Vintage Item Spotlight-Fransico Grande Pitching Rubber.

By David G. Firestone

Every good baseball team need a home for spring training. In 1959, the San Francisco Giants played their final game at Seals Stadium, a small, crowded, outdated facility in the Mission District of San Francisco. Starting in 1960, the Giants would play their home games at the brand new Candlestick Park. Giants owner Horace Stoneham renovated a large chunk of land near Casa Grande Arizona into a spring training resort named Francisco Grade, Francisco for the San Francisco Giants, and Grande for Casa Grande.

Francisco Grande hosted the Giants from 1959-1979, and during the resort’s early years, it became a desert refuge for Hollywood celebrities, like John Wayne, Pat Boone, and Gale Gordon. Willy McCovey, Juan Marichal and Willy Mays honed their skills at the ballpark, with Mays hitting a 375 foot homer in 1959. After the Giants left for Scottsdale in 1980, the facility wasn’t utilized until the California Angels came in 1982 through 1984. The Angels went all the way to the ALCS before losing to the Milwaukee Brewers. For those three seasons, the Angels prepared for the season, with talent like Reggie Jackson and Rod Carew working on the same diamonds that, 20 years before, Juan Marichal, Willy McCovey, Orlando Cepada, Gaylord Perry, Jose Pagan, Don Larsen and Willy Mays had utilized before their 1962 World Series Title.

When the Angels left, the facility was converted to a football field for the Arizona Wranglers and Denver Gold of the ill-fated USFL. Then it was converted into a golf course, which hosted a number of PGA events. Then in 2003, it closed for renovations. Two years and $8.5 million later, it has evolved into a world-class golf resort.


Most of the baseball equipment from the early glory days has been lost to history. Some of the home plates and equipment used is in a display in the resort. I acquired one of, if not the only remaining pitching rubbers from that resort. To think that Juan Marichal, Billy Pierce, Don Larsen, Gaylord Perry, Warren Spahn, Steve Stone, Vida Blue, or Tommy John used this pitching rubber is just mind blowing! It shows its age, but is still in decent condition. These baseballs were also rescued during the renovations. They have lost their leather covering and red stitches, but they clearly were there for a long time, and one can only dream of who used them…   In additon there are also some hotel key tags from the days before plastic cards. When checking in, the front desk agent would hand the guest a key with one of these tags to let them know where their room was. These would be returned at the end of the stay. These were also rescued during the renovations, and many show their age as well.

The days of McCovey and Mays may be long gong, but the resort has risen anew.  The success of the golf resort as well as the popularity of warm resort during the winter season has taken the resort from a humble ballpark to a world-renowned destination.  The future looks as bright as the Arizona sun for Francisco Grande.

Looking at a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Crew Shirt

By David G. Firestone

Founded in 1982, as the NASCAR Winston Racing Series, The NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series is a short track series. The races all take place at short tracks, ranging from 1/4 mile to 5/8 miles. While some drivers go on to national series stardom, some are just weekend warriors. The kinds of cars allowed to race are left to the discretion of the tracks, leading to a lot of variety in the series.

From 2006 to 2019, The Whelen Engineering Company, known for making warning lights, white illumination lighting, sirens, and controllers for cars, aviation, and civil defense, signed on to sponsor the series. The series became the Whelen All-American Series, at some point, a series official was assigned this shirt. This Oakley shirt shows some wear, with stains.

The green collar is unadorned.

There is an Oakley 5XL size and wash tag sewn in the cowl.

The right chest features a pocket.

The left chest features a NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES logo, and OFFICIAL embroidered.

The front torso of the shirt features some light stains.

The shoulders have epaulets which feature the old NASCAR logo embroidered on the green.

The right sleeve features an Oakley logo, a NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES logo, and OFFICIAL embroidered.

The left sleeve has an American Flag, a NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES logo, and OFFICIAL embroidered.

The back of the shirt doesn’t show any wear.

The back of the neck is unadorned, but there is a small Oakley logo embroidered.

The back of the shirt has OFFICIAL embroidered in white on green, and a NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES logo embroidered in the white.

So for July, I will be taking my yearly sabbatical, and I will have two Friday Features ready to go.

A Cancelled Winston Cup Project

By David G. Firestone

While many people fondly remember The NASCAR Winston Cup Series, I think a lot of people forget how instrumental Winston was in NASCAR’s eventual success. In 1971, Winston and NASCAR came together, NASCAR needing promotion and money, and Winston with the ability to provide both. Since Winston is based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, it was also seen as a natural partnership. Winston and NASCAR had a partnership until 2003. The partnership was canceled due to the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement signed in 1998. The change did not, and still does not sit well with longtime fans.

Winston’s commitment to NASCAR and auto racing in general was nothing, if not fully committed. Winston used NASCAR to promote their products on television, even though cigarette commercials had been outlawed in America since 1970. One oddball thing that Winston did was to start promoting the 25th Anniversary of the Winston Cup Series in 1994, a year before the actual anniversary. They decided to do this using Winston Cup Champions on limited edition matchbooks. This promotion was never finished, and only a fraction of the champion matchbooks were ever released.

I recently opened a tin of these matchbooks on my YouTube channel.

These are the contents of the tin. The tin comes with a purchase of two packs, there is a metal tin in a cardboard box. Inside the tin is a wrapped package, and some promotional materials.

One of the promotional materials is a card to mail in for free gifts from Winston Select.

The other promotional item is a small catalog of Winston-branded items. These are bought using points from purchasing Winston products.

The main package contains 50 different matchbooks which represent a total of 12 different Winston Cup Champions. The drivers represented are as follows:

Richard Petty 1972

Benny Parsons 1973

Richard Petty 1975

Cale Yarborough 1976

Darrell Waltrip 1982

Bobby Allison 1983

Terry Labonte 1984

Dale Earnhardt 1987

Bill Elliott 1988

Rusty Wallace 1989

Dale Earnhardt 1991

Alan Kulwicki 1992

Why these were never followed up on is unknown, but I’m willing to bet that it had something, maybe a lot to do with the fact that the legal system was cracking down on cigarette promotions, and this was a casualty. In my mind, there is no other possible reason, at least that makes sense.

Next Friday Feature, a NASCAR officials shirt.

Grading The 2021 Throwbacks

By David G. Firestone

So the 2021 Throwback Race at Darlington has come and gone. I’m going to do my usual throwback grades. Usually, the top pick will win the Paint Scheme Award for Best Throwback, but if something better comes along, it will take first place. We have a lot of season left. So, without further ado, my ranks:

1-Joey Gase #28 Register Me Ford MustangNew scheme for 2021, based on Davey Allison’s 1991 Texaco Havoline scheme. A

I love a good, faithful throwback, and this is a good, faithful throwback. I miss Texaco as a sponsor, and this brings back memories. This gets an A.

2-Erik Jones #43 STP Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on John Andretti’s 1999 STP Pontiac Grand Prix. A

This is another contender for the most faithful throwback I’ve ever seen. Everything is perfect here, even that stupid yellow stripe. A

3-Corey LaJoie #7 Zerex Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on Alan Kulwicki’s 1990 Zerex Ford Thunderbird. A

This might be the most faithful throwback I have ever seen! I loved the old Zerex scheme, and this is a great look. A

4-Chase Elliott #9 Hooters Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on Alan Kulwicki’s 1992 Hooters Ford Underbird. A

I like a faithful throwback, and this is a great looking faithful throwback. It’s almost perfect, it’s just not on a Ford. A

5-2-Austin Dilon #3 Bass Pro Shops Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on Fireball Roberts’ 1959 Pontiac. A

This is a really good and faithful throwback, and I really like the throwback logos. A

6-Tyler Reddick #8 Quartz Hill Records Throwback Chevy Camaro-New scheme for 2021, based on Marty Robbins’ #42 Dodge. A

Pink and yellow isn’t the best combination,but this is a pretty decent throwback, so I give this an A.

7-Kevin Harvick #4 Mobil 1 Throwback Ford MustangNew scheme for 2021, based on Kevin Harvick’s 2001 #29 Chevy Monte Carlo. A

I liked the white version of the Goodwrench scheme, and this is pretty faithful. I will say the black and silver one was better though. A

8-Michael McDowell #34 Fr8 Auctions Throwback Ford MustangNew scheme for 2021, based on Bill Elliot’s 1985 Coors Ford Thunderbird. A

Often imitated, the Bill Elliott Coors scheme is a great one, and this might be the best and most faithful one yet. A

9-Justin Haley #77 Fraternal Order of Eagles Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on Robert Pressley’s 1998 Jasper Ford. A

It’s a faithful throwback, and I like the old Jasper schemes, so this gets an A.

10-Josh Bilicki #52 Insurance King Throwback Ford MustangNew scheme for 2021, based on Lennie Pond’s 1979 Burger King Oldsmobile. A

A unique and very faithful throwback will ALWAYS earn an A.

11-Anthony Alfredo #38 We Care/Fr8 Auctions Throwback Ford MustangNew scheme for 2021, Based on Alan Kulwicki’s 1985 Hardee’s Ford Thunderbird. A

I never got to see the Hardee’s scheme on track, but it was original. This is an awesome and faithful throwback, and it gets an A.

12-William Byron #24 Valvoline Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on Neil Bonnett’s #75 Pontiac. A

This is a great throwback, and I like it. This is amazing, and gets an A.

13-Bubba Wallace #23 Root Insurance Throwback Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2021, based on Wendell Scott’s #34. A

You can’t go wrong with a Wendell Scott throwback, and this is another example. I also like the throwback Dr. Pepper and McDonald’s logos. A

14-Quin Houff #00 Bos Klein/RCA Throwback Chevy CamaroNew sponsor for 2021, based on John Andretti’s RCA Ford Thunderbird. A

I liked the RCA Ford back in the day, and this is a very faithful replica. A

15-BJ McLeod #78 Parts Ford MustangNew scheme for 2021, based on Joe Weatherly’s 1963 Pontiac. A

It’s a solid scheme, is very faithful, and looks really good. A

16-Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Throwback Ford MustangNew scheme for 2021, based on Mario Andretti’s 1971 Ferrari. A

This is a great throwback! I love the look the car has, and it’s smooth. A

17-Chase Briscoe #14 Highpoint Throwback Ford MustangNew scheme for 2021, based on A.J. Foyt’s #14 1986 Copenhagen Delta 88 Royale. A

A.J. had some great schemes in NASCAR, and this is one of them. This is a great look, and it gets an A.

18-James Davison #15 HOPEGIVERS Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on Dick Johnson’s 1990 #38 Rednote Ford Thunderbird. A

This was an awesome scheme back in the day. Silver and red work well when done right. This is also a faithful throwback, so this gets an A.

19-Denny Hamlin #11 SportClips Throwback Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2021, based on Julius “Slick” Johnson’s 1980’s Monte Carlo. A

It’s a nice throwback, very faithful and it looks great. A

20-Ryan Preece #37 Velveeta Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on Trent Owens’s 2002 Dickies Ford. A

I like the look here. The Velveeta as flames works, and the throwback is pretty faithful, so this gets an A.

21-Erik Jones #43 Tuskegee Airmen Tribute Chevy Camaro-New scheme for 2021, designed as a tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen. A

This is an amazing scheme! It has a great look, and color scheme, so it gets an A.

22-Alex Bowman #48 Ally Financial Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on Greg Ives’ late model. A

I like the look, and it’s a great throwback. A

23-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #47 Kroger/Tide Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, blue fade to orange. A

Not a full throwback, but a good look. The fade works well, and this is amazing. A

24-Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s 80s Anniversary Toyota Camry-New scheme for 2021, much more toned down. A

I like this scheme a lot more, as it’s smoother, and I really like the plain black numbers. A

25-Martin Truex Jr. #19 Auto Owner’s Insurance Throwback Toyota Camry-New scheme for 2021, black. A

A smooth look, with a great color scheme will always earn an A.

26-Kyle Larson #5 Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on Kyle’s first car he ever raced. A

It’s faithful, and it’s well done, so I’ll give it an A.

27-Ross Chastain #42 McDonald’s Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on Jimmy Spencer’s 1994 McDonald’s Ford Mustang. A-

The fact that the white square is missing takes away from the scheme as a whole. It isn’t as faithful, and, as such, will get an A-.

28-Ryan Blaney #12 Advance Auto Parts Throwback Ford MustangNew scheme for 2021, based on Blaney’s 2010 PASS Series Chevy Impala. B

29This was a mediocre scheme to begin with, but the dimensions here just look odd. But it is faithful, so I’ll give it a B.

30-Aric Almirola #10 Smithfield Throwback Ford MustangNew scheme for 2021, based on Mark Martin’s 2000 Winn-Dixie Ford Mustang. B

I’m going to knock this one down because I hated the original. I loved the classic black Winn-Dixie scheme, but the flames one is awful. Still, it’s a faithful throwback, so I’ll give it a B.

31-Cody Ware #51 Nurtec ODT Throwback Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2021, based on Darrell Waltrip’s 1990 Superflo Chevy Lumina. B

It’s a good attempt, but the incorrect and rather gaudy colors take away from what could have been an amazing throwback. This gets a B.

32-Daniel Suarez #99 Camping World Throwback Toyota Camry-New scheme for 2021, vintage design to celebrate Camping World’s 55th anniversary. B

This is one that, while it looks good, I don’t get. It’s clearly inspired by 1969-1970’s designs, but if it is there to commemorate Camping World’s 55th anniversary, it should look like it is from 1966. It’s not bad, I just don’t get it, so I’ll give it a B.

33-Ryan Newman #6 Kohler Generators Throwback Ford MustangNew scheme for 2021, base on Kohler’s 1976 SCCA Championship car. B

This is kinda odd looking, especially since I wasn’t able to find an image of the car itself. Still, it isn’t bad, so I’ll give it a B.

Parts and Recreation ReRevisited

By David G. Firestone

You can’t collect racing memorabilia without talking about equipment. The parts and pieces that make the car go, are just as important, and interesting as most other racing memorabilia.

One incarnation that Don Garlitts worked with before he settled on Swamp Rat XIV was Swamp Rat VIII. Swamp Rat VIII was built in 1964. Swamp Rat VIII was designed to use the Dodge 426 Elephant Hemi engine. The 426 was a lot harder to tune than the old 392, so Garlitts did not have a good year, though once he figured it out, it was an impressive car. The 426 Hemi was such a good design, it is still the car used by the NHRA to this day, in Top Fuel and Funny Car. Garlitts cut the car in half, and used the front half to make Swamp Rat X. In 2005, Garlitts rebuilt the car, and in 2006, took it to a few vintage races.  This is a set of spark plugs pulled from that recreated car. The set of 8 plugs comes in a Styrofoam case, which has been autographed by Garlitts. Each plug shows some wear, some more than others. This is a spark plug from Morgan Lucas Racing.In 1970, Johnny Rutherford raced an Eagle chassis with an Offenhauser engine. He didn’t score a win, and had 3 DNS’s. These plugs came from that Offenhauser engine. They have been mounted to a wood display, with a small paper sign. When the race is on, a thousand things can go wrong with the car, especially the engine. One of the most common pieces of equipment to go wrong is with pistons. Top fuel and funny car pistons generate 1,250 horsepower each. If they aren’t aligned right, aren’t lubricated enough, or something is wrong, that can cost the driver a win or even a championship. This example is a piston head used and autographed by Brandon Bernstein. It was only used for one run, but shows some light use, and is in good condition. Now let’s look at an interesting Del Worsham piston from 2002. The story behind this piston is interesting. At the 2002 Checker Schuck’s Kragen Nationals at Firebird International Raceway, Del Worsham beat John Force in the final. Worsham temporarily denied Force his 100th event win. This mangled piston wrecked the engine block during that run. The piston chewed the block and itself up during that final run. Part of the piston arm is still wedged inside the piston, and one side is almost completely gone. Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minnesota isn’t known as a place where records get broken. In 2015, the big highlight for funny car at Brainerd was Del Worsham vs. Matt Hagan in an elimination round. During that run, Hagan ran a blistering 3.879 second elapsed time. This piston head came from Hagan’s car during that historic run. This piston shaft was used and autographed by Bob Vandergriff. Valve springs help the opening and closing of the valves at the speed the engine requires. These are three examples, one from Cruz Pedregon, and two from Paul Lee. On the subject of Paul Lee, these are what are known as manifold burst panels. These are specifically design to burst when the pressure in the manifold gets too high. They are meant to sacrifice themselves to save the engine. I also have this head gasket from Paul Lee. NHRA engines are sealed systems, under a lot of pressure and heat. Expansion of engine parts will occur, and copper head gaskets are used to keep the seal intact. They will expand with the rest of the engine. This is an example Paul Lee’s funny car. It is bent, and shows staining from race wear. This is a head gasket from Morgan Lucas. It shows decent wear. At Route 66 in 2014, I got this ignition coil from Morgan Lucas Racing. Ignition coils are used to turn on cars in general, but this MSD 8142 is designed to fire up these 11,000 horsepower engines, which need a lot of electricity to start and operate. I was fortunate enough to have Tony Schumacher and Ron Capps autograph it in person. I have this timing belt from Bob Tasca’s Motorcraft Funny car, this one used in his first qualifying session at the Ford Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol Tennessee. This run he had a 4.15 second, 306 MPH run. This thing is HUGE, measuring over 64 inches in circumference and 3 inches across. Pistons in an engine need things to function. An example are valves, and valve springs. The valves move in conjunction with the movement of the pistons. One set introduces fuel and air into the engine, and the other set removes exhaust from the engine. These examples are from Bob Tasca’s funny car. This burnt hose cover is a perfect example of why Nomex is the go-to material for driver suits. This Nomex hose cover went through a serious fire, and was burnt. Nomex isn’t fireproof, it’s fire retardant, which means it will burn, but much slower than most fabrics. It will burn, but will protect whatever it is covering from fire damage for a brief time. The easy way to see if the material has been compromised is if the fabric is discolored. Notice the areas of light on the black fabric, that means that area of the fabric has been compromised. This Jimmie Johnson spark plug is part of a display which features other parts, specifically a piece of the track bar, a lifter, a valve spring, and a piece of sheet metal. Part of the plug has been modified to make the plug useless. Interestingly, sometimes oil was sold to collectors, as is evidenced by this display of oil from Kyle Busch’s #18 Toyota Camry when he won the 2009 Shelby 427 at Las Vegas. The package is about 5 inches long by 3 inches wide. Inside the box is the display. It has a small oil drum with a small amount of motor oil. The oil has a thick viscosity, which is needed because of the wear that Cup engines produce during a race. The COA comes in the box, and states that this is #359 of 504. Let’s switch from engines to wheels. I have a brake rotor used by John Andretti in the 1998 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte, which has been signed by Richard Petty. In 2014, at the U.S. Nationals, TJ suffered a major engine explosion. He still has the blower drive seen flying in the video. I wound up getting one of the rear tires from that race. Rear tires from top fuel dragsters are 3 feet tall by 17 inches wide. I’m planning on getting a glass to and making a coffee table at some point. The level of wear on the tires is amazing, with large patches of damage from the explosion. TJ also signed it and personalized it to me! I also got a front tire, which is 22 inches tall, by 3 inches wide. These tire covers are meant to protect the tires from the shade. Why is this important? Well tires are 36 inches tall by 17 inches wide. These races often take place in bright sunlight on hot days. If there was no shades, tire pressures could be very uneven, and as a direct result, the tire wouldn’t race as well, and there could be safety issued. These are designed and marketed by Jeg’s. These are designed for top fuel dragsters. Funny cars have a square piece that covers the wheel on the body. Tires can be purchased whole, but since they can weigh as much as 90 pounds, they are often cut up and the pieces are sold, like sheet metal. This example, used by Kevin Harvick in the 2002 Daytona 500 is an example. it gives a good example of the thickness of the tire. Race-used lug nuts go hand in hand with tires. Lug nuts are used once, and then sold after the race, such as these Tony Stewart examples. Lug nuts are Super glued to the rim, and one of these still has superglue residue on it. Moving away from the wheels, this is a parachute bag used by Frank Pedregon Jr. It’s designed to hold the parachute on the back of the car, and was from the car when Frank hit Scotty Canon. One of the best tools at a drag racer’s disposal is the parachute, and for Scelzi, that was no different. You can’t be the first driver to reach 330 MPH in a funny car without a good parachute to stop the car. Scelzi raced with many different parachutes throughout his career, and this 12′ x 12′ Mopar example from his days with Don Schumacher Racing. It shows heavy use with numerous scuff marks, and holes. One of my big gets was a TJ Zizzo Peak parachute. Zizzo ran two of these chutes on the back of his dragster from 2010 to 2013., and this example is 12 feet by 12 feet. It shows a decent amount of wear, with stains and holes. There is a hole in the center that allows the chute to be deployed, and there is an inventory tag placed here as well. On the cables connecting the chute to the car, there is some extra protection. This is necessary because on top fuel dragsters, the engine is very close to the parachute attachment, and in the event of a fire, the chute will still be able to function. This shows some wear on the silver layer. Pilot chutes are universally used to deploy parachutes. When the cords are pulled, and the chute is released, the pilot chute deploys, which catches air and pulls the primary chute behind it. The chutes are strapped to a bar at the back of the car, and are covered in Nomex to prevent fire damage, then packed into a bag, before the race. This is a carbon fiber dashboard from a Cup car. It is very light, and SFI Certified. When KV Racing Technology folded, they sold off their assets, including this digital fuel pump, which still works. Next week, the 2021 Throwback grades!

A Crew Suit From An Under Appreciated Team

By David G. Firestone

From 1989 to 2017, The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour was a mainstay in the southern territories. NASCAR National Series Drivers such as Jimmy Spencer, Ted Christopher, Corey LaJoie, Ryan Preece, Randy LaJoie, Mike McLaughlin, Steve Park, Mike Stefanik, and Ken Schrader all have raced in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour. Other drivers stayed in the series, until it merged with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in 2017.

One team that was deeply rooted in the Southern Modified Tour was Riggs Racing. As a team, they won more races and championships than any other team in Southern Modified Tour history. One driver who raced for Riggs Racing was Andy Seuss, who would win a championship with Eddie Harvey Racing. From 2008-2009, Seuss raced with Riggs Racing, and was sponsored by Advanced Auto Parts. During that time, a crew member wore this single-layer Leaf firesuit. The suit shows a little use, but is otherwise in great condition.

The collar is a standard version with a LEAF SAFETY EQUIPMENT INC tag sewn on to it.

Inside of the cowl is a small size and wash tag, that has faded with time. Another LEAF SAFETY EQUIPMENT INC. tag is sewn inside the front of the collar.

There is a WHELEN SOUTHER MODIFIED TOUR patch sewn onto the right chest.

The left chest is unadorned.

The front torso features an ADVANCE AUTO PARTS logo embroidered into it.

The suit has a belt, which is unadorned.

The suit has unadorned legs with standard cuffs. The cuffs are somewhat stained.

The shoulders have no adornment.

The right sleeve has a LEAF SAFETY EQUIPMENT INC. tag sewn into the top of the sleeve, and is unadorned at the end.

The left sleeve has a LEAF SAFETY EQUIPMENT INC. tag, and an SFI 3-2A/1 certification sewn into the top of the sleeve, and is unadorned at the end.

The back doesn’t show any real wear, aside from the cuffs.

The back of the neck is unadorned.

The back torso features an ADVANCE AUTO PARTS logo embroidered into it.

The next Friday Feature is going to be a difficult one, as I will explain what the future of The Driver Suit Blog is, and why it is changing.

Paint Scheme Grades-March 3, 2021

By David G. Firestone

Kevin Harvick #4 #BuschDirtCar Ford Mustang-The dirt motif works well here, and I think the car has a unique and cool look. A

Kyle Larson #5 Freightliner Chevy Camaro-Black and silver work well with this template. The car looks great, and earns an A

Ryan Newman #6 Oscar Mayer Cold Cuts Ford Mustang-I like the fade, and the mustard motif works very well. A

Corey LaJoie #7 NASCAR Trucks at Knoxville Chevy Camaro-This would be a solid A, without the sublimated designs, and black on the side. With these aspects, this gets a C.

Ryan Blaney #12 Advance Auto Parts Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same D grade.

James Davison #15 Chevy Camaro-A smooth look, with a great color scheme will always earn an A.

Matt DiBenedetto #21 Menards/Quaker State Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same C grade.

Ryan Preece #37 Bush’s Best/Kroger Chevy Camaro-It’s an ugly, over designed mess. This is awful, I hate it, and it gets an F.

Josh Bilicki #52 Insurance King Ford Mustang-It’s a bold, and unique look, that isn’t over designed. This gets an A.

Joey Gase #53 Donate Life Georgia Chevy Camaro-It’s a decent design scheme ruined by a mediocre color scheme. If this was red, black and yellow, it would work better. This scheme gets a C.

Timmy Hill #66 Supreme Transportation Toyota Camry-A smooth look, with a great color scheme will always earn an A.

Ty Dillon #96 Bass Pro Shops/Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota Camry-There is simply too much going on here for this to be good. It’s ugly, over designed, and just looks horrible. F

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Just Some Random Stuff This Week

By David G. Firestone

We’re going off topic this week…kind of. I’ve been wanting to do a column based on what I call “random items,” or items that don’t fit into any other category. Let’s get started.

Further proof that wine is becoming a standard in auto racing is that Mario Andretti, Richard Childress, and Jeff Gordon, all own wineries or vineyards. Benny Parsons owned one before he passed away. Many other athletes own them as well, including Wayne Gretzky, Valeri Bure, Mike Ditka, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, and Charles Woodson. In addition to his successful iced tea/lemonade drink, Arnold Palmer has his own line of wines. Wine really is mainstream, and is popular in auto racing.

Most tracks will sell event branded pint glasses, but I came across these wine glasses from The 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona. These lead crystal glasses are about nine inches tall, and have the Rolex 24 logo printed on the side with some very nice etchings on the Rolex logo. These are high quality wine glasses. Lead crystal is used on wine glasses because of the strength, clarity, ease of etching, and, interestingly, the tone made during a toast.

The 1973 Schafer 500 was a race in the 1973 USAC Champ Car Series. It was a forgettable race, as evidenced by the fact that unused tickets for the race, especially the time trials are easy to find on eBay. This set of 10 tickets from the time trials, is a set of examples. For their age, they are in good condition.

As regular viewers of my YouTube channel know, I love doing box breaks. I especially love doing 1994 Finish Line Gold box breaks, as that was my favorite set to collect growing up. Sometimes you get autographs, sometimes you get phone cards, some of which are pictured below.

Moving on from the racing stuff. I’m not the biggest basketball fan, but I do watch occasionally. I do also occasionally collect basketball stuff. One example is this Derrick Rose swatch card. The card is in good condition.

At my old job, there was a Tyrus Thomas autograph signing, and I got this Chicago Bulls Starbury issued sneaker.

I occasionally find trading card sheets. One such example is this 1998 Upper Deck Black Diamond sheet.

This crystal trophy was presented to Nick Anderson by the Orlando Sentinel, and Goodings. Anderson was awarded the trophy as the fan favorite in 1997-1998.

That was fun, I should do this more often. Next Friday Feature, a firesuit!