Bowling trophy to be used until we pick up a sponsor
Thanks to the invention of graphical wraps for stock cars, special paint schemes aren't so special anymore. Instead of freaking out about Burger King replacing Mom N' Pops on Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s lower quarter-panel, anybody can be a sponsor for a single race. On the plus side, it makes it easier to promote a company. On the negative side, it means we fans have to listen to announcers whine about how hard it is to follow the cars.
But who's the most prolific at putting different sponsors on their cars?
That's where I come in. Using the indispensable Jayski Paint Schemes page, I went through to count the number of different sponsors on each car's hoods. The team with the most will then become the First Annual Hoodie Award Winner.
Just a few ground rules:
--Sponsors owned by the same company (like Stanley & DeWalt, or Kingsford & Clorox) count as separate sponsors. But if its the same company with a different product (like 3M & 3M Filtrete), that counts as the same sponsor.
--Slight variations on a primary sponsor don't count--there has to be a change to the paint scheme noticeable to someone besides a die-cast geek.
--"Sponsorship partners", where a product sold by the sponsor is put on the hood, don't count either, since the company is a partner, not a sponsor. Sorry, Paul Menard fans.
--Team owners who put their own company on the hood also don't count--so Medallion Financial (owned by RPM honcho Andrew Murstein) and Taco Bell (franchised by Front Row owner Bob Jenkins) don't count. A special exception was made for Hendrickcars.com, since they sponsor so many teams. Same goes for blank hoods (aka the Michael McDowell Special).
--Modern iterations of the "Special Paint Scheme" don't count either--so movie cars, tv show cars, etc. aren't counted towards the final total, unless they are the legitimate sponsor of that race.
Listed in order from least sponsors to most
Regan Smith/Kurt Busch: 0 --Team owner Barney Visser owns sponsor Furniture Row, thus continuing the great tradition of Jasper Engines.
Brad Keselowski: 1 (Miller Lite) --And as the Homestead post-race showed us, Brad definitely enjoys the product.
Danica Patrick: 1 (GoDaddy) --Remember all those racy, PG-13 commercials with simulated nudity they did with Mark Martin?
Juan Pablo Montoya: 1 (Target & partners) --Seriously, Huggies was a partner this year.
Jimmie Johnson: 1 (Lowe's/myLowes) --Even his sponsorship packages are boring!
Martin Truex Jr.: 1 (Napa) --No truth to the rumor that Cal Naughton Jr. will be driving this car next year.
Casey Mears: 2 (Geico, Valvoline) --Truth is, that Geico commercial is a ruse: VALVOLINE is what REALLY goes into Casey's "Secret" BBQ Sauce.
Clint Bowyer: 2 (5-Hour Energy, Aaron's/Alabama) --And as the brawl at Phoenix showed, Clint and his crew definitely enjoy the sponsor's product.
Trevor Bayne: 2 (Motorcraft, Camping World/Good Sam) --The only team running a partial schedule with a shot at contending each week (well, unless you counted Danica Patrick's team, which no one did).
Mark Vicktrip: 2 (Aaron's, Freightliner/JetEdge) --Excludes the various companies owned by Robert Kaufmann, the brains and money of this operation (yes, believe it or not, Mikey is the TALENT of that pair).
Joe Nemechek: 2 (AMFM Energy, Genny Light) --It costs a lot of money to run seven laps a week. Wait, no it doesn't.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: 3 (Best Buy, Rancher's Reserve, EcoBoost) --Ricky's Nationwide sponsor, "BEEF" (by way of Cargill), is about as vague as you can get...at least until we get "MEAT" as a sponsor.
Tony Stewart: 3 (Office Depot, Mobil 1, Bass Pro Shops) --Office Depot leaves after this season, so I hope that Smoke stocked up on staples and pens.
Joey Logano: 3 (Home Depot, Dollar General, Redbeacon) --Joey, you're not orange anymore.
AJ Allmendinger/Sam Hornish Jr.: 3 (Pennzoil/Shell, SKF, Auto Club) --I tried to join the Auto Club, but they rejected my application.
Josh Wise: 3 (MDS, LoanMart, Rick2012) --Nothing to see here.
Paul Menard: 3 (Menard's & various partners, Peak Antifreeze, Quaker State) --Menardburns had a different partner on the hood in almost every race, but only Peak and Quaker State got to meet the guy who played the banjo in those Menard's commercials.
Kevin Harvick: 3 (Budweiser, Rheem, Jimmy John's) --I've only eaten at Jimmy John's once, but I'd imagine that I'd need LOTS of Budweiser to actually enjoy the food.
Legacy Kids: 3 (Kroger, South Point, American Ethanol) --Driven by the son of a casino owner, the son of a truck-stop magnate, and the grandson of the team-owner. And Stephen Leicht.
Kurt Busch & The Replacements: 3 (Hendrickcars.com, Tag Heuer, Me) --No, the smiley-face doesn't count.
Marcos Ambrose: 4 (Stanley, DeWalt, Mac Tools, Black & Decker Gyro) --All owned by StanleyBlack&Decker, who REALLY needs to come out with a line of You Call That A Knives.
Denny Hamlin: 4 (FedEx, SportClips, March of Dimes, Autism Speaks) --Here's hoping that Denny picks up sponsorship from a dance school.
Greg Biffle: 4 (3M, Bondo, Fastenal, Meguiar's) --A slew of 3M products adorned the quarter panels this season, but its their Bondo division that stuck with me.
Kyle Busch: 4 (M&M's, Snickers, Doublemint, Interstate Batteries) --Ms. Brown is NOT happy with Rowdy's performance this year.
Michael McDowell: 4 (K-LOVE, Presbyterian Healthcare, Let It Start With Me, Tracqm) --K-LOVE, the company that sounds like a 70's soul music label.
Jamie McMurray: 5 (Bass Pro Shops, McDonald's, Belkin, LiftMaster, Banana Boat) --Bass Pro leaves for Tony Stewart next season, so maybe they could find a sponsor that "pairs up" with McDonald's better--like Gas-X or Pepto-Bismol.
Kasey Kahne: 5 (Farmers Insurance, Hendrickcars.com, Time Warner Cable, Quaker State, Rockwell) --Sadly, Rockwell is a power tool company, not the comeback project from the "Somebody's Watching Me" guy.
Jeff Gordon: 5 (AARP, DuPont, Pepsi Max, Farmville, TMNT) --"TMNT" is the latest iteration of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which is ironic, since it was DuPont chemical sludge that first mutated the turtles in the 80's.
Dave Blaney: 5 (Ollie's Bargain Outlet, Seal Wrap, Golden Corral, Mohawk, Window Wax) --Ah, Ollie's, the place that makes Wal-Mart look like Nordstorm's.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: 5 (National Guard, Mtn Dew, Amp Energy, The Dark Knight Rises, Dale Jr. Foundation) --Look for a new sponsor to join this team next season, but don't expect to hear about it from Dale Jr.
David Reutiman et al: 6 TMOne, Accell, Tradebank, Ice Age, Carport Empire, Relyco) --If Boardwalk Empire is on HBO, then Carport Empire should be on Cinemax.
Jeff Burton: 6 (Caterpillar, Wheaties, BB&T, Rain-X, EnerSys, Armed Forces Foundation) --Because any time you can sponsor a guy on the back-end of his career, you take that opportunity.
Matt Kenseth: 7 (Best Buy, EcoBoost, 5/3 Bank, Zest, Fastenal, Tunnel to Towers, Valvoline) --NESN (owned by the "Fenway" part of RoushFenway sponsored The Biff for a single race this year, bringing awareness to the terribleness of the Red Sox this season.
Ryan Newman: 7 (Army, Quicken Loans, Outback, Aspen Dental, Children's Tumor Foundation, Code 3 Associates, Workshops for Warriors) --Next year, the Army goes AWOL.
Carl Edwards: 8 (Fastenal, Kellogg's, Cheez-It, Aflac, Geek Squad, Ecoboost, UPS, Subway) --No, he didn't retire after last season.
David Gilliland: 9 (MHP/PowerPak, LoanMart, ModSpace, Autism Speaks, Glory Foods, The Band Perry, House Autry, Mossy Oak/Pursuit, Peanut Patch) --Lotsa sponsors for a one-hit wonder, no?
The Frankie Stoddard All-Stars: 10 (Federated Auto Parts, Southern Pride Trucking, U.S. Chrome, North Country Ford, Hendrickcars.com, SOFA, C&J Energy, Herr's, Green Smoke, Faith & Freedom Coalition) --Lots of sponsors for this independent team, including a personal favorite, Herr's Potato Chips (seriously, try their Firehouse BBQ Chips, they're crazy-good!).
David Ragan: 11 (MHP/PowerPak, Al's Liner, Barrett-Jackson, Peanut Patch, US Conveyor, Scorpion, 8-Hour Alert, Glory Foods, Distraction.gov, Shriners Hospitals, Where's Waldo) --Where's Waldo? Eating PowerPak Pudding in the Peanut Patch, apparently.
Bobby Labonte: 12 (Kingsford, Clorox, Bush's Best, Bubba Burger, Reese Towpower, Scott, Luke & Associates, Kroger, Charter, Miller/Freightliner, Pine Sol, Wounded Warrior Project) --A strong contender all year, but fell just short, unlike their season, which fell waaaaay short.
(drum roll please...)
Aric Almirola: 15 (Smithfield, Farmland, Gwaltney, Super 8, TrimFit, Advocare, Eckrich, Air Force, Transportation Impact, JaniKing, Gravely, STP, Sail/Verifone, Charter, ALM) --And we have our winner! And we didn't even have to include Medallion Financial to get there! Well, if Aric or someone else from the team will get in contact with me, I'll get you your trophy.