Paint Scheme Grades-June 24, 2017

By David G. Firestone.

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Patriotic Chevy SS-I like the new design, I think the silver works well with it, and the car looks good as a whole. A

Kasey Kahne #5 Great Clips Throwback Chevy SS-The All-Star Racing in yellow and white looks really good, and the design works very well. It’s an A scheme for sure.

Clint Bowyer #14 HAAS CNC Ford Fusion-Reversing colors on a paint scheme is iffy, but this design looks really good, and the reversing worked well. A

Reed Sorenson #15 Corrigan Oil Chevy SS-The red and black stripes are a bold look, the car looks good, and has a great color scheme. I give it an A.

Matt Kenseth #20 Freightliner Toyota Camry-Solid white works well as a background color, and the design is great. Definitely worth an A.

Ryan Blaney #21 OmniCraft Auto Parts Ford Fusion-While the car does look good, the orange looks out of place. The red works much better. Still, it’s a good scheme, and worth an A-.

Ryan Newman #31 Velveeta Shells and Cheese Chevy SS-Going to do some revisionist stuff here. When I first graded this scheme, I blasted it because in the photo that I used, the car looked beige. Between then and now, the yellow was brightened, and the car looks better as a result. This change took the car from a C+ to an A.

Kyle Larson #42 Target/Cars 3 Chevy SS-I like the idea here, but it’s not well executed. The tearing of the Target scheme into a Cars 3 motif looks forced. One or the other would work. It’s not terrible, but it needs work, so I’ll give it a B+.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Mountain Dew Chevy SS-Metallic green is a great color to use on race cars, and the designs work well with the color scheme. It’s a great scheme, and I give it an A.

Paint Scheme Grades-June 17, 2017

By David G. Firestone.

Reed Sorenson#15 Energex.com Toyota Camry-It’s a smooth look with a good color scheme. I give it an A.

Ryan Newman #31 Velveeta Shells and Cheese Chevy SS-It’s never a good sign when the driver suit looks better than the car. That shells and cheese motif could be a lot better, and the yellow used could be brighter. It’s worth a C-.

Landon Cassill #34 CSX Play It Safe Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Chris Buescher#37 Liberty Tax Service Chevy SS-I like the color scheme here, but think that the car is a tad over designed. The subtle Liberty motif doesn’t really work. Still, it’s not horrible, and I give it a B+.

Cody Ware #51 Clemson Chevy SS-The color scheme is good, and the design scheme is good too. It’s an A scheme for sure.

Derrike Cope #55 Star Com Fiber Chevy SS-Green polka dots didn’t work for Dusty Rhodes, and it doesn’t work here. But the scheme as a whole isn’t horrible, and it’s worth a B-.

Erik Jones #77 GameStop/Cars 3 Toyota Camry-The scheme works well, the color looks good, and the design is good too. It gets the A it deserves.

Martin Truex Jr. #78 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry-While I still think the car is over designed, it looks much better with the toned down scheme. I’ll give it a B+, still room for improvement, but it’s much better.

Michael McDowell #95 FDNY Foundation Chevy SS-It’s a smooth look with a good color scheme. I give it an A.

Paint Scheme Grades-June 10, 2017

By David G. Firestone.

Jamie McMurray #1 McDonald’s Signature Crafted Recipes Chevy SS-New scheme for 2017, same as McDonald’s, but with Signature Crafted Recipes on hood. A

Ross Chastain #15 Protect Your Mellon Chevy SS-The shade of red is good, and I like the stripe design on the sides. A

Kyle Busch #18 Pedigree Toyota Camry-Same scheme as 2016, same A grade.

Matt Kenseth #20 Toyota Care Toyota Camry-Same scheme as Toytoa, same F grade.

Gray Gaulding #23 Addiction Campuses Toyota Camry-The sunburst logo could work, as could the fade, but they don’t work well together. I like the basic idea, but the design as a whole is a mess. I’ll give it a D+.

Jeffery Earnhardt #33 Hulu Chevy SS-I like the shade of green used here, and the design looks good. I give it an A.

Chris Buescher #37 Maxwell House Max Chevy SS-Bold look, isn’t over designed, and has a great color scheme…it’s worth an A.

Cody Ware #51 ECU Pirates Chevy SS-The color scheme is good, and I like the stripe designs on the side. I also love the pirate logo on the hood. I’ll give it an A.

Timmy Hill #66 Waltrip Brothers Charity Championship Chevy SS-Same scheme as Poker Palace, same D- grade.

Cole Whitt #72 Chevy SS-Looks good, nothing to complain about. A

Paint Scheme Grades-June 3, 2017

By David G. Firestone.

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Patriotic Chevy SS-Wood grain is a really great pattern, and the American flag motif works very well. This is a good looking car. A

Kasey Kahne #5 Liftmaster Chevy SS-While I like metallic silver, the white works very well here, and the car looks good as a whole. A

Trevor Bayne #6 Ford Eco-Boost Ford Fusion-Another instance of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, the new Ford Eco-Boost patriotic design scheme is no improvement over the old one. I give it the same B+ grade the old scheme got.

JJ Yeley #7 Accell Construction Patriotic Chevy SS-The simple American flag motif works very well, and it’s not overdone. It looks good, and earns an A.

Reed Sorenson #15 Internetwork Engineering Chevy SS-A smooth look with a great color scheme will earn an A every single time.

Reed Sorenson #15 Low T Center Chevy SS-Same scheme as #55, same F grade.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Patriotic Ford Fusion-I like the reversed scheme, with the side pattern reversed, but I miss the red. I think this would be a solid A, but without the red, it’s just an A-.

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Patriotic Toyota Camry-Same scheme as 2016, same A grade.

Ryan Blaney #21 Motorcraft Throwback Ford Fusion-This is a good throwback, it’s a more unique look than Ryan normally runs. The car looks good, and earns an A.

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion-The orange and white color scheme works very well with the Penske template. This is a good look, and I can’t say anything bad about this scheme. A

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Knauf Chevy SS-This shade of blue just doesn’t work with the Menard’s template. It’s not awful, but it doesn’t work. I don’t like the color combination. I think the blue is too bright. It’s still not a bad scheme, and worth a B-.

Landon Cassill #34 CSX Patriotic Chevy SS-The design scheme works surprisingly well with the color combination, and the result is a great looking car that earns an A.

David Ragan #38 Shriner’s Hospital Ford Fusion-The white with red and gray design on the sides is a good look, and the car looks really good, and earns an A.

David Ragan #38 Jacob Companies Ford Fusion-Jacob companies decided to take a good look, and redesign it into an over designed mess. It’s an awful look, and not even a good color scheme can save it from an F.

AJ Allmendinger #47 Harris Teeter/Express Lane/Heinz Chevy SS-The design scheme works well, and the green and red color scheme is a great look. It’s worth an A.

Timmy Hill #51 Charlie’s Soap Chevy SS-A smooth look with a great color scheme will earn an A every single time.

Derrike Cope #55 Twin Peaks Toyota Camry-A smooth look with a great color scheme will earn an A every single time.

Corey LaJoie #83 Hope For Warriors Toyota Camry-Compared to the disaster that was last year’s design, this is much better. Don’t misunderstand me, there is a lot of room for improvement, but this new scheme goes from an F to a C.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.#88 Axalta/Maaco Chevy SS-Same scheme as Axalta, same F grade.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide Patriotic Chevy SS-The white with a minimalist patriotic scheme works very well, and has a great look. I love this scheme, and it earns an A

Michael McDowell #95 WRL Contractors Camouflage Chevy SS-The drywall scheme worked well. The camouflage scheme…not so much. The over use of camouflage is awful, and the car has a horrible look. I’ll give it an F.

Paint Scheme Grades-May 27,2017

By David G. Firestone.

Jamie McMurray #1 McDonald’s $1 Any Size Soft Drink Chevy SS-Same basic scheme as McDonald’s, same A grade.

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Patriotic Ford Fusion-The scaled down look is good, the flag motif works very well. It’s a good looking car that isn’t over done, and I give it an A.

Kasey Kahne #5 Mountain Dew Chevy SS-White, yellow, and green looks good, and the design is bold, but not over done. It’s a good looking car.A

Ty Dillon #13 Geico Military Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same F grade.

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Caramel Toyota Camry-The hood is a tad overdone, but it’s not that bad, and the side design looks good. Orange and blue can be a difficult color scheme, but the shades used work very well. I’m going to give this scheme an A.

Matt Kenseth #20 DeWalt/Wounded Warrior Project Toyota Camry-While I normally hate camouflage, this scheme actually makes it work. The subtle yellow camouflage works well, and the rest of the scheme is good too. A

Gray Gaulding #23 Bubba Burger Toyota CamryThe new design can be described as “rearanging deck chairs on the Titanic.” While some effort was spent on the design, it didn’t improve at all. It’s still an F grade.

Chase Elliot #24 Mountain Dew Chevy SSIt’s the same scheme as the #24, but with black as the primary color instead of white. It’s still a good scheme, and it earns an A

Ryan Newman #31 CAT/Granger Chevy SS-This is a smooth scheme, with a great color scheme, and a great look, which will always earn an A.

Matt DiBenedetto #32 Reddit Ford Fusion-This scheme has a great color scheme, but the team felt the need to compensate for this by using a horrid design scheme, that is nothing but an over designed mess. It’s a horrible look, and not even a good color scheme can save it from an F.

Landon Cassill #34 MDS/#checkitforandretti Ford Fusion-Same basic scheme as MDS, same A grade.

Chris Buescher #37 Cars 3/Kleenex Chevy SS-I get what they were going for here, but Lightning McQueen’s design on a real car does not look really good. It has a good color scheme though, and I’ll give it a C

David Ragan #38 Dockside Logistics Ford Fusion-Same basic scheme as 2015 Dockside Logistics, same A grade.

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Patriotic Chevy SS-The toned down look is a good one here, and it’s worth noting that this is the best Jimmie has looked all year. I’ll give it an A.

Derrike Cope #55 Ckezepis Law Toyota Camry-Simple, smooth, and a great color scheme…what else do you need for an A grade?

Paint Scheme Grades-May 20, 2017

By David G. Firestone.

Brad Keselowski #2 Elite Support/Freightliner Ford Fusion-The Penske template works well with this color scheme, it has a good look, and I give it an A

Trevor Bayne #6 Roush Performance Ford Fusion-Same scheme as 2016 #16, same A grade.

Reed Sorenson #15 Harrah’s Casino Chevy SS-It’s a smooth look, with a good color scheme, and with the silver accents removed, it still looks good. I give it an A.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Little Hug Drinks Ford Fusion-It’s an over designed mess, with a bad color scheme. It reminds me of the old Dale Earnhardt Peter Max scheme from 2000, and that is not a comparrosn I should make. It gets an F, and I’m being generous!

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s/Red Nose Day Toyota Camry-Same scheme as last year,same A grade.

Matt DiBenedetto #32 Incredible Bank Ford Fusion-When used separately, green and a checkered flag motif can work well, when combined, you have this ugly mess of a scheme. It’s not attractive, and it isn’t a good look. F

Landon Cassill #34 A&W Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

David Ragan #38 Overton’s Ford Fusion-The darker blue with a cloud motif works very well, and the car isn’t overdone. I don’t know why I like sky motifs on race cars, but I do. I give it an A.

AJ Allmendnger #47 Dillon’s Chevy SS-Same scheme as Kroger’s, same A grade.

Timmy Hill #51 Lilly Trucking Chevy SS-A white car with white door numbers can be an iffy prospect, but this scheme pulls it off well. The stripe design on the sides needs some work, but it isn’t horrible. All things considered, this scheme gets a B+.

Carl Long #66 Poker Palace Chevy SS-Carl just can’t catch a break. For the first time since 2009, Carl is running in the Cup series, and NASCAR tells him he can’t run his hood sponsor due to it being Marijuana related. Even if the logo was present, it’s still and ugly design, with a bad shade of green, and a otherwise awful color scheme. Still, I’ll give him some pity, and give him a D-.

Cole Whitt #72 Bad Boy Mowers Chevy SS-The black works, the orange doesn’t and the cutting edge design is meh at best. All thing totalled, I give this a C-.

Michael McDowell #95 Tommy Williams Drywall Chevy SS-The drywall motif works very well, with a great color scheme to boot. It’s an all around attractive car. I give it an A.

Paint Scheme Grades-May 13, 2017

By David G. Firestone

Brad Keselowski #2 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Ford Fusion-The Penske template can be very temperamental when it comes to color schemes, this is not a good color scheme. The yellowish-green just doesn’t work, and the whole car just looks bad. The black is the only thing that is good, which gives this scheme a D.

Austin Dillon #3 Intellifresh Chevy SS-Same scheme as Dow Energy and Water, same C grade.

Joey Gase #15 Sparks Energy Toyota Camry-The paint splatter is a bold look, and the color scheme works well. It has a good look, and earns an A

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fifth-Third Back Ford Fusion-I like the color scheme here, but I think the design scheme is a little over done. It’s not too bad. I also think the lighter blue could be a little lighter. All in all, it’s a B- scheme.

Kyle Busch #18 Skittles Patriotic Toyota Camry-I like the Skittles motif, and the patriotic motif works well here too. It’s not too over done, and I like the look. I give it an A.

Chris Buescher #37 Velveeta Chevy SS-Yellow can be a finicky color as a primary, but this is a good shade of yellow, and the car design is good. All in all, it’s an A grade.

Chris Buescher #37 Kingsford Chevy SS-Same scheme as 2015 #47, same A grade.

David Ragan #38 Ford Fusion-I like the gold numbers on white, and the smooth look and good color scheme earn an A.

Kyle Larson #42 Coca Cola Chevy SS-The frosty can motif works very well, and the overall car has a great look. I give it an A.

AJ Allmendinger #47 Kroger Checklist/Coffee Mate/Nature Valley Chevy SS-Same scheme as Kroger, same A grade.

Reed Sorenson #55 Xchange of America Chevy SS-Same scheme as #15,, same A grade.

Brendan Gaughan #75 Beard Oil Chevy SS-Same scheme as Beard Oil, but with logos on the sides, same A grade.

Erik Jones #77 Toyota Care Toyota Camry-I hate this look! The 5-Hour Energy with Toyota logos was bad, but this over designed mess of a car has too many stripes, and too many curves. It’s not a good look, and I’m giving it the F it deserves.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide Childrens Chevy SS-The white looks good, and I really like the use of multi-colored stripes and butterflies. This look works very well. It’s good, and not over designed. A

Michael McDowell #95 Winn Dixie Chevy SS-It has a smooth look, and a great color scheme. I like the stripes in the back. I’m going to give this an A.

DJ Kennington #96 Triad CNC Chevy SS-I like the stripes, and the subtle triangle logos as well. I do think it is a bit over designed though, and the scheme could be a little more subtle. I’ll give it a B+, all things considered.

Paint Scheme Grades-May 6, 2017

By David G. Firestone

Jamie McMurray #1 Bass Pro Shops/National Wild Turkey Federation Chevy SS-Camoflague doesn’t work on a race car, and the black and orange motif doesn’t work well here either. It’s just not a good scheme. F

Kasey Kahne #5 Drive To End Hunger Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Danica Patrick #10 Mobil 1 Chevy SS-Same scheme as #41, same A grade.

Danica Patrick #10 Code 3 Associates Chevy SS-Blue, silver, and white can work very well, and the smooth design and great look give this car an A grade

Danica Patrick #10 Wonder Woman Chevy SS-I loves me a good fade, and red to white is a good fade. The Wonder Woman motif looks good too, and this is an A scheme all around.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fifth-Third Bank Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Rockstar Chevy SS-Black works very well with any Menard’s template, especially this one. Nothing wrong with this one! A

Ryan Newman #31 Okuma Chevy SS-Same scheme as #3, same A grade.

Matt DiBenedetto #32 EJ Wade Ford Fusion-Another good fade this week! The white to black fade is a good look, and this is very well executed. A

Jeffery Earnhardt #33 Towne Bank Chevy SS-Same scheme as Starter, same A grade.

Landon Cassill #34 The Pete Store Ford Fusion-Same scheme as 2016#38, same A grade.

Landon Cassill #34 CSX Play It Safe Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Landon Cassill #34 Loves/Winstar Ford Fusion-Same scheme as Love’s Truck Stops, same A grade.

Timmy Hill #51 SleepFresh Chevy SS-Sometimes changing the primary color of a paint scheme can backfire, just not here. This is a good look, and the black works very well with the rest of the scheme. A

Cole Whitt #72 Chevy SS-The plain black works well with the numbers, and this is the best that the #72 has ever looked. A

Erik Jones #77 Gamestop Toyota Camry-The black motif with the blue circle works very well, it’s a bold look that isn’t overdone. I like this scheme a lot. A

Corey LaJoie #83 EJ Wade Toyota Camry-It’s amazing what a small change can do. Replacing the cutting edge design from last year, with the stripe design takes the paint scheme up to an A. This is a nice looking scheme.

Paint Scheme Grades-April 22, 2017

By David G. Firestone

Jamie McMurray #1 Sherwin Williams/3M Pro Chevy SS-While it has the same basic design as last year’s Sherwin Williams Emerald, but I don’t like the addition of the diamond plate. It takes a C design to a C-

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Genuine Draft Ford Fusion-Our first Bristol throwback is one of my favortes, the Rusty Wallace Miller Genuine Draft design. It worked well a few years ago, it stil works well. I give it an A.

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Energy and Water Chevy SS-The blue water motif works well, the black outline…not so much. Get rid of the black outline, and just have the water motif. It’s not a terrible scheme, and it deserves a C.

JJ Yeley #7 Accell Construction Chevy SS-Same scheme as 2015, but with a black hood, and the black hood is an upgrade, and takes the scheme from a C- to a C.

Reed Sorenson #15 Xchange of America Chevy SS-It’s a smooth look, with a great color scheme. It earns an A.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Ford EcoBoost Ford Fusion-While I like the fact the design has been toned down, it’s still over designed, just less over designed. Good color scheme, but that can’t save this scheme from earning a D-.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.#17 Go Bowling Ford Fusion-Definitly a downgrade, from red, white, and blue to black, red and white. The design scheme could be better if it were a bowling lane motif. Still, it’s not terrible, and I give this a B-.

Matt Kenseth #20 Toyota Toyota Camry-The color scheme could work it it was either gray or white, but the combination just doesn’t work. Add a design that doesn’t work well with the color scheme, and you have an F scheme.

Chase Elliott #24 Little Ceasers/Mountain Dew Chevy SS-The orange scheme works well, I like the fact that the door number matches the orange. Add in a good design scheme, and you have an A scheme.

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Dutch Boy Chevy SS-This might be one of the only templates that works with every color. The blue works well with the template. I also like that the chipped paint motif is gone. A

Chris Buescher #37 Scott Products/Kingsford Chevy SS-Same scheme as Cottonelle, same A grade.

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s/Hitachi Chevy-Same scheme as Lowe’s, same F grade.

Timmy Hill #51 Fenton Motors Chevy SS-Same scheme as Bubba Burgers, same A grade.

Derrike Cope #55 Low T Center Toyota Camry-Black, red, and green, with black as the primary color is an iffy choice, and the polka dot motif doesn’t work well here. It’s just not a good scheme. F

Cole Whitt #72 RTIC Coolers Chevy SS-I like the lighter blue, and the carbon fiber hood works very well too. Even the #72 works well with this scheme. I give it an A.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Axalta/Philadelphia Eagles Chevy SS-The color scheme isn’t great, the black doesn’t work. The design is unoriginal, and doesn’t work with the color scheme, but it’s not horrible. I will give it a C-.

Paint Scheme Grades-April 8, 2017

By David G. Firestone

Austin Dillon #3 Okuma Chevy SS-It’s the same basic scheme as AAA, but the color change doesn’t do anything to improve or detract from the D+ grade, so it stays a D+.

Joey Logano #22 Duralast Brakes Ford Fusion-I like this design, the black checkered pattern works very well.  The yellow is understated, and works well, and the modified Penske template works very well.  It’s a solid A scheme.

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Duracell Chevy SS-Black and gold works well for the new Menard’s template.  This scheme works well too.  It’s worth an A.

Ryan Newman #31 Kalahari Resorts Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same C- grade.

Ryan Newman #31 Chevrolet Chevy SS-Metallic gold is an underused color on race cars, and the smooth look and great color scheme create an A scheme.

Landon Cassill #34 FR8 Auctions Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same D+ grade.

Timmy Hill #51 Go Parts Chevy SS-Same basic scheme as the black Spoonful, same A grade.

Cole Whitt #72 Bad Boy Mowers Chevy SS-Bad number design, bad design scheme, decent design scheme.  All in all, it’s worth an F.

Corey LaJoie #83 RMC Events Toyota Camry-The blue is a little light for my tastes, but the color as a whole scheme isn’t terrible, and the designs scheme is decent.  So I’ll give it a B+.