The Final Jack Beckman Infinite Hero Challenge Column

By David G. Firestone

I’ve discussed Jack Beckman on The Driver Suit Blog many times. He is a great driver, he connects with the fans, and he was kind enough to grant me an interview last year. I’ve been into the Infinite Hero Challenge Coin program since the beginning, and love collecting them. Well, I’m back with another profile of the coins.
Launched in 2011, The Infinite Hero Foundation “…is to combat the most difficult front line issues – mental and physical – facing returning military heroes and their families.” Military personnel returning from overseas deployment face long term employment, mental and physical problems that the majority of Americans don’t understand. They work with other non-profit veterans groups and give out grants to help service men and women cope with these long term problems.
In April 2014, they started appearing on the side of Jack Beckman’s funny car. The late Terry Chandler, who also sponsors Tommy Johnson Jr.’s Make a Wish Foundation Funny Car, is the financial backer of the car. She pays for Infinite Hero to race on the sides of the car. This also began the NHRA coin program. When Jack Beckman gets into his funny car to race, he carries Infinite Hero Challenge Coins in the pocket of his driver suit. Once the race is over, he will autograph them and sell them at the track and on eBay. They cost $100 with all proceeds going to the Infinite Hero Foundation.

The 2014 design is quite thick, and has a ridged edge. One side featured “Courage, Honor, Virtue, Heroism,” around a globe design with an Oakley logo. Oakley is a partner with the Infinite Hero Foundation. The other side features an Infinite Hero Foundation logo with purple enamel. The coin was placed in a round, flat plastic container, with black foam braces. The retail coin lacks the blue enamel that the coin that comes with the glasses coin, and future coins, and has a very plain look. I do like the plain look.Jack used was identical to the one sold in stores. Jack autographed the plastic case.   In 2014, this 1/24 scale die cast was produced. It is a full replica of Beckman’s funny car. Valvoline was a primary sponsor, and this was the only season Infinite Hero and Valvoline were together on the car. It’s also the only time that Infinite Hero Challenge appeared on the older Dodge funny car body. In 2015, the current body was introduced, and Pennzoil replaced Valvoline. Jack has autographed the windshield. A redesigned coin of the same size was introduced for 2015. The Oakley logos are gone. One side features a design similar to the globe design, but the globe design has been replaced with an American Flag design. “Courage, Honor, Virtue, Heroism” has been replaced with “Duty, Honor, Innovation, Courage.” The new emblem on the reverse side has one of the across bands removed. The new packaging is an upgrade, with the circular plastic cylinder replaced with an attractive box. It comes with a card that Jack Beckman autographed, and on the reverse it has the Infinite Hero Foundation Pledge. The first one is from The CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Phoenix on February 22, 2015, where Jack was eliminated in the first round. The second one is from the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, where Beckman won the event, beating Courtney Force in the final round. Also in 2015, these hero cards were produced. Hero cards are given away at racing events and driver appearances. They have Jack’s picture, and information about the driver, team, and the Infinite Hero Challenge. For 2016, the coins got a major makeover. The Infinite Hero logo is now bigger. The words “Reimagine” and “Recovery” are stamped near the logo, and on the opposite side, a picture of Jack’s funny car replaces the flag motif. It should also be noted that the coin is slightly smaller, because it isn’t as tight in the coin case as the previous version. The Infinite Hero Pledge accompanies the coin. Also changed from 2016, Jack doesn’t sign the box and the pledge, he just signs the pledge. The 2017 Infinite Hero coin is slightly larger than the 2016 coin, and fits snugly in the box. The pledge piece remains unchanged. The coin itself has a plain pewter Infinite Hero Challenge logo on one side, and a blue enameled claw stripe design with a hex nut design on the border. Hero cards are given away at racing events and driver appearances. They have Jack’s picture, and information about the driver, team, and the Infinite Hero Challenge. For 2016-2017, a new card design was introduced. It has updated information, as well as the updated paint scheme introduced at the beginning of the season. This year’s design is done in memory of the late Terry Chandler, who passed away from cancer prior to the 2017 event. The front has a heart design with Chandler’s initials. The back of the coin has the Infinite Hero logo, with blue enamel. Jack also autographed a copy of the Infinite Hero pledge. For 2018, a new Hero card design was released. The 2019 coin design features the features the Air Force seal, with SGR “FAST” JACK BECKMAN INFINITE HERO FUNNY CAR engraved on the outside. The standard Infinite Hero challenge logo is on the reverse. This was autographed by Jack at the Route 66 Nationals. The 2020 coin design depicts a solder calling for his troops to FOLLOW MW, with SGT “FAST” JACK BECKMAN SALUTES UNITED STATES ARMY 1772 2020 engraved on the outside. The standard Infinite Hero Challenge logo is on the reverse. This was autographed by Jack at the 2020 Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Indianapolis. Jack Beckman is a great driver, who races for a great sponsor, and supports a great cause. He has been really amazing not just to me, not just to to The Driver Suit Blog, but to the NHRA and their fan base. I’m glad he’s going to be racing for The Infinite Hero Challenge until at least 2020. As long as he is selling them, I will continue buying the Infinite Hero Challenge Coins, and promoting them on The Driver Suit Blog. I can’t wait to see next year’s coin design.

Next week, some race-worn gloves.

By David G. Firestone

I’ve discussed Jack Beckman on The Driver Suit Blog many times. He is a great driver, he connects with the fans, and he was kind enough to grant me an interview last year. I’ve been into the Infinite Hero Challenge Coin program since the beginning, and love collecting them. Well, I’m back with another profile of the coins.
Launched in 2011, The Infinite Hero Foundation “…is to combat the most difficult front line issues – mental and physical – facing returning military heroes and their families.” Military personnel returning from overseas deployment face long term employment, mental and physical problems that the majority of Americans don’t understand. They work with other non-profit veterans groups and give out grants to help service men and women cope with these long term problems.
In April 2014, they started appearing on the side of Jack Beckman’s funny car. The late Terry Chandler, who also sponsors Tommy Johnson Jr.’s Make a Wish Foundation Funny Car, is the financial backer of the car. She pays for Infinite Hero to race on the sides of the car. This also began the NHRA coin program. When Jack Beckman gets into his funny car to race, he carries Infinite Hero Challenge Coins in the pocket of his driver suit. Once the race is over, he will autograph them and sell them at the track and on eBay. They cost $100 with all proceeds going to the Infinite Hero Foundation.

The 2014 design is quite thick, and has a ridged edge. One side featured “Courage, Honor, Virtue, Heroism,” around a globe design with an Oakley logo. Oakley is a partner with the Infinite Hero Foundation. The other side features an Infinite Hero Foundation logo with purple enamel. The coin was placed in a round, flat plastic container, with black foam braces. The retail coin lacks the blue enamel that the coin that comes with the glasses coin, and future coins, and has a very plain look. I do like the plain look.Jack used was identical to the one sold in stores. Jack autographed the plastic case.   In 2014, this 1/24 scale die cast was produced. It is a full replica of Beckman’s funny car. Valvoline was a primary sponsor, and this was the only season Infinite Hero and Valvoline were together on the car. It’s also the only time that Infinite Hero Challenge appeared on the older Dodge funny car body. In 2015, the current body was introduced, and Pennzoil replaced Valvoline. Jack has autographed the windshield. A redesigned coin of the same size was introduced for 2015. The Oakley logos are gone. One side features a design similar to the globe design, but the globe design has been replaced with an American Flag design. “Courage, Honor, Virtue, Heroism” has been replaced with “Duty, Honor, Innovation, Courage.” The new emblem on the reverse side has one of the across bands removed. The new packaging is an upgrade, with the circular plastic cylinder replaced with an attractive box. It comes with a card that Jack Beckman autographed, and on the reverse it has the Infinite Hero Foundation Pledge. The first one is from The CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Phoenix on February 22, 2015, where Jack was eliminated in the first round. The second one is from the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, where Beckman won the event, beating Courtney Force in the final round. Also in 2015, these hero cards were produced. Hero cards are given away at racing events and driver appearances. They have Jack’s picture, and information about the driver, team, and the Infinite Hero Challenge. For 2016, the coins got a major makeover. The Infinite Hero logo is now bigger. The words “Reimagine” and “Recovery” are stamped near the logo, and on the opposite side, a picture of Jack’s funny car replaces the flag motif. It should also be noted that the coin is slightly smaller, because it isn’t as tight in the coin case as the previous version. The Infinite Hero Pledge accompanies the coin. Also changed from 2016, Jack doesn’t sign the box and the pledge, he just signs the pledge. The 2017 Infinite Hero coin is slightly larger than the 2016 coin, and fits snugly in the box. The pledge piece remains unchanged. The coin itself has a plain pewter Infinite Hero Challenge logo on one side, and a blue enameled claw stripe design with a hex nut design on the border. Hero cards are given away at racing events and driver appearances. They have Jack’s picture, and information about the driver, team, and the Infinite Hero Challenge. For 2016-2017, a new card design was introduced. It has updated information, as well as the updated paint scheme introduced at the beginning of the season. This year’s design is done in memory of the late Terry Chandler, who passed away from cancer prior to the 2017 event. The front has a heart design with Chandler’s initials. The back of the coin has the Infinite Hero logo, with blue enamel. Jack also autographed a copy of the Infinite Hero pledge. For 2018, a new Hero card design was released. The 2019 coin design features the features the Air Force seal, with SGR “FAST” JACK BECKMAN INFINITE HERO FUNNY CAR engraved on the outside. The standard Infinite Hero challenge logo is on the reverse. This was autographed by Jack at the Route 66 Nationals. The 2020 coin design depicts a solder calling for his troops to FOLLOW MW, with SGT “FAST” JACK BECKMAN SALUTES UNITED STATES ARMY 1772 2020 engraved on the outside. The standard Infinite Hero Challenge logo is on the reverse. This was autographed by Jack at the 2020 Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Indianapolis. Jack Beckman is a great driver, who races for a great sponsor, and supports a great cause. He has been really amazing not just to me, not just to to The Driver Suit Blog, but to the NHRA and their fan base. I’m glad he’s going to be racing for The Infinite Hero Challenge until at least 2020. As long as he is selling them, I will continue buying the Infinite Hero Challenge Coins, and promoting them on The Driver Suit Blog. I can’t wait to see next year’s coin design.

Next week, some race-worn gloves.

By David G. Firestone

I’ve discussed Jack Beckman on The Driver Suit Blog many times. He is a great driver, he connects with the fans, and he was kind enough to grant me an interview last year. I’ve been into the Infinite Hero Challenge Coin program since the beginning, and love collecting them. Well, I’m back with another profile of the coins.
Launched in 2011, The Infinite Hero Foundation “…is to combat the most difficult front line issues – mental and physical – facing returning military heroes and their families.” Military personnel returning from overseas deployment face long term employment, mental and physical problems that the majority of Americans don’t understand. They work with other non-profit veterans groups and give out grants to help service men and women cope with these long term problems.
In April 2014, they started appearing on the side of Jack Beckman’s funny car. The late Terry Chandler, who also sponsors Tommy Johnson Jr.’s Make a Wish Foundation Funny Car, is the financial backer of the car. She pays for Infinite Hero to race on the sides of the car. This also began the NHRA coin program. When Jack Beckman gets into his funny car to race, he carries Infinite Hero Challenge Coins in the pocket of his driver suit. Once the race is over, he will autograph them and sell them at the track and on eBay. They cost $100 with all proceeds going to the Infinite Hero Foundation.

The 2014 design is quite thick, and has a ridged edge. One side featured “Courage, Honor, Virtue, Heroism,” around a globe design with an Oakley logo. Oakley is a partner with the Infinite Hero Foundation. The other side features an Infinite Hero Foundation logo with purple enamel. The coin was placed in a round, flat plastic container, with black foam braces. The retail coin lacks the blue enamel that the coin that comes with the glasses coin, and future coins, and has a very plain look. I do like the plain look.Jack used was identical to the one sold in stores. Jack autographed the plastic case.   In 2014, this 1/24 scale die cast was produced. It is a full replica of Beckman’s funny car. Valvoline was a primary sponsor, and this was the only season Infinite Hero and Valvoline were together on the car. It’s also the only time that Infinite Hero Challenge appeared on the older Dodge funny car body. In 2015, the current body was introduced, and Pennzoil replaced Valvoline. Jack has autographed the windshield. A redesigned coin of the same size was introduced for 2015. The Oakley logos are gone. One side features a design similar to the globe design, but the globe design has been replaced with an American Flag design. “Courage, Honor, Virtue, Heroism” has been replaced with “Duty, Honor, Innovation, Courage.” The new emblem on the reverse side has one of the across bands removed. The new packaging is an upgrade, with the circular plastic cylinder replaced with an attractive box. It comes with a card that Jack Beckman autographed, and on the reverse it has the Infinite Hero Foundation Pledge. The first one is from The CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Phoenix on February 22, 2015, where Jack was eliminated in the first round. The second one is from the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, where Beckman won the event, beating Courtney Force in the final round. Also in 2015, these hero cards were produced. Hero cards are given away at racing events and driver appearances. They have Jack’s picture, and information about the driver, team, and the Infinite Hero Challenge. For 2016, the coins got a major makeover. The Infinite Hero logo is now bigger. The words “Reimagine” and “Recovery” are stamped near the logo, and on the opposite side, a picture of Jack’s funny car replaces the flag motif. It should also be noted that the coin is slightly smaller, because it isn’t as tight in the coin case as the previous version. The Infinite Hero Pledge accompanies the coin. Also changed from 2016, Jack doesn’t sign the box and the pledge, he just signs the pledge. The 2017 Infinite Hero coin is slightly larger than the 2016 coin, and fits snugly in the box. The pledge piece remains unchanged. The coin itself has a plain pewter Infinite Hero Challenge logo on one side, and a blue enameled claw stripe design with a hex nut design on the border. Hero cards are given away at racing events and driver appearances. They have Jack’s picture, and information about the driver, team, and the Infinite Hero Challenge. For 2016-2017, a new card design was introduced. It has updated information, as well as the updated paint scheme introduced at the beginning of the season. This year’s design is done in memory of the late Terry Chandler, who passed away from cancer prior to the 2017 event. The front has a heart design with Chandler’s initials. The back of the coin has the Infinite Hero logo, with blue enamel. Jack also autographed a copy of the Infinite Hero pledge. For 2018, a new Hero card design was released. The 2019 coin design features the features the Air Force seal, with SGR “FAST” JACK BECKMAN INFINITE HERO FUNNY CAR engraved on the outside. The standard Infinite Hero challenge logo is on the reverse. This was autographed by Jack at the Route 66 Nationals. The 2020 coin design depicts a solder calling for his troops to FOLLOW MW, with SGT “FAST” JACK BECKMAN SALUTES UNITED STATES ARMY 1772 2020 engraved on the outside. The standard Infinite Hero Challenge logo is on the reverse. This was autographed by Jack at the 2020 Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Indianapolis.

The Infinite Hero Foundation is a worthwhile charity, designed to help our nations veterans. I fully support them, and I encourage my readers to try and buy at least one of these coins. Jack Beckman is a great spokesman for the Infinite Hero Foundation. I reached out to him for an interview about his racing uniforms, and he happily obliged…

DGF-Could you explain, from a driver’s perspective, how you want your suit to fit?

JB-It really depends on the kind of vehicle you are driving. Top Fuel dragsters you are more sitting on the ground, funny cars you are sitting more upright. Sponsors want their logos front and center, so we have to work around that. I also don’t like my suit to be too baggy, because when they put the seven point harness on, it will fold over.

DGF-You wear an SFI 20 rated suit, how many layers of Nomex does your suit have?

JB-Well, the SFI rating is only based on how long the suit will protect the wearer. In testing, a 20 rated suit will protect the wearer for up to, I think, 40 seconds, and that is based on how long it takes the mannequin in the testing facility to sense the fire. Older generations of suit would need 12 layers to do what the new materials could to in 6 or 7 layers. If there were an amazingly durable material, you could have it in one or two layers.

DGF-When a suit is burned so that the Nomex is discolored, do you feel anything?

JB-The discoloration is from the dye in the suit, but not really. The big screens and the slow motion video are astounding though. We as drivers experience it in the moment, but watching it on the big screen, you see so many more things than you never would notice otherwise. When the body gets lifted during the explosion, the firewall that’s to shield the fire coming back from the engine is no longer there. Then you can feel it get warm. But the materials today and the construction of the suit, they’re just light years better than one and two generations ago, to the point that I don’t ever want to say that there’s a “routine fire” but you could have one that looks pretty darn impressive on the big screen, and get out of the car 100% unscathed.

DGF-My next question, it’s a hypothetical one, but it is one I think I need to ask, For most of your career, you have worn Impact driver suits. If you were to switch manufacturers, let’s say to Simpson, would you be able to notice the difference?

JB-Hmm…interesting question. If they are using different materials, maybe. The older style Impact suits, when I first started running funny car in 2006, were much stiffer, it was a different material, it was bulkier, more constrictive. I believe, along manufacturers lines, you might still have a choice of material there. The construction methods are all very similar, and sizing, it’s an individual thing. You can check a box on your order form that says “small” “medium” or “large,” or you can send them custom measurements and they’ll build it to that. So I don’t think you would notice with the newest light weight material for manufacturer to manufacturer. That said, you’d have to stick me in a room with a blind fold, and have me try on every men’s suit so I could give you an answer with some authority.

DGF-Along those same lines, would you have any concerns going into the switch?

JB-Well they all have to meet the same criteria. Here’s the thing, the NHRA rule book mandates a minimum amount of protection. When they tell you, if you drive a fuel funny car, you need a 3.2-20 suit, which includes a certain spec of gloves and over-boot worn on top of your driver shoes. They don’t tell you that you have to wear thermal underwear underneath. Up until 4 years ago, they didn’t tell you that you needed to wear a head sock under your helmet. You don’t have to wear inner-liner gloves under your fire gloves. I wear all that stuff. So it’s up to the driver if they want more protection than the minimum.

The fire suit manufacturers have to prove that their equipment satisfies a certain spec. There is no spec higher for drag racing that the 20. But it’s possible that some of the suit manufacturers make them to a higher level spec. I’ve been in some pretty big fires, and have walked away, I singed my eyebrow once, when the concussion blew my visor up on the helmet. Aside from that, I have had zero injuries, which gives me a lot of confidence in the equipment I wear. I feel that I have tested several times, and it’s passed with flying colors every time. Now the other manufacturers have to meet that same spec.

DGF-Do you, over the course of an event, wear the same suit for every run, or do you switch them out occasionally?

-Typically at the beginning of the year, we will have two suits constructed, just in case one gets in a fire, and gets disfigured. I had a sleeve changed out, and it wasn’t a safety issue, it had melted some of the sponsor logos. Typically, I won’t switch suits until we get to The Countdown, because the funny car suits tend to get run down, and dirty from the continual clutch dust, run after run. I just want a fresh looking suit for the photo shoot, once I get to The Countdown. Then I’ll save the suit I wore for the first 18 races as a backup suit. I will wear the same suit the whole weekend long. The only thing I rotate out over the course of a weekend are the thermal underwear and the head sock because once I get out of the car, they’re sweaty, and I’ll hang them up to dry, and put fresh ones on for the next run, and keep rotating them.

DGF-When you are getting into your uniform prior to a run, start to finish, how long does it take to get everything on?

JB-It’s no longer…getting suited up is really no longer than getting street clothes on. I’ve got thermal underwear, top and bottom, so that would be like putting on underwear and a t-shirt. I’ve got my driving shoes…I’m sorry, I put on my firesuit, driving shoes, my over-boots-so it’s almost like a pair of slip-om rain galoshes over your tennis shoes. The thing that’s a little more time consuming is once your getting ready to get into the car, is getting the head sock on, getting that tucked down into the collar of the jacket, my helmet on, and strapped. I wear glasses, so I put those on. Inner gloves have to go on, outer gloves have to go on. I’ve got to walk over to the car, duck down underneath, get in, and then, the 7-way harnesses, as well as the fact that I’m wearing a head and neck protection device, they make it really tight, once you are in the cockpit, and the crew guys are working in some pretty constrictive spaces. The body’s still on the car, so they’re ducking under that. You’ve got this bulky firesuit, so you’re taking up most of the cockpit. They’re getting these straps laid out on you, they gotta plug the radio in, plug the air hose into the helmet, get all the straps buckled in, then get you tightened, so that can take a good amount of time, but I’ll tell you, you get in a pretty good rhythm with this thing.

I typically get suited up and walk over to the car five pairs from when we run. If we were pinched for time, we could do it with two pairs to go. But I don’t like to do that for a couple of reasons. The first one is that you just hate to feel rushed, but I’m okay with that, psychologically it doesn’t affect me. I don’t like doing that to the crew guys because typically, once they’ve got me strapped into the car, they’ve got a couple other tasks that they need to do as we’re towing up to the starting line. I don’t want to rush them, and have them feel any extra anxiety about the things they need to get done.

DGF-Alright, you mentioned gloves, shoes, and over-boots, how long do those items typically last over the course of a season?

JB-I’ll typically put my firesuit on with my driving shoes, and my boots on in the tow vehicle, I’ll walk up to the starting line, inspect things, walk back to the tow rig, so I’ll put a couple of miles a year on my driving shoes. The only thing that wears them out, as you can imagine, is the sole if you walk enough steps. Other than that, you can get a full season out of them. The over-boots, it really depends. If you have a fire, since they’re typically near the source of the fire, I would replace them after that. They get pretty beat up with the clutch dust on them, and blowing them out run after run, so I’ll typically use two pairs of them over the course of a season. Same thing with the gloves. Putting them on and off is what eventually wears them out. I like wearing the tight gloves which means the crew guy is rolling them up, stretching them over my hand, pulling them back down over the cuff of the firesuit, and that takes its toll on them. We’ll make 170 runs over the course of a year, so after 100 runs, it’s usually time to replace those.

DGF-I’d like to talk about your helmet visor for a second, because I’ve noticed that there are a lot of drivers who black out part of their visors to create tunnel vision, so they can only focus on their lane. Are you one of those drivers?

JB-The Clydesdale Effect? Like blinding the horses so they don’t get spooked? No, I’ve tried that in the past, and 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. It’s psychological more than it’s mechanical. There is definitely a value in removing distractions, when you get up to the starting line. But to do that, you’d better have three visors prepared. Let’s say you wear a clear visor, and the helmet rolls out of the tow vehicle in the staging lane, and the visor gets scratched. You’d better have another clear visor, with the blinders in place. Because if you swap it out for one without them, that’s gonna screw you up, probably, right? You did it for psychological purposes, and now somethings change. Ponoma is a track where we really face, Sonoma it happens too, but Ponoma is probably the worst, we get very high glare conditions, and you have to go to a dark visor. So you’d better have a dark visor prepared for that, and a clear one ready to go in case the clouds come in. So I’m fine with that. I feel like whatever a driver needs to do to keep them in a mental zone, where their performance is at a top level. That’s not to say in two years, I might decide that that works better for me. I’ve tried yellow visors, clear visors, light tint, dark tint, glasses, no glasses, and the reality is that I’m pretty much the same without them. But I do the one that I feel like, removes the most distractions, and therefore, puts me at a higher level of focus.

DGF-Alright Jack, this is my last question. I’m a memorabilia guy, and do you keep uniforms, or other items from special moments in your career that have special meaning to you?

JB-Yeah, it’s funny you ask that, because my wife is so clean and organized, and not sentimental. And I don’t get to keep anything. I get some bitchin’ souvenirs from fans, and I bring them home and say “where do you think that’s gonna go?” So I’ve got a little pile of stuff there. Yes, I do keep all my helmets. I’ve only ever sold…I’m sorry, let me rephrase that, I’ve only ever…not kept…two of my helmets. One of those I gave to my good friend Ronnie Swearingen, and last I checked, it was on display, with the rest of his helmet collection at the Garlitts museum. The other one was I had a duplicate helmet painted because a gentleman really, really, REALLY liked the design, and I told him “I’m not getting rid of helmets.” He paid to have a duplicate made, and I wore it for one race. Firesuits, Schumacher gets them back at the end of the year, and puts them on eBay. But if we do multiple suits, usually I can keep one of them.

DGF-Alright Jack, thank you very much, it was an interesting interview.

JB-You know it’s interesting, I’ve done thousands of interviews, which typically means, when I do an interview not much is unique. Yours was a completely unique interview.

I can’t believe that this part of The Driver Suit Blog has come to an end…but it has.

Next Friday Feature, I discuss another vest.

The Vest Project Part 25-Another Central Merchant Vest

By David G. Firestone

Until being taken over by NASCAR, ARCA was an alternate group to NASCAR, with their own rules, teams, drivers, and fan bases. Many drivers used ARCA to get to NASCAR, and if their NASCAR careers didn’t work, they had the option to return to ARCA.

Central Merchant Services, Inc sponsored a few teams in ARCA from 2006 to 2009 for S&H Motorsports and Venturini Racing among others. They had some success on track. During that time, one of the pit crews wore this Impact vest. The vest shows very light use.

The blue collar is unadorned.

The right chest features READYHOSTING.COM, and PILLDEPOT.COM embroidered into it.

The left chest features ARCA RE/MAX SERIES, PORK, GLADIATOR GARAGE WORKS, HOOSIER RACE TIRE, and SUNOCO logos embroidered into it.

The front torso features a blue CENTRAL MERCHANT SERVICES logo embroidered in the white material. There is blue material below that.

Inside the front zipper is the Impact warranty label.

The corners have Velcro comfort straps attached. The blue shoulder epaulets are unadorned. The vest has standard arm holes present. The back of the vest doesn’t show that much use.

The blue collar is unadorned in the back.

The back torso features a blue CENTRAL MERCHANT SERVICES logo embroidered in the white material.

It’s sad that ARCA, once an independent stock car racing series with its own identity is going to become just another NASCAR developmental series. Guys like Billy Venturini need ARCA to help their careers, and help keep their identity. I hope the ARCA guys are able to find their places after this is all said and done.

Next Friday Feature will feature the final Infinite Hero Challenge column.

Wheel Reviews-Kid Speed

By David G. Firestone

When it comes to silent comedy teams, you would be more pressed to find a duo more iconic that Laurel and Hardy. With a combination of great chemistry and slapstick, Laurel and Hardy films are fun to watch even in 2021. What makes the duo even better is that they were able to survive the transition into talkies. Their films with audio are just as funny as their silent films.

The first Laurel and Hardy movie was called The Lucky Dog, and it features Laurel being mugged by Hardy. Their next movie together was 45 Minutes From Hollywood, released in 1926. This was after the two had signed with Hal Roach Studios. Roach saw that the two had great comedic chemistry, and the physical differences between the two would make for some great comedy, and thus the legendary duo was fully born.

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy had two different careers outside of Laurel and Hardy. One particular short was called “Kid Speed” from 1924, released by Chadwick Pictures, and directed by Larry Semon.

The movie starts with a title card that states:

The tale is told of two men bold

Both loving a maiden fair

To decide the case

They entered a race

The loser to take to the air.

Then a scene starts at the garage, where Dangerous Dan McGraw played by Hardy is preparing his car. Two other men are working on the car, and McGraw slapstick throws them out of the garage. He gets a letter from race organizer Avery DuPoise hinting that the winner will win his daughter Lous’s affectations.

Avery DuPoise is shown with his daughter Lou in a car. It is then revealed that they are sanctioning and promoting a race by the corporation that Avery owns. Avery and Lou pull up to the garage, and McGraw opens the door for both of them. The scene shifts to another garage, where The Speed Kid played by Larry Semon. There was some physical comedy with smoke and grease coating The Kid’s face. This gets the attention of sleepy Sheriff Phil O’Delfa. They have a building to building argument. My complaint about Ford Sterling in The Speed Kings is nullified, as everyone is over the top in this movie, which works very well.

The Kid accidentally backs into The Sherrif’s bed. He then drives away with the bed and Sheriff with some slapstick driving. In a very impressive for the time sequence, he races through a series of different places, and into McGraw’s garage. He sees Lou, who starts flirting, much to the chagrin of McGraw and Avery. This leads to a lengthy slapstick sequence which is very well done, and very ambitious for the time.

This leads to the day of the race, where Avery and Lou watch from the stands, while McGraw and The Kid race. McGraw plots to cause the kid to lose, and the race begins. Like many other movies of the era, the racing schene is filmed using a combination of original footage, and footage of real racing footage, which looks really good, and seamless. One of McGraw’s henchman tries to use a wooden door to stop The Kid’s car, but to no avail. At one point, The Kid drives through a wall of debris, and a bucket get stuck, followed by a white dress, which scares his African-American mechanic. The Kid eventually crashes, and his car gets away from him. He catches up with it, just in time to jump over a bridge, that was blown up. A second explosion crushes McGraw’s car, and The Kid wins the race, and Lou’s hand.

While I did enjoy the movie as a whole, I do have to address one issue. The fact that in a few scenes, there are overtly racist tones. There are at least two instances of blackface, and a KKK referenece mentioned above. While I did enjoy the movie, I felt that these scenes were out of taste, and will dock the grade accordingly. With everything taken into account, I’ll give this a B-

Now as I said a few weeks ago, starting in February, I will only do a Friday Feature every other week, as I don’t have as much free time anymore. So the next Friday Feature will go back to The Vest Project.

Wheel Reviews-Excuse My Dust

By David G. Firestone

Long before Disney took the concept of needless sequels to the level it is today, there were other examples. Sometimes these sequels were great, other times they serve no real purpose. This is especially true if the movie in question can be considered to have a “They lived happily ever after” ending. Today’s movie is one such example.

The Roaring Road ended in “and they lived happily ever after.” However, the writer of The Roaring Road, Byron Morgan decided to write The Bear Trap in 1920. This story would evolve into Excuse My Dust, a sequel to The Roaring Road in 1920. All the main cast members return for this sequel. As with the last movie, this is somewhat difficult to follow without sound.

The movie starts with a decent explanation of the events of The Roaring Road, then sets up the movie stating that ‘Toodles’ Walton has retired from racing, has Dorothy as his wife, and Toodles Jr. as a son, played by Wallace Reid Jr., It also explains that Toodles is now a high ranking member in Darco Automobiles. Wallace, Dorothy, and Toodles are a happy family, with Toodles Sr. giving Toodles Jr. his own play car. Dorothy chides Toodles Sr. for teaching Jr. how to speed, and Jr. almost rides into the street.

The scene then shifts to a top secret room in Darco, where J. D. “The Bear” Ward, and Tom Darby develop a brand new, more powerful stock motor for a car. Max Henderson, a salesman described as “A six-cylinder man with a one-cylinder conscience” is introduced. Darby and The Bear don’t trust Henderson, but Toodles likes him.

We are then introduced to The Fargot Bunch, representing Fargot, who is the chief rival to Darco. They have plans as well. Leading the bunch is President Mutcher, who has questionable ethics. It’s revealed that Henderson is in fact working for Fargot, and trying to steal the secret engine. The come to the conclusion that Toodles is testing the new engine, and decided to get him to race, and get a peek at the motor, not realizing he has left the speed game.

Ritz, Mutcher’s stooge, scouts Toodles’ route, and tries to get him to race, with his wife holding his infant son. The cops pull them over, and take him to the station. In court, Toodles waits for the judge, and his wife calls The Bear, asking for help. As The Bear arrives for court, he catches Ritz trying to spy on the engine, which isn’t on the car that Toodles was driving. Ritz dejectedly walks away.

Back in court, The Bear and the judge have a talk, and Toodles thinks he is getting off easy, but the judge suspends his license for six months. The Bear then proceeds to place signs in all Darco offices stating that any employee caught speeding will be promptly fired. Toodles argues with The Bear, but not only does he get nowhere, The Bear reveals that he is selling all three of their race cars. Dorothy talks Toodles down.

Fargot learns that Darco is selling their race cars. They set up a plan for a dummy company to buy their cars. This plan is successful, and within a week, Fargot has all of Darco’s race cars. That, coupled with his probation, takes a toll on him. The Bear becomes enraged when he sees a Darco add talking about their racing cars, which was pitched by the spy Henderson. Thus the trap is set.

The scene shifts to an automobile show, where all the manufacturers show off their latest models. At the show, a clipping is given to Toodles, claiming that Darco has no real racing prowess left. This sends The Bear into a rage, and a Darco/Fargot race from LA to San Francisco is set. This is not a race for just road cars, but full on race cars are in this race. Because of his probation, Toodles isn’t allowed to drive officially. However, through Henderson, his old race car is sold aback to him. In testing, he nearly hits his own son and nanny, which enrages his wife.

Toodles and his mechanic Griggs work on Toodles’ car. While the car is being worked on, Toodles goes home to make things right with Dorothy. He runs into his eternally cigar smoking father in law, who give him a note. Dorothy won’t see Toodles until he gives up speeding forever. The Bear sides with his daughter. Griggs reluctantly agrees to race, and Henderson tries to find out more about the Darco engine.

Henderson mentions to Toodles that he thinks the new engine is in the car Toodles is going to drive, and calls Fargot. Toodles, realizing what is going on, tells Henderson that the new engine is, in fact, in Toodles’ car, and alerts The Bear. When the night of the race comes, all are ready, but Toodles gets a telegram asking him to come to San Francisco, because his baby is sick. Toodles decided to replace Griggs in the race. Mutcher tells his driver to wreck Toodles, and The Bear replaces his driver in his car to protect his son-in-law. The race then begins.

The night racing shots are really well done, as it’s actually shot at night. Daytime comes, and Toodles is in the lead. The Bear has to pull over for a pit stop, and realizes that Toodles is still in the lead. The course is changed by a bridge out sign. In trying to catch up with Toodles, The Bear drives over a railroad bridge, narrowly missing a train. Ritz catches up to Toodles, and they wreck. Ritz inspects the car, and realizes they have been duped. A fight ensues, and Fargot’s second driver vows to chase down The Bear. He finds out that Fargot bought all of Darco’s racing cars.

The Bear is now unknowingly in the lead. Thinking he is in third, he actually wins the race. It’s announced that Toodles and Ritz were in a wreck, and as The Bear tries to figure out what happens, Toodles and Oldham, Fargot’s driver, come in second. Toodles reveals that the car is a Darco car in disguise, and he leaves to check on his child, which turns out to be a false alarm. Relieved, The Bear gives the $10,000($134,833.68 in 2020), Dorothy forgives Toodles, and the movie ends.

The movie was a little too complex, given the technical restrictions. Also, without sound, it’s really hard to tell who is who sometimes. This could have been an original movie, but it’s a sequel for no real reason. Still, it is well shot, the racing is good, and there was a lot of effort put into it. So I’ll give it a C.

Next Week, a silent movie from 1924 featuring another silent film comedy legend.

Wheel Reviews-The Roaring Road

By David G. Firestone

While short silent films are easy to watch, there are also longer, multi-reel full movies that without audio can be difficult to watch sometimes. This is also true when it comes to more serious movies. One such example is the 1919 Wallace Reid classic The The Roaring Road. It’s a decent movie, but can be difficult to watch.

The movie starts with with a title card describing “the four hundred mile Santa Monica race, known as the grand prize, has long been a classic event in motor-dom, but has never been won three times by any one make of car.” Short aside, I should use the term “motor-dom” more often. There is a brief shot of racing before we get a title card introducing “J. D. Ward, nicknamed “the Bear,” President of the Darco Motor Company. Theodore Roberts.” Roberts is the actor playing Ward. The shot then turns to footage of an actual bear sitting at a desk, which fades to the character of J. D. Ward. Another title card states that he has won the Grand Prize with the Darco Ninety, and he wants to win a third one.

Ward gets a phone call telling him that his cars will be in town later that day. Ward meets with the drivers, and they talk about the race. We are then introduced to Wallace Thomas Walden, better known as Toodles, who is Ward’s best salesman, and played by Wallace Reid. Toodles wants to race in the Grand Prize, but Ward won’t let an amateur race in his cars. Toodles enjoys taking his anger about this situation out on motor cops. He proceeds to outrun a motorcycle cop.

Then we get introduced to Dorothy Ward, referred to as “The Bear’s motherless cub.” Toodles wants Dorothy’s hand in marriage. Dorothy and Toodles meet and talk, and then The Bear calls Fred Wheeler in to explain his resignation. The scene shifts between Fred and The Bear , and Dorothy and Toodles. Toodles gets suggested to replace Fred, and The Bear gets a test. While Toodles passes the test, he quits in anger. Tom Darby, a Darco mechanic is introduced. As if this isn;t bad enough, the tran carrying the race cars has wrecked, and Darco is out of the race.

Inspecting the wreckage, Dorothy, Tom, and Toodles hatch a plan to enter a Darco in the race, by salvaging the three wrecked cars into one car. The Bear is not happy, but because Toodles owns the car himself, The Bear can’t stop him from entering the race. The 400 mile race starts. The Bear is not sold on the “Three-in-One” but the car starts to show speed. The Bear is still negative about the situation. As the race continues, Dorothy tries to convince The Bear that this isn’t an act of revenge, but Toodles and Tom really trying to win the race.

Then The Bear gets a signed contract from Toodles, and The Bear. The letter contains a threat to slow down on lap 40. The Bear doesn’t want to sign, but by lap 38 out of 40, Toodles is in the lead. Toodles goes through on his threat to throw the race by slowing on lap 40, but then roars back into first. Toodles wins the race, and The Bear and Darco win their third Grand Prize. All is forgiven between The Bear and Toodles, but there is tension, when Toodles asks for Dorothy’s hand in marriage. The Bear responds by saying that she won’t get married for 5 years.

This does not sit well with Toodles, who vents to Dorothy, without realizing that The Bear is listening. As this is happening, we learn that Rexton, the main competitor to Darco has been disqualified from the record from San Francisco to Los Angeles, supposedly with Toodles behind the wheel. The Bear is furious, and calls Toodles into his office, demanding an explanation. Before he can talk, Toodles tells The Bear that the wedding is next week. The Bear shows Toodles the newspaper, and demands answers. Toodles quits and messes up The Bear’s office, and leaves. The Bear calls his pro drivers to beat the Rexton San Francisco to LA record. There will be a total ban on road racing soon, and none of the pro drivers can make it, so The Bear enlists the help of Toodles, who rejects him.

The Bear tries to convince Dorothy that she and Toodles are done, and they are moving starting that night. This is part of a plan hatched by The Bear to get Toodles back in a car for the record attempt. It’s then revealed that Toodles has been jailed for 10 days for speeding. After a long scene of Toodles in jail, he is broken out by Tom. Tom provides Toodles with a stock car, and the chase is on. While Tom pretends to send a telegram, he officially records the start of Toodles’ attempt. It’s at this point, that I notice that Toodles and Tom are racing while wearing sunglasses AT NIGHT! The Bear is nervously chain smoking.

While racing, Tom and Toodles have to deal with hazards, such as roads closed, and getting stuck. The run continues into the night. The Bear and Dorothy continue their train trip while Toodles continues his run. Eventually, the two vehicles meet. The Darco races in front of the train, and makes it to San Francisco. The Rexton record is beaten by an hour, and The Bear allows Dorothy and Toodles to be married.

I really liked this movie, though the lack of sound made it hard to follow sometimes. The only real thing I didn’t like was J.D. The Bear Ward. He isn’t a true antagonist in certain points. Also, I don’t like that every time he is on screen, he is smoking a cigar. Still, I like this movie so I’ll give it an A-.

Next Week, the sequel to The Roaring Road, Excuse My Dust.

Wheel Reviews-Kid Auto Races at Venice-1914

By David G. Firestone

What can be said about Charlie Chaplain that hasn’t already been said. The man was a legend in silent film, with his trademark character known as “The Tramp.” He was a man who knew comedy, and who could attract an audience to a cinema like few before or since. Chaplain comedies were gold during the silent era, but Chaplain had a hard time adjusting to sound in his movies, and as such, his career took a bit of a downturn. This downturn would eventually spiral with a series of controversies, on and off screen. By 1952, Chaplain would see himself banned from reentry into the United States, and spent the rest of his life in Europe, where he died in 1977.

Wikipedia describes The Tramp as follows: “The physical attributes of the Tramp include a pair of abnormally large baggy pants, an abnormally tight coat, an abnormal bowler hat, an abnormally large pair of shoes, an abnormally springy and flexible cane, and an abnormal toothbrush moustache- a mass of contradictions, as Chaplin wanted it to be. The Tramp walks strangely and uncomfortably because of the ill-fitting clothing; either he is wearing secondhand clothes, or they are originally his but he can’t afford new ones, which brings us to the conclusion that the Tramp may have seen better days, but he maintains the attitude and demeanor of a high-class individual; as long as he acts like one he can believe that he is one, and is able to keep his hope that some day he actually will be again.

Chaplian himself stated :”I wanted everything to be a contradiction: the pants baggy, the coat tight, the hat small and the shoes large … I added a small moustache, which, I reasoned, would add age without hiding my expression. I had no idea of the character. But the moment I was dressed, the clothes and the makeup made me feel the person he was. I began to know him, and by the time I walked on stage he was fully born.”

While the world knew of The Tramp’s many movies, few remember that the first appearance of the character was in a racing film. Chaplain and director Henry Lehrman attended the 1914 Junior Vanderbilt Cup in Santa Monica, California. There, they shot Kid Auto Races at Venice.

The film features Chaplian trying to stand in front of a camera filming the races, much to the chagrin of the camera crew. At one point, the camera angle switches to film the camera that Chaplian is standing in front of. It’s a very simple premise, but boy does it work! This is not only a funny movie in its own right, but it’s also the launch pad for a legendary career. I can’t say anything bad about this, so it gets an A.

Next week, we switch from comedy to action and romance.

Wheel Reviews-The Speed King-1913

By David G. Firestone

Before we get to the movie review, I have some housekeeping to take care of. I’m starting a new job soon, so I won’t have as much time to devote to The Driver Suit Blog as I once did. As such, I will only do Friday Features every other week. The Tracker and Grades will be unaffected. With that out of the way, let’s get to the review:

I have a great deal of respect for silent movies. Nowadays anyone can shoot their own shows for YouTube, with the greatest technology a person can have. Back when movies first started in 1894, sound technology wasn’t even close to being a thing, so “moving pictures”, which movies were called, had no sound, and usually, at theaters, there was someone playing a piano for the audience. Once movies with sound, or “talkies” became a thing, silent film was done pretty much for good.

It’s easy to dismiss silent films as obsolete, but these movies can be really entertaining. Guys like Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton, and Charlie Chaplin made the genre their own, and produced some very hilarious films over the years. One of the most popular stars of the silent era was Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle. While Arbuckle was known for his movies, he is better known for the death of Virginia Rappe, at a party at the St. Francis Hotel, in San Francisco. While Arbuckle was not responsible for her death, the press at the time painted a picture of Arbuckle as a violent rapist, which would destroy his career. History has since vindicated Arbuckle, but that was of little comfort to a comedian who had everything stolen from him.

One of Fatty Arbuckle’s early roles was in a 1913 Keystone film named The Speed Kings.

It stars Ford Sterling as Papa, Mabel Normand as Mabel, and Teddy Tetzlaff, Earl Cooper, and Barney Oldfield as themselves. The plot is that Mabel and Papa are going to watch the races, Papa is a fan of Cooper, whereas Mabel is a fan of Tetzlaff. While Cooper and Papa are talking, Tetzlaff and Mabel sneak off to a bench for some alone time before the race. Papa decided to sabotage Tetzlaff’s car to keep him from winning the race and his daughters heart.

The day of the race comes, and Papa and Mabel attend. They briefly see Barney Oldfield in his car, and in that same brief sequence, Fatty Arbuckle also make an appearance. Mabel goes to see Tetzlaff, and this enrages her father. She takes a seat, and the race begins. The racing footage itself was from several races, so it does look kind of odd, but it’s not bad. Given the technical limitations, some of the footage shot for the short is really good.

During the race, Mabel goes on to the track and stands next to Fatty Arbuckle, who waves the flag. An argument ensues, Papa attacks Fatty, and Mabel and Papa have a chase back to their seats. Papa’s sabotage works, and Tetzlaff’s car is damaged, forcing him and his mechanic to pull over and fix it, losing the lead to Cooper. Cooper wins the race, and Papa tells Cooper that Mabel is his, though Mabel runs towards Tetzlaff. Mabel and Tetzlaff embrace, while Papa decides to have another fight with Arbuckle, as the movie comes to an end.

While I did enjoy this movie overall, there were a few issues. First, the race footage looks odd when compared to more polished movies. Sometimes the race is on a track, other times it is on public roads. The second, and bigger problem is Papa. Papa is played by Ford Sterling, a well-known and respected silent film veteran. My problem with Papa is that Sterling is way too over the top with his facial and body expressions, especially when compared to the rest of the cast. He is overacting, while everyone else is acting normally, and it just looks odd. Still, I like the movie, so I’ll give it an A-.

Next week, a Charlie Chaplain classic from 1914.

2020 Paint Scheme Leaderboard Part 4-The Grand Finale

By David G. Firestone

Well, all the votes have been counted, and the final Paint Scheme Leaderboard is complete. Without further ado, the final post of 2020:

1-Beard Motorsports #62 Chevy Camaro

Rank Last Year: 46 of 47

Number of Schemes: 1

GPA: 4.00

2-Kaulig Racing #16 Chevy Camaro

Rank Last Year: N/A

Number of Schemes: 1

GPA: 4.00

3-Rick Ware Racing #54 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 15 of 18

Number of Schemes: 1

GPA: 4.00

4-Motorsports Business Management #49 Toyota Camry

Rank Last Year: N/A

Number of Schemes: 4

GPA: 3.90

5-Rick Ware Racing #52 Chevy Camaro/Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 36 of 47

Number of Schemes: 6

GPA: 3.88

6-Premium Motorsports #15 Chevy Camaro

Rank Last Year: 15 of 47

Number of Schemes: 8

GPA: 3.87

7-Hendrick Motorsports #24 Chevy Camaro

Rank Last Year: 4 of 47

Number of Schemes: 8

GPA: 3.66

8-Hendrick Motorsports #88 Chevy Camaro

Rank Last Year: 24 of 47

Number of Schemes: 16

GPA: 3.56

9-Team Penske #12 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 6 of 47

Number of Schemes: 19

GPA: 3.56

10-Wood Brothers Racing #21 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 10 of 47

Number of Schemes: 17

GPA: 3.51

11-Joe Gibbs Racing #11 Toyota Camry

Rank Last Year: 31 of 47

Number of Schemes: 9

GPA: 3.50

12-JTG Daugherty Racing #47 Chevy Camaro

Rank Last Year: 1 of 47

Number of Schemes: 7

GPA: 3.50

13-Chip Ganassi Racing #1 Chevy Camaro

Rank Last Year: 35 of 47

Number of Schemes: 2

GPA: 3.50

14-Stewart-Haas Racing #4 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 18 of 47

Number of Schemes: 15

GPA: 3.44

15-B.J. McLeod Motorsports #78 Chevy Camaro

Rank Last Year: N/A

Number of Schemes: 7

GPA: 3.42

16-Rick Ware Racing #53 Chevy Camaro/Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 29 of 47

Number of Schemes: 22

GPA: 3.33

17-Richard Petty Motorsports #43 Chevy Camaro

Rank Last Year: 16 of 47

Number of Schemes: 10

GPA: 3.30

18-Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Toyota Camry

Rank Last Year: 11 of 47

Number of Schemes:

GPA: 3.22

19-Front Row Racing #38 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 45 of 47

Number of Schemes: 12

GPA: 3.15

20-Tommy Baldwin Racing #7 Chevy Camaro

Rank Last Year:N/A

Number of Schemes: 16

GPA: 3.12

21-Stewart-Haas Racing #14 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 13 of 47

Number of Schemes: 14

GPA: 3.12

22-Stewart-Haas Racing #10 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 25 of 47

Number of Schemes: 12

GPA: 3.11

23-Richard Childress Racing #3 Chevy Camaro

Rank Last Year: 30 of 47

Number of Schemes: 14

GPA: 3.04

24-Team Penske #2 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 9 of 47

Number of Schemes: 13

GPA: 3.02

25-Spire Motorsports #77 Chevy Camaro

Rank Last Year: 7 of 47

Number of Schemes: 15

GPA: 3.00

26-Chip Ganassi Racing #42 Chevy Camaro

Rank Last Year: 28 of 47

Number of Schemes: 5

GPA: 3.00

27-Front Row Racing #36 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 34 of 47

Number of Schemes: 1

GPA: 3.00

28-Gaunt Brothers Racing #96 Toyota Camry

Rank Last Year: 8 of 47

Number of Schemes: 12

GPA: 2.97

29-Rick Ware Racing #51 Chevy Camaro/Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 39 of 47

Number of Schemes: 25

GPA: 2.90

30-Premium Motorsports #27 Chevy Camaro

Rank Last Year: 17 of 47

Number of Schemes: 13

GPA: 2.90

31-StarCom Racing #00 Chevy Camaro

Rank Last Year: 27 of 47

Number of Schemes: 14

GPA: 2.83

32-Joe Gibbs Racing #20 Toyota Camry

Rank Last Year: 21 of 47

Number of Schemes: 9

GPA: 2.82

33-Go FAS Racing #32 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 12 of 47

Number of Schemes: 23

GPA: 2.79

34-Joe Gibbs Racing #19 Toyota Camry

Rank Last Year: 22 of 47

Number of Schemes: 7

GPA: 2.77

35-Hendrick Motorsports #48 Chevy Camaro

Rank Last Year: 32 of 47

Number of Schemes: 8

GPA: 2.75

36-Roush-Fenway Racing #6 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 38 of 47

Number of Schemes: 20

GPA: 2.66

37-Leavine Family Racing #95 Toyota Camry

Rank Last Year: 33 of 47

Number of Schemes: 7

GPA: 2.62

38-JTG Daugherty Racing #37 Chevy Camaro

Rank Last Year: 41 of 47

Number of Schemes: 16

GPA: 2.58

39-Hendrick Motorsports #9 Chevy Camaro

Rank Last Year: 23 of 47

Number of Schemes: 11

GPA: 2.53

40-Motorsports Business Management #66 Toyota Camry

Rank Last Year: 5 of 47

Number of Schemes: 6

GPA: 2.22

41-Richard Childress Racing #8 Chevy Camaro

Rank Last Year: 20 of 47

Number of Schemes: 20

GPA: 2.08

42-Germain Racing #13 Chevy Camaro

Rank Last Year: 42 of 47

Number of Schemes: 7

43-Team Penske #22 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 44 of 47

Number of Schemes: 7

GPA: 1.81

44-Roush-Fenway Racing #17 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 47 of 47

Number of Schemes: 8

GPA: 1.75

45-Front Row Racing #34 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 26 of 47

Number of Schemes: 10

GPA: 1.40

46-Stewart-Hass Racing #41 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 6 of 18

Number of Schemes: 7

GPA: 1.33

Next Year, Wheel Reviews returns!

2020 Paint Scheme Leaderboard Part 3-Toyota

By David G. Firestone

The 2020 Paint Scheme Leaderboard rolls on, this week, it’s the Toyota teams time to shine!

1-Motorsports Business Management #49 Toyota Camry

Rank Last Year: N/A

Number of Schemes: 4

GPA: 3.90

2-Joe Gibbs Racing #11 Toyota Camry

Rank Last Year: 8 of 9

Number of Schemes: 9

GPA: 3.50

3-Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Toyota Camry

Rank Last Year: 4 of 9

Number of Schemes:

GPA: 3.22

4-Gaunt Brothers Racing #96 Toyota Camry

Rank Last Year: 3 of 9

Number of Schemes: 12

GPA: 2.97

5-Joe Gibbs Racing #20 Toyota Camry

Rank Last Year: 6 of 9

Number of Schemes: 9

GPA: 2.82

6-Joe Gibbs Racing #19 Toyota Camry

Rank Last Year: 7 of 9

Number of Schemes: 7

GPA: 2.77

7-Leavine Family Racing #95 Toyota Camry

Rank Last Year: 9 of 9

Number of Schemes: 7

GPA: 2.62

8-Motorsports Business Management #66 Toyota Camry

Rank Last Year: 2 of 9

Number of Schemes: 6

GPA: 2.22

Next week, the Grand Finale!

2020 Paint Scheme Leaderboard Part 2-Ford

By David G. Firestone

This week, the 2020 Paint Scheme Leaderboard shifts focus to the blue oval. Ford’s rankings are up for this week.

1-Rick Ware Racing #54 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 15 of 18

Number of Schemes: 1

GPA: 4.00

2-Rick Ware Racing #52 Chevy Camaro/Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 12 of 18

Number of Schemes: 6

GPA: 3.88

3-Team Penske #12 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 1 of 18

Number of Schemes: 19

GPA: 3.56

4-Wood Brothers Racing #21 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 3 of 18

Number of Schemes: 17

GPA: 3.51

5-Stewart-Haas Racing #4 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 7 of 18

Number of Schemes: 15

GPA: 3.44

6-Rick Ware Racing #53 Chevy Camaro/Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 10 of 18

Number of Schemes: 22

GPA: 3.33

7-Front Row Racing #38 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 17 of 18

Number of Schemes: 12

GPA: 3.15

8-Stewart-Haas Racing #14 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 5 of 18

Number of Schemes: 14

GPA: 3.12

9-Stewart-Haas Racing #10 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 8 of 18

Number of Schemes: 12

GPA: 3.11

10–Team Penske #2 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 2 of 18

Number of Schemes: 13

GPA: 3.02

11-Front Row Racing #36 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 11 of 18

Number of Schemes: 1

GPA: 3.00

12-Rick Ware Racing #51 Chevy Camaro/Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 14 of 18

Number of Schemes: 25

GPA: 2.90

13-Go FAS Racing #32 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 4 of 18

Number of Schemes: 23

GPA: 2.79

14-Roush-Fenway Racing #6 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 13 of 18

Number of Schemes: 20

GPA: 2.66

15-Team Penske #22 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 16 of 18

Number of Schemes: 7

GPA: 1.81

16-Roush-Fenway Racing #17 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 18 of 18

Number of Schemes: 8

GPA: 1.75

17-Front Row Racing #34 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 9 of 18

Number of Schemes: 10

GPA: 1.40

18-Stewart-Hass Racing #41 Ford Mustang

Rank Last Year: 6 of 18

Number of Schemes: 7

GPA: 1.33

Next week, the Toyota Leaderboard