How Do You Feel About Offset Numbers on Race Cars?

Pro racer (and nice guy) Andy Lally makes a good point via Twitter: Are offset numbers too ugly and off-balanced?


What’s your take when it comes to numbers on race cars: simply on the doors or tucked in somewhere else? Let us know in the comments below.

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Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/17/20 9:13 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Andy's complaint is that the numbers aren't centered on the "door"? Honestly I wouldn't have even noticed if it wasn't pointed out. 

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
6/17/20 9:28 a.m.

Looks way better. What's special about the door for the number?

NOT A TA
NOT A TA SuperDork
6/17/20 9:29 a.m.

If the number was larger than sponsor logo it would look better.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/17/20 9:30 a.m.

if i was jacking up the car by the number panel, i'd care about it being aligned with the car's CG.  Otherwise, IDGAF.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
6/17/20 9:33 a.m.

I think it might look a little better with the number in front of "Sunnoco" rather than behind, but go ahead and put the number where it's readable and makes sense. I don't see a way to make that particular paint scheme really work with the number centered on where the door would be.

Hasbro (Forum Supporter)
Hasbro (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
6/17/20 9:38 a.m.
tuna55 said:

Looks way better. What's special about the door for the number?

yes

Purple Frog (Forum Supporter)
Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) Reader
6/17/20 9:46 a.m.

looks better than old school.  I don't think the numbers even need to be that large.  wink  It's 2020, timing is not done by a bunch of people with stopwatches looking out of a building.  Just look at famous Le Mans cars of the past, or F1.   

Pro need sponsors to survive.  I say let the sponsor's artists go crazy if they want.

Aaron_King
Aaron_King PowerDork
6/17/20 9:51 a.m.

I like it.

L5wolvesf
L5wolvesf Reader
6/17/20 9:54 a.m.

'The horror, the horror.' How can humanity survive this? My people have sent a message of support to Mr. Lally's people. It also contained my offer to relieve him of the burdensome duty of racing a car with offset numbers.

At the moment, I can't think of anything that concerns me less. 

 

79rex
79rex Reader
6/17/20 10:02 a.m.

about the only number placement on a racecar that may bother me is if it ended up on the wheels

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
6/17/20 10:06 a.m.

I like that livery. Looks like the car is going so fast that the number is having trouble keeping up and has slid back a couple feet.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
6/17/20 10:09 a.m.

Regardless if you like how it looks or not, you noticed the car, which is the point,  right?

1SlowVW
1SlowVW HalfDork
6/17/20 10:12 a.m.

That car doesn't have doors. 

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) Dork
6/17/20 10:14 a.m.

Don't they have giant numbers on the roof so it's a bit irrelevant?

NorseDave
NorseDave Reader
6/17/20 10:25 a.m.

I could say that's a first-world problem, but it's more like a 0.01% first world problem.  Can we get some teams to start using Roman numerals tho??

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/17/20 10:34 a.m.

 

I'd be more concerned about the fact there are no brake calipers.

Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude)
Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) MegaDork
6/17/20 10:39 a.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

I didn't think NASCAR used brakes. They just hit the car in front of them to slow down. 

Saron81
Saron81 Reader
6/17/20 10:39 a.m.

Looks like a GT, or V8 supercar livery, but I see no problem, especially with the large roof numbers like Paul pointed out. 

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/17/20 10:57 a.m.

I've avoided a number of controversial topics lately but I cannot longer stay quiet.  The numbers belong in the center of the door where God and Richard Petty put them. 

drock25too
drock25too New Reader
6/17/20 11:02 a.m.
NorseDave said:

I could say that's a first-world problem, but it's more like a 0.01% first world problem.  Can we get some teams to start using Roman numerals tho??

I had a friend do that . III = #3 Right? The announcer started calling it ,One Eleven.  Even with the bars on top and bottom.  

MrFancypants
MrFancypants Reader
6/17/20 11:16 a.m.

That's a nice looking livery.

Durty
Durty Reader
6/17/20 11:30 a.m.

Centered numbers is a very "Oval" racing mindset, I like numbers that can wind around the livery like a fine road course. 

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
6/17/20 11:43 a.m.

most of my cars have had the number under the sideview mirror... so I'm more used to offset

go figure that NASCAR would bias their numbers backwards

John Welsh (Moderate Supporter)
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) Mod Squad
6/17/20 11:52 a.m.
Wally (Forum Supporter) said:

I've avoided a number of controversial topics lately but I cannot longer stay quiet.  The numbers belong in the center of the door where God and Richard Petty put them. 

Are these two different people? 

Danny Shields (Forum Supporter)
Danny Shields (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
6/17/20 11:58 a.m.

In reply to drock25too :

I used to race a stock car that was number 1X. My brother in law joked that, back in his day, that would have been the 9 car.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/17/20 11:59 a.m.

Can I just say I actually like having them centered and consistent? Since NASCAR spends a lot of time bunched up really close, the uniformity of the numbers is cool and looks good. 

BTW, inching your number forward could make your car look like it was further ahead than it really is, which could be a tangible advantage (check out 10 vs 18). A team should DEFINITELY NOT move the number toward the rear wheel. Also note that a smart advertiser would turn their hood graphics by 90 degrees. Notice how much better the over the rear wheel space is (all 6 cars workin it) than the hood space (only 3 of the cars having recognizable graphics), even though the hood space is huge. 

Cactus
Cactus HalfDork
6/17/20 12:27 p.m.

Works fine for me.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
6/17/20 1:01 p.m.
sleepyhead the buffalo said:

go figure that NASCAR would bias their numbers backwards

I thought those were for Porsche 911s?

slowbird
slowbird SuperDork
6/17/20 1:22 p.m.

I get why NASCAR is doing it, and I actually don't mind it. I thought it would look bad, but it's actually fine.

Die-hard fans might be annoyed by it, but then again, if the next-gen car with carbon fiber pieces and single-lug wheels doesn't drive them off, this won't either.

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
6/17/20 1:34 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:
feature_image

Pro racer (and nice guy) Andy Lally makes a good point via Twitter: Are offset numbers too ugly and off-balanced?


What’s your take when it comes to numbers on race cars: simply on the doors or tucked in somewhere else? Let us know in the comments below.

Read the rest of the story

I like it. It looks "balanced." Symmetry is boring. I bet you could throw a golden rectangle on there and make everything line right up.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
6/17/20 2:14 p.m.

I do not have strong, or even mild, feelings on this subject. 

bigdaddylee82
bigdaddylee82 UltraDork
6/17/20 2:23 p.m.

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/17/20 6:49 p.m.

In reply to slowbird :

The wheels and body material are not as glaringly obvious as the number in the wrong spot. Part of the problem is the lack of contingency sponsors leaving that blank spot behind the front wheel. There should be a dozen or so small stickers there, then the number, then team sponsors after that.  

Patientzero
Patientzero HalfDork
6/17/20 6:56 p.m.

Offset forward looks much better than offset toward the rear of the car

SuperDave
SuperDave New Reader
6/17/20 7:55 p.m.

Gimmick.  Just like "stage racing" and the "lucky dog" getting back on the lead lap.

NASCAR has been throwing ideas against the wall for eleven years trying to get people to come back.

johndej
johndej HalfDork
6/17/20 8:02 p.m.

Man covid isolation has brought out some great conversations cheeky.

I did have to show this to my wife who's in graphic design and marketing. She actually had to design the Nascar layout for her past company. Honestly this could have been a transcript from some of the meetings she's been in. She's really tempted to reply to some of you herself right now lol.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
6/17/20 8:20 p.m.

Related question: Is NASCAR the last top-level series that still allows non-standardized numbers? Pretty much everyone else has gone to series-mandated number panels and electronic displays, haven't they?

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
6/17/20 8:30 p.m.
 
Wally (Forum Supporter) said:

I've avoided a number of controversial topics lately but I cannot longer stay quiet.  The numbers belong in the center of the door where God and Richard Petty put them. 

 

I'm with Wally.  They should be in the center of the door, preferably in the middle of a round white meatball.

 

MrLittle
MrLittle Reader
6/17/20 8:40 p.m.

From an aesthetic/design standpoint I think it looks better personally. 

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon HalfDork
6/17/20 9:01 p.m.

Numbers at the rear is pretty common in dirt racing



Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/17/20 9:04 p.m.

In reply to JG Pasterjak :

NASCAR, and most other circle track series seem to be the only place to still allow a lot of freedom with numbers to be a part of the graphic design. I think they look better when they are a integrated into the scheme instead of generic peel and stick numbers. 

superfund
superfund New Reader
6/17/20 9:05 p.m.

The placement of the numbers is the least offensive part of that design. I think some cars could look really good like that. 

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/17/20 9:09 p.m.

In reply to MotorsportsGordon :

Where are they so I can send an angry letter?  I don't think I've ever seen that before.  I know ASA did it briefly but quickly changed back to normal. 

 

Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón)
Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón) MegaDork
6/17/20 9:16 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Pro racer (and nice guy) Andy Lally voiced an opinion about something that really doesn't matter, especially since he doesn't even own the car.

 

That's kind of how I feel about it. It isn't my car, so I don't care. If the numbers meet the rules of the series in regards to placement, the Team Owner can make their livery look however they want. 

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/17/20 9:16 p.m.

In reply to johndej :


A lot of people don't realize how hard it is to make a good looking race car. When we got a sponsor and hired a designer it made a huge difference in our cars. 
 

Amateurs: 

Pro:

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon HalfDork
6/17/20 9:25 p.m.


MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon HalfDork
6/17/20 9:26 p.m.

Dale Earnhardt jr first late model

mad_machine (Forum Supporter)
mad_machine (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/17/20 9:32 p.m.

wait, NASCAR is relevant? 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/17/20 9:44 p.m.

for rally we have the number panel at the very front of the door in white on black, and then the number again on the rear side window in bright orange. I'm fine putting numbers wherever the series says to put them, or where ever they fit. I noticed in the original post the car had the numbers set farther back, but I can't say it struck me either good or bad. 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
6/18/20 4:22 a.m.
mad_machine (Forum Supporter) said:

wait, NASCAR is relevant? 

As much as F1 these days.

300zxfreak
300zxfreak New Reader
6/18/20 5:54 a.m.

I was going to ask why waste time typing on this subject, but then realized I just did. 

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass New Reader
6/18/20 6:35 a.m.

Cole Trickle.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
6/18/20 9:35 a.m.

I think it looks just spanky.

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/14/20 7:29 a.m.
ryan_long_01
ryan_long_01
7/14/20 8:21 a.m.

I was just looking at the All-Star Race car Ganassi posted last night with the number moved back, and tried my hand at an alternate number placement (full transparency, my day job is running creative for a race team, but not a NASCAR team).

I think having something centered on the door is good for balance...just nudging the number back and putting a sponsor in there makes two things fight for the same area is awkward and unbalanced. I'm sure teams would like to have more freedom to put a big sponsor on the side of the car, and while I think car numbers are crucial for consistent driver branding, I'm not sure they need to be as big as they are currently on the doors.

I'd throw the number on the quarter panel behind the rear wheel and center the sponsor on the door. More balanced. Ganassi's scheme is on top, my quick-and-dirty late-night Photoshop is on the bottom.

 

 

APEowner
APEowner Dork
7/14/20 11:42 a.m.

With the variety of sponsor related paint schemes that most teams are running on each car these days it's really important that the number be large and visible so you can tell which car is which.  I agree that the number on the rear quarter panel looks better but I think it would be harder to pick out of a pack of cars on TV.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/14/20 2:24 p.m.

In reply to APEowner :

You know, I kinda like the numbers in the corner--assuming everyone else does it. 

RX Reven'
RX Reven' SuperDork
7/14/20 2:51 p.m.
drock25too said:

I had a friend do that . III = #3 Right? The announcer started calling it ,One Eleven.  Even with the bars on top and bottom.  

That way when the car is tumbling down the track, it continues to present the correct number; smart yes

 

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
7/14/20 4:54 p.m.

I honestly don't care. As others have mentioned other circle track series (dirt and asphalt) have been doing it for as long as I can remember. I enjoy that NASCAR doesn't require numbers to be in a box with a specific font. I will say the Comic Sans that SCCA Speed GT series (and whatever it's transformed into today) used for years was not that flattering. 

I feel it's a decent marketing ploy by NASCAR to drum up the attention train that's been focused on them during the pandemic. 

I can only imagine the MS Teams meeting when someone said "Okay idea time: Let's move the numbers back and add underglow for the All Star race! Fans will love it or hate it" 

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
7/14/20 6:16 p.m.
APEowner said:

With the variety of sponsor related paint schemes that most teams are running on each car these days it's really important that the number be large and visible so you can tell which car is which.  I agree that the number on the rear quarter panel looks better but I think it would be harder to pick out of a pack of cars on TV.

This is true.  Easily identifiable cars make it way easier for fans to get involved.  It's one of the problems with Indycar, I think.  When Hinch was driving the gold car, it was easy to find him.  I'm pretty lost these days, because I enjoy it, but as a more casual fan.

Nascar wise, I was cheering for Matt Debenedetto, which is fine, except I was cheering for the Menards yellow, which should be on Blaney's car, but Blaney was red and yellow, and I knew that Matt was 21, and Blaney 12, so I figured it out quickly...

It was easier to cheer for the black three, and hate the blue deuce.

Claff
Claff Reader
7/14/20 7:04 p.m.

I hate that numbers are considered afterthoughts in most racing. In NASCAR the numbers are pretty important these days as cars seem to have completely different colors and sponsors each week. Having the same font/size/location for the number goes a long way towards easily identifying each driver's car. So I dislike the numbers reduced in size and not in a prominent location.

Wally, this forum is probably the last one that I frequent that I would expect to see Glenn Sullivan race car pictures.

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/14/20 9:42 p.m.

In reply to Claff :

Glenn is good people, he helped corrupt me into the person I am today. 

Claff
Claff Reader
7/15/20 6:51 p.m.

In reply to Wally (Forum Supporter) :

Glenn is a character, no doubt about that.

I chased Busch North as media from 1996 til 2009, including an eleven-year stretch where I attended every race. Drivers like Glenn made being at the track fun.

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/15/20 7:41 p.m.

I worked for Glenn in 94&95.  That series was a ridiculous amount of fun, I'm still surprised I got out of without any arrests or STDs. 

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