thought that the games were good, but there are a lot of places for improvement in them. I hope these problems will be fixed.

 

auto racing · paint scheme grades

Paint Scheme Grades-January 27, 2018

By David G. Firestone

Jamie McMurray #1 DC Solar Chevy Camaro-The color scheme is good, but the design scheme is cluttered. If cleaned up, it could work much better. B-

Chase Elliott #9 Kelly Blue Book Chevy Camaro-Reversing the colors from last year could have worked, but the design is a bit cluttered. The design scheme could work with a red car, but it isn’t as good as a blue scheme. All things considered, I give it a C.

David Ragan #38 Shriner’s Children’s Hospital Ford Fusion-The shades of red and blue are good, and the stripe looks good too. It’s an all around good look, and earns an A.

Kyle Larson #42 DC Solar Chevy Camaro-See Jamie McMurray above. B-

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 STP Chevy Camaro-My one complaint about this scheme is the silver on the borders. The silver is tacky, and takes an A scheme down to an A-.

David Gilliland #92 Carquest/Black’s Tire Ford Fusion-The wave motif could work with a different color scheme, and whatever those yellow things on the wave are, they are visually distracting. It could be better, but this scheme earns a C-.

auto racing · friday feature

Wheel Reviews-Dorf Goes Auto Racing

By David G. Firestone

In 1990, a NASCAR movie was released that took the world by storm. It used real life racing footage, had great prop cars, and a well-known actor in the lead. That move was…Dorf Goes Auto Racing. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of it. Most people haven’t.

Written by, and starring comedian and actor Tim Conway, the Dorf series featured Conway as Duessel Dorf. Duessel Dorf was a rehash of the character Mr… Tudball, in the Mrs.. Wiggins skits from The Carol Burnett Show. Mr. Tudball runs an office, and wants to run it smoothly. Mrs.. Wiggins is his secretary, and constantly screws up. This was successful because of the chemistry that Burnett and Conway had. For the Dorf movies, Conway took Mr.. Oddball, added a hairpiece, and decided that the best way to rejuvenate the character is to make him shorter, so most of the scenes he is in, he is standing in a hole, with shoes on his knees.

Dorf Goes Auto Racing starts out with Door racing and winning the Formula 1 Championship, using questionable methods. When asked about his championship, he states that he has won the “Romanian 50, the Bulgarian 20, Liechtenstein 10, and the Minsk 2.”When the reporter states that “The Yanks say that until you’ve won with the stock car, you ain’t won yet.”When Dorf asks who said that, the reporter states “Dale Earnhardt, Kyle Petty, Richard Petty, Mark Martin.” So Dorf decides to race in NASCAR.

He gets signed by Col. Ovid Bolus, a cheap owner, who flies Dorf from Europe to California on a biplane. He meets Bolus’ assistant, Dipstick Taylor, a talkative nerd, who is slow to understand things, and they arrive at a hotel, where Dorf holds a press conference, attended by three people.

The scene cuts to Sonoma Raceway, then known as Sears Point Raceway. Dorf introduces his pit crew, Dipstick, Tony Chboike, who spends the entire movie eating a sandwich, Timber Jim, who is 7 feet tall, Willie Davis who incessantly plays a flute he carved by hand, Boom Boom, a hot blonde woman, who contributes nothing and who is ignored by the crew, and Pops Morgan and old man who is slow. This is followed by a sequence where Pops gets stuck on the track while cars fly by.

Dorf is next asked about his car, and a vintage Monte Carlo with steam pouring out of the engine is moved across the screen behind him. The announcer then sarcastically remarks “The pieces are in place, top driver, cream of the crop pit crew, a lousy car, and a greedy owner.” This is followed by interviews with Harry Gant, Ken Schrader, Geoff Bodine, and Michael Waltrip, who is working on his wrecked #30 Country Time Pontiac, while blaming Dorf.

As the announcer is talking, he is given a piece of paper, and he announces that with 30 minutes left to go before the race, Budweiser and Junior Johnson will supply Dorf with a car. The next scene is a series of qualifying events including Rusty Wallace, Harry Gant, and Sterling Marlin, Dorf being forced to qualify for his NASCAR license, and the Budweiser hauler driving to the track. Dorf somehow gets his license, and the car is given over to his incompetent pit crew. Dorf qualifies well. Another series of Interviews follows, including Richard Petty, Rusty Wallace, and Darrell Waltrip, all of whom blast his abilities.

The scene shifts to a hotel where Sears Point is holding a banquet, and Dorf is a guest of honor. The keynote speaker discusses changing a spark plug, and makes it sound even more boring than it is in real life.

The next day, the race is held, the vice president of NASCAR states that because of Dorf, they are going to review their licensing process. Unocal’s representative states that he ran Dorf out of the office, but reluctantly admits that he has to provide fuel to Dorf’s team. Ned Jarrett even takes a shot at Dorf. Hoyt Axton made a cameo, singing the National Anthem, Willie plays along, while Dorf struggles to remove his helmet.

Getting Dorf into the seat is a struggle, and the crew fights over the steering wheel. Dorf fires the engine, but it sounds terrible. The steering wheel comes off. Dipstick radios Dorf stating “Dorf, come in.” Dorf pulls into pit lane, only to be told, I wanted to talk to you on the radio. Upon returning to pit lane a second time, Dorf finds his crew literally doing nothing. Dorf asks for water, Tony holds a stick that is too short for Dorf to reach. He leaves, telling Tony to “find a longer stick, I’ll be back.” Dorf comes back in a third time, and Tony spills the water in Dorf’s lap. Glad he didn’t order the hot soup, Dorf drives off.

A 4th pit stop occurs, with Dorf complaining he’s low on fuel, the tires are low, and the glove box door fell off. The classic Benny Hill jack gag, where the jack is under car, and lifts the driver as opposed to the car takes place, and all the air is let out of the tire. Dipstick climbs in the car, and Dorf is forced to make a pit stop, wheel the announcer quips that the crew is “the Keystone Cops of auto racing.” The car is refueled, using a 1950’s gas pump.

Dorf then somehow drives out of the track entirely, through a fast food restaurant, and is given directions back to the track from some cops. Boom Boom begins sunbathing, and slowly removes her jumpsuit. Dorf wrecks the two leaders, and the rest are distracted by Boom Boom, now down to her bikini top, leaving Dorf the leader. The flagman was going to throw the yellow, but Boom Boom, now only wearing a bikini distracts him, and he throws the checkered flag instead.

As Dorf celebrates in victory lane, an angry mob comes for Dorf. Dorf then grabs one of the mooring lines of the Goodyear blimp, and flies away, the end,

I will give this movie credit, for a direct to video release, they got cameos from some top NASCAR talent. Cameos included Harry Gant, Ken Schrader, Geoff Bodine, Michael Waltrip, Richard Petty, Rusty Wallace, Darrell Waltrip,and Ned Jarrett.

Also, the on-track announcing is really good, something that in movies and TV shows isn’t always the case. The Brady 500 has some of the worst racing announcing I have ever seen. In this movie, the announcer, Bruce Flanders did a great job. Flanders is a real announcer, and he made it work.

Sadly, Flanders’ announcing is one of the only things that did work. Much of the racing footage was shot during the 1989 Banquet Frozen Foods 300, and it looks good. However, aside from that, the movie is a flop. As much as I like Tim Conway, and as much as I like Dorf, the movie falls flat. Tim Conway must not understand that much about NASCAR, because most of the movie relies on willfull suspension of disbeleif, which at some points in this movie, is almost impossible. The chemestry he had with Carol Burnett isn’t present with any of the other actors. The cameos actually work well because the actors are clearly annoyed with the whole premise, and a couple are clearly doing it for some extra cash.

The humor doesn’t work on several levels. You have to be a NASCAR fan to get many of the jokes, so it doesn’t work for non-racing fans. Many of the in-jokes don’t work, since they are so over the top, they are just not good. Dorf as a character doesn’t fit in NASCAR, and the premise is so bad, it borders on absurdity. I’m going to give this movie an F. It didn’t work then, and it doesn’t work now.

Next week, I will start the month of February with an interview

auto racing · paint scheme tracker

Paint Scheme Tracker-January 24, 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

Jamie McMurray #1 DC Solar Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, dark blue and white with diagonal stripes. B-

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

Chase Elliott #9 Kelly Blue Book Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, blue with white diagonal side and cutting edge design. C

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

Ryan Blaney #12 Dex Imaging Ford Fusion-New scheme for 2018, Penske template, white front, red rear. 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

FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS #38

David Ragan #38 Shriner’s Children’s Hospital Ford FusionNew scheme for 2018, blue with black and white stripe, and red bottom. 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

Kyle Larson #42 DC Solar Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2018, same design as #1, but with colors reversed. B-

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

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 STP Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2018, red sides, blue hood and roof, with some silver designs on borders. 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

RICKY BENTON RACING #92

David Gilliland #92 Carquest/Black’s Tire Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2018, white with black and blue wave on sides, black roof. C-

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

auto racing · my thoughts on

My Thoughts On Old Bridge Township Raceway Park

By David G. Firestone

Last week, Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey announced that they would immediately cease holding drag racing events effective immediately. This has led to the cancellation of the 49th annual NHRA Summernationals. The decision was announced as a “reorganization of the company’s business operations.”This news came as a shock to a lot of people involved with the NHRA.

Old Bridge Township Raceway Park has been operating since 1965, and has held the Summernationals since 1969. It’s been a destination for drag racing fans on the east coast for years. While New York and New Jersey drag racing fans can still go to Epping and Maple Grove, Old Bridge had a history and fan attachment that most strips could only wish for. There are many second and third generation drag racing fans that visited Old Bridge on a regular basis.

Part of the reason that the track closed is because of the fact that the track can’t expand. The end of the track is shorter, because at the end, there is a street, and across the street is a private farm. The track is also bordered on the east side by an airport. If the track tried to expand, it would be impossible. This is not a small issue, because the NHRA is gaining popularity. The Summernationals sold out last year, and had very high ratings, for the NHRA.

The timing of this announcement placed the NHRA in an odd situation. While the schedule was announced last summer, this removes a scheduled race from the set schedule. The NHRA has said that there won’t be a Summernationals this season, but 2019 is still open. While this news isn’t that much of an issue for the top teams, the smaller teams lose a chance to get a win, and some valuable points. I asked Cruz Pedregon, a driver and team owner about that, and this is what he said:

DGF-”On Thursday, the NHRA released a statement about relocating the Sumernatonals. They stated that they are not exploring the possibilities of moving the event. From a driver’s and an owner’s perspective, how does this affect team planning for 2018?”

Cruz-”My guess is that they are probably not going to replace the race, at least not try to replace, I think this year, and then worry about that next year. But that could change. Last year, we had a similar situation with Topeka, supposedly off the schedule for some kind of reason, I’m not sure. Then, a couple months later, the race was on. Could that happen here? I have no idea. For now, we’re going to skip until we’re told otherwise.”

The loss of Old Bridge Township Raceway Park is a sad situtaion However, I look forward to seeing where the NHRA goes from here. I’m wondering where the Summernationals will go from here. I wish the best to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park and the The Napp family

auto racing · paint scheme grades

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

auto racing · friday feature

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.

auto racing · throwback thursday

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+