Paint Scheme Leaderboard-Week 4, The Grand Finale

By David G. Firestone

The Paint Scheme Ranking Executive Committee meetings have been long, but not too contentious, I can’t stay mad at Alejandro when he shows me his belly, so now we present all 55 NASCAR Sprint Cup teams ranked from first to last on how their paint schemes looked. NR has a different meaning this week. NR now specifically referrs to teams that didn’t exist in 2013. Teams that ran different manufacturers in 2013 will be ranked when it came to last year. So, without further ado,

1-Wood Brothers #21 Rank Last Year:1st of 50 -The Wood Brothers always design great cars, and the Quick Lane scheme uses the blue very well. It all looks good!

2-Hendrick Motorsports #48 Rank Last Year:2nd of 50-Classic, smooth looks with no needless clutter. Jimmie always runs great schemes

3-Michael Waltrip Racing #55 Rank Last Year:3rd of 50-The color schemes are good, and the design schemes work very well.

4-Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Rank Last Year:5th of 50-The zebra stripe Interstate Battery scheme wrecks a perfect score for Kyle this year

5-Stewart Haas Racing #4 Rank Last Year:NR-With the exception of Hunt Brothers Pizza, which uses an awful shade of green, Kevin has consistently run a series of great schemes.

6-Team Penske #2 Rank Last Year:18th of 50-The Wurth and Redd’s Apple Ale schemes are a bit over designed, but the white Miller Lite schemes, Alliance Truck Parts, and Detroit Genuine Parts schemes make up for it.

7-Richard Childress Racing #31 Rank Last Year:35th of 50-A lot of great schemes this year, but Wix is overdone, and the Cat/Quicken Loans hybrid looks awful

8-BK Racing #23 Rank Last Year:NR-The Dip Your Car scheme is awful, but the rest of the schemes are very good, and are very attractive.

9-Stewart Haas Racing #41 Rank Last Year: NR-The Slate scheme does not work, but all the other schemes work very well.

10-Roush Fenway Racing #6 Rank Last Year:NR-This would be ranked higher, as it has a somewhat vintage look, but the candy cane on the nose looks odd. It’s still a good scheme.

11-Richard Petty Motorsports #43 Rank Last Year:6th of 50-The Ekcrich camouflage scheme doesn’t work, camouflage schemes rarely do. The Charter green is horrible, but the rest of the schemes look really good.

12-Chip Ganassi Racing #1 Rank Last Year:24th of 50-A pink-washing scheme and a terrible shade of green on the WEMO scheme cost this team the 2nd place spot,knocking them down to 5th. They have run a lot of great schemes this season

13-Levine Family Racing #95 Rank Last Year:45th of 50-The TWD schemes look medicore, but could be worse. The template Levine Family Racing switched too this year looks great and the cars look very good too.

14-Furniture Row Racing #78 Rank Last Year:4th of 50-The World Vision scheme needs work, as the color does not support a fade, but the Furniture Row, and Colorado Freedom Memorial work very well.

15-BK Racing #26 Rank Last Year:50th of 50-Bully Hill Vinyards is an over-designed joke with an awful color scheme. The yellow numbers on the Burger King scheme are awful, but the rest of the schemes are good, and defendable.

16-RAB Racing #29 Rank Last Year:NR-Good color scheme, mediocre design scheme.

17-Hendrick Motorsports #88 Rank Last Year:22nd of 50-National Guard, Mountain Dew, Kickstart, and Superman look good, and work well with the new number design, but Michael Baker, Kelly Blue Book, and Nationwide don’t at all.

18-Chip Ganassi Racing #42 Rank Last Year:11th of 50-While Cottonelle, the Silver Scheme, and Energizer work very well, but the rest of their schemes are mediocre at best. The white on the back doesn’t work.

19-Beard Oil Racing #75 Rank Last Year:NR-If the sides had a sponsor, and the stripe at the bottom was eliminated, it would work a lot better.

20-Front Row Motorsports #34 Rank Last Year:28th of 50-The majority of the schemes look great, but the upside down lettering on the hood of the CSX scheme looks odd. The Wendell Scott scheme is amazing!

21-JTG Daugherty Racing #47 Rank Last Year:15th of 50-While Bush’s, Clorox, Scott’s, Sullivan/Palatek, Kingsford, and Bush’s Grilling Beans work well,Kroger/USO is overdone, Charter Communications uses a horrid shade of green, and Hungry Jack just looks terrible.

22-Hendrick Motorsports #24 Rank Last Year: 36th of 50-Drive to end Hunger is too overdone, and the upside down D on the hood looks terrible. Their orange scheme is even worse. Panasonic is mediocre at best. Pepsi looks good, and all of the Axalta schemes are really good.

23-Humphery Racing #77 Rank Last Year:NR-Plinker Arms doesn’t look great but it could be worse. That applies to Essex Homes as well. The rest of the schemes look good.

24-Joe Gibbs Racing #11 Rank Last Year:31st of 50-The Autisim Speaks scheme works well. The zipper scheme is decent, but odd. Sport Clips is over-designed, but with a good color scheme. The FedEx schemes have decent color schemes, but are over-designed on the front.

25-BK Racing #83 Rank Last Year:7th of 50-Voo Doo Barbecue is an over-designed mess. Dip your car is terrible, as is Zak. Burger King and Borla work well though.

26-Team Penske #12 Rank Last Year:9th of 50-The SKF scheme works very well. The Penske Truck Rental scheme uses a horrible shade of orange, and just looks hideous.

27-Hillman Racing #40 Rank Last Year: NR-When the car doesn’t have a scheme, it looks very good. When it has a sponsor it looks awful.

28-Front Row Motorsports #35 Rank Last Year:27th of 50-The Hefty scheme is a little unorthodox, silver and orange isn’t a great combo, but the design looks good. MDS looks good

29-HScott Motorsports #52 Rank Last Year: NR-The black scheme is good, but the orange Florida Lottery scheme is a trainwreck. Less is more on a paint scheme.

30-HScott Motorsports #51 Rank Last Year:13th of 50-If the car is running a Brandt scheme it looks good, anything else looks terrible.

31-Phil Parsons Racing #98 Rank Last Year: 44th of 50-While I like the Dogecoin,Trench Shoring,iRacing, black Curb Records, and unsponsored black schemes, anything else looks horrendous.

32-Front Row Motorsports #38 Rank Last Year:26th of 50-Most of the schemes are good, but the Love’s Truck Stops, and Love’s Truck Stops Camo schemes are horrific.

33-Joe Gibbs Racing #20 Rank Last Year:23rd of 50-Can all be summed up with medicore color schemes and mediocre design schemes

34-Swan Racing #30 Rank Last Year:50th of 50-The only time the car looked good was when it was unsponsored, but compared to last year’s design it looks amazing!

35-Roush Fenway Racing #17 Rank Last Year:16th of 50-Eco-Power has awful shades of green. Pit for a pair is awful even for a pink-washing scheme. Zest has a good color scheme, but awful design scheme,as does Fifth-Third Bank. Their all-star scheme was terrible. Ford Eco-Boost, NOS, and Nationwide work very well.

36-Richard Childress Racing #27 Rank Last Year: 20th of 50-Neon yellow looks terrible, when they use the stripes on the sides it looks even worse. The Pittsburgh Paints scheme looks really good though.

37-BK Racing #93 Rank Last Year:8th of 50-The Support Millitary scheme is the worst, and although Burger King, Dr. Pepper, and Iowa City Chop House do make up for it, it just isn’t enough.

38-CircleSport/Richard Childress Racing #33 Rank Last Year: 47th of 50-

39-Tommy Baldwin Racing #37 Rank Last Year: NR-Accell Construction has a great color scheme, but the design scheme ruins it.

40-Tommy Baldwin Racing #36 Rank Last Year:29th of 50-Another example of a team where when the car is unsponsored, it looks better.

41-Richard Petty Motorsports #9 Rank Last Year:12th of 50-Can all be summed up with Great color schemes but mediocre design schemes. The camo scheme looks bad, but the upside is that the camo is subtle.

42-Team Penske #22 Rank Last Year:41st of 50-The Shell/Pennzoil scheme has a decent color scheme but a bad design scheme. Anything Pennzoil Platnum is awful, as is Auto Trader. The Auto Club scheme has a great color scheme but a bad design scheme.

43-Identity Ventures Racing #87 Rank Last Year:NR-300 is a mess, and Morris,Hardick and Schinder/SmartBen looks too dull.

44-Michael Waltrip Racing #15 Rank Last Year:38th of 50-The Peak scheme is defendable, the color scheme is good, but the rest of the schemes are just awful.

45-Roush Fenway Racing #99 Rank Last Year:34th of 50-Fastenal looks good, but anything else looks terrible.

46-Go FAS Racing #32 Rank Last Year:25th of 50-The Terry Labonte throwback scheme was amazing, but most of their other schemes are over-designed messes.

47-Stewart Haas Racing #14 Rank Last Year:21st of 50-The over designing of the Bass Pro Shops schemes, as well as the use of orange and camo just look horrible. Mobil 1, Rush Truck Centers, and Code 3 look decent, but to some extent have issues. Mobil 1 is over designed, Rush uses too dark a yellow, Code 3 uses too bright a yellow.

48-Tommy Baldwin Racing #7 Rank Last Year:43rd of 50-Allstate Peterbuilt, and Pilot-St Jude Children’s Network work well, as both have good color schemes and design schemes. Anything else just looks awful.

49-Richard Childress Racing #3 Rank Last Year:NR-Cheerios is very good, and has a classic look. Dow schemes have a great color scheme, but have mediocre design. Anything else looks terrible on this car.

50-Germain Racing #13 Rank Last Year:40th of 50-The blue is too bright, as is the yellow. The car is overdesigned, and the whole car looks like a mess. The camo scheme is much worse.

51-Hendrick Motorsports #5 Rank Last Year:46th of 50-The only half decent scheme is Pepsi. Everything else is an over designed mess.

52-Stewart Haas Racing #10 Rank Last Year:37th of 50-The only scheme that doesn’t make my eyes hurt here is Aspen Dental. Terrible shades of orange and green, with ugly design. The pink-washing scheme is terrible.

53-Xxxtreme Motorsports #44 Rank Last Year: 49th of 50-Every single one of their cars is an ugly, over-designed mess that doesn’t look good at all.

54-Roush Fenway Racing #16 Rank Last Year:19th of 50-Every scheme is terrible.

55-Michael Waltrip Racing #66 Rank Last Year:NR-Nothing about any of these schemes is good.

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Paint Scheme Leaderboard-Week #2-Ford

Ford

By David G. Firestone

Last Week, Chevy teams were ranked. This week, the Paint Scheme Ranking Executive Committee, made up of myself, and Alejandro my black cat have determined how Ford’s teams will be ranked. Alejandro was slightly more useful this week, keeping my leg warm while he slept. As with last week, teams that did not exist or did not run Fords last year will be marked with NR for Not Ranked.

1-Wood Brothers #21 Rank Last Year:1st of 17-The Wood Brothers always design great cars, and the Quick Lane scheme uses the blue very well. It all looks good!

2-Team Penske #2 Rank Last Year:6th of 17-The Wurth and Redd’s Apple Ale schemes are a bit over designed, but the white Miller Lite schemes, Alliance Truck Parts, and Detroit Genuine Parts schemes make up for it.

3-Roush Fenway Racing #6 Rank Last Year:NR-This would be ranked higher, as it has a somewhat vintage look, but the candy cane on the nose looks odd. It’s still a good scheme.

4-Richard Petty Motorsports #43 Rank Last Year:2nd of 17-The Ekcrich camouflage scheme doesn’t work, camouflage schemes rarely do. The Charter green is horrible, but the rest of the schemes look really good.

5-Levine Family Racing #95 Rank Last Year:16th of 17-The TWD schemes look medicore, but could be worse. The template Levine Family Racing switched too this year looks great and the cars look very good too.

6-Front Row Motorsports #34 Rank Last Year:11th of 17-The majority of the schemes look great, but the upside down lettering on the hood of the CSX scheme looks odd. The Wendell Scott scheme is amazing!

7-Humphery Racing #77 Rank Last Year:NR-Plinker Arms doesn’t look great but it could be worse. That applies to Essex Homes as well. The rest of the schemes look good.

8-Front Row Motorsports #35 Rank Last Year:10th of 17-The Hefty scheme is a little unorthodox, silver and orange isn’t a great combo, but the design looks good. MDS looks good.

9-Team Penske #12 Rank Last Year:3rd of 17-The SKF scheme works very well. The Penske Truck Rental scheme uses a horrible shade of orange, and just looks hideous.

10-Phil Parsons Racing #98 Rank Last Year: 15th of 17-While I like the Dogecoin,Trench Shoring,iRacing, black Curb Records, and unsponsored black schemes, anything else looks horrendous.

11-Front Row Motorsports #38 Rank Last Year:9th of 17-Most of the schemes are good, but the Love’s Truck Stops, and Love’s Truck Stops Camo schemes are horrific.

12-Roush Fenway Racing #17 Rank Last Year:5th of 17-Eco-Power has awful shades of green. Pit for a pair is awful even for a pink-washing scheme. Zest has a good color scheme, but awful design scheme,as does Fifth-Third Bank. Their all-star scheme was terrible. Ford Eco-Boost, NOS, and Nationwide work very well.

13-Richard Petty Motorsports #9 Rank Last Year:4th of 17-Can all be summed up with Great color schemes but mediocre design schemes. The camo scheme looks bad, but the upside is that the camo is subtle.

14-Team Penske #22 Rank Last Year:14th of 17-The Shell/Pennzoil scheme has a decent color scheme but a bad design scheme. Anything Pennzoil Platnum is awful, as is Auto Trader. The Auto Club scheme has a great color scheme but a bad design scheme.

15-Roush Fenway Racing #99 Rank Last Year:12th of 17-Fastenal looks good, but anything else looks terrible.

16-Go FAS Racing #32 Rank Last Year:8th of 17-The Terry Labonte throwback scheme was amazing, but most of their other schemes are over-designed messes.

17-Roush Fenway Racing #16 Rank Last Year:7th of 17-Every scheme is terrible.

Ford is in the rearview mirror, but next week we move on to Toyota!

Why I Hate Politics and Paint Scheme Update

By David G. Firestone

I have a lot of paint schemes to discuss and we will get to that shortly. I wanted to discuss something that took place before the Coke Zero 400 last week. It is a bit murky, but here is what took place.

Charlie Crist is a former governor of Florida, and a former Republican. After a brief hiatus from politics, he has annoucned his intentions to run for the Governor of Florida as a democrat. He had plans to run the #98 Phil Parsons Racing Ford driven by Josh Wise. After this was announced however, the Republican Party of Florida filed a lawsuit stating that it was a campaign contribution worth more than $3,000. Remember, this was the same team that was crowd funded by Reddit and Dogecoin at Talladega, and that sponsorship cost about $55,000. It was later reported that the Charlie Crist decals had been removed from the car. Phil Parsons Racing stated the deal was in response to a series of negative ads toward Crist, and that the Crist decals were part of a deal with recording artist Lee Brice. They also stated that they didn’t pull the sponsorship due to the lawsuit, and that the $25,000 sponsorship would be returned.

I frankly don’t buy any of that for a second. I think that it was because of the lawsuit, and that Phil Parsons Racing did not want to get thrown under the bus because of it. They tried to handle it as diplomatic as possible, but it still sounds sketchy. The other reason I have a huge problem with this is because the simple fact that politics and racing don’t mix. Look at what’s happened with F1 and IndyCar. Politics are a constant issue in the sport, and I for one am tired of it. Look at the Ayrton Senna/Alan Prost battle in the 1990’s! Look at The Split! Politics ruins racing!

This is not the first time a politician with deep pockets has sponsored a race car, but I hope that this is the last time. I’m not against politics, I’m against forcing it into something it has no place being in! If tobacco, cel phone carriers, and hard liqour have or had been banned from sponsoring cars, then so should politicians.

Ok enough serious stuff, on to…

PAINT SCHEME REVIEWS!

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna/Hawker Chevy SS Nothing bad to say here…A+

Jamie McMurray #1 Lexar Chevy SS Great Color Scheme, great design, A+

Austin Dillon #3 Great Stuff Chevy SS Color scheme is good, the design looks very odd. The gold numbers and chain design does not suit the car at all, and if they were left off, I would give it an A, but this scheme earns a B-

Austin Dillon #3 NRA Museum Chevy SS Good color scheme, decent design, B+

Austin Dillon #3 Cheerios Protien Chevy SS Much too overdeisgned, decent color scheme, C-

Kasey Kahne #5 Team Stream Chevy SS Good color scheme, but Kasey loves to drive overdesigned cars, and this is no exception. I’m giving it a C which is a very fair grade here.

Kasey Kahne #5 Farmers Chevy SS Good color scheme, decent design, B+

Marcos Ambrose #9 Black and Decker Ford Fusion Good color scheme, Good design, A

Danica Patrick #10 GoDaddy/Florida Lottery Chevy SS It looks like two people designed this car, and they didn’t talk to each other while designing it. Both sets of color schemes are awful, and both design schemes are awful. F-

Greg Biffle #16 3M/DAV Ford Fusion Green usually doesn’t look good, camo never looks good, so this scheme earns an F

Greg Biffle #16 3M Aerospace Ford Fusion See Above F

Greg Biffle #16 NESN 30th Anniversary Ford Fusion A bit less overdesigned, at least by Greg Biffle’s standards, and I do like the Red Sox and Bruins logos as well, so I will give it a C

Greg Biffle #16 3M Ford Fusion Good color scheme, decent design, B+. Nice change for Greg Biffle.

Kyle Busch #18 Interstate Battery Center Toyota Camry No. Redeeming. Features. Whatsoever. F-

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Cargil Ford Fusion Much MUCH TOO OVER DESIGNED! F

Jeff Gordon Panasonic Toughbook Chevy SS Blue and white work very well, and while it is a bit over designed, it works, and I’ll give it an A

Jeff Gordon #24 Pepsi Chevy SS Great color scheme, great design scheme, A+

Cole Whitt #26 Rinnai Toyota Camry The color scheme is good, and the design is great, so it gets an A+

Cole Whitt #26 Tapout Muscle Recovery Toyota Camry Simple design, great color scheme, A+

Boris Said #32 7-Eleven Ford Fusion I normally hate green on race cars, but this works well. I like the design scheme too, and I give it an A

Bobby Labonte #33 Thunder Coal Chevy SS Great simple design and a great color scheme, A+

Alex Kennedy #33 MediaCast Chevy SS The color scheme is awful, and the design is worse. F

Reed Sorenson #36 Theme Park Connection Chevy SS Ugly design, good color scheme, C-

David Gilliland #38 Long John Silvers Free Fish and Fries Ford Fusion Great design, great color scheme, great look, A+

David Gilliland #38 Love’s Truck Stops Ford Fusions CAMO DOES NOT WORK ON RACE CARS! F

Landon Cassill #40 Snap Fitness Chevy SS So So design, good color scheme C+

Kyle Larson #42 Target Chevy SS Whadaya Know? An A+ Patriotic scheme!

Aric Almirola #43 Waffle House/Smithfield Ford Fusion The understated patriotic design scheme works well, and the color scheme works well too. B-

Justin Algaier #51 CSSUSA Chevy SS Looks good, overall design is good, color scheme is good, and I’ll give it an A

Brian Vickers #55 Aarons/Florida State Toyota Camry Good design with a good design color scheme, A

Brett Moffit #66 Toyota Toyota Camry Good color scheme, simple design, looks very good, A

Tommy Drissi #66 Hercules Toyota Camry I don’t even know where to begin…it just looks awful. F

Martin Truex Jr. #78 World Vision Chevy SS Good color scheme decent design, B-

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Kelly Blue Book Chevy SS A decent scheme, but a bit overdeisgned. Color scheme looks good. B

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 National Guard Chevy SS See David Gilliland Love’s above. F

Michael McDowell #95 K-Love Ford Fusion I like the color scheme, and the overall design is another good Levine Family Racing scheme that earns an A

Josh Wise #98 Dogecoin Ford Fusion Good simple design with a good color scheme equals an A grade

Josh Wise #98 Phil Parsons Racing Ford Fusion Since this design is what was raced, I will grade it as such. The color scheme is decent, but it is a tad too overdesigned. It is a D+ look.