As a new NASCAR season comes into view, it brings that sense of a fresh new car smell with it.
No, not the kind that you can purchase at the auto dealership. Rather, it entails a list of new paint schemes for the 2024 season.
Teams have begun revealing their primaries along with a few special one-offs. And while several teams will likely wait to reveal their looks last minute (the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum is Sunday, Feb. 4), many have already released new drip for the year.
Let’s take a look across NASCAR at the five best and five worst schemes for the new campaign.
Top Five Best Schemes
5. Cole Custer‘s No. 00 Andy’s Frozen Custard Ford
Perhaps one of the most marketable partnerships has finally been realized. Cole Custer, or “Cold Custard,” will finally have a product to match his nickname with Andy’s Frozen Custard moving over to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2024. Andy’s will be a primary on the No. 00 in three events during the season.
Andy’s never fails to deliver on some schemes to make one desire a sweet treat, and this one is no different. The recognizable blue base features some prominent red addition that will make the scheme pop out in the heat.
4. Daniel Hemric‘s No. 31 Cirkul Chevrolet
Hemric returns to the NASCAR Cup Series with Cirkul, his primary NASCAR Xfinity Series partner from 2023. The flavored-water company makes a splash on Hemric’s No. 31 for Kaulig Racing with a refreshing scheme that also has minor variations from past designs.
What makes this scheme stand out is not only the easy flow of the fruit-and-water design from front to back, but Cirkul also filled out the extra space nicely that comes with the Next Gen car. It’s a busy scheme, but not in an overwhelming way, giving it the potential to be a fan-favorite in 2024.
3. Justin Allgaier‘s No. 7 Brandt Chevrolet
Ever since Justin Allgaier joined JR Motorsports and brought Brandt over with him, it seems the schemes get better and better each year. Once again, JRM knocked it out of the park (or the cornfield for that matter), with a new design.
What really sets this scheme apart is how easy it is to transfer different designs onto the base, a valuable graphic design technique. Along with the clever corncob-filled number, the flexibility in the scheme between corn and lemons is a fitting touch. The reigning Xfinity Series Most Popular Driver will arguably have the most popular paint scheme as well.
2. Josh Berry‘s No. 4 Sunny D Ford
Speaking of popular Xfinity drivers, how about a scheme from a recent alum of the series? Cup rookie Josh Berry will keep the Sunny D colors on Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 4. Yes, it is the same design that Kevin Harvick carried in 2023. No, that doesn’t wear it out.
The scheme still brings the same warmth and energy that Sunny D schemes typically do, which has made it a fan-favorite. It is easy to follow from front to back, the colors compliment each other and nothing appears out of place or awkward. It is a well done scheme that looks even better on the Ford Mustang Dark Horse.
1. Christopher Bell‘s Mobil 1 Toyota
What happens when you modernize a vintage brand with the Pegasus emblem? You get this beauty.
Joe Gibbs Racing absolutely delivered on Bell’s No. 20 Mobil 1 Toyota as a part of the brand’s expanded sponsorship with TRD. The Pegasus emblem has become a fan favorite over the years, catching the eyes of both race fans and antique enthusiasts. JGR did a terrific job of implementing the shapes and angles well while making sure each color of the car pops out. For that, it takes the top spot.
Honorable Mentions: Ross Chastain‘s No. 1 Busch Light Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin‘s Sport Clips Toyota, Chris Buescher’s No. 17 Fastenal Ford, Michael McDowell‘s No. 34 Margaritaville at Sea Ford, RFK Racing’s BuildSubmarines.com Fords, Corey Heim‘s No. 11 Safelite Toyota.
Top Five Worst Schemes
5. Chase Elliott‘s Llumar Chevrolet
The line between this scheme being subpar and being a solid look is very thin. The red design makes sense, considering Hendrick Motorsports is celebrating 40 years with ruby red as the theme color. However, the teal number just doesn’t work.
Sure, that’s the color Llumar has had in some capacity on its cars since 2019, but there were better ways to do it. Even having a white number along with a teal outline would raise the level of this design. It’s not a terrible look, but it doesn’t meet expectations either.
4. Thad Moffitt‘s No. 46 Customers Bank Chevrolet
So far, these schemes aren’t necessarily “the worst,” it’s just that the majority of other schemes are better. This is another one, as the upstart Faction46 will sport this look to open 2024.
There isn’t anything awkward or overwhelmingly loud about the scheme — it’s just dull. Considering Thad Moffitt is the grandson of Richard Petty, maybe it’s the expectation of having something more eye-popping about the blue.
3. William Byron‘s No. 24 Valvoline Chevrolet
I was tempted to include another William Byron scheme on this list, as his Axalta ride has some awkward black shapes on the ride. Thankfully, the flames saved that scheme.
However, this Valvoline one gives me mixed feelings. Looking at it from an aerial view, it wouldn’t sour me any. However, the design, along the side skirt and the fact that the base color reminds me more of a test car, confuses me. More than anything is likely the disappointment that the Valvoline scheme took a couple steps back compared to previous seasons.
2. Joey Logano‘s No. 22 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford
Mark me down as someone who is not a big fan of red and green going together (except for Christmas). So while Hunt Brothers Pizza schemes from the Harvick years had some clean looks, I’m not a fan of the new look on Joey Logano’s car.
I am definitely not envious of designers having to be creative with the extra space on the quarter panel. However, this one just comes across kind of awkward. The base design itself is solid, but the overall scheme isn’t very exciting.
1. Noah Gragson‘s No. 10 Rush Truck Centers Ford
Let me say that silver/gray cars are usually among my favorite looks for a NASCAR. From Sterling Marlin‘s “Silver Bullet” to Erik Jones‘s Dallas VS Everybody scheme last year, that color can be used to produce an epic masterpiece. However, this one doesn’t hit that level.
A mailbag of questions surround Noah Gragson as he returns to the Cup Series following a suspension back in the late summer of 2023. Sponsorship is near the top of that stack, as initial firesuit photos of the 25-year-old revealed a plain black suit.
Now, Rush Truck Centers will be with Gragson at the Clash to start the season, but the scheme leaves a lot to be desired. It gives the look of a car that has been primed. Slapping the Rush logos on the car makes it look simple, yet not in a way that certainly provides a wow factor.
Many more schemes will be revealed in the coming days, and there are many opinions on which ones check the boxes or not. Let us know which schemes you are excited to see on track this season.
About the author
Luken Glover joined the Frontstretch team in 2020 as a contributor, furthering a love for racing that traces back to his earliest memories. Glover inherited his passion for racing from his grandfather, who used to help former NASCAR team owner Junie Donlavey in his Richmond, Va. garage. A 2023 graduate from the University of the Cumberlands, Glover is the author of "The Underdog House," contributes to commentary pieces, and does occasional at-track reporting. Additionally, Glover enjoys working in ministry, coaching basketball, playing sports, and karting.
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