Paint Scheme Grades-May 23-2015

Trevor Bayne #6 Advocare Camo Ford Fusion-The new redesign doesn’t look good, and would normally earn a D but because camo is used, the letter grade deduction is in play and this scheme earns an F.

Alex Bowman #7 Chevy SS-A smooth design with a great color scheme earns an A+ every time.

Alex Bowman #7 Culer Chevy SS-Decent color scheme and the design could use work. The wireframe design could work better without the green stripe, and vise versa. Still it is good enough to earn a C+.

Casey Mears #13 Geico Millitary Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same F grade.

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

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Patriotic Ford Fusion-Unlike last year, this patriotic scheme works quite well. It is a tad overdone though, but it still is worn a B+.

Joey Logano #22 Shell/Pennzoil Indy 500 Ford Fusion-When it comes to the Penske template, red and white is the best color scheme for it, and this scheme looks great, and earns an A+.

Mike Bliss #32 Alpha Floors/ Ford Fusion– A smooth design with a great color scheme earns an A+ every time.

David Gilliland #38 Love’s Support the Troops Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same F grade.

Landon Cassill #40 Snap Fitness Patriotic Chevy SS-The battered American flag motif is beautifl, and this scheme earns an A+.

Kyle Larson #42 Target Camo Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same F grade.

Kyle Larson #42 Target Bullseye Chevy SS-The target scheme works, and the bull terrier on the hood works well. A+

Aric Almirola #43 United States Air Force Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same A+ grade.

Josh Wise #98 Royal Teak Ford Fusion– A smooth design with a great color scheme earns an A+ every time.

Paint Scheme Grades-May 2, 2015

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna/Dixie Chopper Chevy SS-Same scheme as Cessna/Beechcraft scheme, same A grade.

Jamie McMurray #1 Energizer Eco Advanced Chevy SS-Same as #42 Energizer scheme, same D+ grade.

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite 1998 Throwback Ford Fusion-An amazing throwback scheme will always earn an A+.

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite 2007 Gold Throwback Ford Fusion-I’m a big fan of metallic gold, but the white hood and blue border on the numbers takes an A grade down to a B-.

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite 2010 Throwback Ford Fusion-A decent scheme, but the white wheels and the white beer can on the side take an A grade down to a B-.

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite/Careers for Veterans Ford Fusion-Same scheme as Miller Lite, but with Careers for Veterans on the quarter panel, same A+ grade.

Brad Keselowski #2 Avaya Ford Fusion-The Penske template doesn’t always work, but with the right color combination it works very well. A+

Kevin Harvick #4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevy SS-Green is not always a good color, and with an awful design it gives this scheme an F.

Alex Bowman #7 DOC 360 Chevy SS-Good smooth design with a good color scheme earns an A+.

Alex Bowman #7 Chevy SS-Good smooth design with a good color scheme earns an A+.

Casey Mears #13 Geico/Squidward Chevy SS-Horrible color scheme, and an extremely over designed scheme will always earn an F.

Greg Biffle #16 Cheez It/Patrick Starr Ford Fusion– Horrible color scheme, and an extremely over designed scheme will always earn an F.

David Ragan #18 Pedigree Toyota Camry-Good smooth design with a good color scheme earns an A+.

Joey Logano #22 Snap On Ford Fusion-A great fade gives the car a good look, and the great color scheme earns an A+.

Jeb Burton #26 Estes Toyota Camry-It’s an overdone scheme with too many different shades of yellow, and the whole thing looks overdone. D+.

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Sylvania Chevy SS-The orange and yellow scheme is horrid, the design doesn’t work with this color scheme, and the whole thing earns a D-.

Alex Kennedy #33 Honor and Remember Chevy SS-The color scheme is good, the overall design is good, but I think the door numbers are the the wrong colors, and the hood is a bit overdone. B-

Ty Dillon #33 Nexium Chevy SS-My only complaint is that the yellow doesn’t extend all the way to the back, but it’s a minor complaint, it’s still a good scheme. A-

Brett Moffitt #34 Dockside Logistics Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same A+ grade.

David Gilliland #38 The Pete Store Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same A+ grade.

David Gilliland #38 Farm Rich Ford Fusion-Same scheme as last year, same A+ grade.

Landon Cassill #40 Link-Belt Chevy SS-Good smooth design with a good color scheme earns an A+.

Aric Almirola #43 Smithfield/Cheney Brothers Ford Fusion-The scheme would be better without the bright yellow rear. It takes an A+ grade down to a B+

Michael Annett #46 Bene-Fit Chevy SS-Same scheme as Cypress HQ, same F grade.

David Ragan #55 Aaron’s/Spongebob Toyota Camry-I hate cars that look like two different people designed parts of the car, and this is one of them. The quarter panel and sides look like two different people designed them, and it just looks awful. It does have a good color scheme, so I will give it a D-.

Brett Moffitt #55 Aaron’s/Steve Byrnes Tribute Toyota Camry-Same as Aaron’s but with A fitting tribute to a tragic death. A+

Brendan Gaughn #62 Vydox Plus Chevy SS-I like fades, and the color scheme works well, it’s a bit overdone, but it still earns an A.

Brendan Gaughn #62 Low T Central Chevy SS-Good smooth design with a good color scheme earns an A+.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Mountain Dew Baja Blast Chevy SS-The color scheme is decent, but the design is overdone, and awful. I’ll give it a D-.

Michael McDowell #95 WRL Contractors/Thrivent Financial/Larry the Lobster Ford Fusion-I hate cars that look like two different people designed parts of the car, and this is one of them. The quarter panel and sides look like two different people designed them, and it just looks awful. It does have a good color scheme, so I will give it a D-.

Josh Wise #98 Steve Byrnes Tribute Ford Fusion-A fitting tribute to a tragic death. A+

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+

They Pay the Bills, So They Design The Suit

By David G. Firestone96-reeves-flogoFrom a design aspect, no other factor contributes as much as the primary sponsor or sponsors of the car. Everything from the colors to the torso design, to the television logos, to the shoulder epaulet and collar design depends on the primary sponsor. While this has been the case for the most part, how the primary sponsor is displayed can vary quite a bit.

Currently, the standard design for a primary sponsor logo is to have a large logo across the front of the lower torso, and on the back on the upper torso. These Christian Fittipaldi designs from 2002-2003 are great examples of that. The Georgia Pacific design from 2002 has a decent sized logo on the front bottom torso, and the same logo higher up on the back torso.45-fittipaldi-flogo 45-fittipaldi-blogoThe Bugles example from 2003 has identical logo placement for the Bugles logo.44-Fittipaldi-flogo 44-Fittipaldi-blogoMany driver suits feature this same logo placement.96-reeves-flogo 96-reeves-blogo 90-stricklin-flogo 90-stricklin-blogo 31-skinner-flogo 31-skinner-blogo 17-sedgwick-flogo 17-sedgwickb-logo 16-musgrave-flogo 16-musgrave-blogo 15-sprague-flogo 15-sprague-blogo 1-lajoie-flogo 1-lajoie-blogo 12-miller-flogo 12-miller-blogo

Taking a look at this Ricky Craven example from 1996, it features a design aspect that was very heavily used. The torso features a plan color, with a stripe across it with the sponsor name on that stripe. Dale Earnhardt Sr. used this design for many years, as did Rusty Wallace, Dick Trickle, and Steve Grissom among others. It is a fairly straightforward design, but it works very well.41-craven-flogo 41-craven-blogoOther suits have the primary sponsor logo present, but the logo is underwhelming. This design is exampled by this Bobby Hillin Jr. Moroso driver suit from 1991,20-hillinThis Lake Speed example from 1997,9-speed

and this Ted Musgrave example from 1998.15-musgrave-lchest 15-musgrave-blogo

In very rare instances, a primary sponsor is excluded from the suit altogether. One example is this Terry Labonte suit I covered earlier this year. That example was made for Terry to wear in a very last minute driver change. Another example is this David Stremme suit from 2009. I covered this issue earlier in the year, but to sum it up, because of a conflict between Verizon, the sponsor of Stremme’s car, and Sprint, the title sponsor of the Sprint Cup race, Verizon was not allowed to have their logos on Stremme’s car and driver suit. As such, Stremme raced a Dodge sponsorship, and wore this suit.12-stremme-flogo 12-stremme-blogoOne of the newer designs that is frequently seen is what I call the leg stripe design. This Kasey Kahne example shows a leg design that has a large white stripe running up the red background, with the DODGE television logo running up the leg. Sponsors can make their logos stand out more with this design, so it is becoming more popular every year.9-kahne-legsThis Scott Wimmer example is from 2002, and is rather unique in this category.23-wimmer-legsIt needs an explanation…The suit was worn for the entire 2002 season, which had a Siemens sponsorship for the first 25 races. After Siemens left the team, Scott Wimmer went on to win 4 of the next 9 races in an unsponsored black car with red and yellow flames…while wearing this suit.

While I get that the team not buying another suit for Wimmer to wear…it just looks weird.

Now this is another suit that needs an explanation. Nort Northam is a Porsche dealer based in Florida. He was a race car driver from 1979-1992, and his career was not great, with no wins, and two podiums. In 1988, he raced in the Sunbank 24 at Daytona, now called the Rolex 24 at Daytona in a Porsche owned by fellow driver Karl Durkheimer.56-Northam 56-Northamb

During that race, he wore this driver suit. It appears on this suit that a sponsor patch has been removed or fallen off. Now to understand the basic design, you need to understand that Nort raced in two races a year, and having a suit custom designed would be a needless expense. As such, his name, and two sponsor patches did the trick. Not fancy, but effective. This late 1980’s SCCA example is also a minimalist design, but it sticks to the “80’s stripe” design as the Ricky Craven example.

The last thing about primary sponsors is that sometimes, primary sponsor designs follow other sports uniform trends. This example from 1998 was worn by Jeremy Mayfield. At that time, gigantic logos across the fronts of uniforms were the big thing, and that was not good. This fad did not last long, thank heavens!

Driver Suit Blog “Wheel Reviews”

Last night, I went to see the movie “Rush” and I have to say, it was really good.  It has been said “you love your rivals, because you need someone to beat.” Nowhere is this more evident than Rush. Directed by Ron Howard and starring Daniel Brühl as Niki Lauda and Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt, Rush is the story of the rivalry between the two, from their days in Formula 3 in 1970, to Formula 1 in the 1970’s. For fans of racing movies, it is a true masterpiece.

The film takes the perspectives of the two drivers. Lauda is represented in the film as a talented driver who is great with setting up a race car. He is a driver who takes what he does very seriously. Hunt on the other hand is more of a playboy. He is a great driver, but his fast and furious lifestyle is a distraction from his true talent. Both are talented, but when Hesketh Racing, Hunt’s team can’t find sponsorship for the upcoming 1976 season, Hunt loses his ride. After his wife leaves for a ski trip, Hunt gets a ride with McLaren after Emerson Fittipaldi leaves to race for his cousin.

In 1976, Hunt struggles for the first part of the year, while Lauda, fresh off his 1975 World Championship is always a factor in the points standings. Hunt’s luck changes at the Spanish Grand Prix, where he beats Lauda, though he is disqualified for his car being less than an inch over regulation. Hunt’s wife divorces him, and driven by this, his season turns around. Though Lauda struggles at this point, the points standings are close coming into the German Grand Prix

The 1976 German Grand Prix was a critical point in this story, as the points battle was heating up. This race was at the the “Old Nürburgring” one of the most difficult tracks in the world. The weather was stormy, which kicks up the danger. Knowing the track as well as he did, Lauda called a meeting of the drivers and stated that the race should be canceled because of the conditions. Hunt thinks it is just a trick to take a race out of the schedule, and the cancellation is voted down. Lauda is seriously hurt in a wreck, and he is hospitalized. Hunt blames himself for the wreck. The story from there is the story of the 1976 Formula 1 World Championship.

The cars in the movie were very accurate, in some cases, vintage equipment was used. The tires used were made by Goodyear, and had the lettering in white as opposed to the yellow lettering that they currently use. The crew uniforms were very accurate as well. The driver uniforms were very well done, as were the helmets. Something that I noticed about them was that I couldn’t see any safety certification visible.

All in all, this is a great movie, and racing fans will enjoy this movie, so I give it an A!

Paint Scheme Reviews

Jamie McMurray #1 Liftmaster Chevy SS Good color scheme and decent desisn add up to an A- grade

Clint Bowyer #15 Raspberry 5-Hour Energy/Living Beyond Breast Cancer Toyota Camry I hate pinkwashing and I hate raspberries, so this gets an automatic F

Kyle Busch #18 M&M’s Halloween Toyota Camry The leaf designs on the bottom of the doors just look odd, and it takes a solid A scheme, to an A-. It does have great overall design and great colors, but the leaves just kill it.

Matt Kenseth #20 Home Depot/Let’s Do This Toyota Camry The overall scheme is great, and has a great color scheme. The problem is that the back end is yellow, which just looks odd when compared to the rest of the car. If the back was black, it would match quite well, but this is just bad. I want to give this scheme a higher grade, but the best I can do is a B-

JJ Yeley #36 Drive Sober Arrive Alive Chevy SS Great color scheme, great colors, and a cause that is easy to support add up to an A+ scheme.

Ryan Newman #39 Slate Water Heaters Chevy SS While I don’t get the silver design at the bottom of the car, this is a great scheme, and gets an A+

Ryan Truex #51 Shooters Sporting Center Chevy SS The yellow outline on the numbers is brutal, and the Shooters Sporting Center logo is just awful. C- is the best I can do.