Paint Scheme Grades-June 15, 2019

By David G. Firestone

Austin Dillon #3 DOW Salutes Veterans Chevy Camaro-Dale’s Olympic scheme was a great scheme. This somewhat faithful replica looks really good, and I can’t really say anything bad. A

Ryan Newman #6 Coca Cola Ford Mustang-Another great patriotic look. This is a good design, it isn’t over designed, and the car looks great. A

Daniel Hemric #8 Chevy Accessories Chevy Camaro-Changing the angles to curves is a good look. The car looked great last year, and it looks great this year. A

Aric Almirola #10 Smithfield/Meijer Ford Mustang-Another example of a scheme that has two good elements that combine to be a mediocre design. The blue Meijer would work, as does Smithfield. Together, this isn’t a great look, I’ll give it a C.

Ryan Blaney #12 Menards/Wrangler Riggs Ford Mustang-Red as a base color is a good look, and the 2018 Menard’s template works very well. This gets a well-earned A.

Ty Dillon #13 Twisted Tea Patriotic Chevy Camaro-The bottom motif works well, it’s simple yet well done. A

Clint Bowyer #14 Haas Automation/IT Savvy Ford Mustang-This is a decent scheme, but this would work so much better with a black-to-orange fade. Still, it’s decet, so I’ll give it a B.

Garrett Smithley #15 Victory Lane Quick Oil Change/Kendall Oil Chevy Camaro-The red and white curves look really good on the black background. The car as a whole looks great. A

Erik Jones #20 Craftsman/SportsClips Toyota Camry-Same scheme as Craftsman, same A grade.

Paul Menard #21 Menard’s/Nibco Ford Mustang-This works well, I’m beginning to come around on the new template. This is a good look. A

Corey LaJoie #32 Harvest Investments Ford Mustang-I don’t know for sure if Big Bird has his own shade of yellow. I hope he does, because this is a great shade of yellow. Add in that the car has a smooth look, and you have an A.

Michael McDowell #34 Melling Engine Parts/Dockside Logistics Ford Mustang-Same scheme as Dockside Logistics, same B+ grade.

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Air Force Chevy Camaro-I love everything about this design! The A-10 is one of my favorite Air Force planes. This look is a great look. A

Josh Bilicki #52 Mariott Companies Chevy Camaro-It’s a smooth look, with a great color scheme, and that will always earn an A

Alex Bowman #88 Axalta Throwback Chevy Camaro-The Tim Richmond Folgers scheme was a great scheme, and it’s nice that Axalta is doing a faithful throwback. This is a great look. A

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Paint Scheme Grades-June 8, 2019

By David G. Firestone

Landon Cassill #00 Madison Group Chevy Camaro-The gray on white designs could be toned down.  That would be a great improvement.  It’s not a terrible design, but it has room for improvement. B

Brad Keselowski #2 Wabash National/Supreme Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Light Fathers Day Ford Mustang-The cluttered rear quarter panel is a downgrade, and the car as a whole suffers as a result.  It’s still great, but the new design does take the scheme from an A to an A-

Ryan Newman #6 Oscar Meyer/Velveeta Throwback Ford Mustang-Full disclosure, I loved the old Mark Martin Valvoline design.  This new version with Oscar Meyer and Velveeta colors is not as great.  The red, white, and blue design works well.  Red, green and white doesn’t work as well.  It’s still decent, so I’ll give it a B+.

Daniel Hemric #8 Kalahari Resorts Chevy Camaro-This is getting a higher grade, because it’s a better scheme…by comparison.  It’s over designed, and I don’t like the shade of blue.  But compared to last year’s scheme, it’s an improvement.B+

Aric Almirola #10 Valley Tech Academy Ford Mustang-New sponsor for 2019, white front, fades to dark blue rear, red stripe on sides. B-

Aric Almirola #10 Smithfield Throwback Ford Mustang-For Tony Stewart’s Hall of Fame election, Stewart-Haas Racing’s cars are being painted in the colors of Tony’s Cup Championship schemes.  The first from 2002, is based on Tony’s Home Depot.  It’s a faithful replica, so that’s good, and I do like the Home Depot’s shade of orange.  All things considered, this gets an A.

Clint Bowyer #14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Ford Mustang-This second Tony Stewart Throwback is based on his 2011 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevy.  Like the #10, it’s a faithful replica, with correct colors.  I liked the design back then, and I like this now, so this gets an A.

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. #17 NOS Ford Mustang-NOS has had some schemes over the years that would not get a passing grade.  This isn’t one of them.  This is a good scheme.  The colors work well, the car is not over designed, and it has a smooth look.  All things considered, this gets an A.

Corey LaJoie #32 Visone RV/Wildcat Adventures Ford Mustang-It’s a smooth look, with a great color scheme, and that will always earn an A.

Matt Tift #36 Surface Sunscreen Ford Mustang-It’s a smooth look, with a great color scheme, and that will always earn an A.

David Ragan #38 Exploria Resorts Ford Mustang-Gray isn’t always the best base color for a race car.  Add in a pointlessly over designed mess of a scheme, and you get an F grade.

Daniel Suarez #41 Haas Throwback Ford Mustang-The third Tony Stewart Championship throwback scheme is based on his 2005 Home Depot scheme, which is the best of the three.  It’s faithful, and it has a great look, and that will always earn an A.

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Victory Junction Ford Mustang-My only complaint here is that the designs on the front are over designed.  Other than that, this is a good scheme. A-

J.J. Yeley #52 Steakhouse Elite/Weis Markets Chevy Camaro-It’s a smooth look, with a great color scheme, and that will always earn an A.

Paint Scheme Grades-June 1, 2019

By David G. Firestone

Landon Cassill #00 StarCom Fiber Patriotic Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same B- grade.

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Patriotic Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Ryan Newman #6 Oscar Meyer Patriotic Ford Mustang-The patriotic motif would work, or the Oscar Meyer motif would work. Combined, they don’t work. This is a rare scheme that clashes with itself. It’s not horrible, it’s not great, it’s worth a C.

Aric Almirola #10 Smithfield Patriotic Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same D grade.

Ryan Blaney #12 Dent Wizard Ford Mustang-This could theoretically work if the colors were reversed. Dark over light works with the Penske template, but light over dark doesn’t. This just doesn’t look good. F

Ross Chastain #15 Cross Country Adjusting Chevy Camaro-Blue, white, and orange work well, the car isnt over designed, and the car has a great look. I can’t say anything bad here, so I won’t. A

Erik Jones #20 Reser’s Main St. Bistro Toyota Camry-Same scheme as Reser’s, same A grade.

Reed Sorenson #27 VIP Racing Experience Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as #15, same A grade.

Michael McDowell #34 Love’s Truck Stops Patriotic Ford Mustang-When used correctly, camouflage can work well. This is not one of those cases. I give teams grief for using modern camo, but old school camo does not work on the side of a race car. This is not a good scheme at all. F

Chris Buescher #37 Kroger Thrill of the Grill Chevy Camaro-Black with flames…need I say any more than that? A

David Ragan #38 Select Blinds Patriotic Ford Mustang-This may be the most over designed cars I have seen this year. The amount of flames is amazing, the colors don’t mix well with the design, and the whole car is giving me motion sickness while looking at a picture of it. F

Daniel Suarez #41 Coca Cola Ford Mustang-Coca Cola has a great shade of red, and they use it quite effectively here. Add in a smooth look, and you have a car worth an A.

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Orange Vanilla Coca Cola Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as #43, same A grade.

Joey Gase #46 Toyota Camry-Same scheme as #66, same B- grade.

Cody Ware #51 Jacob Companies P-40 Warhawk Ford Mustang-For this car, I had to go to the thesaurus and look up synonyms for amazing, because I didn’t know enough. This is a prodigious looking car based on an empyreal aircraft design. I can’t begin to say how much I love this car. A

Bayley Currey #52 Rick Ware Racing SR-71 Ford Mustang-See above. A

Quin Houff #77 NASCAR Mobile App Chevy Camaro-The black looks good, and the NASCAR logo elements are a unique touch. The car isn’t over designed, and it has a great look. A

Alex Bowman #88 Nationwide Patriotic Chevy Camaro-It’s unique, I’ll give it that. The sublimated designs shouldn’t be sublimated. With this design, it looks like the patriotic was an element is secondary. It’s not the worst, but not the best. C

Matt DiBenedetto #95 Procore-Safety Qualified Toyota Camry-Another example of why camo has no place on a race car. Add in some pointless green designs, and you have an F worthy scheme.

Paint Scheme Grades-May 25, 2019

By David G. Firestone

Landon Cassill #00 Elongator Tailgates Chevy Camaro-My only complaint here is that the yellow stripes are a tad over done. Other than that, this is a great scheme. A-

Kurt Busch #1 Advent Health Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as #40, same F grade.

Austin Dillon #3 Coke Zero Chevy Camaro-I think the side designs are over done, but the car as a whole looks good, and has a great color scheme. I give this an A-.

Ryan Newman #6 Oscar Meyer Ford Mustang-Replacing the hot dog motif with this motif is a downgrade. It still has a decent color scheme, but the design is worse. All things considered, I give it a B+.

Ryan Newman #6 Mazola Ford Mustang-Green can be a very difficult color to work with, but this is a great shade of green. Add in a good color scheme, and smooth design, and you have a scheme that earns an A.

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

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

Ross Chastain #15 VIP Racing Experience Chevy Camaro-A smooth design with a great color scheme will ALWAYS earn an A.

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Hazelnut Toyota Camry-The teal look is really good, and the design works well.  I can’t really say anything bad, so I won’t. A

Martin Truex Jr. #19 Bass Pro Shops Patriotic Toyota Camry-The patriotic motif works well, and the car has a really good design. This is a great scheme. A

Martin Truex Jr. #19 Bass Pro Shops Throwback Toyota Camry-I’m not always a fan of Bass Pro Shops throwbacks, some are better than others. That being said, this scheme is a good look, with a great color scheme. This scheme gets an A.

Paul Menard #21 Menard’s/Knauf Ford Mustang-Same scheme as #12, same B+ grade.

Joey Logano #22 Money Lion Ford Mustang-Same scheme as #22 same C grade.

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang-Amazing how changing the colors on the Penske Template vastly improves the scheme here. This is so much better than red and goldenrod.  This is a great scheme, and I can’t give this anything less than an A.

Corey LaJoie #32 Freedom Hard Ford Mustang-This is a great look! White with red stripes looks really good, and the car isn’t over designed. This scheme gets an A

Matt Tift #36 Surface Suncreen/Tunity Patriotic Ford Mustang-Replacing a regular scheme with patriotic elements can be difficult. In this case, it works very well. This looks really good, and I don’t have any complaints. A

Kyle Larson #42 Advent Health Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as #40, same F grade.

Jimmie Johnson #48 Ally Financial Patriotic Chevy Camaro-Could someone please explain to me why in the world it was decided that WHITE LETTERS ON CAMOUFLAGE was a good idea?  The letters and logo are so difficult to read when you are closely looking at the car, never mind when the car is at the track. This is the worse camouflage scheme I have ever seen, and that says a lot! F

Cody Ware #51 Jacob Companies Chevy Camaro-A smooth design with a great color scheme will ALWAYS earn an A.

B.J. McLeod #53 Enlisted Nine Flight Company Chevy Camaro-The military motif works well, and the car looks awesome! The numbers are amazing. This is a great scheme. A

Matt DiBenedetto #95 Anest Iwata Toyota Camry-I like fades, and this is a great fade.  Blue to black is a great fade. Add in that the car isn’t over designed, and you have a scheme worth an A.

Paint Scheme Grades-May 4, 2019

By David G. Firestone

Landon Cassill #00 Home Town Lenders Chevy Camaro-This is a smooth, clean look. It has a great color scheme, and the car as a whole looks great. I can’t give this scheme less than an A.

Brad Keselowski #2 Snap On Ford Mustang-The overall design is great, but I don’t get the hood design. Why is there a red triangle? Why is Snap On only on one side? Who designed this, and why? This look is not great. All aspects averaged, this gets a C.

Ryan Newman #6 Oscar Meyer Patriotic Ford Mustang-The Patriotic elements look forced here, and the overall design suffers as a result. If it kept the same design, but with Patriotic colors, it would work much better. Still, this isn’t terrible, so I give it a B+.

Chase Elliott #9 Mountain Dew/Little Ceaser’s Chevy Camaro-A smooth, clean look, with a good color scheme will always earn an A.

Clint Bowyer #14 Toco Warranty Ford Mustang-Problem number one, there are too many colors. Problem number two, the car is a tad over designed. Now, while it isn’t awful, it isn’t great, so I’ll give it a B-.

Ross Chastain #15 Low T Center Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same F grade.

Erik Jones #20 Stanley Toyota Camry-While the car has a decent color scheme, the design scheme is pointlessly over designed. It doesn’t look good at all. This should be a reversal of the DeWalt scheme. Still, it could be much worse, so I’ll give it a C.

Ryan Blaney #21 Motorcraft Quick Lane Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Matt Tift #36 Surface Suncreen/Tunity Ford Mustang-The gray is pointless, and the side design could be toned down a bit. It’s still a decent scheme, so it gets a B+.

Chris Buescher #37 Tide Pods Chevy Camaro-Calling this scheme pointlessly over designed is a masterpiece of understatement. Too many designs, and contrasting colors is too much for me, so this gets an F.

David Ragan #38 Mystik Lubricants Ford Mustang-Toning down the designs could help this scheme, but it’s not terrible. I’d like the black on the front toned down a bit. It’s not awful so it gets a B+.

David Ragan #38 Shriners Hospitals for Children Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Daniel Suarez #41 Orange Vanilla Coca Cola Ford Mustang-This is a great scheme with a great color scheme, and the design scheme works well. I can’t complain about this scheme, so I won’t. A

Stanton Barrett #52 HUSKI Chocolate Chevy Camaro-Good color scheme, check. Good design scheme, check. A grade, check.

Justin Haley #77 Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Jeffrey Earnhardt #81 iK9/Xtreme Concepts Toyota Camry-The black star motif works well, and the car as a whole looks great. A

Parker Kligerman #96 TRD 40th Anniversary Toyota Camry-Toyota seems to take pride in over designing their schemes. This example isn’t as bad as some schemes I’ve seen. It looks decent, though it could be toned down a bit, like changing the hood and roof colors. Still, it looks decent, so I’ll give it a B.

Paint Scheme Grades-April 20, 2019

By David G. Firestone

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Plaid Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Ryan Newman #6 Roush Performance/Acorns Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Aric Almirola #10 Smithfield Get Grilling America Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Paul Menard #21 Menard’s/Maytag Ford Mustang-Darker colors work well with the new Menard’s template, and this is a good example. The dark blue works well here, so I give this an A.

Matt Tift #36 The Pete Store Ford Mustang-It’s a great color scheme, but it is very over designed. I don’t like the design, but it does work with the color scheme. I’ll give this a B-.

Bayley Currey #52 Steakhouse Elite Chevy Camaro-The two changes to the new scheme made a huge improvement. The new scheme looks cleaner, and smoother, and is a great look. I’ll give this an A

Joey Gase #66 Sam Bass Tribute Toyota Camry-Normally, I’d give this an F. But because this is to honor the greatest NASCAR artists of all time, I’ll give this a C. It’s still over designed, but it is a fitting tribute.

Matt DiBenedetto #95 Thank You Toyota Toyota Camry-This color scheme and design scheme aren’t amazing. They are also not awful. They are directly in the middle. So, since they are in the middle, this gets a C.

Paint Scheme Grades-March 16, 2019

By David G. Firestone

Landon Cassill #00 Iron Mountain Data Centers Chevy Camaro-It’s a solid, smooth look, I love the use of blues, and the stripes are well done, so this gets an A.

Kurt Busch #1 Global Poker Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as Monster, same A grade.

Brad Keselowski #2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Ryan Newman #6 Oscar Mayer Bacon Ford Mustang-The bacon motif works well, and the color scheme is great too. Nothing wrong here!A

Daniel Hemric #8 Okuma Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same D+ grade.

Clint Bowyer #14 IT Savvy Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Ross Chastain #15 Chevy Camaro-I like this look, but I do think that the stripes are over done. A-

Erik Jones #20 Reser’s Fine Foods Toyota Camry-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Paul Menard #21 Quaker State Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same B- grade.

Michael McDowell #34 Dockside Logistics Ford Mustang-I don’t like this new design as much as I like the Front Row template. I think the new side designs are over done. Still, it has a great color scheme, and the side designs aren’t as bad as they could be. I’ll give it a B+.

Chris Buescher #37 Kroger Flavor Fill Up Chevy Camaro-This scheme is horribly over designed. There are several elements, none of which work with each other. It just doesn’t look good. The only saving grace is that the color scheme is good, so I’ll give it a D-

Daniel Suarez #41 Arris Ruckus Ford Mustang-A smooth look, with a great color scheme will always earn an A.

Quin Houff #77 Rim Ryderz Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as #15/27, same A- grade.

Paint Scheme Grades-February 16, 2019

By David G. Firestone

Brad Keselowski #2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Beer Car 2 Can Ford Mustang-The black carbon fiber looks great, and the car isn’t over designed. It’s a great look, and this scheme earns an A.

Ryan Newman #6 Wyndham Rewards Ford Mustang-Removing the clouds would work if they hadn’t added the stripes. This could have been so much better, but the over designed stripes take it from an A to a B+.

Ryan Newman #6 Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same B- grade.

Ryan Newman #6 Acorns Ford Mustang-I could stand this scheme if the door numbers were white. The green and white works very well here. The pinkish-blue door and roof numbers clash with the rest of the scheme. It’s such a bad look, that if the door numbers were plain white, I would give this an A. The end result is this scheme gets a C-

Chase Elliott #9 Mountain Dew/Team Rubicon Chevy Camaro-Camo doesn’t add to many schemes, but this scheme is so much worse. Metallic gold and camo is not a good look. The rest of the scheme is good, but the camo takes an A scheme down to a B+.

Aric Almirola #10 Smithfield Prime Fresh Ford Mustang-Another example of two different design elements which would be amazing by themselves, but look forced and awkward together. The white would work, the green would work, they don’t work well together. Still, it isn’t horrible, so I’ll give it a B+.

Clint Bowyer #14 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion-The black with subtle red flames is an amazingly bold look, that isn’t over designed. It looks great and earns an A.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Little Hug Fruit Barrels Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same F grade.

Kyle Busch #18 Skittles Patriotic Toyota Camry-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Erik Jones #20 SportClips Toyota Camry-The smartphone motif is decent, because it covers the stripes. It’s still not a great scheme, but it is an improvement, so I’ll give it a C.

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same D grade.

Corey LaJoie #32 Old Spice Ford Mustang-When it comes to paint schemes, I am very rarely at a total loss for words, but when I first saw this, I was shocked. Even with some of the worst schemes, I get what they were going for. Here, I have no idea what’s going on. Why would LaJoie put his own face on the front of his car? Why? I can only hope his face gets wrecked in the race. F

Michael McDowell #34 Love’s Truck Stops Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Matt Tifft #36 Speedco Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

David Ragan #38 Select Blinds Ford Mustang-Decent color scheme, could be darkened a bit. Decent design scheme, could be toned down a bit. Together, they are a decent look combined, so I’ll give it a B.

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Aftershokz Chevy Camaro-Its a bold look, the color scheme is great, and the look isn’t over designed, so I’l give it an A.

BJ McCleod #51 Jacob Companies Chevy Camaro-Great color scheme, but the design scheme is over designed, but not too over designed. All things considered, I’ll give it a B.

Cody Ware #52 Winn-Dixie Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Paint Scheme Grades-January 19, 2019

By David G. Firestone

Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol Chevy Camaro-Getting rid of the black is a great move, and the new design works well with the color scheme. All things considered, this gets an A.

Ryan Newman #6 Oscar Meyer Ford Fusion-The color scheme works well, and the hot dog motif works well with the color scheme. I’ll give this an A.

Daniel Hemric #8 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevy Camaro-The new design scheme is decent, though I think it is over done. The color scheme is decent, though it does work with the design scheme. It’s not great, but it’s decent, so it gets a B.

Ty Dillon #13 Twisted Tea Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Erik Jones #20 Craftsman Toyota Camry-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Jimmie Johnson #48 Ally Financial Chevy Camaro-I like the designs on the wheel well, and the overall design is great, and not over designed. Add in a great color scheme, and you have an A scheme.

The Final Paint Scheme Grades Of 2018-November 24, 2018

By David G. Firestone

Landon Cassill#00 Local Knowledge Mahi Chevy Camaro-The mahi is an amazing looking fish, but it does NOT translate well to the side of a race car. The car is over designed, and it looks like a mess.

DJ Kennington #7 APC Chevy Camaro-The front was changed from blue to red, which neither adds nor subtracts from the overall look of the car. As such, B-

Martin Truex Jr. #78 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry-It’s a smooth look with a great color scheme, and that will always earn an A.

Tanner Berryhill #97 Brand South Africa/Vroom! Brands Toyota Camry-It’s a smooth look with a great color scheme, and that will always earn an A.

Kyle Weatherman #99 International Marine Marlin Chevy Chevy Camaro-While the marlin is much better than a mahi as the motif for a race car, it’s still over designed. The color scheme is better, as is the design as compared to the #00, but it’s still not great. All things considered, I give it a C