2015 Paint Scheme Leaderboard Part 4-The Grand Finale

By David G. Firestone

The Executive Paint Scheme Ranking Committee has had our final meeting. While I made the decisions, Alejandro slept on my lap and occasionally woke up and purred. All 49 teams are having their paint schemes ranked this week, so here we go:

1-FURNITURE ROW RACING #78 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year:4th of 55-Black matte with orange numbers works. The ovarian cancer theme is very justifiable, as Truex’s wife is dealing with ovarian cancer. The #78 has earned the top spot.

2-FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS #35 FORD FUSION-Rank Last Year:28th of 55-Front Row’s new team started their existence with a slew of great schemes. All of them are smooth, simple and great.

3-RAB RACING #29 TOYOTA CAMRY-Rank last year:16th of 55-Only one scheme, and it was a great one!

4-WOOD BROTHERS RACING #21 FORD FUSION-Rank Last Year:1st of 55 I thought that the Snap On memories scheme wasn’t as good as it could be,but other than that, The Wood Brothers had a great season.

5-JTG DAUGHTERY RACING #47 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year: 15th of 55-A lot of great looks, but Bush’s kept them out of the top five in The Leaderboard.

6-HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #24 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year: 36th of 55-Jeff’s last season in NASCAR was one of his best looking. The Penn State Scheme kept Jeff from taking the top spot, but a solid season nonetheless.

7-STEWART-HAAS RACING #4 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year:5th of 55-Kevin had a great season, though the disaster that is Hunt Brothers Pizza dragged his ranking from 2nd, possibly first to Fourth in the Chevy Leaderboard.

8-JOE GIBBS RACING #11 TOYOTA CAMRY-Rank last year:24th of 55-Four brand new, amazing FedEx schemes, a mediocre SportClips scheme, and one mediocre SportClips throwback scheme.

9-JOE GIBBS RACING #20 TOYOTA CAMRY-Rank last year:33rd of 55-SportClips didn’t do the really good set of schemes any favors.

10-PHIL PARSONS RACING/PREMIUM MOTORSPORTS #98-Rank Last Year:31st of 55-Due to the midseason switch, the #98 will be ranked in Chevy, Ford AND Toyota. Ran a lot of good schemes, except the Xyience scheme, and the modified scheme with sponsors.

11-TEAM PENSKE #2 FORD FUSION-Rank Last Year:6th of 55 Detroit Gasket drags down what could easily have been the top pick for 2015. Other than that, no complaints.

12-MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING #15 TOYOTA CAMRY-Rank last year:44th of 55-I was much too harsh on the 15 last year, and looking at the schemes this year, they are all defendable. I did give extra credit for the hand-painted Buddy Baker scheme.

13-PREMIUM MOTORSPORTS #62-Rank Last Year:N/A-Due to the midseason switch, the #98 will be ranked in Chevy, and Ford-A lot of solid schemes, though Vydrox and Low T Central were a bit too much.

14-FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS #38 FORD FUSION-Rank Last Year:32nd of 55 While there weren’t a lot of new schemes, the new ones, as well as the camo schemes were not great.

15-LEVINE FAMILY RACING #95 FORD FUSION-Rank Last Year:13th of 55-Another top contender ruined by one scheme, this one Larry the Lobster. Other than Larry, the schemes are great.

16-FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS #34 FORD FUSION-Rank Last Year:20th of 55-Front Row uses a template that usually works well, but modifying for Bully Hill didn’t work, and no escape was a disaster.

17-MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING #55 TOYOTA CAMRY-Rank last year:3rd of 55-New Aaron’s scheme isn’t that great. The Throwback is amazing!

18-HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #25 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year:N/A-Chase Elliott, who is taking over for Jeff Gordon in 2016, used the #25 to get some Cup experience. The NAPA scheme by itself is not bad, but the fauxback Bill Elliott scheme is a disaster.

19-CIRCLE SPORT RACING #33 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year:38th of 55-Science Logic and Pinkwashing derailed what was otherwise a great looking year for Circle Sport.

20-RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS #43 FORD FUSION-Rank Last Year:11th of 55-The Nathan’s color scheme does not work well with the Petty color scheme, and the Fresh From Florida scheme is awful. The majority of schemes are good though.

21-TMG RACING #30 TOYOTA CAMRY-Rank last year:N/A-Smokey Mountain Snuff is awful, plain car with no sponsor is great.

22-JOE GIBBS RACING #19 TOYOTA CAMRY-Rank last year:N/A-Nothing really horrible here, though there are many mediocre schemes here.

23-HSCOTT MOTORSPORTS #51 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year:30th of 55-If the car is running a Brandt scheme it looks good, anything else looks terrible.

24-HILLMAN-SMITH MOTORSPORTS #40 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year:27th of 55-The schemes were all over the place this year, but this team has had a lot of good looks.

25-CHIP GANASSI RACING TEAM #42 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year:18th of 55-The plaid, Energizer, camo and Clorox sank them this season, otherwise they looked really good.

26-RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #27 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year:36th of 55-Part of the problem of using a template is that it can backfire on you, and that is exactly what has happened here. The Menard’s template works well with some color schemes, but terribly with others. The Pittsburgh Paints scheme is horrible by itself.

27-RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #33 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year:38th of 55-White Tail Lodge, Spongebob, and Kraft dragged down an otherwise great season.

28-HSCOTT MOTORSPORTS #46 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year:N/A-A lot of good schemes and a lot of bad schemes is the story of the #46 season.

29-BK RACING #83 TOYOTA CAMRY-Rank last year:25th of 55-Many new schemes and sponsors, and they were all over the place. When taking everything into account, I can say that they aren’t horrible.

30-BK RACING #23 TOYOTA CAMRY-Rank last year:8th of 55-VooDoo, Overture, and Pinkwashing take a decent grade down to a mediocre grade. Otherwise there is a lot of decent schemes here.

31-RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #3 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year:49th of 55-Some great schemes, but the bad schemes dragged down the final grade.

32-ROUSH-FENWAY RACING #16 FORD FUSION-Rank Last Year:54th of 55-3M leaving was the best thing that happened to Greg Biffle, especially on this list, though Pinkwashing, Safety Kleen, and Jardiance do drag it down.

33-ROUSH-FENWAY RACING #17 FORD FUSION-Rank Last Year:35th of 55-Zest and EcoBoost are awful, and dragged Ricky out of a top spot.

34-ROUSH-FENWAY RACING #6 FORD FUSION-Rank Last Year:10th of 55-Camo and Pinkwashing kill a great rank, including one of my favorite throwbacks outside of Jeff Gordon’s.

35-JOE GIBBS RACING #18 TOYOTA CAMRY-Rank last year:4th of 55-A lot of changes in paint schemes, some good, some awful, many mediocre.

36-CHIP GANASSI RACING TEAM #1 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year:12th of 55-McDonalds was either great or awful. Add a pinkwashing scheme, Bass Pro Shops, and Bad Boy Buggies, and they are ranked much lower than they should be.

37-HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #5 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year:51st of 55-When Kasey has a good scheme, it is still mediocre, and he didn’t have a great scheme all year.

38-HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #48 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year:2nd of 55-Completely changing their look dragged down Jimmie’s grade. On a separate note, I do think the yellow tribute numbers should stay, since they look better than the white numbers.

39-GO GREEN RACING #32 FORD FUSION-Rank Last Year:46th of 55-The most different paint schemes of any team in 2015, they ranged from amazing, a great throwback, to vomit inducing.

40-RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS #9 FORD FUSION-Rank Last Year:41st of 55-Like Go Green, the #9 ran a lot of paint schemes, some were great, but many were awful. I really hope whoever drives the #9 next year helps tone it down.

41-HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #88 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year:17th of 55-With the exception of Dewshine, everything that Mountain Dew ran was average to awful. Nationwide is decent, but Halo was awful.

42-STEWART-HAAS RACING #14 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year:47th of 55-Not much change in terms of sponsors. In terms of car design, there were a lot of changes this year. But with the exception of Rush’s, they were all mediocre to awful.

43-TOMMY BALDWIN RACING #7 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year: 48th of 55-The car looks so much better without a sponsor on average, it isn’t even funny.

44-TEAM XTREME RACING #44 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year:53rd of 55-Not even the addition of Golden Corral could save Team Xtreme Racing. I’m glad I don’t have to see that Phoenix Warehouse scheme anymore!

45-TEAM PENSKE #22 FORD FUSION-Rank Last Year:42nd of 55-The Mario Andretti throwback, and the Helio Castroneves mockup were great, but sadly, those were the only highlights of the season for the 22 crew.

46-STEWART-HAAS RACING #10 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year: 52nd of 55-Hideous design, awful color choices, and pinkwashing…need I say more?

47-PREMIUM MOTORSPORTS #66-Rank Last Year:N/A-Another example of when a car looks so much better without a sponsor on average, it isn’t even funny.

48-GERMAIN RACING #13 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year:50th of 55-No redeeming schemes at all here.

49-STEWART-HAAS RACING #41 CHEVY SS-Rank Last Year:9th of 55-Due to the driver’s actions toward his then girlfriend at Dover, the #41 has earned the bottom ranking.

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2015 Paint Scheme Leaderboard Part 1-Chevy

By David G. Firestone

It’s that time of year, so, here we are again, ranking the Chevy paint schemes. The Executive Paint Scheme Ranking Committee, consisting of myself and my cat Alejandro have ranked all 24 of Chevy’s paint schemes. Alejandro was of little use, having found a catnip toy. Anyway, with no further ado, the Chevy Paint Scheme Leaderboard for 2015

1-FURNITURE ROW RACING #78-Rank Last Year:5th of 25-Black matte with orange numbers works. The ovarian cancer theme is very justifiable, as Truex’s wife is dealing with ovarian cancer. The #78 has earned the top spot.

2-JTG DAUGHTERY RACING #47-Rank Last Year: 10th of 25-A lot of great looks, but Bush’s kept them out of the top spot in Chevy.

3-HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #24-Rank Last Year: 11th of 25-Jeff’s last season in NASCAR was one of his best looking. The Penn State Scheme kept Jeff from taking the top spot, but a solid season nonetheless.

4-STEWART-HAAS RACING #4-Rank Last Year:2nd of 25-Kevin had a great season, though the disaster that is Hunt Brothers Pizza dragged his ranking from 2nd, possibly first to Fourth in the Chevy Leaderboard.

5-PHIL PARSONS RACING/PREMIUM MOTORSPORTS #98-Rank Last Year: N/A-Due to the midseason switch, the #98 will be ranked in Chevy, Ford AND Toyota. Ran a lot of good schemes, except the Xyience scheme, and the modified scheme with sponsors.

6-PREMIUM MOTORSPORTS #62-Rank Last Year:N/A-Due to the midseason switch, the #98 will be ranked in Chevy, and Ford-A lot of solid schemes, though Vydrox and Low T Central were a bit too much.

7-HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #25-Rank Last Year: N/A-Chase Elliott, who is taking over for Jeff Gordon in 2016, used the #25 to get some Cup experience. The NAPA scheme by itself is not bad, but the fauxback Bill Elliott scheme is a disaster.

8-CIRCLE SPORT RACING #33-Rank Last Year:16th of 25-Science Logic and Pinkwashing derailed what was otherwise a great looking year for Circle Sport.

9-HSCOTT MOTORSPORTS #51-Rank Last Year:5th of 25-If the car is running a Brandt scheme it looks good, anything else looks terrible.

10-HILLMAN-SMITH MOTORSPORTS #40-Rank Last Year:14th of 25-The schemes were all over the place this year, but this team has had a lot of good looks.

11-CHIP GANASSI RACING TEAM #42-Rank Last Year:8th of 25-The plaid, Energizer, camo and Clorox sank them this season, otherwise they looked really good.

12-RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #27-Rank Last Year:15th of 25-Part of the problem of using a template is that it can backfire on you, and that is exactly what has happened here. The Menard’s template works well with some color schemes, but terribly with others. The Pittsburgh Paints scheme is horrible by itself.

13-RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #33-Rank Last Year:16th of 25-White Tail Lodge, Spongebob, and Kraft dragged down an otherwise great season.

14-HSCOTT MOTORSPORTS #46-Rank Last Year:N/A-A lot of good schemes and a lot of bad schemes is the story of the #46 season.

15-RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #3-Rank Last Year:21st of 25- Some great schemes, but the bad schemes dragged down the final grade.

16-CHIP GANASSI RACING TEAM #1-Rank Last Year:5th of 25-McDonalds was either great or awful. Add a pinkwashing scheme, Bass Pro Shops, and Bad Boy Buggies, and they are ranked much lower than they should be.

17-HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #5-Rank Last Year:23rd of 25-When Kasey has a good scheme, it is still mediocre, and he didn’t have a great scheme all year.

18-HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #48-Rank Last Year:1st of 25-Completely changing their look dragged down Jimmie’s grade. On a separate note, I do think the yellow tribute numbers should stay, since they look better than the white numbers.

19-HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #88-Rank Last Year:7th of 25-With the exception of Dewshine, everything that Mountain Dew ran was average to awful. Nationwide is decent, but Halo was awful.

20-STEWART-HAAS RACING #14-Rank Last Year:19th of 25-Not much change in terms of sponsors. In terms of car design, there were a lot of changes this year. But with the exception of Rush’s, they were all mediocre to awful.

21-TOMMY BALDWIN RACING #7-Rank Last Year: 20th of 25-The car looks so much better without a sponsor on average, it isn’t even funny.

22-TEAM XTREME RACING #44-Rank Last Year:25th of 25-Not even the addition of Golden Corral could save Team Xtreme Racing. I’m glad I don’t have to see that Phoenix Warehouse scheme anymore!

23-STEWART-HAAS RACING #10-Rank Last Year: 24th of 25-Hideous design, awful color choices, and pinkwashing…need I say more?

24-PREMIUM MOTORSPORTS #66-Rank Last Year:N/A-Another example of when a car looks so much better without a sponsor on average, it isn’t even funny.

25-GERMAIN RACING #13-Rank Last Year:22nd of 25- No redeeming schemes at all here.

26-STEWART-HAAS RACING #41-Rank Last Year:3rd of 25-Due to the driver’s actions toward his then girlfriend at Dover, the #41 has earned the bottom ranking.

Next Week, We do The Ford Leaderboard… See you then!

Paint Scheme Grades-March 14, 2015

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Genuine Draft Ford Fusion-An amazing, drool inducing throwback with a great color scheme! A+!

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller High Life Ford Fusion– An amazing, drool inducing throwback with a great color scheme! A+!

David Ragan #18 Snickers Xtreme Toyota Camry-I don’t like the door number color, the design is bland, the color scheme is good, so I’ll give it a D+

Carl Edwards #19 Comcast Business Toyota Camry– Good color scheme, but I don’t like the general design. Flipping the design doesn’t work. D-

JJ Yeley #23 Dr Pepper Toyota Camry– Good color scheme, good design, but I hate the Dr. Pepper logo on the door numbers, and I’ll give it a B-.

Jeff Gordon #24 Axalta/Fix Auto Chevy SS-This is a great looking car, with great color and design schemes. A+

Jeb Burton #26 Maxim Toyota Camry-Great design with a great color scheme. A+

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Quaker State Chevy SS– Quaker State has a great shade of green, and it should be the dominant color of the car. The yellow base with green accents looks awkward. I’ll give it a C

Mike Bliss #32 Draft Demons Ford Fusion– The pitchfork and fire design looks really good, and the color scheme is good too, so I’ll give it an A.

Mike Bliss #32 King Taco Ford Fusion-I like the vintage logo, the design is decent, and the color scheme is good, so I’ll give it a B+

Brian Scott #33 White Tail Lodge Chevy SS– Awful design with a decent color scheme earns a D-

David Ragan #34 Southern Belle Seafood Ford Fusion-I like the Front Row template, and the color scheme looks really good. A+

Cole Whit #35 Sprouts Farmer’s Market Ford Fusion-It’s a reverse Front Row Motorsports template, which by itself would look good, but the fruit motif adds to it. Factor in a good color scheme and you have an A+ grade.

David Gilliland #38 MDS Ford Fusion-Great simple design, decent color scheme earns an A-

Travis Kvapil #44 Phoenix Warehouse Chevy SS– My first thought when I saw this scheme was it looked like the color scheme from the 1994-1995 NBA All-Star Game jerseys which is a decent color scheme. But to say the car is over designed is an understatement. This scheme is awful. Not even a great color scheme can help this car pass. F

Michael Annett #46 Cypress HQ Chevy SS– Over designed and has a goofy color scheme earns an F every time.

Matt Dibenedetto #83 BurgerKing Toyota Camry– Good color scheme, good design, but I hate the Dr. Pepper logo on the door numbers, and I’ll give it a B-.

The End of An Era in NASCAR

By David G. Firestone

On November 15, 1992, the Sprint Cup changed forever. The event was the Hooters 500. Bill Elliott, Alan Kulwicki, Davey Allison, Kyle Petty, Harry Gant, and Mark Martin were all battling it out for the Championship in what has been called the greatest series finale in NASCAR history. Richard Petty, The King of NASCAR, the greatest driver in Sprint Cup history, the greatest athlete to use #43 ended his career with that race with a crash, fire and a 35th place finish. At the end of the race, Kulwicki became championship, Petty drove around the track one last time to honor the fans, and Elliott won the race.

Something that was overlooked in all of that would change the face of NASCAR forever. On that day, A fresh-faced 21 year old made his first start in the Sprint Cup. 23 years, 92 race wins, and 4 championships later, Jeff Gordon has established himself as a true legend in auto racing. His 2015 season will be his last full-time season in NASCAR. This announcement came this week. This is not an easy decision, Gordon loves what he does, but all careers must come to an end.

I had a feeling that he would run one last full season in 2015 for the sole reason that he wants the Iron Man award. That would put him in line with some hardcore guys. Richard Petty had 513 consecutive starts from 1971-1989. In 1996, Terry Labonte started his 514th race at North Wilksboro in a silver Kellogg’s Corn Flakes Chevy SS, a race which he won. Labonte would end up starting 656 consecutive races. In 2002, Ricky Rudd would start his 657th race, the 2002 Coca Cola 600. Though he only finished 4th, he would claim the title of Iron Man that night. If all goes well, Gordon will secure the Iron Man record at the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire, and finish his career with 796 consecutive starts. He wants that award.

I also am looking forward to the Quicken Loans Race For Heroes 500 at Phoenix, because that race will take place on November 15, 2015, exactly 23 years after his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Start. Then will come on November 23, 2015, the end of an era. It’s always sad when a legend retires. Basketball was never the same when Michael Jordan finally retired. Baseball wasn’t the same when Babe Ruth retired, and hockey wasn’t the same after Wayne Gretzky retired. NASCAR really wasn’t the same when Richard Petty retired, and won’t be the same when Jeff Gordon retires.

Jeff Gordon has referred to retirement as “the r-word” and refuses to use it to discuss his current situation. Certainly it seems that he will run in races in the future, just not full-time. It’s also more or less confirmed that he will become a TV analyst, as this was announced by FOX Sports for Xfinity Series broadcasts as part of a series or rotating analysts including Brad Keselowski, and Kevin Harvick. Could this become a permanent role? It seems likely, Gordon is really good in front of the camera, and he would be a great choice, at least in my opinion.

Jeff Gordon has had a great career, and while I, as well as many fans will miss him behind the wheel. That #24 Chevy just won’t have the same allure, the same mystique with another driver behind the wheel. I wish Jeff the best of luck with his future endeavors.

Next week, I will be taking a vacation to Arizona, so I won’t update the tracker or issue paint scheme grades. I’ll have something ready to go on Friday, and I may do something on Monday, but I haven’t decided yet. I’ll return to normal once I get home.

Paint Scheme Grades-January 24, 2015

By David G. Firestone

While we watch the 24 Hours of Daytona, here are the grades for this week.

Kyle Busch #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry-Same scheme as last year, same F- grade.

Jeff Gordon #24 3M Chevy SS-I was wondering what 3M would do with Gordon’s Chevy, as all of their schemes last year were horrible. I was pleasantly surprised with the simple design. The silver and red reminds me of the Silver-wrench scheme from 1995, and the design works very well, earning a A+

Jeff Gordon #24 Pepsi Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same A+ grade

Jeff Gordon #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevy SS-Stupid hood logo-gone! Stupid side design-gone! Much better design-here! A+ grade-here!

Go FAS Racing #32 C&J Energy Services Ford Fusion-The same basic color scheme, but with a horrific design that is F grade worthy! The color scheme is good, but the design is just horrible.

Martin Truex Jr. #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same A+ grade.

Paint Scheme Grades, January 17, 2015

By David G. Firestone

A lot of schemes released this week, so let’s get started.

Jamie McMurray #1 McDonalds Chevy SS-A new scheme for 2015, this one has a little more side design than last year’s design. I think that it is a decent look, but not as smooth as last year’s design, so I’ll give it a B+

Kasey Kahne #5 Pepsi Chevy SS-I like the blue scheme, the current shade of blue Pepsi is using works very well, and the cutting edge design is good. I’ll give it a B+

Danica Patrick #10 TaxACT Chevy SS-Red, green, white and black is not the best scheme, and the side design is overdone. I’ll give it a C-

Denny Hamlin #11 SportClips Toyota Camry-Denny’s cars are sporting new designs, but this one, like its predicessor is overdone. Good color scheme, so I’ll give it a C-

Carl Edwards #19 SportClips Toyota Camry-See Above. C-

Carl Edwards #19 Subway Toyota Camry-I was wondering if Subway would follow Carl Edwards to Joe Gibbs, and they did. The scheme works well, it’s smooth, and has a great color scheme. An A+ scheme for sure.

Cole Whitt #35 Speed Stick Gear Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same A grade!

David Gilliland Love’s Travel Stops Ford Fusion-scheme as last year, same A grade!

 

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.

Paint Scheme Leaderboard, Week #1-Chevy

By David G. Firestone

Starting this week, and for the next four Fridays, we will rank the paint schemes of all 55 race teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup. I will not grade any paint schemes until these rankings are done, but I will still update the Paint Scheme Tracker on Wednesday. The rankings were determined by the Paint Scheme Ranking Executive Committee, made up of myself, and Alejandro my black cat, though all he did was sleep through the proceedings. First up will be Chevy. I will also add the rank each scheme held last year. Teams that did not exist or run Chevy cars will be marked as NR for Not Ranked..

1-Hendrick Motorsports #48 Rank Last Year: 1st of 19-Classic, smooth looks with no needless clutter. Jimmie always runs great schemes

2-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.

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

4-Richard Childress Racing #31 Rank Last Year: 13th of 19-A lot of great schemes this year, but Wix is overdone, and the Cat/Quicken Loans hybrid looks awful

5-Chip Ganassi Racing #1 Rank Last Year: 9th of 19- 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

6-Furniture Row Racing #78 Rank Last Year: 2nd of 19-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.

7-Hendrick Motorsports #88 Rank Last Year: 8th of 19-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.

8-Chip Ganassi Racing #42 Rank Last Year: 4th of 19-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.

9-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.

10-JTG Daugherty Racing #47 Rank Last Year: NR-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.

11-Hendrick Motorsports #24 Rank Last Year: 14th of 19-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.

12-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.

13-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.

14-HScott Motorsports #51 Rank Last Year: 5th of 19-If the car is running a Brandt scheme it looks good, anything else looks terrible.

15-Richard Childress Racing #27 Rank Last Year: 6th of 19-Neon yellow looks terrible, when they use the stripes on the sides it looks even worse. The Pittsburgh Paints scheme looks really good though.

16-CircleSport/Richard Childress Racing #33 Rank Last Year: 19th of 19-

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

18-Tommy Baldwin Racing #36 Rank Last Year:10th of 19-Another example of a team where when the car is unsponsored, it looks better.

19-Stewart Haas Racing #14 Rank Last Year: 7th of 19-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.

20-Tommy Baldwin Racing #7 Rank Last Year:16th of 19-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.

21-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.

22-Germain Racing #13 Rank Last Year:NR-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.

23-Hendrick Motorsports #5 Rank Last Year:17th of 19-The only half decent scheme is Pepsi. Everything else is an over designed mess.

24-Stewart Haas Racing #10 Rank Last Year:14th of 19-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.

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

Next week, we move on to Ford…See you soon!

Paint Scheme Grades-November 8, 2014

Jamie McMurray #1 Liftmaster Prescott Granite Mountain “Hotshots” Chevy SS-Looks great, great color scheme and design scheme. Plus it honors 19 fallen members of the Prescott Granite Mountain “Hotshots” who tragically died while battling a wild fire. A+

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Energy and Water Chevy SS-Decent scheme, the water looks decent, though a little too dark, so I’ll give it a B-

Kevin Harvick #4 Budweiser Throwback Chevy SS-Every throwback scheme this year has been good, and this one is no exception. It looks amazing! A+

Michael Annett #7 Cypress Chevy SS-Over designed and has a goofy color scheme earns an F every time.

Greg Biffle #16 3M/Sherwin Williams Ford Fusion-Actually pretty good for a Greg Biffle scheme. Good colors and decent design earn a B

Kyle Busch #18 Benfield Pet Hospital Toyota Camry-Nothing wrong with this design! A+

Alex Bowman #23 Dumb and Dumber To Toyota Camry-Not as dumb a design as you would expect. Actually it looks really good. The color scheme is good, as is the design. A+

Jeff Gordon Axalta Chevy SS-Featuring the color of the year, Radiant Red, this is a great looking car, with great color and design schemes. A+

Joey Gase #32 Forever Hip Ford Fusion-Light blue works very well here, the design is mediocre, but it’s not awful, all in all it earns a C

Ty Dillon #33 Charter Chevy SS-Charter has the worst shade of green in NASCAR, and with the over designing, it earns an F.

Kyle Larson #42 Target Camo Chevy SS-Good color scheme, awful design scheme, add a one letter grade deduction for use of camo and you have a D- grade.

Aric Almirola #43 Farmland Pork Ford Fusion-I get what they are trying to do, but the light green and blue color scheme does not work. I can’t give this any higher than a C, so I won’t.

Aric Almirola #43 Farmland/Folds of Honor Ford Fusion-Works very well, color and design scheme is great, and while there is camo in the design scheme, I’ll forgive it because it looks good. It’s subtle, and it works. A+

AJ Allmendinger #47 Glad Toyota Camry-Nothing wrong with this scheme! A+

JJ Yeley #83 Dumb and Dumber To Toyota Camry-See Alex Bowman above. A+

Paint Scheme Grades-November 1, 2014

Just after I posted that there were no 2015 to speak of this week, a bunch of them were released.

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna/Beechcraft Chevy SS-Same design as this year, same A scheme.

Greg Biffle #16 Ortho Home Defense Ford Fusion-A totally new paint scheme for next year, and this is actually an A scheme! Color scheme is good, the minimalist design with the red and yellow stripe on the bottom looks good, and again, this is an A scheme.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Diet Mountain Dew Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same D- grade.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Kelly Blue Book Chevy SS-Blue has taken over as the primary color. It is a decent scheme, but a bit overdeisgned. Color scheme looks good. B

We also have a couple of 2014 schemes to talk about.

JJ Yeley #83 Zak Toyota Camry-Good simple design with a great color scheme earns an A+

Josh Wise #98 Provident Metals Ford Fusion-Good color scheme, too over designed C-