Cup Series Paint Schemes - 2023

#69 | Logan Morse
Team: Douglass Racing
Rookie Season: 2004 - Last Ran in Cup Series in 2015
Starts: 285
Wins: 0
Top 5s: 10
Top 10s: 26

A driver who had graduated from Hendrick Motorsports' driver development pipeline, Logan Morse had joined HMS for his rookie season in 2004, becoming the third rookie to join the team in 5 years. However, when his on track performances paled in comparison to his teammates, he was cast out from the team, and landed at Red Bull Racing for 2007. After suffering an injury with just 6 races remaining in 2007, Morse was replaced by Riley Whiskers, who then was able to out perform Morse in the same car. As a result, Red Bull Racing demoted Morse to affiliate teams in the National Series, only bringing him back up to the Cup Series on the occasional one-off race that they needed his services for. That was until Whiskers' was killed in a tornado in late 2010, and the team promoted Morse back to full-time Cup Series action. In 2013, Red Bull began their brief absence as a team, and Morse was able to find a full-time ride up through the 2015 season, after which he would step back down to the National Series on his own terms and run there. Eventually, he would find himself at Douglass Racing - a former Cup Series team - and has been running decently for them in the National Series. This year, Morse and Douglass Racing will make a few part-time starts in the Cup Series, with Ford/Motorcraft as the sponsor.

#75 | Chandler Riles
Team: Horner-Sickler Motorsports
Active Seasons: 1978-1997 (Debuted in 1977)
Starts: 535
Wins: 107 | 3-Time Champion, 2-Time Daytona 500 Champion

Okay, let's talking about the 2nd winningest driver in series history: Chandler Riles. While he got a slow start to climbing the all-time wins list compared to some of the other drivers racing at the time, he did something that has not happened since: He won the championship in his rookie season in 1978. After that, he dropped off. However, in the mid 1980s, he began a conquest of victory after victory and was able to claim 2 more championship in 1988 and 1989. Unlike Homer Parsley (whom had dropped off considerably towards the end of his career), Chandler ran near the front of the field until he retired at the end of the 1997 season. However, that came the caveat that he didn't see victory since his 107th and final career win in 1994.

1987 Valvoline - In 1987, Chandler set a record of most top 5s in a single season that still holds today: 23 out of the 26 races. The only reason why he didn't win the championship that year? His DNFs in the other three races were dead last finishes, and he only had 2 victories that year compared to Eric Reinhardt's 1 DNF and 6 wins.
#22 | William Sparks
Team: Team Penske
Rookie Season: 2021
Starts: 62
Wins: 0
Top 5s: 10
Top 10s: 26

Despite putting in decent numbers of top 5s and top 10s, as well as securing a 13th place points finish, William Sparks was the only Team Penske driver to not win in 2022. That said, it did appear that Team Penske had put in more focus on Ryan Vaughan - especially after Vaughan won the Daytona 500. Regardless, Penske is happy with how Sparks has been performing, and Sparks is happy where he is with Penske, despite still looking to finally break through for his first career Cup Series win going into his 3rd season. Autotrader and Wurth continue their sponsorship of Sparks, and Keystone Light will replace the outgoing Pennzoil as his third sponsor.



#98 | RJ Bishop
Team: Bishop Family Racing
Rookie Season: 2017
Starts: 165
Wins: 1 | 2019 Daytona 500 Champion
Top 5s: 7
Top 10s: 25

Compared to 2021, RJ Bishop's 2022 season was absolutely a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, the team as a whole wouldn't budge from it's usual upper-tier backmarker status with Theodore Cox's 38th place points finish. That said, RJ did finish in 28th and even earned a couple of top 5s on the road courses - Including a 2nd place at Circuit of the Americas! Kroger and South Point will remain a familiar sight on RJ's #98 Dodge for the 2023 season. Do note that the Kroger scheme will see 6 variants throughout the season with different products on the 1/4 panels.


#04 | Steffie Plaxco
Team: Axiom Racing Union
Rookie Season: 2020
Starts: 55
Wins: 0
Top 5s: 0
Top 10s: 1

Due to Stunod's admins deleting both my 2020 and 2021 threads from the showroom (part of the reason why I continued/renamed the 2022 thread to be a more all-in-one), I don't have anything to go off of Steffie's history other than her actual stats, which were abysmal compared to what I was remembering..... 12 DNFs out of 25 races in her rookie season should've seen her get the boot even just midway into the season - especially considering that one of her former teammates got the boot for just causing chaos in the Daytona 500 alone - but somehow she retained her seat for 2021.... Thankfully of the 30 races that year, she only had 2 DNFs! However, money would talk and Calvin Richards brought the big bucks of Menard's with him to Wolfpack Racing and would replace Steffie in the #83 for 2022, leaving Steffie without a seat for the season. After a year out of the driver's seat, Steffie Plaxco returns to the Cup Series grid, replacing Joshua Michaels in the #04 ARU Pontiac as Michaels steps away to be an advisor for the team. LG Electronics also returns to the Cup Series as a sponsor, being adorned on the car alongside Aaron's.


#36 | Eddie Kline
Team: Douglass Racing
Active Seasons: 1995-2006 (Debuted in 1992)
Starts: 389
Wins: 1

Eddie Kline Jr. was one of the many journeyman drivers that appeared between the early 90s and mid 2000s. Early on in his career, he established himself as one of, if not the only person to show nothing but sportsmanship to his fellow competitors. If you were to wreck him, accidentally or not, he wouldn't get in your face and get into a verbal (or physical) confrontation. He'd get up to you, and talk it out right then and there. Give him an honest recounting of events and own up to what happened, even if you still feel like it may have not been your fault at the time? He'll shake your hand and call it even. Try and weasel your way out of any responsibility for the incident or just blow off the conversation entirely? He'll walk away, but the next few times you race him, he'll humble you on the track real quick without even making any contact. Eddie would be killed in a crash during a tire test at Kentucky Speedway in early 2006. In 2009, NSCA honored Eddie's memory by renaming the sportsmanship award given out at the annual post-season banquet after him.

2005 Dollar General - 2005 was Eddie's best statistical season across all categories. At Bristol - one of the hardest tracks to get a win at - Eddie managed to finally break through and get his first career win with what many people claim will be the "cleanest race-winning car to ever grace victory line, for all-time" for Bristol. This would wind up being his only win that year, and tragically, his only career win as well....

2006 ABF U-Pack Moving - 2006 saw a big change for Douglass Racing as Dollar General had begun downsizing their involvement with the sport as a whole, thus the team needed to find a new sponsor, which they did with ABF. The early 2006 season was nowhere close to being as great as it was the year prior. It also didn't help that Eddie suffered a bruised collar bone following a crash during the race at Las Vegas early on into the year. Unlike in real-life, where nearly every track the top 3 NASCAR national touring series raced at had the SAFER barrier lining the corners and select walls at tracks by the end of 2004, NSCA had a much slower roll-out of the barriers at it's tracks, with SMI being especially behind on the installations. 367 days after his victory at Bristol Motor Speedway, Eddie Kline would partake in a tire test at Kentucky Speedway - one of the several tracks that still had unprotected walls as late as 2006 - that was closed to the public and only open to select media members. During the test Eddie's car would spin into the outside retaining wall of turns 1 & 2, and it was announced that he died on impact. As a result of the accident, NSCA did speed up the process of installing SAFER Barriers and took legal action against SMI due to their lack of speed on getting the barriers installed on their tracks, creating a rift between the two companies that is still felt to this day, even though both organizations have since continued to work together. In a tragic case of irony & coincidence, the next race for the Cup Series - the 7th of the season - was to held at Bristol Motor Speedway.
#57 | Harold MerGranger
Team: Queen City Racing
Rookie Season: 2000 (Debuted in 1999)
Starts: 546
Wins: 4
Top 5s: 47
Top 10s: 82

This isn't Harold MerGranger's first time in a Cup car, but it will be the first time he's been in a Cup car since 2016. In 1999, MerGranger made his Cup Series debut on a part-time basis, but went full-time starting in 2000. Due to funding issues, however, he wasn't able to run every race that season. Thankfully, the team secured enough funding to run the full season starting in 2001. However, the team was a backmarker, and Harold wanted a chance to compete closer at the front, so in 2005, he switched to Hendrick Motorsports. However, it was clear that not all of the equipment was equal at the time, and in many races, MerGranger was the odd man out when it came to running in great cars. He was able to overcome this, still earning 3 wins over the course of his 6 year tenure with the team. In 2011, he would switch again to a new team - one that was typically a mid-pack car - as his contract with Hendrick ended, and he wasn't able to secure an extension or a ride at any other, better opportunities. He would still out perform the equipment, eventually giving the team their first win in 2014. Unfortunately, an injury early on into the 2015 season saw him sit out for a majority of it, and by 2016, he only made a few starts before having to find a ride in the National Series. For 2023, he's back! After sacking their previous drivers - Alex Miller and Chase Marks - following a combined 24 DNQs in 2022, Queen City Racing needed new drivers. Those drivers? Dylan Maddox and Harold MerGranger. Unlike Maddox, who has prior backing from his time at Factory Dodge Autosport, a sponsor was needed for MerGranger. Luckily for the team, UPS was dropped by English Motorsports after only a single season, so the team was able to secure a full-season sponsorship from the delivery company.

#5 | Samuel Henson Jr.
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
Rookie Season: 2022
Starts: 32
Wins: 0
Top 5s: 0
Top 10s: 3

A year ago, I talked about how Samuel Henson Jr. was the first driver born in the 21st century to join the Cup Series. I also touched on how he raced for Eric Reinhardt Jr's team - at the time known as 2nd Chance Motorsports - and how Henson earned his racing experience with sim racing almost as much as he did with real life racing. Well, as it turns out that this new hot prospect didn't really amount to much in the grand scheme of things thus far. While his teammates were all championship threats at various points in the season and all finished in the top 10 in points, Henson Jr. would finish a dismal 26th. Now, you could theoretically say that was due to him driving a 4th Hendrick entry in the only season where a 4th entry for teams was allowed in recent memory. You could also just chock it up to bad luck in a rookie season. However, it was to the point where it seemed Hendrick Motorsports was going to ask John Mullen to reconsider retirement for another season and cut ties with Henson. Luckily for Sam, that didn't happen, and thus he will once again be behind the wheel of the #5 HMS Chevy. UniFirst and Microsoft will continue their sponsorship of Henson, and Axalta jumps aboard after Mullen's retirement.



#18 | Colin Fletcher
Team: Team PepsiCo Racing
Active Seasons: 1998-2013 (Debuted in 1997)
Starts: 563
Wins: 1

When it comes to all of the various types of tracks on the NSCA Cup Series circuit, Colin Fletcher certainly fit the "jack of all trades, master of none" archetype. No matter the team, no matter the equipment he was win, he would able to wheel his cars to consistent top 20 finishes week in and week out, with plenty of top 10s and even several top 5s to boot! After winning the 1995 CART championship, Fletcher made the switch to stock-car racing in the late 1990s and in 2003 would be the first driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte Double. However, that attempt would be cut short as he was injured in a wreck during the Indy 500 and wasn't able to race in the Coke 600 (or the race a week later). In 2007 he would try the Double again, this time completing both races and 1090.5 of the 1100 total miles. After 2013, he would retire, and began racing at local bullrings across the country.

2008 Pepsi - Kicking off the 2008 season, Colin Fletcher would earn his one and only Cup Series win in the biggest race of the season, the 50th running of the Daytona 500. The first race with the new COT car at a superspeedway saw close action, and a new style of racing called "tandem" drafting, though with as bumpy as the surface of Daytona was at the time, fans wouldn't see just how powerful Tandem Drafting was until Talladega later that year. In any case, Colin Fletcher was able to push Steven Phillips up to the front, only to then take the lead for himself coming off of turn 4 on the final lap.

2012 Pepsi - Rewinding just a step, Team PepsiCo had signed Colin to drive the team's flagship entry in 2006, the #18 Pepsi car, which Colin would drive until his retirement in 2013. The team had at one point 4 full-time entries at the peak of their running in the NSCA Cup Series - 2 of the other 3 we've already seen with Hunter Keero and Randy Carpenter - but by 2012, the team was in their twilight years and only had 3 entries. Whether that was due to the company beginning to slowly phase out of the sport, or from them spreading themselves too thin between their own race team and a partnership with Hendrick Motorsports.... No one truly knows. Critics of the team say that the environment within the team got too corporateized, an antithesis of what Pepsi's branding was usually about. In any case, I didn't really have anything for Colin's 2012 season here, so I figured I would give a slight bit of backstory/context as to why PepsiCo is no longer a thing in-universe. If anyone would like, I can always give some backstory to some of the teams that appear in the carset.
#82 | Brett Kenningberg
Team: Wolfpack Racing
Rookie Season: 2023 Rookie of the Year Contender

There's three things Brett Kenningberg loves: Chris Pratt movies, the F-14 Tomcat fighter jet (and by extension, Top Gun), and driving fast racecars. That last one he's been decent at despite being a relatively new driver in the NSCA scene, and with Fuli Hill's sudden departure from the Wolfpack Racing #82 entry, the team needed to fill that seat. Initially, the team was going to have Jason Williams drive the car - as evidenced by the fact that I still had him in the car for the teaser set as that was released prior to Brett's signing (though I for some reason labeled Jason as "Joshua" instead in the preview image, oops) - but sponsors stepped in and blocked the signing, and as a result Jason was set aside as a reserve driver instead. Why did sponsors prevent Wolfpack from signing Jason? No one knows. In any case, Brett Kenningberg was then given the opportunity to drive the team's flagship car, and the sponsors agreed to it. Those sponsors by the way? Walmart and Cheddar's.


#99 | William Montoya
Team: Ryals-Corbett Racing
Rookie Season: 2020
Starts: 55
Wins: 0
Top 5s: 2
Top 10s: 4

Ah, William Montoya..... Another victim of the Red Bull junior driver program...... After being signed to Red Bull Racing for the Cup Series in 2020, Montoya found himself dropped after only a single season. When Ricki Fawxson moved from Factory Dodge Autosport to Craigo Autosport for the 2021 season, William quickly secured that seat for himself. However, when Factory Dodge downsized to a single car operation for 2022, they stuck with their flagship #19 car, leaving Montoya out of a ride last year. Now, for 2023, he's another driver returning to the grid. With Austin Spencer exiting the sport and his team being sold to returning team owners Bryce Ryals and Kyle Corbett, they needed a driver to race the #99 car, and Montoya got the seat. Longtime partner of RCR, Fifth Third Bank, will be primary sponsor for the car, along with new sponsors in the form of Best Water Technology and Midas.

Fun Fact, by the way.... Ryals-Corbett Racing will technically be competing against itself in 2023! In an ironic twist of coincidence, when Ryals and Corbett sold their original team following their championship winning run in 2019, they had sold it to Red Bull - the very team that dropped Montoya just a year after RCR became RBR!



#95 | Fred McReilly
Team: McReilly Racing
Rookie Season: 2023 Rookie of the Year Contender

Nephew of George McReilly, Fred McReilly is looking to make his Cup Series debut in 2023, on a part-time basis driving for his family's team. While it's not known if this will turn into a full-time effort for everyone involved, or if it's to help Fred gain experience while also doing a soft audition for one of the other teams on the Cup Series grid, what is known is that George McReilly isn't involved with this move, which is odd considering how involved he was in Fred's junior series career so far. While it doesn't appear that the team will have a sponsor for most of the races they'll be attempting, GoPro will be aboard the #95 Dodge that Fred will attempt the Daytona 500 in.


#6 | George McReilly
Team: McReilly Racing
Active Seasons: 1991-2014
Starts: 798
Wins: 0

Speaking of George McReilly..... Another journeyman driver in the series, George never found victory lane in the Cup Series. Unlike some of the other non-winners that are part of the Legends sub-set of cars, however, he does hold a multitude of top 5s, the most of all drivers that you will see in the entire carset. He also is the most dominant driver of all time in the National Series, winning 5 championships and over 100 races in that series. A stern man, he drove for several teams during the 1990s, and at every one of them never got along with his teammates....... Or his own team..... It wasn't until he was released from Burlington Racing late in 2000 that he was forced to work on his people skills, as instead of trying to find a new ride, he would open his own team.

2002 Viagra & Pfizer - After making only 20 starts (attempting 26 races) on a partial schedule between the remaining races of 2000 and the entirety of 2001, McReilly Racing went full-time starting in 2002, with a lucrative sponsorship deal from Pfizer, advertising Viagra, Pfizer's line of erectile dysfunction treatment. However, when Pfizer came under fire due to an investigation from the FDA involving Viagra part way through the season, Pfizer for the duration replaced the Viagra decals on the #6 Dodge that George McReilly drove with generic Pfizer branding. After the investigation was concluded, the Viagra logos returned.


2006 AAA - After 2005, the deal with Pfizer ended, and the pharmaceutical company decided not to renew their sponsorship. MRR then turned to other companies to fund the 2006 season and beyond. The American Automobile Association, or AAA, signed on what was initially a 5-year contract to be the primary sponsor for the #6 team. However, after 2007, and with the expected results not being there like the team hoped, AAA left the team after only 2 years. After floundering for another two years after that, the team dipped down to the National Series, where they were able to build up an exceptional platform.
#90 | Brajan Stojanović
Team: RTD Motorsports
Rookie Season: 2023 Rookie of the Year Contender

The final rookie of the 2023 carset, Brajan Stojanović will step into the #90 Toyota as Eugene Demax steps away from the driver's seat to focus full-time on team ownership. One of the few drivers not from the United States to have risen up the ranks of American stock-car racing, Brajan has several accolades to his name, and looks to show what he can do behind the wheel of a Cup Series car. With Mountain Dew moving over to sponsor teammate Cody Haner, that just leaves Sport Clips and Sirius XM as sponsors of the Serbian driver.


#12 | Ian Wallace
Team: Team Penske
Rookie Season: 2022
Starts: 32
Wins: 1
Top 5s: 4
Top 10s: 8

I don't know what it is with rookies drivers winning at the Charlotte Roval, but in the three years that it was used, two of them were won by rookies. In 2020, it was Ricki Fawxson, then driving for Factory Dodge Autosport. Last year, it was Ian Wallace. The difference being, however, is that Ian being a rookie is only a formality, seeing as how he's not only a champion of the National Series, but also a V8 Supercars champion, a series that races exclusively on road courses and has similar cars to what the NSCA races. Regardless, Ian will continue to race in Team Penske's #12 car, and looks to improve on his 15th place point finish. After some sponsorship shuffling, Discount Tire becomes Wallace's primary sponsor, with Pennzoil moving over from the #22. Shell continues to promote their V-Power branding of fuels as well. In addition to the normal scheme, Pennzoil will also have a throwback scheme to the 25th anniversary since a similar livery was used in the old Japanese Super GT series.....



#99 | Dan Newford
Team: Copeland Racing
Active Seasons: 2004-2015 (Debuted in 2002, started full-time effort in 2003)
Starts: 433 | 2-time Daytona 500 Champion
Wins: 33

Mavis Daniel Newford came from a wealthy family, but did everything in his power to earn anything he owned rather than just relying on the fortune he was born into. After a rift formed between Dan and his parents as a result of this, he set off on his own to prove himself in the world of motorsports. Initially set on a course for Indycar, Dan was then brought into the fold of stock-car racing when Andrew Copeland - founder of Copeland Racing - was convinced by his driver at the time to take a chance on Dan. Put into the developmental pipeline, Daniel hit the ground running, though it wasn't smooth sailing. Daniel may have been charismatic, but he did have a temper, which would flash every now and then in the worst ways. In 2002, Dan would make 2 starts for his Cup Series debut racing for a smaller team that had an alliance with Copeland Racing, but he wouldn't get his big break until late into the 2003 season. The same driver that had convinced Copeland to sign Dan in the first place was let go from the team, and with Dan being the only other driver in the pipeline to have the experience in a Cup car, he was put into the car for the remainder of the season. As they say, the rest is history, and Dan Newford would race for Copeland Racing all the way until his sudden retirement at the end of the 2015 season.

2007 Office Depot - After a bit of a rotating cast of sponsorship throughout his first few seasons, Dan Newford landed a nice near-full season long sponsor in the form of Office Depot in 2007, a partnership that would last until 2011. 2007 also saw one of the most ballsiest moves attempted by a driver in Cup Series history, as on the final lap of the race at Kansas Speedway, Newford dove into turn 3 full-throttle past eventual winner Cody Llamas, attempting what many called a "video game move" at the time to win the race. Unfortunately, the move didn't work, and Newford slammed the wall in turn 4, resulting in a 3rd place finish. In 2009, Dan Newford won his first of two Daytona 500 victories.

2011 Aflac - In 2011, Office Depot left Copeland Racing for another team, however the team's other main sponsor - Aflac - stepped up to sponsor most of the season. That same year, Dan Newford became the first driver in All-Star Race history to win the event after being lapped earlier in the race due to a penalty. During the victory celebration, Newford spun his car into the grass on Charlotte's front stretch, hitting a drainage ditch and tearing the front end of his car completely off. He joked in Victory Lane later on how he wasn't intending on also becoming the second driver in ASR history that needed their car to be towed to Victory Lane. In 2013 - Aflac's last year as the primary sponsor - Newford kicked off the season with another Daytona 500 victory.

2014 Arris - 2014 saw massive changes for the Copeland Racing. They had switched away from Ford to Toyota. The car became a bright orange thanks to new primary sponsor Arris. The team as a whole also saw it's best opportunity to bring home a championship with Dan Newford. They came close, finishing 5th in standings. In 2015, Newford was once again in the fight for a championship, but in the last race of the season, was wrecked late into the race. The following January, he announced his immediate and sudden retirement from racing. To this day, no one knows exactly why Dan retired. In fact, unlike most drivers who say they're retiring only to either race in local series or on a limited basis, Newford seemed to completely go cold turkey to the racing world.....

Thank you everyone who viewed, liked, and commented on this carset showroom thread throughout it's 2 year existence. With it being already into the back half of 2023, there should be some stuff related to 2024 coming in the next few months or so. Hopefully..... Maybe...... It might not be for a little while, however. After all, I still got a season to run with these drivers!
Oh goody, Another season with a midway driver change, my favorite! /sarcasm

#44 | Cody Goforth
Team: Pathfinder Racing
Rookie Season: 2023 Rookie of the Year Contender

After being a team that wasn't known for hiring rookie drivers very often, Pathfinder Racing seems to be in a bit of a crisis when it comes to their future direction. 3 rookies in the span of 2 years isn't a great look, but Max O'Quinn hasn't been far off his teammates (most of the time), and Amie Walsh impressed during her time in the car. Speaking of Amie, she abruptly called it quits after only 7 races into the 2023 season, thus PFR's 3rd rookie driver Cody Goforth. As a result of the driver change, the team sees a shift in sponsorship as well. Gone are Nurtec ODT and Bojangles, and in come the US Army and Michelina's. Target and DXC Technology remain aboard the #44 with Goforth's foray into the Cup Series.