auto racing · friday feature

Wheel Reviews: 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story

By David G. Firestone

3: The Dale Earnhardt Story is, according to ESPN Original Entertainment executive producer Will Steger: “an unauthorized docudrama…inspired by the true life of Dale Earnhardt.” It’s a movie that on the surface, is an emotional look at the life of one of the greatest NASCAR drivers of all time.

The movie depicts Dale’s life from early childhood, idolizing his father as both a driver and a man. Dale watches his father Ralph race, and grows to love the sport of racing. When Ralph dies, Dale changes. His career takes off, and the movie follows Dale on and off the track until his death at the 2001 Daytona 500.

The movie would be somewhat unremarkable, if not for the fact that there were a lot of inaccuracies, as well as omissions.

The omissions include:

*Dale’s 2 year stint with Bud Moore during the 1982 and 1983 seasons. Granted these season were quite unremarkable, but the fact these were never mentioned seems odd.

*Earnhardt’s Late Model starts for All Star Racing in what is now the Xfinity Series were also omitted.

*None of Dale’s crew chiefs are accurately depicted.

*Most perplexingly of all, there is no mention made of Dale’s rivalry, or business partnership with Jeff Gordon. The Earnhardt/Gordon rivalry was the dominant rivalry in NASCAR in the 1990’s, yet it’s not even glossed over.

There are also too many inaccuracies and continuity errors in the movie.

*In the opening scene at the 2001 Daytona 500, Jeff Gordon’s car is running a 2004 instead of a 2001 scheme. Bobby Labonte is racing a Chevy Monte Carlo, whereas he raced a Pontiac in 2001.

*In that same scene, on Dale’s car, DALE EARNHARDT is written in generic red script. Earnhardt always used a stylized version of his signature in white.

*During a dirt track race set in the 1950’s, Realtree is a sponsor of one of the cars, despite not being founded until the 1980’s.

*A billfold in a scene from the 1970’s clearly shows a modern day $20 bill, but for many TV shows and movies, this is not uncommon.

*After he signs with Rod Osterlund, Dale drives a Chevy Monte Carlo in the 1979 Daytona 500. In the real race, he drove a Buick.

*Earnhardt meeting future wife Theresa is inaccurately portrayed. She was only 16, and Dale knew he was Hal Houston.

*During a dream sequence after winning the 1980 Winston Cup Championship, John Anderson’s flip from the 1981 Duel races is shown.

*After the Earnhardt/Waltrip spin at Richmond, Earnhardt was quoted as saying “I didn’t mean to wreck him, I just wanted to rattle his cage a little.” The first time he actually said this was in 1999 after spinning Terry Labonte to win the Goody’s Headache Powder 500.

*In the scene where Dale Sr. is teaching Dale Jr. and Kerry to race, Kerry is wearing a more modern firesuit with inaccurate patches, and patch placement. The chest patches are wrong, the Simpson logo is a newer logo, and the SFI Certification is on the top of the sleeve, as opposed to the inside of the left sleeve near the wrist.

*In that same scene, there is a 2004 Dale Jr. decal on the back window of a pickup truck.

*At the 1990 Trans South 500 at Darlington, a Tony Stewart flag, as well as what appears to be a Matt Kenseth flag can be seen on a flag pole

*At that same race, Ernie Irvan is racing a #4 Kodak Gold Oldsmobile, with scheme that Kodak did not debut until several years later.

*At the 1998 Daytona 500 there are quite a few issues with how that race was depicted.

*During the final pit stop, the movie has Dale taking four tires. In the real race, Dale only took two tires.

*There is a Winston Cup logo badly covering a Nextel Cup logo.

*In the movie, Dale Jr. celebrates with his dad in Victory Lane. Dale Jr. had left to race in a different race.

*The pit crew is depicted as wearing polo shirts and slacks, where as in reality, fireproof coveralls were mandatory by that point.

*The above-mentioned polo shirts and slacks don’t change at all between 1990 and 1998.

*The back of Dale’s car in that race is plain, whereas the real car had a GOODWRENCH logo on the back.

*The movie ends at the 2001 Daytona 500.

*As Dale is shaking hands before the race begins, there is a large WINSTON CUP SERIES banner, with lettering that was never used in reality.

*For some reason, Earnhardt is wearing a helmet with Corvette decals…which he never wore in NASCAR.

*Rusty Wallace is driving a white unmarked Dodge, even though he drove a blue Ford at the time of the race.

*Jeff Gordon is racing the Rainbow Warrior scheme, even though in 2001, he had switched to his flame scheme.

*One claim that I have heard is that Dale wore a clear visor, instead of the tinted one he is depicted as wearing in the movie.

*In the reflection of the visor, an Impact Racing logo can be seen, despite not being founded until 2004.

*Bobby Labonte is racing his 2004 scheme, not his 2001 scheme.

This film is also noted for not getting the approval of any member of the Earnhardt family, including his widow. Richard Childress, who is depicted in the movie, took the producers to court for copyright infringement. I wasn’t able to find the outcome of this lawsuit.

All in all, while the movie itself is decently made, and is emotional. The historical inaccuracies and omissions keep it from being anything except a C- movie.

Next week, for the final Wheel Reviews, I will review a movie about Ferrari.

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auto racing · friday feature

Wheel Reviews-The Racing Strain

By David G. Firestone

For the first of four Wheel Reviews in 2019, I am going to focus on The Racing Strain. Released in 1936, The Racing Strain was written by Dorothy Davenport, Betty Burbridge, and Willis Kent, who also is the producer. None of the writers were credited for their work. The Racing Strain was directed by Jerome Storm, and was produced by Willis Kent Productions, and distributed by Maxim Productions. It is a public domain movie, with a run time just under 58 minutes

The movie starts with some racing footage, which appears to be shot from several completely different locations. There is a roll over crash, and driver Jack Westcott is injured. Westcott is confronted by his son, Bill Westcott, who may be played by his real son, and the elder Westcott claims he is “all right” and “he will be back of the track soon, and promptly dies, his son screaming and crying over his body.

The scene then shifts 10 years later, to a dune buggy, racing through the desert. Bill Westcott has established himself as a great race car driver. As Westcott and King Kelly drives through the desert, he comes across a stranded car, occupied by Marian Martin. It’s revealed that Kelly has quit drinking after being suspended from racing. Martin is a racing fan, who takes a liking to Kelly. There is a really stupid and pointless scene with Martin’s chaffeur, Togo, who is apparently scared of cows.

Westcott and Togo tow the car with Kelly, Martin, and Aunt Judy to a gas station. Its revealed that Martin is the daughter of a wealthy oil magnate. The scene shifts an unknown amount of time, where the Martins pull in to a gas station, and Marian sees Kelly, and they hit it off. It’s revealed that Kelly has taken the job to help get his racing career back on track, while Westcott is in school, and wants to be a pilot.

The scene shifts again to Westcott, who is piloting a plane, even though he can’t be older that 16. He handles the plane quite well. The two airplane michanics are amazed by his skill. The scene shifts to the Martins, who are reading a newspaper with the giant headline WILD KING KELLY REINSTATED, which is apparently a big story. It’s mentioned that Kelly needs to say sober or he’ll be banned for life.

The next scene is at the track, where Westcott is adding to a scrapbook. Kelly has him look at his race car, which is the Gilmore Lion Club Special, sponsored by Gilmore Oil. Another racer, Speed Hall, is getting his car ready at the same time. He talks with Marian, who he is clearly in love with. Westcott and Kelly get his car on track, and begin racing each other. It’s at this point that Westcott’s racing skills become apparent, though he has reservations, after his father’s death. Westcott chickens out, Speed mocks him, which leads to a fight. Togo and Westcott start a friendship.

Kelly and Marian go on a date at the amusement park, which is accompanied with the most annoying background music possible. Westcott and Togo go for a flight in an airplane. This scene also established that Togo is a stereotypical Asian. Back to the amusement park, where the music is slightly less awful, for the love birds on an airplane ride, the back to the amusement park, then back to the airport, where Togo does jiu jitsu on one of the mechanics.

Then, the movie shifts forward to Togo, who is stil woozy from the airplane ride, and Westcott, sitting in a car,, and Marian and Kelly dancing to dubbed music, which clearly wasn’t the music being played during filming. The date ends mercifully at 1 AM, when Kelly and Westcott meet up with their respective drivers.

Speed Hall, who I had forgotten was even in the movie at this point, is scheming with his sponsors, trying to stop Kelly from racing. It’s decided that to get to Kelly, they have to use Westcott. At the track, Kelly is handed a letter, frantically checks the time, and consults the racing schedule. He borrows a car, and drives away.

He drives to a hotel in Tiajuana, leaving the note behind. Marian finds he note. The note was written by Rose Westcott, who is demanding the return of his son. Marian, realizing where he’s gone, races to get him. Rose is revealed to be a selfish drunk, who only cares about himself. She orders a whiskey and the waiter brings two shots. Kelly falls off the wagon, with a little help from Rose. Marian and Westcott fly to save Kelly. Rose is revealed to be a worker for his sponsor, who drugs Kelly, so he can’t race.

Westcott and Marian find Kelly, and take him out of the bar. The races have started, and Kelly is flown back to the airport, and driven to the track, Legion Ascot Speedway. Kelly is clearly in no condition to race. Westcott decides he’s got no choice, climbs in the car, and gets ready to race. Westcott has trouble getting started.

Westcott races, haunted by the memories of his dad’s death. Westcott moves his way through the 40 lap race. A crash is shown, though the race continues. As the laps wind down, Westcott and Speed race for the lead. Kelly and Marian watch nervously. Kelly wins, Marian reveals that Mr Martin is her dad, and the movie ends.

The movie itself is decent. The plot is good, but there are a lot of problems. The movie just ends after the big race. Kelly is somehow never noticed in the crowd. It’s never explained how or why Westcott has access to fly a plane at his age. It’s also odd that while Speed Hall, who is supposed to be the main villan, is opposed to taking out King Kelly, yet his sponsors have no qualms about potentially ending his career. The story is decent, but there is a lot of blandness. Togo is in the movie just to teach Westcott how to do a take down, other than that, he’s useless.

My final grade here is a D+. It’s less of a racing movie, and more of a movie with racing in it. The subplots aren’t great, and some don’t add to the movie. I just can’t enjoy this.

Next week, a movie from the 1940’s.

auto racing · friday feature

2018 Paint Scheme Leaderboard Part 4-The Grand Finale!

By David G. Firestone

The Driver Suit Blog Paint Scheme Review Committee has had our final meeting. Lucy the Beagle, Alejandro the Cat, and myself had a lengthy discussion that ended in the final ranking of paint schemes for the 2018 Cup Series. We worked hard, and now we will enjoy some treats, a nap while you read the final leaderboard.

1. Michael McDowell #34 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes:14

Rank Last Year: 29th of 43

GPA: 4.00

14 schemes, 14 A grades, need I say more? Ok, I will say more. Michael McDowell had nothing but schemes that looked great. While his on-track results sadly don’t match how great his schemes were, he had a great looking year.

2. Beard Oil Motorsports #62 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes:1

Rank Last Year: 1st of 43

GPA: 4.00

One singular scheme raced for four races, and it has a great design. It’s bold, but not over designed. It’s a great look.

3. Kurt Busch #41 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 6

Rank Last Year: 3rd of 43

GPA: 3.88

Sadly, the Slate Water Heaters scheme took what could have been a perfect year down to a 3.88. Still, an A- average still isn’t bad. Kurt had a lot of great schemes this year.

4. Ryan Blaney #12 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 15

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 3.84

The new Menard’s template looks amazing, and it was used to great effect on the #12. Sadly, the Quaker State was the turd in the punch bowl here. Like Slate Water Heaters, this scheme to a solid 4.0 GPA down to a 3.84 GPA. An A- is still good, but it’s not a solid A.

5. Obaika Racing #97 Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 4

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 3.82

Victor Obaika, NASCAR’s first African team owner, had a lot of great looks this year. While The Excel Therapy/Maximum Off-Road was a little over done, this new team had a very solid year, appearance-wise.

6. Rick Ware Racing #52 Chevy Camaro/Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 5

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 3.80

A series of different drivers raced a series of different paint schemes in 2018. All of these schemes were good, some better than others. The Live Hotel and Casino and Jacob Companies entries could have used some work, but as a whole, a very solid year.

7. Kevin Harvick #4 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 10

Rank Last Year: 7th of 43

GPA: 3.73

Busch Outdoors was a bad move, and the ¾ + ¼ Mobil 1 and Busch scheme didn’t help an otherwise solid scheme season. Many of the schemes were rehashes of great schemes from last year. Bottom line is that Kevin Harvick had some great schemes in 2018

8. Paul Menard #21 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 19

Rank Last Year: 2nd of 43

GPA: 3.72

The new Menard’s template looks amazing, and it was used to great effect on the #21. Sadly, the Quaker State was the turd in the punch bowl here. Like Slate Water Heaters, this scheme to a solid 4.0 GPA down to a 3.72 GPA. An A- is still good, but it’s not a solid A.

9. Jimmie Johnson #48 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 6

Rank Last Year: 43rd of 43

GPA: 3.61

Jimmie had 5 solid A schemes this year, which looked great, and weren’t over designed. Sadly, The Jimmie Johnson Foundation scheme was awful. The Jimmie Johnson Foundation was an ugly, over designed mess, with a bad color scheme, as opposed to the other schemes raced. This scheme was so bad, it took Jimmie’s GPA from 4 to 3.61.

10. Jamie McMurray #1 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 16

Rank Last Year: 14th of 43

GPA: 3.48

The schemes were all passable schemes, but the DC Solar patriotic schemes, the Clover schemes, and DC Solar weren’t great, and dragged Jamie’s GPA down to just above a B+. Cessna, and McDonald’s were great.

11. Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 20

Rank Last Year: 27th of 43

GPA: 3.47

The STP, Mile 22, and Food Lion Feeds schemes were slightly over designed. and World Wide Technology was mediocre at best, and Kroger Red, White and Barbecue was a disaster. Other than that, Darrell Wallace Jr. had a great season, paint scheme-wise. He had a lot of great looks, and a really great throwback.

12. Roush Racing #6 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 13

Rank Last Year: 25th of 43

GPA: 3.46

Performance Plus and Ford EcoBoost always looks bad. Oscar Meyer didn’t look great. Constatine Sealing, Advocare Rehydrate, Wyndham Rewards Patriotic look even worse. NESN and a pinkwashing scheme drag the GPA down even more. The #6 had a lot of great schemes this year, but a lot of not great schemes, so they look even worse.

13. Premium Motorsports #55 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 7

Rank Last Year: 11th of 43

GPA: 3.40

Another potential 4.0 scheme ruined by a series of bad grades, including Nevada Donor, the car the following week, and Black Riffle Coffee. Adirondack Tree Surgeons was horrible. Averaging out the grades gives the #55 a 3.40.

14. David Ragan #38 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 16

Rank Last Year: 24th of 43

GPA: 3.38

Earthwater,FR8 Auctions and 1000 were awful, as always. Connor Co was slightly better, but not by much. The rest of the schemes used the Front Row template, which is very effective in delivering a unique look, that isn’t over designed.

15. William Byron #24 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 10

Rank Last Year: 20th of 43

GPA: 3.37

The year started off promising, with 4 A schemes introduced at the beginning of the season. There was a definite drop off as the season progressed, with Uni First, and Hertz, though Hertz would redeem themselves. Then came the disaster that is Axalta/Imron, and that was what dragged the GPA down even more.

16. Clint Bowyer #14 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes:

19 Rank Last Year: 4th of 43

GPA: 3.32

The Hall of Fans and Tony Stewart Fan club schemes weren’t great. Wix was even worse. There were also a lot of schemes that could have been solid A schemes, with some minor adjustments. Clint Bowyer had a good year, but he could have had a great year in 2018.

17. Erik Jones #20 Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 13

Rank Last Year: 30th of 43

GPA: 3.30

Doosan and SportClips weren’t great, though SportClips would have a great Throwback scheme. Toyota’s scheme was awful. Sirius and the second Circle K weren’t bad, with room for improvement. The rest of the schemes were great, but the bad balanced out the good in the end.

18. MBM Motorsports #66 Chevy Camaro/Ford Fusion/Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 12

Rank Last Year: 38th of 43

GPA: 3.27

The Rewards.com, and the Rewards.com throwback weren’t the best. Other than those two, there were a lot of A, A-, and B+ schemes this year. But the numbers don’t lie, and the average is a 3.27. In years past, this could have been a higher rank, but this year isn’t a high rank.

19. Austin Dillon #3 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 17

Rank Last Year: 21st of 43

GPA: 3.20

A lot of great, a lot of meh, and some awful. Scooper Cat Litter was awful. American Ethanol, Symbicort, and Dow/Molykote were mediocre. Dow Killz needed work, and while the rest of the schemes were solid, the bad drags down the good here.

20. Kyle Busch #18 Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 15

Rank Last Year: 12th of 43

GPA: 3.20

Snickers Almond, Snickers Intense, and Interstate Batteries were the only black marks here. Kyle had 15 schemes, 12 are A schemes, 3 are F schemes. When everything was averaged, Kyle got a 3.20 GPA.

21. Martin Truex Jr. #78 Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 8

Rank Last Year: 33rd of 43

GPA: 3.14

In their last year of existence, Furniture Row debuted a bad template, which could get, at best, a C-. The Auto-Owners Insurance schemes were good. Their throwback scheme for the final race was amazing. It was a decent year for Martin

22. Premium Motorsports #15 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 16

Rank Last Year: 18th of 43

GPA: 3.13

Low T Center, which never has a good scheme, Go Pro Motorsports, and Championship Machinery were the real stinkers here. Amazingly, there were a lot of A schemes, but those three schemes dragged the GPA down a lot.

23. Brad Keselowski #2 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 14

Rank Last Year: 9th of 43

GPA: 3.13

The Penske template can be very tricky to work with, in terms of color schemes. Auto Trader was awful, as it always is, and there were a few other schemes that needed work. Other than that, the schemes as a whole were great.

24. Aric Almirola #10 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 11

Rank Last Year: 34th of 43

GPA: 3.03

The Waffle House, the Smithfield Patriotic, and the Smithfield Anytime schemes were bad. Helping Hungry Homes could have been better but it wasn’t awful. The rest of the schemes were quite good, but, as always, the bad drags down the good.

25. Chris Buescher #37 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 24

Rank Last Year: 10th of 43

GPA: 3.00

Chris Buescher raced a lot of schemes, and they were all over the place. While the Natural Light Resume scheme was a bad idea all around, there were a lot of schemes that were bad, but with some work could be better. The final GPA however was much lower that it could have been at a 4, but he only got a 3.

26. Rick Ware Racing #51 Chevy Camaro/Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 22

Rank Last Year: 16th of 43

GPA: 2.95

The #51’s schemes were all over the place. Some schemes were amazing, some were awful. The Jacob Companies had more different schemes this year than any singular company. The averages are what they are, and the rank is what it is.

27. Matt DiBenedetto #32 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 16

Rank Last Year: 42nd of 43

GPA: 2.91

Can Am/Wholey is a bold and unique look. Too bad it’s not a good look. Add in that the scheme was reused for a political sponsorship for Shawn Moody, a candidate for the governor of Maine. Add in a pinkwashing scheme, and some awful poker schemes, and you have a low GPA for 2018.

28. Premium Motorsports #7 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 10

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 2.91

I get that the #7 is also used for the #15 and #55. However, I’m going to have the #7 as it’s own number. NY Racing will be a separate entry. There was a lot of bad to awful schemes on the 7 this year. This just wasn’t a great year for the #7. Sure there were a few good schemes, but not as many as bad schemes.

29. StarCom Racing #99 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 10

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 2.91

International Marine had a couple of awful schemes. For some reason, the #99 had the really awful Rewards.com Darrell Waltrip throwback. StarCom Fiber’s scheme was bad, but their patriotic scheme was slightly better. It wasn’t a great year for the new team.

30. Chase Elliott #9 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 12

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 2.78

Sun Energy was awful, though they did redeem themselves later in the year. Little Ceaser’s, Mountain Dew, Baja Blast, the second Sun Energy, and NAPA Nightvision were great. Other than that, the schemes were decent, but could have bee great.

31. Ryan Newman #31 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 20

Rank Last Year: 17th of 43

GPA: 2.77

Ryan’s schemes were all over the place this year. Some were really great, including some of CATERPILLAR’s schemes, and the throwback. Others were awful, such as Liberty National and Lucas Oil. But there was a lot more bad than good.

32. Alex Bowman #88 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 9

Rank Last Year: 23rd of 43

GPA: 2.76

The Axalta scheme was awful, as was the Church Brothers scheme. The Philadelphia Eagles scheme was ill-advised, as was the Llumar, and Nationwide schemes, but they weren’t awful. It was a decent year, but it could have been a lot better.

33. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 10

Rank Last Year: 32nd of 43

GPA: 2.74

Much more bad than good for Ricky this year. Little Hug Fruit Barrels, Sunny D, a pinkwashing and two bad Ford schemes were the lead here. Fastenal, the Fastenal patriotic, and the John Deere throwback were great, but this was not a good year for Ricky’s paint scheme.

34. Gaunt Brother Racing #96 Chevy Camaro/Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 11

Rank Last Year: 35th of 43

GPA: 2.73

Ik9 had some great looks this year. The Dale Earnhardt Sr. Throwback was great, as was Northern Provincial. There were some bad looks, but the season as a whole was decent. It could have been better, but it was just decent.

35. Tri Star Motorsports #72 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 17

Rank Last Year: 28th of 43

GPA: 2.71

Tri Star was all over the place this year. Zomongo, Monarch Crypto Wallet, ARK Custom Blockchain, and both Schluter Systems schemes were awful. There were some highlights, including So Cal Chevy, Winn Dixie, BCT Blockchain, and Gas Monkey Garage. There was also a lot of meh schemes. I’ve reluctantly accepted the door number designs, but I’m not accepting some of the paint schemes from the #72.

36. NY Racing Team #7 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 1

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 2.70

One scheme that was decent, but not great, but not awful. That sums up the season for NY Racing, and their one paint scheme.

37. Daniel Suarez #19 Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 9

Rank Last Year: 15th of 43

GPA: 2.68

Stanley and Comcast were horrible this year. Interstate Batteries thought thier scheme looked so great that it would work on the #19, which it didn’t. Coca Cola, Arris, Peak, and Lenox tried to make up for this, but in the end, it was just a meh year for the #19.

38. Denny Hamlin #11 Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 6

Rank Last Year: 19th of 43

GPA: 2.68

The FedEx schemes were the same unremarkable blue and orange schemes they were last year. The FedEx Cares scheme was hideous. I will give Denny credit for having a great looking throwback. All in all, this was just a meh year for Denny.

39. Leavine Family Racing #95 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 15

Rank Last Year: 20th of 43

GPA: 2.53

Kasey’s schemes could be great when they had to. They were bad because he wanted them to be. His schemes were mostly pointlessly over designed, and looked awful. There were some good schemes, but the good and bad led to a bad average.

40. Kyle Larson #42 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 14

Rank Last Year: 36th of 43

GPA: 2.52

Kyle’s schemes were much more over designed than Jamie McMurray’s schemes. The awful Clover scheme found its way on to Kyle’s car. Add in that DC Solar had numerous different designs, and they were all bad in their own way, as well as many that could have been improved, and you have a low GPA for 2018.

41. Ricky Benton Racing #92 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 2

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 2.50

The Carquest/Black’s tire scheme was bad. It was clearly designed by two different people with different ideas on how the car should look. The template was recycled for the Advance Auto Parts scheme which was better but not great. This was not a great season for the #92

42. StarCom Racing #00 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 21

Rank Last Year: 39th of 43

GPA: 2.42

Another example of a series of schemes that are all over the place. There are too many different ones to mention individually, but almost every grade in the spectrum is represented, and when averaged out, the #00 gets a 2.42.

43. Ty Dillon #13 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 4

Rank Last Year: 22nd of 43

GPA: 2.35

The Twisted Tea scheme was great. The Throwback scheme was good, certainly better than the Geico scheme, which is still the same mess it was last year. The Geico patriotic scheme is self-serving, with the outline of the Geico gecko used as a camoflage pattern. The #13 just doesn’t look good.

44. Daniel Hemric #8 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 1

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 2.30

The Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff scheme isn’t great, but it’s not awful. That’s really all there is to be said.

45. Joey Logano #22 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 7

Rank Last Year: 31st of 43

GPA: 1.95

Joey Logano is champion, and he looked horrible for most of the year. The Shell/Pennzoil, Auto Trader, and AAA schemes, were their usual ugly messes, and while Pennzoil was a high point, and the throwback a higher point, the fact that the Cup Champion can’t even get a solid 2.00 GPA for 2018 says a lot.

46. AJ Allmendinger #47 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 2

Rank Last Year: 13th of 43

GPA: 1.90

Kroger was not a great scheme used for most of the year. The only other scheme used was the throwback, but that wasn’t good enough to get a solid A, only an A-. The two schemes averaged only a 1.90.

47. BK Racing #23 Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 18

Rank Last Year: 37th of 43

GPA: 1.43

There were two plain schemes that worked, as did the throwback, and Best Bully Snacks. Everything else ranged from awful to God awful. There were many schemes that were pointlessly over designed for no real reason. I’m glad I won’t have to look at BK Racing next year.

Well, that does it for The Driver Suit Blog in 2018. I’ve had a lot of fun. I want to thank all of my readers, I couldn’t do this without you. 2019 will be here in a few days, and I will start the year the way I always do, with Wheel Reviews next Friday! See you then!

auto racing · friday feature

2018 Paint Scheme Leaderboard Part 3-Toyota

By David G. Firestone

The committee had a really good meeting this week. We got a lot done, we took a nap, and had some more cuddle time. So we present to you the Toyota leaderboard.

1. Obaika Racing #97 Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 4

Rank Last Year:N/A

GPA: 3.82

Victor Obaika, NASCAR’s first African team owner, had a lot of great looks this year. While The Excel Therapy/Maximum Off-Road was a little over done, this new team had a very solid year, appearance-wise.

2. Erik Jones #20 Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 13

Rank Last Year:6th of 10

GPA: 3.30

Doosan and SportClips weren’t great, though SportClips would have a great Throwback scheme. Toyota’s scheme was awful. Sirius and the second Circle K weren’t bad, with room for improvement. The rest of the schemes were great, but the bad balanced out the good in the end.

3. MBM Motorsports #66 Chevy Camaro/Ford Fusion/Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 12

Rank Last Year:N/A

GPA: 3.27

The Rewards.com, and the Rewards.com throwback weren’t the best. Other than those two, there were a lot of A, A-, and B+ schemes this year. But the numbers don’t lie, and the average is a 3.27. In years past, this could have been a higher rank, but this year isn’t a high rank.

4. Kyle Busch #18 Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 15

Rank Last Year: 2nd of 10

GPA: 3.20

Snickers Almond, Snickers Intense, and Interstate Batteries were the only black marks here. Kyle had 15 schemes, 12 are A schemes, 3 are F schemes. When everything was averaged, Kyle got a 3.20 GPA.

5. Martin Truex Jr. #78 Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 8

Rank Last Year: of 10

GPA: 3.14

In their last year of existence, Furniture Row debuted a bad template, which could get, at best, a C-. The Auto-Owners Insurance schemes were good. Their throwback scheme for the final race was amazing. It was a decent year for Martin

6. Gaunt Brother Racing #96 Chevy Camaro/Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 11

Rank Last Year:N/A

GPA: 2.73

Ik9 had some great looks this year. The Dale Earnhardt Sr. Throwback was great, as was Northern Provincial. There were some bad looks, but the season as a whole was decent. It could have been better, but it was just decent.

7. Daniel Suarez #19 Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 9

Rank Last Year: 6th of 10

GPA: 2.68

Stanley and Comcast were horrible this year. Interstate Batteries thought thier scheme looked so great that it would work on the #19, which it didn’t. Coca Cola, Arris, Peak, and Lenox tried to make up for this, but in the end, it was just a meh year for the #19.

8. Denny Hamlin #11 Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 6

Rank Last Year: 5th of 10

GPA: 2.68

The FedEx schemes were the same unremarkable blue and orange schemes they were last year. The FedEx Cares scheme was hideous. I will give Denny credit for having a great looking throwback. All in all, this was just a meh year for Denny.

9. BK Racing #23 Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 18

Rank Last Year: 8th of 10

GPA: 1.43

There were two plain schemes that worked, as did the throwback, and Best Bully Snacks. Everything else ranged from awful to God awful. There were many schemes that were pointlessly over designed for no real reason. I’m glad I won’t have to look at BK Racing next year.

Next week, the grand finale!

auto racing · friday feature

2018 Paint Scheme Leaderboard Part 2-Ford

By David G. Firestone

The Driver Suit Blog Paint Scheme Review Committee has met again, and after the latest round of negotiations, meetings, and belly rubs, we have released our rankings on Ford’s paint scheme ratings for 2018. Here we go:

1. Michael McDowell #34 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes:14

Rank Last Year: 10th of 14

GPA: 4.00

14 schemes, 14 A grades, need I say more? Ok, I will say more. Michael McDowell had nothing but schemes that looked great. While his on-track results sadly don’t match how great his schemes were, he had a great looking year.

2. Kurt Busch #41 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 6

Rank Last Year: 2nd of 14

GPA: 3.88

Sadly, the Slate Water Heaters scheme took what could have been a perfect year down to a 3.88. Still, an A- average still isn’t bad. Kurt had a lot of great schemes this year.

4. Ryan Blaney #12 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 15

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 3.84

The new Menard’s template looks amazing, and it was used to great effect on the #12. Sadly, the Quaker State was the turd in the punch bowl here. Like Slate Water Heaters, this scheme to a solid 4.0 GPA down to a 3.84 GPA. An A- is still good, but it’s not a solid A.

5. Rick Ware Racing #52 Chevy Camaro/Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 5

Rank Last Year:N/A

GPA: 3.80

A series of different drivers raced a series of different paint schemes in 2018. All of these schemes were good, some better than others. The Live Hotel and Casino and Jacob Companies entries could have used some work, but as a whole, a very solid year.

6. Kevin Harvick #4 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 10

Rank Last Year: 4th of 14

GPA: 3.73

Busch Outdoors was a bad move, and the ¾ + ¼ Mobil 1 and Busch scheme didn’t help an otherwise solid scheme season. Many of the schemes were rehashes of great schemes from last year. Bottom line is that Kevin Harvick had some great schemes in 2018

7. Paul Menard #21 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 19

Rank Last Year: 1st of 14

GPA: 3.72

The new Menard’s template looks amazing, and it was used to great effect on the #21. Sadly, the Quaker State was the turd in the punch bowl here. Like Slate Water Heaters, this scheme to a solid 4.0 GPA down to a 3.72 GPA. An A- is still good, but it’s not a solid A.

8. Roush Racing #6 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 13

Rank Last Year: 7th of 14

GPA: 3.46

Performance Plus and Ford EcoBoost always looks bad. Oscar Meyer didn’t look great. Constatine Sealing, Advocare Rehydrate, Wyndham Rewards Patriotic look even worse. NESN and a pinkwashing scheme drag the GPA down even more. The #6 had a lot of great schemes this year, but a lot of not great schemes, so they look even worse.

9. David Ragan #38 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 16

Rank Last Year: 6th of 14

GPA: 3.38

Earthwater,FR8 Auctions and 1000 were awful, as always. Connor Co was slightly better, but not by much. The rest of the schemes used the Front Row template, which is very effective in delivering a unique look, that isn’t over designed.

10. Clint Bowyer #14 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 19

Rank Last Year: 3rd of 14

GPA: 3.32

The Hall of Fans and Tony Stewart Fan club schemes weren’t great. Wix was even worse. There were also a lot of schemes that could have been solid A schemes, with some minor adjustments. Clint Bowyer had a good year, but he could have had a great year in 2018.

11. MBM Motorsports #66 Chevy Camaro/Ford Fusion/Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 12

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 3.27

The Rewards.com, and the Rewards.com throwback weren’t the best. Other than those two, there were a lot of A, A-, and B+ schemes this year. But the numbers don’t lie, and the average is a 3.27. In years past, this could have been a higher rank, but this year isn’t a high rank.

12. Brad Keselowski #2 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 14

Rank Last Year: 5th of 14

GPA: 3.13

The Penske template can be very tricky to work with, in terms of color schemes. Auto Trader was awful, as it always is, and there were a few other schemes that needed work. Other than that, the schemes as a whole were great.

13. Aric Almirola #10 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 11

Rank Last Year: 13th of 14

GPA: 3.03

The Waffle House, the Smithfield Patriotic, and the Smithfield Anytime schemes were bad. Helping Hungry Homes could have been better but it wasn’t awful. The rest of the schemes were quite good, but, as always, the bad drags down the good.

14. Rick Ware Racing #51 Chevy Camaro/Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 22

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 2.95

The #51’s schemes were all over the place. Some schemes were amazing, some were awful. The Jacob Companies had more different schemes this year than any singular company. The averages are what they are, and the rank is what it is.

15. Matt DiBenedetto #32 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 16

Rank Last Year: 14th of 14

GPA: 2.91

Can Am/Wholey is a bold and unique look. Too bad it’s not a good look. Add in that the scheme was reused for a political sponsorship for Shawn Moody, a candidate for the governor of Maine. Add in a pinkwashing scheme, and some awful poker schemes, and you have a low GPA for 2018.

16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 10

Rank Last Year: 12th of 14

GPA: 2.74

Much more bad than good for Ricky this year. Little Hug Fruit Barrels, Sunny D, a pinkwashing and two bad Ford schemes were the lead here. Fastenal, the Fastenal patriotic, and the John Deere throwback were great, but this was not a good year for Ricky’s paint scheme.

17. Ricky Benton Racing #92 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 2

Rank Last Year:N/A

GPA: 2.50

The Carquest/Black’s tire scheme was bad. It was clearly designed by two different people with different ideas on how the car should look. The template was recycled for the Advance Auto P

18. Joey Logano #22 Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 7

Rank Last Year: 11th of 14

GPA: 1.95

Joey Logano is champion, and he looked horrible for most of the year. The Shell/Pennzoil, Auto Trader, and AAA schemes, were their usual ugly messes, and while Pennzoil was a high point, and the throwback a higher point, the fact that the Cup Champion can’t even get a solid 2.00 GPA for 2018 says a lot.

Next week, the Toyota Leaderboard.

auto racing · friday feature

2018 Paint Scheme Leaderboard Part 1-Chevy

By David G. Firestone

Well, it’s that time of year again. Christmas music is in all the stores and on the radio. Egg nog is available for purchase. The racing season has ended, and The Driver Suit Blog Paint Scheme Review Committee has met again. The Committee consists of myself, Lucy the Beagle, and Alejandro the cat. During our meeting Lucy and Alejandro fell asleep, so I did the heavy lifting. So here are the Paint Scheme Leaderboards for Chevy in the Cup Series in 2018

1. Beard Oil Motorsports #62 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 1

Rank Last Year: 1st of 23

GPA: 4.00

One singular scheme raced for four races, and it has a great design. It’s bold, but not over designed. It’s a great look.

2. Rick Ware Racing #52 Chevy Camaro/Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 5

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 3.80

A series of different drivers raced a series of different paint schemes in 2018. All of these schemes were good, some better than others. The Live Hotel and Casino and Jacob Companies entries could have used some work, but as a whole, a very solid year.

3. Jimmie Johnson #48 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 6

Rank Last Year: 23rd of 23

GPA: 3.61

Jimmie had 5 solid A schemes this year, which looked great, and weren’t over designed. Sadly, The Jimmie Johnson Foundation scheme was awful. The Jimmie Johnson Foundation was an ugly, over designed mess, with a bad color scheme, as opposed to the other schemes raced. This scheme was so bad, it took Jimmie’s GPA from 4 to 3.61.

4. Jamie McMurray #1 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 16

Rank Last Year: 8th of 23

GPA: 3.48

The schemes were all passable schemes, but the DC Solar patriotic schemes, the Clover schemes, and DC Solar weren’t great, and dragged Jamie’s GPA down to just above a B+. Cessna, and McDonald’s were great.

5. Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 20

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 3.47

The STP, Mile 22, and Food Lion Feeds schemes were slightly over designed. and World Wide Technology was mediocre at best, and Kroger Red, White and Barbecue was a disaster. Other than that, Darrell Wallace Jr. had a great season, paint scheme-wise. He had a lot of great looks, and a really great throwback.

6. Premium Motorsports #55 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 7

Rank Last Year: 6th of 23

GPA: 3.40

Another potential 4.0 scheme ruined by a series of bad grades, including Nevada Donor, the car the following week, and Black Riffle Coffee. Adirondack Tree Surgeons was horrible. Averaging out the grades gives the #55 a 3.40.

7. William Byron #24 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 10

Rank Last Year: 12th of 23

GPA: 3.37

The year started off promising, with 4 A schemes introduced at the beginning of the season. There was a definite drop off as the season progressed, with Uni First, and Hertz, though Hertz would redeem themselves. Then came the disaster that is Axalta/Imron, and that was what dragged the GPA down even more.

8. MBM Motorsports #66 Chevy Camaro/Ford Fusion/Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 12

Rank Last Year: 21st of 23

GPA: 3.27

The Rewards.com, and the Rewards.com throwback weren’t the best. Other than those two, there were a lot of A, A-, and B+ schemes this year. But the numbers don’t lie, and the average is a 3.27. In years past, this could have been a higher rank, but this year isn’t a high rank.

9. Austin Dillon #3 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 17

Rank Last Year: 14th of 23

GPA: 3.20

A lot of great, a lot of meh, and some awful. Scooper Cat Litter was awful. American Ethanol, Symbicort, and Dow/Molykote were mediocre. Dow Killz needed work, and while the rest of the schemes were solid, the bad drags down the good here.

10. Premium Motorsports #15 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 16

Rank Last Year: 11th of 23

GPA: 3.13

Low T Center, which never has a good scheme, Go Pro Motorsports, and Championship Machinery were the real stinkers here. Amazingly, there were a lot of A schemes, but those three schemes dragged the GPA down a lot.

11. Chris Buescher #37 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 24

Rank Last Year: 5th of 23

GPA: 3.00

Chris Buescher raced a lot of schemes, and they were all over the place. While the Natural Light Resume scheme was a bad idea all around, there were a lot of schemes that were bad, but with some work could be better. The final GPA however was much lower that it could have been at a 4, but he only got a 3.

12. Rick Ware Racing #51 Chevy Camaro/Ford Fusion

Number of Schemes: 22

Rank Last Year: 9th of 23

GPA: 2.95

The #51’s schemes were all over the place. Some schemes were amazing, some were awful. The Jacob Companies had more different schemes this year than any singular company. The averages are what they are, and the rank is what it is.

13. Premium Motorsports #7 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 10

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 2.91

I get that the #7 is also used for the #15 and #55. However, I’m going to have the #7 as it’s own number. NY Racing will be a separate entry. There was a lot of bad to awful schemes on the 7 this year. This just wasn’t a great year for the #7. Sure there were a few good schemes, but not as many as bad schemes.

14. StarCom Racing #99 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 10

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 2.91

International Marine had a couple of awful schemes. For some reason, the #99 had the really awful Rewards.com Darrell Waltrip throwback. StarCom Fiber’s scheme was bad, but their patriotic scheme was slightly better. It wasn’t a great year for the new team.

15. Chase Elliott #9 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 12

Rank Last Year: N/A

GPA: 2.78

Sun Energy was awful, though they did redeem themselves later in the year. Little Ceaser’s, Mountain Dew, Baja Blast, the second Sun Energy, and NAPA Nightvision were great. Other than that, the schemes were decent, but could have bee great.

16. Ryan Newman #31 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 20

Rank Last Year: 10th of 23

GPA: 2.77

Ryan’s schemes were all over the place this year. Some were really great, including some of CATERPILLAR’s schemes, and the throwback. Others were awful, such as Liberty National and Lucas Oil. But there was a lot more bad than good.

17. Alex Bowman #88 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 9

Rank Last Year: 16th of 23

GPA: 2.76

The Axalta scheme was awful, as was the Church Brothers scheme. The Philadelphia Eagles scheme was ill-advised, as was the Llumar, and Nationwide schemes, but they weren’t awful. It was a decent year, but it could have been a lot better.

18. Gaunt Brother Racing #96 Chevy Camaro/Toyota Camry

Number of Schemes: 11

Rank Last Year: 19th of 23

GPA: 2.73

Ik9 had some great looks this year. The Dale Earnhardt Sr. Throwback was great, as was Northern Provincial. There were some bad looks, but the season as a whole was decent. It could have been better, but it was just decent.

19. Tri Star Motorsports #72 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 17

Rank Last Year: 18th of 23

GPA: 2.71

Tri Star was all over the place this year. Zomongo, Monarch Crypto Wallet, ARK Custom Blockchain, and both Schluter Systems schemes were awful. There were some highlights, including So Cal Chevy, Winn Dixie, BCT Blockchain, and Gas Monkey Garage. There was also a lot of meh schemes. I’ve reluctantly accepted the door number designs, but I’m not accepting some of the paint schemes from the #72.

20. NY Racing Team #7 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 1

Rank Last Year:N/A

GPA: 2.70

One scheme that was decent, but not great, but not awful. That sums up the season for NY Racing, and their one paint scheme.

21. Leavine Family Racing #95 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 15

Rank Last Year: 13th of 23

GPA: 2.53

Kasey’s schemes could be great when they had to. They were bad because he wanted them to be. His schemes were mostly pointlessly over designed, and looked awful. There were some good schemes, but the good and bad led to a bad average.

22. Kyle Larson #42 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 14

Rank Last Year: 20th of 23

GPA: 2.52

Kyle’s schemes were much more over designed than Jamie McMurray’s schemes. The awful Clover scheme found its way on to Kyle’s car. Add in that DC Solar had numerous different designs, and they were all bad in their own way, as well as many that could have been improved, and you have a low GPA for 2018.

23. StarCom Racing #00 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 21

Rank Last Year: 22nd of 23

GPA: 2.42

Another example of a series of schemes that are all over the place. There are too many different ones to mention individually, but almost every grade in the spectrum is represented, and when averaged out, the #00 gets a 2.42.

24. Ty Dillon #13 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 4

Rank Last Year: 15th of 23

GPA: 2.35

The Twisted Tea scheme was great. The Throwback scheme was good, certainly better than the Geico scheme, which is still the same mess it was last year. The Geico patriotic scheme is self-serving, with the outline of the Geico gecko used as a camoflage pattern. The #13 just doesn’t look good.

25. Daniel Hemric #8 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 1

Rank Last Year:N/A

GPA: 2.30

The Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff scheme isn’t great, but it’s not awful. That’s really all there is to be said.

26. AJ Allmendinger #47 Chevy Camaro

Number of Schemes: 2

Rank Last Year: 7th of 23

GPA: 1.90

Kroger was not a great scheme used for most of the year. The only other scheme used was the throwback, but that wasn’t good enough to get a solid A, only an A-. The two schemes averaged only a 1.90.

Next Week, the Ford Paint Scheme Leaderboard.

auto racing · friday feature

It’s That Time Of Year…The 2018 Paint Schemies Are Here!

By David G. Firestone

With the 2018 NASCAR season behind us, I’m happy to present the 5th Annual Driver Suit Blog Paint Schemie Awards! Regular readers know about this, but I’ll discuss this again. Every year, I pick the best and worst paint schemes and award them the Paint Schemie. This was done using the Driver Suit Blog executive committee for paint scheme analysis and consists of me and Driver Suit Blog assistant, my cat Alejandro, and uses the following standards:

Color Scheme:How the colors look, and how they work with each other.

Overall Design:How good the design itself looks, is there too much, or not enough.

Primary Sponsor Logos: How the primary sponsor logos look on the car

Originality: How original is the scheme.

All of the above can work for or against a scheme, and all will be taken into consideration.

Let’s get the bad Paint Scheme Awards out of the way…

First, the Paint Schemie Award for Worst Regular Season Single Paint Scheme.

The nominees are:

Landon Cassill #00 Mane ‘n Tall Chevy Camaro

Chase Elliott #9 Sun Energy Chevy Camaro

Ty Dillon #13 Geico Military Chevy Camaro

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Sunny D Ford Fusion

Kyle Busch #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry

Erik Jones #20 Toyota Toyota Camry

Gray Gaulding #23 Toyota Camry

Matt DiBenedetto #32 Can Am/Kappa Ford Fusion

David Ragan #38 FR8 Auctions Ford Fusion

The 2018 Paint Schemie Award for Worst Regular Season Single Paint Scheme goes to:

Kyle Busch #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry

The next Paint Schemie Award is for Exhibition or Throwback Paint Schemes. This category is a little different, as the Schemie will go to the best and worst throwback. For this category, all exhibition race and throwback paint schemes qualify automatically.

The 2018 Paint Schemie Award for Worst Exhibition or Throwback Paint Schemes goes to…

Timmy Hill #66 Rewards.com Throwback Toyota Camry

The next award of 2018 is the Paint Schemie for Worst Paint Scheme Set of 2018. The nominees are:

Denny Hamlin #11 Toyota Camry

Daniel Hemric #8 Chevy Camaro

Germain Racing #13 Chevy Camaro

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Ford Fusion

Daniel Suarez #19 Toyota Camry

Joey Logano #22 Ford Fusion

BK Racing #23 Toyota Camry

A.J. Allmendinger #47 Chevy Camaro

Ricky Benton Racing #92 Ford Fusion

The 2018 Paint Schemie Award for for Worst Paint Scheme Set goes to…

BK Racing #23 Toyota Camry

Now after talking about the bad, we discuss the good. Here are the winners in the best category…

First, the Paint Schemie Award for Best Regular Season Single Paint Scheme.

The nominees for the 2018 Paint Schemie Award for for Best Regular Season Single Paint Scheme are:

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Ford Fusion

Chase Elliott #9 Mountain Dew Chevy Camaro

Aric Almirola #10 Smithfield Bacon for Life Ford Fusion

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Toyota Camry

Daniel Suarez #19 Coca Cola Toyota Camry

William Byron #24 Axalta Chevy Camaro

Ryan Newman #31 eBay Motors Chevy Camaro

David Starr #97 Toyota Camry

The 2018 Paint Schemie Award for for Best Regular Season Single Paint Scheme goes to…

Daniel Suarez #19 Coca Cola Toyota Camry

The next category is Paint Schemie Award is for Best Exhibition or Throwback Paint Schemes, and it should come as no surprise that the competition was strong this year.

The 2018 Paint Schemie Award for Best Throwback Scheme of 2017 goes to…

Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol Throwback Chevy SS

The final award of 2018 is the Paint Schemie for Best Paint Scheme Set of 2018. The nominees are:

Kevin Harvick #4 Ford Fusion

Erik Jones #20 Toyota Camry

Paul Menard #21 Ford Fusion

Michael McDowell #34 Ford Fusion

Kurt Busch #41 Ford Fusion

Jimmie Johnson #48 Chevy Camaro

Rick Ware Racing #52 Chevy Camaro

Beard Oil Motorsports #62 Chevy Camaro

MBM Motorsports #66 Toyota Camry

Obaika Racing #97 Toyota Camry

The 2018 Paint Schemie Award for for Best Paint Scheme Set goes to…

Michael McDowell #34 Ford Fusion

That’s it for the Schemies, next week, the Paint Scheme Leaderboard begins with Chevy!

auto racing · friday feature

The Smoke Show…And A Suit To Match

By David G. Firestone

For the last entry in this year’s Little Guy November, I am going to focus on another suit not worn by a professional driver, but a suit worn by a member of the public. The name Tony Stewart is a name that was riddled with controversy. Love him or hate him, you can’t argue with his on-track results. Stewart is one of the privileged few who made it to the big leagues, and had success.

Tony Stewart uses the nickname “Smoke.” There are various stories as to where the nickname came from. He uses the nickname for a number of different things, including the Tony Stewart Smoke Show, which is a charity event where fans can, for a fee, race in a car at Texas Motor Speedway, and ride shotgun with Stewart. Part of the $6,000 fee includes a customized driver suit, like this thick Sparco suit, which is customized for L Swartz Jr. The suit doesn’t really show any use.The collar is red with a Velcro closure.There is nothing on the upper chest area. The front torso features a TONY STEWART SMOKE SHOW logo, which includes TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY.Inside the zipper is the Sparco warranty label, and a Sparco care label with 2/14 as a manufacturing date. The belt has a SPARCO logo and L SWARTZ JR. embroidered.The red legs have boot cuffs, and are unadorned.The shoulders have a red epaulet with SPARCO embroidered at the end of the shoulder, and nothing between the epaulet and the collar. The right red sleeve has a TONY STEWART SMOKE SHOW patch present, and nothing in television position. The left red sleeve has the SFI 3/2-A5 certification present, and nothing in television position. The back of the suit doesn’t really show any wear.The back of the neck is unadorned.The back of the torso is unadorned.Next week, the 2018 Paint Schemies!

auto racing · friday feature

A Glove From A Respected British Sports Car Driver

By David G. Firestone

Most American racing fans probably don’t know the name Andy Wallace. Fans of Sports Car racing know the name. Hailing from Oxford, England, Wallace has raced in various Sports Car classes with a lot of success. Wallace has won the 1988 24 Hours of LeMans, He won the 24 Hours of Daytona three separate times, 1999, 2000, and 2003. He also won the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1992 and 1993.

Over the years, Andy Wallace has raced in many different events, in different countries, and has worn many different uniforms, and uniform elements. One example is this Alpinestars blue right-handed glove. The glove shows heavy use, and has been autographed by Andy Wallace a staggering three times!The first signature is on the outside, on the white leather, near the Alpinestars logo. The white shows some use.A second white leather section is near the wrist, and has AW written in Sharpie. AW is also written on the blue material, and the second signature, this one in silver, is near the top of the wrist.Inside the glove on the outer side are three tags. One is a size M tag, one tag indicates:

STYLE NO F1R

CONTENT %

NOMEX 45

LEATHER 55

MADE IN VIETNAM,

and the third tag simply says WIN.

The inside of the glove features heavily worn leather on the palms and fingers.The third signature is on the inside palm, in silver Sharpie.The inside of the wrist has an Alpinestars logo with ONE GOAL embroidered below it.Inside the inner wrist is the Alpinestars FIA ISO 6940 safety certification.

Next week is a fantasy camp suit.

auto racing · friday feature

Marty Flaska, A Businessman Who Races For Fun

By David G. Firestone

Not all race car drivers are professional drivers. They come from many different backgrounds. Some race hoping they can advance a racing career, others race because they can afford to. One such example is Marty Flaska. Flaska started a company called Forklift Exchange from his house in the western suburbs of Chicago which specialized in buying, selling and renting material handling equipment. In 1994, Flaska bought Silent Hoist and Crane, turning it into Hoist Liftruck Mfg., Inc. which he still runs today. Having the means, he races cars in his spare time.

Marty Flaska has raced at a number of events over the years. His most well-known races came in the NASCAR Rolex Grand-Am Sports Car Series driving a Porsche 996 GT3 Cup. He started 33rd and finished 31st. A year later, he raced in the 2oo5 Sportsbook.com Grand Prix of Atlanta finishing 21st. During that time, he wore this triple layer Sparco firesuit. The suit shows light use.The collar has a Velcro closure, and is unadorned.There is a size tag in the cowl, and a yellow tag of unknown purposes is attached to it.The right chest has a HOIST RACING and a GRAND AMERICAN logo embroidered.The left chest features a PORSCHE and GRAND AM ROLEX SPORTS CAR SERIES logos embroidered.There are two different warranty labels on the inside of the torso, one under the zipper, the other inside, under the Grand Am logo. MARTY FLASKA is embroidered in cursive text with an American Flag in the black belt, which is outlined in yellow.The legs have standard cuffs, and are unadorned.The yellow shoulder epaulets are outlined in black, and have SPARCO logos embroidered. Other than that, they are unadorned. The right sleeve is unadorned. The left sleeve has an SFI 3-2A/5 rating patch on the upper sleeve, but is otherwise unadorned. The back of the suit doesn’t really show any wear.The back of the neck has an FIA 1986 STANDARD 1.008.CSAI.87. certification and a SPARCO logo embroidered.The upper part of the back torso features a PORSCHE logo embroidered.Next week, another race-worn glove.