Paint Scheme Grades-February 14, 2015

By David G. Firestone

Jamie McMurray #1 Sherwin Williams Chevy SS-Red, white and blue is a great scheme, the fade looks pretty good, and I do like the reverse fade design. The front does need some work, so I’ll give it a B+

Brad Keselowski #2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Fusion-Black and yellow is a great color scheme, and the Penske template works quite well here, so I’ll give it an A+

Alex Bowman #7 Nikko/Toy State Chevy SS-The car, while having a good color scheme, is over designed, and the hood logo is over done. D-

Denny Hamln #11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry– New look for the FedEx Camry and it is a great one! It has a smooth look with a great color scheme, and it works very well. A+

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry-New look for the FedEx Camry and it is a great one! It has a smooth look with a great color scheme, and it works very well. A+

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Ground Toyota Camry– New look for the FedEx Camry and it is a great one! It has a smooth look with a great color scheme, and it works very well. A+

Casey Mears #13 Geico Chevy SS-Good color scheme, but -The blue is too bright, as is the yellow. The car is overdesigned, and the whole car looks like a mess. D-

Clint Bowyer #15 Peak Toyota Camry-Same scheme as last year same B grade.

J.J. Yeley #23 Dr. Pepper/Maxim Fantasy Sports Toyota Camry-The color scheme is good, the design is decent, but the Dr. Pepper design over the door number takes it from an A to a B-

Chase Elliott #25 NAPA Chevy SS-Similar to his Nationwide scheme, this design is a bit overdesigned on the side, but the good color scheme makes up for it somewhat. I’ll give it a B

Jeb Burton #26 Live Deals Ford Fusion– See J.J. Yeley above, B-

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Serta Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same C+ grade

Justin Marks #29 American Born Moonshine Toyota Camry– I like the wood design, it could be a bit brighter, and the whole scheme works well, A+

Ron Horniday #30 Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Chevy SS-Decent color scheme, but the side design looks just brutal. The neon yellow is awful too, and the final grade is a C-

Ryan Newman #31 Granger Chevy SS-Great color scheme, decent design, B+

David Ragan #34 KFC Ford Fusion-Great color scheme, and I love the new design, with the KFC red stripes on the back, and all white front. A+

David Ragan #34 CSX Ford Fusion-This is a very solid scheme, with great colors, great design and an overall great look. CSX did this scheme very well and it gets an A+

Landon Cassill #40 Snap 24-7 Fitness Chevy SS-Good color scheme, and while this is another example of logo as side design, it works well. A+

Kyle Larson #42 Target Chevy SS-The scheme looks decent, I like the white on the back, though I do not like the Target logos at the bottom. That takes a scheme that was an A grade to a B-

Aric Almirola #43 Fresh From Florida Ford Fusion-Green, yellow, and blue is horrible, and the design is even worse. F

Aric Almirola #43 STP Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same A+ grade!

Reed Sorenson #44 Golden Corral Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Michael Annett #46 Pilot/Flying J Chevy SS-Much simpler scheme, much better scheme, A+

AJ Allmendinger #47 Better Than Bullion Chevy SS-Smooth look, great color scheme A+

AJ Allmendinger #47 Bush’s Best Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same B+ grade.

AJ Allmendinger #47 Clorox Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

AJ Allmendinger #47 House Autry Chevy SS-Smooth look, great color scheme A+

AJ Allmendinger #47 Bush’s Chilli Beans Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

AJ Allmendinger #47 Hungry Jack Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

AJ Allmendinger #47 Kingsford Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

AJ Allmendinger #47 Scott Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

AJ Allmendinger #47 Bush’s Grilling Beans Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

AJ Allmendinger #47 Kroger Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Justin Allgaier #51 Brandt Chevy SS-Great design and color scheme, A+

Mike Wallace #66 Crazy Vapors/X8 Energy Gum Toyota Camry-Too many designers, such a terrible result that even a good color scheme can save it for an F

Michael McDowell #95 K-Love Ford FusionI can’t give this scheme anything lower than an A

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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.

Paint Scheme Leaderboard Part 4-The Grand Finale

By David G. Firestone

The focus group of one has had its meetings, and has made its decisions.  Here are all 50 teams that ran the Sprint Cup this year ranked first to last on their paint schemes:

#1-Wood Brothers #21-A classic design scheme that just seems to get better with age. The Henry Ford design combines classic and modern elements for an amazing look.

#2-Hendrick Motorsports #48 Jimmie Johnson went with a very classic look, with a day scheme and a night scheme, which worked very well. Johnson did not have a bad look all year.

#3-Michael Waltrip Racing #55 Simple traditional designs. That is the secret to their success on the leaderboard. Color schemes are great as well. Nothing wrong with these schemes.

#4-Furniture Row Racing #78 When it came down to picking a number 1 for Chevy, for both the Paint Schemie and the Leaderboard, I had to flip a coin to pick a number 1, and Johnson won. Kurt Busch ran a series of very solid schemes, not a lot to comment on and it always looks good.

#5-Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Like Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch on the Chevy side, the Toyota winner for both the Paint Schemie and Leaderboard was decided by a coin flip. More modern than the 55, all these schemes are good, with amazing paint schemes and really good design.

#6-Richard Petty Motorsports #43 This team combines classic and modern looks, and uses Petty Blue very effectively. The Transportation Impact scheme was not good at all, and kept the 43 team out of the top spot.  Extra Credit for the Maurice Petty Tribute Scheme.

#7-BK Racing #83 Great designs all around, but the hood needs work. Why is it black when the rest of the car is red?

#8-BK Racing #93 See Above, but the Old Dominion scheme drags it down.

#9-Penske Racing #12-Though only raced for one race, the SKF design worked very well. A great color and great design scheme. If this had been raced for multiple races, I would have ranked it higher, but it is still a solid scheme.

#10-Richard Childress Racing #29 The Bad Boy Buggies scheme is bad, and the Rheem/Budweiser combo scheme is awful, but aside from those, Kevin Harvick has had a very good season, paint scheme wise

#11-Earnhardt Ganassi Racing #42 Get rid of the Axe Apollo scheme and the Camouflage scheme, and Juan Pablo Montoya would have the top spot.

#12-Richard Petty Motorsports #9 This set earned a place in the top 5 because it improved by a lot over the course of the season. It has a great color scheme, but the early schemes were not great, but since Stanley redesigned their logo, and made some changes to the car, it is a very nice set.

#13-Phoenix Racing/Turner Scott #51 Guy Roofing and Hendrick Cars are hideous, but apart from that, they have run a great set of paint schemes. Bonus points given for the Neil Bonnett throwback scheme.

#14-Michael Waltrip Racing #56 The Get Back and Give Back scheme is horrid, but the rest of the schemes are really good.

#15-JTG Daugherty Racing #47 Most of what they ran this year was great, but the Bushes Baked Beans car has an odd overall design, and a weird color scheme. The Clorox scheme has a bad color scheme, as does the Charter scheme, as does the Wounded Warrior Project scheme.

#16-Roush Fenway Racing #17 A pinkwashing scheme as well as the Valvoline NexGen scheme kick Ricky Stenhouse Jr. out of the top spot. Sad thing too, as Ricky had a very solid year when it comes to paint schemes

#17-Joe Gibbs Racing #81 Alert Energy is awful. Double Mint is awesome.

#18-Penske Racing #2 While I miss the beer colored wheels from last year, Keselowski has had a decent year, the color scheme is great, though there is too much white on the car. The Redd’s Apple Ale scheme was great, but the Fan Mosaic and Patriotic schemes need some work.

#19-Roush Fenway Racing #16 Greg Biffle had a lot of great schemes, but he had a number of awful ones , including a pinkwashing scheme as well. Get rid of the pinkwashing scheme, the Scotchguard, give blood, and Megulars schemes, and he would be in the top 5.

#20-Richard Childress Racing #27 The yellow is too bright, but other than that, the schemes are really good.

#21-Stewart Haas Racing #14 Some of these schemes are good, others not so much.

#22Hendrick Motorsports #88 Dale Jr. runs good schemes most of the time, but Soldiers of Steel, Orange Amp Energy, and Camouflage are just brutal. Additional points lost for a pinkwashing scheme.

#23-Joe Gibbs Racing #20 If the Dollar General was more plain, and did not have the orange back, I would love to give Matt Kenseth a higher spot, and a pinkwashing scheme does not help.

#24-Earnhardt Ganassi Racing #1 Bad Boy Buggies is even worse here, and the Bass Pro Shop schemes are awful. A number of good schemes here as well.

#25-FAS Lane Racing #32 The Oxy Water scheme, and the gray scale C&J Energy Services schemes do not work, but the rest of the schemes they ran do

#26-Front Row Motorsports #38 The template they run works very well when the color scheme matches that of the sponsor. When it doesn’t match, it looks awful.

#27-Front Row Motorsports #35, See above

#28-Front Row Motorsports #34, See above, aside from the CSX scheme, which looks great, and the Peanut Patch scheme which looks awful.

#29-Tommy Baldwin Racing #36 This team looks better without a primary sponsor than they do with one.

#30-Max Q Motorsports #37 Simple, yet attractive. Would be higher if they ran more races.

#31-Joe Gibbs Racing #11 The Jason Leffler tribute scheme and the FedEx delivery manager schemes are great, but the rest are just awful. I miss the Gen 5 schemes

#32-Nemco Racing #87 The word that can best describe this set is dull. Not bad, but not spectacular.

#33-Circle Team Sport #40 Interstate Moving is really good. Moon Shine Attitude Attire is really awful, and their pinkwashing scheme is even worse.

#34-Roush Fenway Racing #99 Geek Squad and Fastenal work well, the rest…not so much.

#35-Richard Childress Racing #31 A few good schemes but most of them are mediocre at best.

#36-Hendrick Motorsports #24 See Above

#37-Stewart Haas Racing #10 Worst shades of yellow in NASCAR, and the pinkwashing scheme is so much worse.

#38-Michael Waltrip Racing #15 Clint has consistently run cars with great color schemes, but awful designs. Except for Duck Dynasty, and pinkwashing, which are just hideous.

#39-Humphrey Smith Racing #19 Another car that just looks better without a primary sponsor.

#40-Germain Racing #13 Nothing really wrong, but nothing really right with these schemes.

#41-Penske Racing #22 Red and yellow is a really great color scheme, but the design is all wrong. This design gets even worse with the AAA scheme, which has an even better color scheme. The Pennzoil scheme is good, but not good enough to save the set.

#42-Stewart Haas Racing #39 I have to give them credit, their schemes are mostly awful, but at least they are creative.

#43-Tommy Baldwin Racing #7 Worst. Door. Number. Ever. The rest of the car isn’t good either, and a pinkwashing scheme doesn’t help.

#44-Phil Parsons Racing# 98 The schemes come in one of two food groups, bland or awful. Great colors, but the designs are horrid.

#45-Levine Family Racing #95 Worst template in NASCAR.

#46-Hendrick Motorsports #5 Innovation can be a bad thing. This, for example is what happens when you let Karl Benjamin design your cars.

#47-Circle Sport/RCR #33 It amazes me how two different teams can use the same car number, and both can put awful designs on their cars. Special credit for the Honey Nut Cheerios scheme, which is just horrific.

#48-Xxxtreme Motorsports #44 Yuck.

#49-Hamilton-Means Racing #52 Paulie Harraka had a great scheme, but Brian Keselowski…not so much.

#50-Swan Racing #30/26 Please tell me this is an experiment on how to make the worst paint scheme in history? Is Swan Racing competing with Travis Pastrana for the most obnoxious paint scheme in NASCAR?

Paint Scheme Leaderboard Part 1-Ford

By David G. Firestone

I started ranking all the teams last week, with the Paint Schemie Awards, and I figured I would continue this week with the Paint Scheme Leaderboard. The concept is that over the next 4 weeks, I will rank all the drivers by team. The rules are the same as the Paint Schemies, and I will rank the teams, first by Manufacturer, and then by all the teams running the Sprint Cup Series. A random drawing has Ford going first, followed by Chevy next week, and then Toyota the following week. The last week, will be all 50 teams that ran in the Sprint Cup Series this year.

So, without further ado, let’s look at how Ford’s NASCAR teams fared in the paint scheme world this year:

#1-Wood Brothers #21-A classic design scheme that just seems to get better with age. The Henry Ford design combines classic and modern elements for an amazing look.

#2-Richard Petty Motorsports #43 This team combines classic and modern looks, and uses Petty Blue very effectively. The Transportation Impact scheme was not good at all, and kept the 43 team out of the top spot.  Extra Credit for the Maurice Petty Tribute Scheme.

#3 Penske Racing #12-Though only raced for one race, the SKF design worked very well. A great color and great design scheme. If this had been raced for multiple races, I would have ranked it higher, but it is still a solid scheme.

#4 Richard Petty Motorsports #9 This set earned a place in the top 5 because it improved by a lot over the course of the season. It has a great color scheme, but the early schemes were not great, but since Stanley redesigned their logo, and made some changes to the car, it is a very nice set.

#5 Roush Fenway Racing #17 A pinkwashing scheme as well as the Valvoline NexGen scheme kick Ricky Stenhouse Jr. out of the top spot. Sad thing too, as Ricky had a very solid year when it comes to paint schemes.

#6 Penske Racing #2 While I miss the beer colored wheels from last year, Keselowski has had a decent year, the color scheme is great, though there is too much white on the car. The Redd’s Apple Ale scheme was great, but the Fan Mosaic, pinkwashing, and Patriotic schemes need some work.

#7 Roush Fenway Racing #16 Greg Biffle had a lot of great schemes, but he had a number of awful ones as well. Get rid of the pinkwashing scheme, the Scotchguard, give blood, and Megulars schemes, and he would be in the top 5.

#8 FAS Lane Racing #32 The Oxy Water scheme, and the gray scale C&J Energy Services schemes do not work, but the rest of the schemes they ran do.

#9 Front Row Motorsports #38 The template they run works very well when the color scheme matches that of the sponsor. When it doesn’t match, it looks awful.

#10 Front Row Motorsports #35, See above

#11 Front Row Motorsports #34, See above, aside from the CSX scheme, which looks great, and the Peanut Patch scheme which looks awful.

#12 Roush Fenway Racing #99 Geek Squad and Fastenal work well, the rest…not so much.

#13 Germain Racing #13 Nothing really wrong, but nothing really right with these schemes.

#14 Penske Racing #22 Red and yellow is a really great color scheme, but the design is all wrong. This design gets even worse with the AAA scheme, which has an even better color scheme. The Pennzoil scheme is good, but not good enough to save the set.

#15 Phil Parsons Racing# 98 The schemes come in one of two food groups, bland or awful. Great colors, but the designs are horrid.

#16 Levine Family Racing #95 Worst template in NASCAR.

#17 Xxxtreme Motorsports #44 Yuck.

Next Week, the Chevy Leaderboard!