Paint Scheme Grades-October 31, 2015

By David G. Firestone

First we have 2016 paint scheme…

Chase Elliott #24 NAPA Chevy SS-It’s a smooth look, very good color scheme, and it looks great! It earns an. A+

Now on to 2015 paint schemes…

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna/Bad Boy Buggies Pink Chevy SS-Pinkwashing is an automatic F

Greg Biffle #16 Ford Performance Ford Fusion-It’s a simple design with a great color scheme, and I love the spray design on the door numbers. A+

Carl Edwards #19 Xfinifty Toyota Camry-Let’s be honest, it’s a slightly better redesign of the Great Clips scheme, and even then, it’s only B- level. Too many dark-on-dark designs.

JJ Yeley #26 Adirondack Tree Surgeons Toyota Camry-The mediocre color scheme and insanely overdone design scheme combine to earn an F. There is no part of this scheme I can defend.

Paul Menard #27 Menards/Tarkett Chevy SS-With the Menard’s template, or any template for that matter, some color schemes work, other color schemes don’t. The purple isn’t great, but it isn’t awful. I’ll give it a B+.

Bobby Labonte #32 C&J Energy Services Ford Fusion-Pinkwashing is an automatic F.

Ryan Ellis #33 Science Logic Chevy SS-A great color scheme and an awful design scheme combine for a D+ grade.

Travis Kvapil #33 Chevy SS-A timeless look with a great color scheme will earn an A+ ever single time.

David Gilliland #38 Jerry Cook Tribute Ford Fusion-Great looking throwbacks will ALWAYS deserve an A+.

Kyle Larson #42 Target Plaid Chevy SS-If you paint your car with a houndstooth design and it ends up looking like a picnic table cover, you deserve to get a D-.

Kyle Larson #42 Target Plaid Chevy SS-Plaid doesn’t look good on clothes, and it looks even worse on race cars. The only thing saving this scheme is a good color scheme. D-

Michael Annett #46 Flying J/PJ Fresh Chevy SS-Good color scheme, and I LOVE the tomato sauce and pepperoni motif! It looks great and earns an A+.

Timmy Hill #62 Royal Teak Ford Fusion-Royal Teak has had a lot of great color schemes this year, and this is another one. Great color scheme, great design, no complaints. A+

Michael Waltrip #98 Maxwell House Toyota Camry-Same as Clint Bowyer’s Maxwell House Toyota, same A+ grade.

Advertisements

Paint Scheme Grades-August 22, 2015

By David G. Firestone

We have our first 2016 paint scheme, and I will grade it as normal. I know that the scheme might change.

Danica Patrick #10 Nature’s Bakery Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2016, and for the first new scheme, it looks much better than anything I have seen on Danica’s car thus far. However, since this may not be the final scheme for 2016, I will take it with a grain of salt. I will give in an A+.\

Now on to the 2015 schemes…

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite/Luke Bryan Ford Fusion-Same as Miller Lite, but with Luke Bryan on the hood, I’ll give it an A+.

Alex Bowman #7 APC Chevy SS-The scheme looks decent, but if the black were replaced by white, it would look better. The APC color scheme would look better with a white background. Still, it’s a decent scheme, but it has a B- look to it.

Sam Hornish Jr. #9 Transportation Impact Ford Fusion-Transportation Impact’s attempt to use the Petty C around the numbers as part of the design scheme look awful, and the whole scheme is much awkward. If that lightning bolt was removed, it would be an A scheme, but because of the bad design, it earns a C-.

Sam Hornish Jr. #9 Blue Emu Ford Fusion-Another attempt to use the Petty C in the scheme, but this works much better. It’s much smoother, and it works. Sadly, the front nose design looks odd, and the red C near the door number doesn’t fit with the whole scheme. I’ll give it a B+.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Cargil David Pearson Throwback Ford Fusion– A very accurate throwback from David Pearson’s Holman-Moody days. Bonus point to Cargil for adding the vintage lettering on the sides. You can’t give this scheme anything lower than an A+.

Jeb Burton #26 Rocky Ridge Toyota CamryLeave it to BK Racing to completely miss the point of the THROWBACK RACE at Darlington! I got it wrong, this was run at Bristol. The color scheme is good, but it can’t save this scheme, which shouldn’t be running at a throwback race. I give it an F.

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Knauf Chevy SS-Some templates don’t work with certain color schemes, and this is a perfect example. The sky blue/neon yellow color scheme is awful, and the design is keeping it afloat. I give it a D-

Josh Wise #32 Tom Siple Foundation Ford Fusion-The Tom Siple Foundation was created in 2008 after Tom Siple died of cancer. The foundation exists to give terminally ill and severely disabled individuals a chance to hunt before their time comes. It’s a great charity, and they have a great paint scheme, earning an A+.

Travis Kvapil #33 Chevy SS-Great color scheme with a smooth design will always earn an A+.

Brett Moffitt #34 No Escape Ford Fusion-If the lettering and door numbers weren’t so bright I would be able to give it a better grade, but I can’t give this anything better than a C-.

Cole Whitt #35 Dockside Logistics Chevy SS-Same as #34 Dockside scheme, same A+ grade.

David Gilliland #38 Cash Crash Ford Fusion-The Front Row template can work very well with the right color scheme, but this isn’t the right color scheme. The green is too bright, the red clashes with it, and the hood design is awful. I’ll be kind and give it a C+.

Landon Cassill #40 Hillman Automotive Chevy SSGreat color scheme with a smooth design will always earn an A+.

Kyle Larson #42 Clorox Chevy SS-Same scheme as last year, same D-grade.

Kyle Larson #42 Target/Cartwheel Chevy SS-Not only is this a great design and color scheme, I would love to see it reversed and made the primary scheme. An A+ scheme for sure.

Kyle Larson #42 Mello Yello Chevy SS-I love a good, accurate throwback, and this is a perfect example of one. It looks just as good now as it did then, I give it an A+.

Aric Almirola #43 Armour Ford Fusion– The yellow roof numbers have been going on too long, they look awful, and it takes an A+ down to an A-.

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe’s Throwback Chevy SS-If the cream was replaced by white, I would give it an A+ but because is isn’t it takes it down to a B-.

David Ragan #55 Aaron’s Ken Ragan Throwback Toyota CamryNew scheme for 2015, throwback to David’s father Ken’s 1990’s car. -This is a scheme that throws back to Ken Ragan’s old scheme. I love a good, accurate throwback, and this is a perfect example of one. It looks just as good now as it did then, I give it an A+.

Reed Sorenson #62 Chevy SSGreat color scheme with a smooth design will always earn an A+.

Matt DiBenedetto #83 Cosmo Motors Toyota Camry-The only good thing I can say about this scheme is that it has a decent color scheme. C-

Timmy Hill #98 Ford Fusion-Great color scheme with a smooth design will always earn an A+.

Paint Scheme Grades-August 8, 2015

Jamie McMurray #1 Lexar Chevy SS-It’s a great design, the colors work well, and the design scheme is great too. A+

Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol Throwback Chevy SS-The throwback motif does look good, it’s based on Richard Childress car from the 1970’s. The modern logos don’t mix very well. B-

Kasey Kahne #5 Aquafina Chevy SS– Amazingly, the water motif works very well. The color scheme is good too. It earns an A+.

Alex Bowman #7 FW1 Wash and Wax Chevy SS– The lime green to Ferrari red might work if it were on the whole car, but the black on either side with the thick wide stripes just look awful. I’ll give it a B-.

Denny Hamlin #11 Sport Clips Throwback Toyota Camry– Like the Austin Dillon throwback scheme, the modern logos with vintage design thing doesn’t work here. The vintage numbers look good, but they only elevate the logo to a C.

Greg Biffle #16 Roush Performance Parts Ford Fusion-Good color scheme here. It is so over designed that the best I can give it is a C-.

Ryan Blaney #21 Snap On Throwback Ford Fusion– I was really hoping that Ryan would run his Motorcraft scheme, it’s the best throwback scheme currently in use, but they went with this scheme instead. The fade from black to white worked, but the fade from black to photos looks awkward, and takes an A scheme down to a B-.

Paul Menard #27 Menard’s/Libman Chevy SS-The Menard’s template works quite well with this setup, and I can’t give it lower than an A+.

Travis Kvapil #32 Skuttletight Ford Fusion– The color scheme works well, and the stripes on the bottom work well too. I give it an A+.

Brett Moffat #34 A&W National Root Beer Float Day Ford Fusion-Same as A&W scheme, but with a slight change, same A+ grade.

Chris Buscher #34 Bully Hill Vineyards Ford Fusion– The scheme works well with the blue in place of the black, but this new scheme looks horrible. I’ll be kind and give it a D+.

Cole Whitt #35 MDS Ford Fusion-It’s a good, smooth design, with a great color scheme. It earns an A+.

Landon Cassill #40 Chevy SS-It’s a good, smooth design, with a great color scheme. It earns an A+.

Kyle Larson #42 Suave Chevy SS– The design works very well here, and the color scheme is a bold choice that works well. It earns an A+.

David Ragan #55 Aaron’s.com Toyota Camry-Same scheme as Aaron’s, same A+ grade.

Reed Sorenson #62 Chevy SS– It’s a good, smooth design, with a great color scheme. It earns an A+.

Timmy Hill #62 Ford Fusion– The team changed to a ford, and the scheme is a good, smooth design, with a great color scheme. It earns an A+.

Matt DiBenedetto #83 Voodoo Grills Toyota Camry-Same scheme as last year, same F grade.

Timmy Hill #98 Curb Record/Tim Duggar White Ford Fusion-This was the first of two cars Timmy Hill took to Indianapolis. He would wreck in practice and switch to the backup car before the race. The Curb design works well, and the color scheme earns an A+.

Timmy Hill #98 Curb Record/Tim Duggar Black Ford Fusion-This is the backup car that Timmy Hill raced at Indianapolis after the wreck. It earns an A+.

Reed Sorenson #98 Chevy SS-The team switched to Chevy, and this is the same scheme as the Timmy Hill #62 scheme, and it is a good, smooth design, with a great color scheme. It earns an A+.

Paint Scheme Grades-June 20, 2015

Alex Bowman #7 Racing Rewards Chevy SS-Decent color scheme, but the stripe design is over done. If the rough edges were smooth, I’d be able to give it a higher grade than a C+.

Ryan Blaney #21 Maryn Winters Motorcraft JDRF Ford Fusion-Designed by 8 year old Maryn Winters, who suffers from Type 1 Diabetes in a contest by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Maryn designed a really good looking car. A+

JJ Yeley #23 Heinz Toyota Camry-Good smooth design with a great color scheme will always earn an A+.

JJ Yeley #23 Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry– Good smooth design with a great color scheme will always earn an A+.

Chase Elliott #25 NAPA Fauxback Chevy SS-Taking a classic scheme and redesigning it for a different sponsor and a different car can work, it just doesn’t here. The color scheme is good, so I’ll give it a C-.

Jeb Burton #26 Maxim Fantasy Sports/Estes Toyota Camry– Good smooth design with a great color scheme will always earn an A+.

Paul Menard #27 Moen/Menard’s Chevy SS– Black, blue, and yellow work quite well with the Menard’s template. A+

Mike Bliss #32 Rimrock Devlin/Corvette Parts Ford Fusion-Same as Corvette Parts, Same F grade.

Travis Kvapil #32 Victorypress.biz Ford Fusion-Good smooth design with a great color scheme will always earn an A+.

Brett Moffit #34 CSX Veterans Ford Fusion-Same as CSX, same A+ grade.

Justin Allgaier #51 Switch Hitch Chevy SS-Good smooth design with a great color scheme will always earn an A+.

Matt DiBenedetto #83 Dan Bilzerian Toyota Camry-Good smooth design with a great color scheme will always earn an A+.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Nationwide Patriotic Chevy SS-A good looking patriotic scheme. Smooth simple look with a great color scheme will earn an A+.

Josh Wise #98 Ford Fusion-Good smooth design with a great color scheme will always earn an A+.

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-.

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!

The Silly Season…and Why It Isn’t Silly For Me…

By David G. Firestone

It’s August, the summer is winding down, you are seeing back to school ads on TV, Halloween stuff is popping up in stores, and the Silly Season is officially underway. For me, this begins the most hectic part of the year for The Driver Suit Blog. Within the next few months, driver changes, sponsor changes and team changes will be announced. There is always a shakeup of some kind, and this year will be no different.

Carl Edwards, for example, will be leaving Roush Fenway Racing after the season. It was announced on Tuesday that Edwards would be moving to Joe Gibbs Racing and driving the #19 Toyota Camry. He has sponsors, one of which is Arris, which is a communications company for 17 races. The remaining 19 races he has a sponsor for the other races, but that hasn’t been addressed yet.

Where a driver is in the points helps with these kinds of decisions. As it stands right now, there are 1- drivers in the Chase because of a victory, and X driver who are in the Chase because of points. Will that change before Chicagoland? I have no reason to believe it won’t. I will be watching the Federated Auto Parts 400 this year, in light of what happened last year. I would have to believe that something like last year can happen. As of today, there are 12 drivers, AJ Allmendinger, Aric Almorla, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmy Johnson, Brad Keselowski, and Joey Logano have a spot in the Chase due to wins. That leaves 4 spots open, and with 3 races to go it is highly unlikely that there will be 3 new winners, so some drama can and will happen.

The part where it gets really bad is that from here to Daytona in February, there will be 2015 paint schemes released on a regular basis. The problem is that every 2015 scheme I grade will have to be taken with a grain of salt. For example,in mid-August last year, Brian Vickers was announced to drive the #55 Aaron’s Dream Machine. The announcement included photos of the car. However, later on, a new design was released, and became the current standard. I didn’t complain too much because both designs are good. But this is a constant issue for me, do I grade them as-is, or do I back off and wait? This will get more and more frustrating between now and Homestead. An example of this is that Ricky Stenhouse Jr.and Greg Biffle  just announced one of their new car designs for 2015. I will take it with a grain of salt, but I will grade it below as I normally would.

Something I also have to take into consideration is that something late in the season will cause a major change to the playing field. A perfect example is the unpleasantness last year at the Federated Auto Parts 400. After that scandal, Napa announced that it would be leaving Michael Waltrip Racing, and that left Martin Truex Jr. without a ride. He moved to Furniture Row Racing, and the full-time #56 became the part time #66.

One other major story I am following and I’m sure you are as well is who will sponsor the Nationwide Series next season? It was announced in 2013 that after 2014, Nationwide Insurance would be leaving as the series sponsor. Nothing definitive has been announced as of today, but I would have to believe there will be an announcement before the season ends. I’m curious just as the rest of us as to who that would be. Comcast is negotiatinng a deal for the series, and I would think a deal would be announced quite soon.

There will be driver changes, sponsor changes, team changes, and schedule changes. A rumor is going around that The Southern 500 will move back to Labor Day, Atlanta will follow the Daytona 500, and that the first Bristol race is moving from early March to mid-April. Again, when the schedule is announced we will know for sure. There are little changes every year, and after a while these little changes add up to big changes.

One other bit of news I need to address is that on Monday, a number of teams stayed at Michigan to test some 2015 rule changes. All totaled, 6 different car configurations were tested for a total of 160 laps. Again, equipment changes are a common event between seasons and this is nothing new. Information will be taken, adjustments will be made, and there will be more testing during the off season. Once that happens, the rules package will be created and distributed to the teams for the upcoming season.

Now before I get into paint schemes, I’d like to discuss something that has been happening in F1 for a while and I think needs to be stopped. Between the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 27, and the Belgian Grand Prix on August 29, F1 is on it’s “summer break.” This is due to the high travel restrictions and the limit on active crew members an F1 team can have. Teams don’t show up to the track on the Friday before the race, they show up on the Monday before the race. While I am not unsympathetic to the demands on crew members, I am a racing fan. F1 is one of the most watched sports in the world, with telecasts that can get as many as 54 million viewers worldwide. Fans love the sport, and the summer break is a headache. So here is my solution. First, we double the number of active personnel that the team can have, so fresh guys that can be rotated. Second, we extend the season by 4 weeks, so that there can be time for drivers and crew to relax between events.

Now we have a lot of ground to cover when it comes to…

PAINT SCHEME REVIEWS!

First, we have our first 2015 paint scheme,

Greg Biffle #16 Ortho Fire Ant Killer Ford Fusion  Great color scheme, good design, I give it an A-, the number still looks horrible.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Ford Fusion Decent design, great color scheme, I hope this scheme stays on…A

Now on to 2014 Schemes…

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite/Careers for Veterans Ford Fusion This is a rare case where the quarterpanel logo needs to be bigger. The lettering is hard to see in this photo, and was harder to see on the telecast. It takes an A scheme down to a B+

Michael Annett #7 Pilot /Allstate Peterbuilt Chevy SS Great color scheme, great simple design, A+

Greg Biffle #16 Roush Perfomance Ford Fusion Red and black is a great color combination, and I like the dot fade effect. This is the best Biffle scheme all year and it earns an A

Greg Biffle #16 Hire our Heroes Ford Fusion Another prime example of why came and race cars don’t mix.  This is just an awful mess.  The American flag motif just looks horrible with the camo, but I think it might look good by itself.  I’ll give it a D

Kyle Busch #18 Doublemint Gum Toyota Camry Great color scheme, great design, A+

Alex Bowman #23 Dustless Blasting Toyota Camry I don’t like green on race cars, but at least here it is used tastefully. It works very well and earns an A+

Cole Whitt #26 Bully Hill Vineyards Toyota Camry Good color scheme, odd design for the sponsor. A vineyard using a spilled wine design to sell wine…not a good look. C-

Cole Whitt #26 Speed Stick/Iowa City Chop House Toyota Camry I find it amazing that the same team that brought the terrible scheme above could come up with an A+ scheme for the race one week later.

Travis Kvapil #32 Keen Parts/Try Androzone Ford Fusion Great simple design and a great color scheme earns an A+

Travis Kvapil #32 Skuttle Tight Ford Fusion Great simple design and a great color scheme earns an A+

Alex Kennedy #33 Circle Sport Chevy SS Good color scheme, bad design, it’s giving me a headache, D+

David Stremme #33 ThunderCoal Chevy SS Good color scheme bad design, C-

Aric Almirola #43 Eckrich Ford Fusion Ok, I thought we had this said, but I’ll say it again…CAMO DOES NOT WORK ON RACE CARS! It takes an A scheme down to a C-

Jimmie Johnson #48 Jimmie Johnson Foundation Chevy SS Another classic Jimmie Johnson A+ scheme!

Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowes Chevy SS  Reportedly, Jimmie was unhappy with the color scheme change from blue to white and asked Lowes to swtich back to blue after a series of sub-par finishes.  Lowes agreed, and the car is another classic Jimmie Johnson A+ scheme!

Joe Nemechek #66 Landcastle Title Toyota Camry Great simple design and a great color scheme earns an A+

Nelson Piquet Jr. #77 Worx Ford Fusion Another tasteful use of green, another A+ scheme!

Josh Wise #98 Provident Metals Ford Fusion  The word horrible is not enough to describe this car!  Too overdesigned and with a bad color scheme, I can only give it an F

Carl Edwards #99 Ford Eco-Boost Ford Fusion The word of the day is overdesigned. Good color scheme, but overdesgined and a C- gradeDSCN1093Before I go I wanted to tell you about a project.  I recently bought a Mr. Beer home brewing kit.  It is a kit for beginers like me who have no experience brewing beer.  It is a realativly simple process.  The kit comes with a 2 gallon fermenter, some booster sugar, brewer’s yeast, a pale ale hopped malt extract, and some no rinse cleanser. DSCN1097 DSCN1095   You need a non wooden spoon, a glass bowl a can opener and a measuring cup.  DSCN1096You use the no rinse cleanser to sanitize everything you use to make the beer, then you place the hopped malt extract and booster containers in hot water while you boil 4 cups of water.DSCN1099While the water is boiling, you fill the fermenter with 4 quarts of cold water.  Once the water is boiled, you add the hopped malt extract, and booster sugar, and mix well.DSCN1100 DSCN1101  Then you pour the mix into the fermenter, add more water, and then add the yeast.  DSCN1105 DSCN1108 DSCN1109Now comes the hard part, we have to wait two weeks for it to ferment.  I’ll keep you posted.

Showing Some Love for the NHRA!

100_3556By David G. Firestone

While the bulk of The Driver Suit Blog is devoted to NASCAR, which, admittedly is my favorite form of auto racing, I do follow other forms of racing, and collect items from many different forms of racing. I am a fan of NHRA drag racing, and I attend races when I can. I have a decent collection of NHRA memorabilia, so this week, I’m gonna show some love for drag racing.

First, let’s get some factual history out of the way. Founded in 1951 by Wally Parks, the National Hot Rod Association or NHRA was created to act as a governing body for the sport of drag racing. Parks had previously founded Motor Trend and Hot Rod magazines, and was a racing enthusiast . The NHRA has 80,000 members, 95% of which are non-professional drivers. While there are hundreds of drag racing classes, The three most popular and well-known are top fuel, funny cars and pro stocks.

Top fuel dragsters are 25 feet long, have the engine mounted behind the driver to provide weight to the rear tires, which are 36 inches high by 17 inches wide. They run on a 90/10 fuel mix, 90% nitromethane and 10% methanol.100_3531Funny cars are designed with a frame, engine, suspension and cockpit with a fiberglass body that raises up to allow access to the car. The name “funny car” came to be because the early models in the 1960’s had the rear wheel base moved forward, and huge rear tires. They didn’t look “stock” so they were called “funny.”100_3545Pro stocks are an interesting design. Whereas top fuel and funny cars use nitro burning supercharged V8’s, by rule, pro stocks can’t use superchargers, turbochargers, or nitrous oxide. They also run on 118 octane racing fuel. Little consideration is given aerodynamically, and the cars can be hard to handle.alderman1

In regards to race-used equipment, I have this timing belt from Bob Tasca’s Motorcraft Funny car, this one used in his first qualifying session at the Ford Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol Tennessee. This run he had a 4.15 second, 306 MPH run. This thing is HUGE, measuring over 64 inches in circumference and 3 inches across.tasca-belt2 tasca-belt1As well as an ignition coil and a spark plug from Morgan Lucas Racing. Ignition coils are used to turn on cars in general, but this MSD 8142 is designed to fire up these 8000 horsepower engines, which need a lot of electricity to start and operate. I was fortunate enough to have Tony Schumacher and Ron Capps autograph it in person.mlr-coil3 mlr-coil6 mlr-coil5 mlr-coil4 mlr-coil1 mlr-coil7 mlr-plug

One thing I wanted was a race-used piston. I recently got one, but it is in two different pieces. The piston rod itself was used and autographed by top fuel driver Bob Vandergriff, and the piston head was used and autographed by Brandon Bernstein, son of drag racing legend Kenny Bernstein. The piston head is 3 inches in diameter, and the piston rod is almost a foot long!vandergriff1 vandergriff2 bernstein-piston1 bernstein-piston2

One of the more oddball items I have is this 1987 Budweiser/NHRA driver suit. Here is what I can say definitively about this suit: It was made in 1987, shows a lot of use, is not safety certified, and shows the Simpson open-wheel tag. Other than that, I don’t know much about this suit and I’m still working on it.budweiser budweiser-lchest budweiser-rchest budweiserb budweiser-blogoNow we move on to die-casts. In my die cast article, I mentioned that I have a 1:32 Cruz Pedregon 1998 die cast from his days with Joe Gibbs Racing.pedregon-1 pedregon-2 pedregon-3 pedregon-4 pedregon-5 pedregon-6 pedregon-7 pedregon-8 pedregon-9 pedregon-11 pedregon-10

During my recent vacation, I found myself at a baseball card store. I bought a bunch of NASCAR die casts, as well as a Darrell Alderman 1:24 pro stock from 1997, where the doors open, and the hood comes off.alderman1 alderman2 alderman3 alderman4 alderman5 alderman6 alderman7 alderman8 alderman9 alderman10 alderman11 alderman12Also from 1997, this Tony Pedregon 1:24 funny car die cast, with a body that is removabletpedregon-1 tpedregon-2 tpedregon-3 tpedregon-4 tpedregon-5 tpedregon-6 tpedregon-7 tpedregon-8 tpedregon-9 tpedregon-10 tpedregon-11My personal favorite die cast is this Bob Vandergriff 1:24 top fuel die cast.vandergriff-1 vandergriff-2 vandergriff-3

Now we move from NHRA to NASCAR with…

PAINT SCHEME REVIEWS

Jamie McMurray #1 Cessna Chevy SS  Not the worst patriotic scheme I have seen, but it it a bit overdone.  Giving it a C+

Kevin Harvick #4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevy SS  It’s a bit overdesigned, but the green looks good(I hate most shades of green used in NASCAR) and it earns a C

Danica Patrick # 10 GoDaddy Chevy SS  I didn’t think this was possible, but they took one of the ugliest schemes in racing and found a way to make it worse…the hood speaks for itself, and it says “I’m getting an F-!”

Greg Biffle 3M Window Film Ford Fusion What in the blue Hell is going on here?  This is the worst Greg Biffle scheme I have seen this year and considering how bad his schemes have been that is saying a lot.  F-

Travis Kvapil #32 Keen Parts Ford Fusion  Awful color scheme, and the goofy pyscadelic side design just looks awful.  I’m also laughing at corvetteparts.net painted on the side of a FORD!  F-

David Ragan #34 KFC Ford Fusion  Great color choice, smooth look, great all around design, I will give them an A+

Landon Cassill #40 Atlantic Plumbing and Utilities Chevy SS  Good color scheme, and the simple yet attractive design works well.  A

Kurt Busch #41 Haas Made in America Chevy SS  When it comes to patriotic schemes, it is hit or miss, and this is a hit.  The stars and stripes look good, and the overall design is solid enough to earn an A.

Josh Wise #98 DogeCoin Ford Fusion Such colors! Very design! So good! A+

Before I go I need to cover an update to a story I discussed last week.  I had discussed Swan Racing going under due to lack of sponsorship.  I did not get a chance to discuss that Swan Racing has gone under, but the two cars, #26 and #30 have found new homes.  BK Racing is now the new home for the #26, and XXXtreme Motorsports is home for the #30, though it will change to #44, and keep the current owner points.  It is always sad when a team has to close, but at least the equipment did not go to waste.  Sadly, Parker Kligerman is now out of a ride for the foreseeable future.

Item Spotlight-Alex Barron 1998 Champ Car Driver Suit

By David G. Firestone
While I typically watched NASCAR growing up, I did also watch IndyCar. That was before “the split” which diluted the value the sport so much that to this day it is still suffering, 6 years after the unification of Champ Car and the Indy Racing League. I got tired of politics and wanted to watch racing, I didn’t care who was sanctioning it. I still watch IndyCar racing and I collect race-used stuff.

I mentioned this a few months ago, when I discussed video matching. My first open wheel driver suit is this Alex Barron suit from 1998.36-barron

Not only is this my first open wheel suit, it was also my first suit that featured an FIA safety certification on the back of the neck. Having dealt in NASCAR suits, I didn’t know what to make of it, and through some research, I eventually learned what it was and what it meant.36-barron-neck 36-barron-fia2The chest features a FedEx Championship Series patch, probably my favorite sanctioning body patch ever,
and logos for Toyota and Denso.36-barron-lchest 36-barron-rchest 36-barron-flogoThis being my first Sparco driver suit, The cowl tags, and location of the warranty tags were out of place, as compared to a NASCAR driver suit.36-barron-tag 36-barron-tag2One thing I do find interesting is that there are no television logos on the sleeves and legs, but as the video at the end shows, that was not uncommon, but more on that later.36-barron-rsleeve2 36-barron--lsleeve2 36-barron-legs
The collar has an unusual design. Most collar designs feature either logos on the side, or logos across the front, or sometimes both. This one is unique in that it features a DEGREE logo on the front, as well as a CASTROL logo on the right side, but nothing on the left side…I’ve never seen that before or since, and I can’t understand the need for that particular design…it just looks odd.36-barron-collarAlex’s name is embroidered into the belt, and something I love about open wheel suits is that because it is an international sport, much more so than NASCAR, the driver usually has their home country flag embroidered next to their name on their suit, as this suit shows.36-barron-beltI also have a 1/18 die cast of Barron’s very sharp looking car from 1998. It is the only die cast I have that has a driver in it. I love the fact that he is wearing a very accurate version of his driver suit.36i-barron-2 36i-barron-3 36i-barron-1Now as I mentioned, this was the suit Barron wore during his most infamous moment, his crash at Road America, where he wound up on top of Bryan Herta. Someone recently uploaded the whole race to YouTube, and when watching it, notice that nobody has logos for the in-car camera. I find that rather interesting, since it would be very easy to place logos on the sleeves, and it was commonplace in other forms of racing. But it is an interesting race.

Now we have another piece of news to discuss.  In the realm of NCAA sports, the two major factions in uniforms are Nike and Under Armour.  Nike has a deal with Denny Hamlin for driver suits, and I was wondering when Under Armour would jump on the band wagon, and this week, we got our answer.  Under Armour, who has signed deals with Michael Waltrip Racing and Henrdick Motorsports to outfit teams with apparel.  This deal does not include the drivers themselves but the car numbers are fair play.  I find it a bit unusual that the deal provides apparel for all members of the team, pit crew members, front office personel, and everyone EXCEPT the faces of the franchises.  Now that might change in the near future, but for now that is how the deal works.  You can read more about the deal here.

Now we move to…

PAINT SCHEME REVIEWS!

Jamie McMurray #1 Bell Helicopters Chevy SS Great look, great color scheme, A+

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Powerhouse Solar Chevy SS The side is somewhat over designed, but I like the product placement on the roof. The color scheme is great so I will give it a B

Denny Hamlin #11 FedEx Office March Of Dimes Toyota Camry Decent color scheme, but the side is a bit overdesigned, and has a messy look to it. C+

Clint Bowyer #15 Willy’s Duck Diner/Buck Commander Toyota Camry Too much camo. Camo doesn’t work they way designers want it to on a car and I give it a D

Greg Biffle #16 Give Kids A Smile Ford Fusion Man! Greg Biffle really wants the Paint Schemie Awards for Most Degraded Paint Schemes, and Worst Paint Scheme Set with another F scheme. Horrible design, and an ugly paint scheme.

Greg Biffle #16 3M Areospace Ford Fusion Take the worst aspects of Greg Biffle 2014 schemes, and add a liberal amount of camo, and you have an F scheme

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Ford EcoBoot Ford Fusion I like the color scheme, I like the overall scheme, and my only complaint is that the orange numbers on the roof should be on the door.  Still it is an A scheme

Cole Whitt #26 Swan Energy Toyota Camry Simple design and a great color scheme earns an A+

Cole Whitt #26 Swan Energy Toyota Camry Simple design and a great color scheme earns an A+

Paul Menard #27 Menards/Duracel Chevy SS This is the best Menard scheme I have seen! Duracel works very well on the hood, and I give it an A

Parker Kligerman #30 Swan Energy Toyota Camry Just when I thought Swan had learned the error of their ways, and were improving their paint schemes, along comes this one. Now we are back to square one, and this scheme earns a D+

Parker Kligerman #30 SMS Audio Toyota Camry Well things for Swan are looking up, this is a pretty cool design. It works very well, and has a great color scheme. A+

Ryan Newman #31 Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge Chevy SS I understand what they tried to do, but the scheme as a whole is just bland, boring, and C+.

Travis Kvapil #32 Keen Parts Ford Fusion  Decent design, good color scheme, but the logo on the hood is very difficult to see.  That is a major issue.  When a sponsor pays for a car, the hood design should be easy to see, but this isn’t easy, and I give it a C-

Aric Almirola #43 Ekrich Ford Fusion The red on the roof is pointless, and it takes away from a great scheme. If the roof were Petty Blue, and the red was just a stripe on the bottom, I would give this scheme an A+ but with the red roof, it goes down to a B-

Michael McDowell #95 Triangle Office Equipment Levine Family Racing keeps up the fight with Swan Racing to win the Most Improved Paint Schemie Award with another beautiful A+ scheme!