Paint Scheme Grades-November 5, 2016

By David G. Firestone

Brad Keselowski #2 Alliance Ford Fusion-Templates are very vulnerable to color schemes. In this case, the color scheme works well with the template, the whole car looks good, and earns an A.

Trevor Bayne #6 Advocare/SEAL Legacy Foundation Ford Fusion-I like the beach motif, and the color scheme is good. I think that the sand could be a little more prominent. Still, it a solid B+ scheme.

Regan Smith #7 Golden Coral Chevy SS-Black with yellow accents is a very underrated scheme, and the smooth design works very well. A

Ryan Blaney #21 BorgWarner Ford Fusion-A good shade of blue, with a great design scheme will always earn an A.

Joey Logano #22 AAA Mosaic Ford Fusion-The photo mosaic scheme didn’t work with Pennzoil, and it doesn’t work here. I get what they are trying to do, but it looks awful. I give it an F

Bobby Labonte #32 Visrone RV Ford Fusion-It’s a good scheme, with a great color scheme, and a great design scheme. A

Landon Cassill #38 A&W Ford Fusion-Same scheme as #34 A&W, same A grade.

Brian Scott #44 Red Cross Ford Fusion-Maybe it’s just me, but I’m thinking that a Red Cross sponsored race car should be…oh I don’t know…RED? Why in the world would they choose green? It makes no sense. Granted it is a good design scheme, but it has a bad shade of green, where red would bring it up to an A. With the green, it’s a C-

Reed Sorenson #55 Trump/Pence Toyota Camry-I don’t want to discuss politics here, or anywhere on my website. This isn’t about politics, it’s about paint schemes. The patriotic motif works well, it’s always a great color scheme, and the car looks good. A

Matt DiBenedetto #83 JAS Toyota Camry-The color scheme is great, but the whole design is overdone, and it’s not a good look. If the stripes in the blue were gone, I might give it a higher grade. With all things considered, it’s a C- scheme at best.

Matt DiBenedetto #93 EJ Wade Construction Toyota Camry-Same scheme as #83 EJ Wade, same B+ grade.


Paint Scheme Grades-October 1, 2016

By David G. Firestone

Regan Smith #7 Nikko/Thomas the Train Chevy SS-The shade of blue looks really good, and the red stripe across the bottom looks good too. I also like the sparks near the wheel well. A

Tony Stewart #14 Mobil 1/Nature’s Bakery Chevy SS-The brownie motif looks really good as a design, and the color scheme is great. I give it an A.

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

David Ragan #23 Life With Cancer Toyota Camry-First off, I like the fact that a cancer scheme isn’t using a general color, since Pinktober is just around the corner. Second, while I like the color scheme, the design scheme needs work on the sides. I think the sides are overdone. It averages out to a B-, with no penalties for using pink.

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

Cole Whitt #98 Standard Plumbing Supply Chevy SS-Black works well as a background for a race car, red and white work as secondary colors, and this smooth and simple design scheme works very well. A

Ryan Reed #99 Lilly Diabetes Ford Fusion-The color scheme is good, but the design is a bit too much. It’s not bad, just over done. I’ll give it a C+.

Paint Scheme Grades-September 24, 2016

By David G. Firestone

Austin Dillon #3 Dow/Hefty Energy Bag Chevy SS-Same basic scheme as Dow, same B+ grade.

Austin Dillon #3 Pumpkin Spice Cheerios Chevy SS-The whole motif looks good, though I think that the orange is too light. Still, it’s worth a B+.

Regan Smith #7 Citizen Solider Film Chevy SS-Camoflague rarely works well on race cars, and the use of white and red camouflage just looks awful and earns an F.

Landon Cassill #38 The Pete Store Ford Fusion-Reversing colors can be hit or miss, and this is a hit. Red is always a solid race car color, and the black stripe looks good. It earns an A.

Brian Scott #44 Jewel-Osco/Ritz/Triscut Ford Fusion-Same basic scheme as Dow, same A grade.

AJ Allmendinger #47 Kroger’s/DiGiorno’s/Scott Chevy SS-Same basic scheme as Kroger’s, same A grade.

Matt DiBenedetto #83 NASCAR Heat Evolution Toyota Camry-Orange and black can be a decent scheme, but this orange is too dark. The cutting edge designs aren’t working well either. The black background looks good though, so averaging out, it earns a D.

Michael McDowell #95 Rat Rods Chevy SS-Rusted light blue is a unique look, and this scheme is a great scheme! It looks good and earns an A.

Paint Scheme Grades-September 17, 2016

By David G. Firestone

Jamie McMurray #1 Sherwin Williams Emerald Chevy SS– The color scheme is decent, and the side design is a bit overdone. B-

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion-I like this new look. The curve looks good, and the color scheme is great. I give it an A

Kasey Kahne #5 Levi’s/Great Clips Chevy SS-The denim motif is a bold choice, and it works well. It’s not overdone, and it looks really good. A

Regan Smith #7 Nikko/Raphael Chevy SS-The comic book motif is overdone, and the color scheme doesn’t work. F

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Ground Silver Numbers Toyota Camry-Same basic scheme as FedEx Ground but with silver numbers, same A grade.

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Silver Numbers Toyota Camry-Same basic scheme as M&M’s but with silver numbers, same A grade.

Carl Edwards #19 Arris Surfboard Silver Numbers Toyota Camry-Same basic scheme as Arris Surfboard but with silver numbers, same A grade.

Matt Kenseth #20 Dollar General Silver Numbers Toyota Camry-Same basic scheme as Dollar General but with silver numbers, same A grade.

David Ragan #23 Jewel Osco/Leonardo Toyota Camry-New sponsor for 2016, red, white and black with sublimated designs and Leonardo on sides. and hood. D-

Jeffery Earnhardt #32 JT Concrete/Carolina Cooker/Rocksteady Ford Fusion-The comic book motif is overdone, and the color scheme doesn’t work. F

Landon Cassill #38 Bebop Ford Fusion-The comic book motif is overdone, and the color scheme doesn’t work. F

Kyle Larson #42 Coca Cola Chevy SS-Coca Cola has a great shade of red, but the whole design is pointlessly overdone. It’s not great, but the great color scheme and the bad design scheme average out to a B-

Matt DiBenedetto #83 Mass Markets Toyota Camry-Too many colors, and too many designs here. It’s a jumbled mess, and worth of an F grade.

Alex Bowman #88 Axalta/Service King Chevy SS-Same scheme as Axalta, same A grade.

Matt DiBenedetto #93 Union Bank Toyota Camry-Too overdone with a terrible color scheme will always earn an F.

Michael McDowell #95 Thrivent Financial/Donatello Chevy SS-The comic book motif is overdone, and the color scheme doesn’t work. F

Cole Whitt #98 Moen Chevy SS-Great color scheme, great design scheme, a great look. A


Paint Scheme Grades-August 13, 2016

By David G. Firestone

Trevor Bayne #6 Advocare Spark Ford Fusion-The cube design is a bit overdone, but I do like the color scheme. B-

Regan Smith #7 APC Donald “Dutch” Hoag Throwback Chevy SS-A great throwback to a legend. The attention to detail is great, and the car looks good as a whole. A

Denny Hamlin #11 SportClips Throwback Toyota Camry-Another great throwback. I like the attention to detail here, and the gold numbers. I really wish NASCAR would allow teams to have chrome numbers, but sadly, they don’t. That said, this is a great scheme that earns an A.

Tony Stewart #14 Coca Cola Throwback Chevy SS-If Tony had used proper numbering, and replaced the modern logos with classic logos, I would give this scheme an A, but the lack of attention to detail takes it down to an A-.

Greg Biffle #16 Ford Eco-Boost Ford Fusion-Same scheme as #17 Eco-Boost, same B+ grade.

Kyle Busch #18 Snickers Crispier Toyota Camry-Mediocre color scheme, and I like the design scheme on the sides, but why does there appear to be a Snickers wrapper at the top of the hood? It’s visually distracting, and it’s confusing. I’ll give it a B-.

Josh Wise #30 SBC Construction Chevy SS-It’s a simple design with a smooth look and a great color scheme. A

Josh Wise #30 Vision RV Chevy SS-See above. A

Joey Gase #32 Diesel Sales/Sparkz Ford Fusion-See above. A

Boris Said #32 Genesee Beer Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowes Earnhardt Throwback Chevy SS-I LOVE THIS SCHEME! The attention to detail in the lettering and numbers works well, and the car as a whole is great. I give it an A.

Alex Kennedy #55 Chevy SS-Same scheme as Carport Empire, same A grade.

Matt DiBenedetto #83 EJ Wade Construction Toyota Camry-The cutting edge motif doesn’t work with the white and orange, even though I like the color scheme. It had potential for an A scheme, but the poor execution takes it down to a B-.

Matt DiBenedetto #83 Mass Markets Toyota Camry-The only thing keeping this scheme above a D grade is the color scheme. Other than that, I can’t say anything good on this scheme. The design is over done and horrible. I’ll be generous and give it a C-.

Paint Scheme Grades-August 6, 2016

By David G. Firestone

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Olympics Chevy SS-Reversing colors on a paint scheme can work, but this one just missed. I think that it would be better with the Olympics and a Patriotic theme. It’s not horrific though, and looks decent so I’ll give it a B-.

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Mycogen Seeds Chevy SS-The color scheme works well, but the design doesn’t work with the color scheme. If I was doing a field motif, green and brown would work, but this just looks odd. Again, like the Olympic scheme, it isn’t awful, and I’ll give it a B-.

Regan Smith #7 Mario Fiore Teddy Bear Pools Chevy SS-I’m a sucker for a great throwback, and this is a great throwback. It’s an obscure one, but it works well. I don’t understand naming a business “Teddy Bear Pools” but I’ll ignore it. A.

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Chevy SS-The team allowed Denny to design his own car for the Coke Zero 400, and it’s obvious he had some help. This scheme is bad for a number of reasons. First, the hood logo should match the red, not the white. Second, it looks like the team used SportClips for the basis. Third, it might not be the greatest idea to drive an all black car, with an all-black firesuit in Florida in July. It’s an overused look, that just didn’t work. The color scheme is decent, so I will give it a D-.

Tony Stewart #14 Haas Automation Chevy SS-The fade could be a bit more pronounced, but it’s still a great scheme. A-.

Tony Stewart #14 Mobil 1/Chevy Summer Selldown Chevy SS-Same as Mobil 1, same A grade.

Clint Bowyer #15 5 Hour Energy/Knoxville Nationals Chevy SS-Same scheme as 5-Hour Energy, same A grade.

Greg Biffle #16 KFC Ford Fusion-I think the names on a race car trope is getting a bit out of hand, but that is my only complaint about this otherwise great KFC scheme. A-.

Greg Biffe #16 NESN Fuel Ford Fusion-NESN’s color scheme is great, but the designs are overused, and need some simplifying. It could work, better with a smoother design, but it’s not horrific. I give it a B-.

Carl Edwards #19 Arris Tony Stewart Throwback Toyota Camry-The Tony Stewart tribute is a great idea on paper, and in practice it works perfectly. It’s a great throwback, and since the color scheme is identical, it works very well. A.

Carl Edwards #19 SportClips Toyota Camry-Same as Denny Hamlin’s #11, same C grade.

Matt Kenseth #20 DeWalt/Flexvolt Toyota Camry-Get rid of DeWalt, and it would be an A scheme, but with the two different color and design schemes clashing, it takes an A grade down to a C-. The two different schemes by themselves work, but the combo doesn’t.

Ryan Blaney #21 Quicklane/Trading One Uniform For Another Ford Fusion-Replacing the traditional Wood Brothers red roof with a light blue one was a bold move, but I have to say that it looks really good. It doesn’t look like it would work, but it works perfectly. A

Ryan Blaney #21 Motorcraft Throwback Ford Fusion-Even for The Wood Brothers, this is an amazing scheme! I love a great throwback, and I think this might be the best throwback of the year. I can’t give it anything but an A.

David Ragan #23 Dr. Pepper Throwback Toyota Camry-Granted it’s more of a cop out of a throwback scheme, but it’s not terrible. I wish that Dr. Pepper and BK Racing would work a little harder with the scheme. Still it’s not a bad scheme, and it’s worth a B+.

David Ragan #23 Flaming Leprechaun Toyota Camry-Black with dark red flames could be hit or miss, and this is a hit. It works well, and looks good. Nothing wrong here. A

David Ragan #23 Brandies Machinery Toyota Camry-Same scheme as last year, same F grade.

David Ragan #23 Dr. Pepper/USA Network Toyota Camry-Same basic scheme as Dr. Pepper, same A grade.

Chase Eliott #24 NAPA Patriotic Chevy SS-It could work as a patriotic scheme, but it’s overdone, and it needs work. If the white roof was eliminated, and the patriotic elements condensed, it would work better, but as of right now, it earns a C+.

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Sylvania Chevy SSI’ve had a lot of good things to say about the Menard’s Template, but that ends with this scheme. The orange does not work with the yellow, and the whole car just looks awful. I can’t pass this scheme, so I’ll give it an F.

Paul Menard #27 Valvoline Throwback Chevy SS-While I like throwback schemes for the most part, this scheme just doesn’t work. Based on Al Unser’s 1993 Daytona 500 scheme, this is one of those instances where the color scheme is mediocre, that silver is just not good, and a design that just doesn’t work. As much as I get what was trying to be done, it was based on a terrible scheme in its first incarnation, and I have to give it an F.

Bobby Labonte #32 One Orlando Ford FusonSame scheme as last year, same F grade.

Eddie McDonald #32 Bentley’s Saloon Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2016, orange, red, silver, and black with a series of modern designs up sides. F

Jeb Burton #32 Erie Insurance Ford Fusion-My only complaint is that the wave form is a bit overdone, which messes up the whole look. Other than that, its not a bad scheme at all, if not for being a tad overdone. B+

Kyle Larson #42 Energizer Chevy SS-It’s a decent scheme, but if the white were replaced by black, I would like it more. The design looks forced, and it doesn’t work as well. I’ll give it a C-.

Brian Scott #44 Shaw’s/Heinz Ford Fusion-Same scheme as Alberston’s, same A grade.

Michael Annett #46 St Jude’s Hospital Chevy SS-The silver background doesn’t work, but changing it to white would work very well. Other than that, it’s a really good scheme. B+

AJ Allmendinger #47 Kroger/Outshine/Drumstick Chevy SS-Same scheme as Kroger, same A grade.

AJ Allmendinger #47 Kroger/Clorox/Scott Chevy SS-Same scheme as Kroger, same A grade.

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

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s/Jimmie Johnson Foundation Chevy SS-The black with stars works very well, but why in the world would you go with that door design? That design is just awful. Above and beyond that, why would you have nearly invisible stars on the sides and hood? It just looks awful! I give it an F.

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Red Vest Chevy SS-Rather than replacing the blue elements with red, as in 2015, there was a whole new design for 2016, which is overdone, and just looks odd. I’m not sure what they were going for, but they missed. It’s ugly and confusing, and has earned an F.

Matt DiBenedetto #83 Anest Iwata Toyota Camry-Its a simple design, with a great color scheme, and it has a smooth look. I give it an A.

Matt DiBenedetto #83 Orange Crush Throwback Toyota Camry-Orange and blue can be hit or miss, depending on what shades are used, but this design, and this color scheme works very well, and earns an A

Matt DiBenedetto #83 Science Logic Toyota Camry-It’s never a good sign when I can compare a paint scheme to cheap hotel carpeting, but for this scheme, its spot on. The only thing giving this scheme a D+ is a good color scheme.

Ty Dillon #95 Chevy Summer Selldown Chevy SS-It could be better when it comes to the design, sunburst is finicky on race cars. The color scheme is great, so I’ll give it an B-.

Michael McDowell #95 Thrivent Financial Richard Childress Throwback Chevy SS-It’s a great throwback, and it is very faithful to the original. It can’t get any grade less than an A.

Cole Whitt #98 Speed Stick Reversed Chevy SS-As shown with the Olympic Dow scheme above, reversing the colors doesn’t always work. But this scheme shows that it can. Silver looks good as a background, and the blue works well. It earns an A.

Paint Scheme Grades-July 2, 2016

By David G. Firestone

Austin Dillon #3 Dow/Utility Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Austin Dillon #3 NRA Museum Chevy SS-Like everything else in life, patriotic schemes work when they aren’t overdone. This one is much too overdone. It’s not good, and the black background doesn’t do this scheme any favors. F

Kasey Kahne #5 Great Clips Chevy SS-For the first time in a while, Great Clips has a good looking scheme! The red and blue work well, the car is well designed, and the scheme earns an A

Regan Smith #7 Advance Auto Parts/Quaker State Chevy SS-It’s a bold look. The stripe fade motif works well, and the color scheme is really good. I like this, and am going to give it an A.

Tony Stewart #14 Bass Pro Shops Ducks Unlimited Chevy SS-I rarely do this, but I’m going to waive the “camo is an automatic one grade deduction” rule, because this scheme is actually not bad. In fact, the removal of orange works much better. My only issue with this scheme is that there is a little too much camo. But still, it earns a B-.

David Ragan #23 Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry-Same scheme as black Dr. Pepper, but with Frontline on decklid, same A grade.

Ryan Newman #31 Florida Lottery Chevy SS-The teal looks good, the orange looks decent, and that’s the only good thing I could say about this scheme. The design scheme is AWFUL! It’s overdone, and ugly! If the black was replaced by something lighter, then I could give it something higher than the D I’m giving it.

Jeffery Earnhardt #32 Keen Parts Dale Earnhardt Throwback Ford Fusion-This is a great throwback, and if I have to explain why, then I give up! A

Chris Buescher #34 Love’s Truck Support The Troops Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same F grade.

Landon Cassill #38 Taco Bell Ford Fusion-I would have kept this scheme higher, if not for the door numbers. I like the scheme as a whole, but in this picture, the door numbers are very hard to see. It just looks bad, and it takes an A scheme down to a B+.

Michael Annett #46 Pilot/Flying J Chevy SS-It’s a good scheme to begin with, and the patriotic motif is bold, but not overdone, and the end result is an A grade.

Reed Sorenson #55 Royal Teak Toyota Camry-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Cole Whitt #98 RTIC Coolers Chevy SS-Same scheme as black RTIC, same A grade.