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Friday, February 16, 2018

Dave Marcis #71 Big Apple Market Chevrolet

    Hello once again diecast fans, and welcome back to the NASCAR Racing Champions blog~ Another "Daytona 500" is upon us, and it just wouldn't be the Daytona 500 without mentioning Dave Marcis, who competed in 33 of them~ Yes, the "Great American Race" is turning 60 this year.. and even after being retired for the past 16 years, Dave Marcis has still competed in more than half of the Daytona 500's ever ran~

    Marcis never made it to victory lane in the Daytona 500, with his best finish being two 6th place finishes (1976, 1978), but you could always count on seeing Dave Marcis in the "Daytona 500", and it became sort of an event to watch qualifying to see if Dave was going to keep the streak going~ On February 20th, 2000, Marcis' streak of 32 straight "Daytona 500" appearances came to an end, and he would repeat this heartache the next season before making his final start in the 2002 "Daytona 500", one year after the death of his good friend, Dale Earnhardt~

   With drivers retiring younger than ever, I believe it's safe to say that we'll never see another driver with a 35 year career in the top level of NASCAR~ Drivers like Richard Petty, Morgan Shepherd, and Dave Marcis  may have stayed in the sport a little bit past their prime... okay, long past their prime.. but I enjoyed watching them still give it their all each week.. surviving on a shoestring budget in the case of Marcis and Shepherd~ Those guys have heart, and determination to continue, and well.. I love the heck out of that!~ Let's get into this post on Dave Marcis' #71 Big Apple Market Chevrolet, and let the good times roll!~

                                            Marcis reading about Daytona during downtime~
Dave Marcis #71 Big Apple Market Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1990 1991 1992 Winston Cup Owner Driver

    Big Apple Market first teamed up with Marcis and the #71 Chevrolet for the 1990 "Daytona 500"~ The business was owned by Michael "Mike" Miller, who was born on June 1st, 1940~ Miller's market sold fresh fruit from the family orchard, as well as meats, cheeses, sandwiches, and NASCAR memorabilia~ Miller was an avid racing fan, and met Marcis during one of his trips to Pocono, and the two hashed out a deal to run Mike Miller's Big Apple Market as the primary sponsor, in what turned out to be nearly two complete seasons worth of races~

   Miller was also an avid hunter, an interest shared by Marcis, and the two went on many hunting trips together~ When Mike retired, he sold the Big Apple Market, and moved to Spencer, West Virginia, where he married his wife, Linda Terrell-Miller~ Sadly, he passed away on September 9th, 2017, at the age of 77~ I hate to bring you to tears and all.. but I figured I'd go ahead and do it now, so that your eyes would be better by the time you get down to the car pictures~

  Marcis nearly dnq'd in his first attempt in the Big Apple Market Chevrolet~ He started last in the 42 car field, after finishing 20th in his "First Twin 125" duel race~ He avoided the three crashes in the race, and went on to finish in 23rd place~ His race winning for the event were $22,995, which doesn't sound like much to today's standards.. but in 1990.. to a very low budget independent team... it was like hitting the lottery compared to winnings at any other event~ Dave's second highest paycheck that season was $11,405 from Talladega~

                                              Marcis and Mike Miller pose with the #71 car~
Dave Marcis #71 Big Apple Market Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1990 1991 1992 Winston Cup Owner Driver

    Marcis followed his Daytona finish up with a 17th place showing in the "Pontiac Excitement 400" @ Richmond~ He then had a pair of 22nd place finishes ("GM Goodwrench 500" Rockingham - "Motorcraft Quality Parts 500" Atlanta), followed by a pair of 15th place runs ("TranSouth 500" Darlington - "Valleydale Meats 500" Bristol), and even led a couple of laps in the Bristol race~

    Following the Bristol race, Dave had his best finish of the season in the "First Union 400" @ North Wilkesboro, with a 12th place effort, narrowly missing a lead lap finish~ This was capped off with a couple of 14th place finishes ("Hanes Activewear 500" Martinsville - "Winston 500" Talladega), and a 16th place finish in the "Coca-Cola 600" @ Charlotte... which is pretty impressive for an independent team~

   Marcis led three laps in the "Heinz Southern 500" @ Darlington, before falling back to finish 16th~ His best qualifying effort of the season came in the "Goody's 500" @ Martinsville, where he started 13th, and finished in 14th place~ On the year, Marcis competed in all 29 races, completing 92% of the total laps ran, leading 8 of them, with an average starting position of 26.0, and an average finish of 20.7~ He placed 21st in the final point standings for the Winston Cup championship, and his total winnings on the year were $232,724~

                                       Marcis passes Rick Mast in a Dale Earnhardt loaner~
Dave Marcis #71 Big Apple Market Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1990 1991 1992 Winston Cup Owner Driver

    Coming into the 1991 Winston Cup season, Marcis had already secured the Big Apple Market sponsorship for another full season, however this deal couldn't have been for more than a set or two of tires each race, so the car was re-branded for the upcoming "Daytona 500" as the U.S. Coast Guard Chevrolet, as part of a five car sponsorship by R.J. Reynolds entitled "Support Our Troops", in support of the Desert Storm troops~ Marcis finished 35th after breaking a valve~

   Compared  to his 1990 season, the 1991 season was disastrous in a lot of ways~ In 1990, Marcis completed all but 4 events, and made every race.. compared to 1991, where he had 10 DNF's, as well as two DNQ's ("Valleydale Meats 500" Bristol - "Hanes 500" Martinsville)~ My family used to go watch qualifying at Bristol, and I cried when Dave didn't make that race... hush, I was a kid!~

   Dave's shining moment of 1991 came in the "Peak AntiFreeze 500" @ Dover, where after starting 31st, he managed to miss a 15 car pileup early in the race, and held on to finish in 10th place~ This was to be his only top 10 of the season, and the next to last one of his career~ The 1991 Winston Cup season came to an end, and for Dave Marcis, it consisted of making 27 of 29 races, with 1 top 10, 3 laps led, and $217,760 in race winnings~ He had an average start of 28.7, and an average finish of 25.2, and was 29th in the final points standings for the Winston Cup championship~

                                                          Colorized b&w of Marcis~
Dave Marcis #71 Big Apple Market Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1990 1991 1992 Winston Cup Owner Driver

    By the start of the 1992 Winston Cup season, Marcis had worked out a four race deal with Abilene Boots, which included the first four races of the year~ Big Apple Market returned to the car for the "Food City 500" @ Bristol, where he qualified 21st, and finished in 31st place following a blown engine~ Alan Kulwicki went on to win the event, and eventually the 1992 Winston Cup championship~

   Though he was driving a plain blue car for the "Save Mart 300K" @ Sears Point (Sonoma), Big Apple Market is credited as being his sponsor that day~ Perhaps they paid for a set of tires or something, or Marcis just wanted to be kind, and give them some free publicity for helping him out.. regardless, Marcis started 27th, and made it to 23rd by the drop of the checkered flag~ The race was won by Ernie Irvan, who after qualifying 2nd, was black flagged for jumping the start of the race, and forced to start from the rear of the field~

   The final time Big Apple Market was credited with sponsoring the #71 car came in the "Champion Spark Plug 500" @ Pocono, where Marcis finished 18th after qualifying 32nd~ He competed in all 29 races that season, with an average start of 28.6, and an average finish of 27.3, while only completing 70% of the total laps ran during the season~ He finished 29th in the final points standings for the Winston Cup championship, with race winnings totaling $215,295~

                                            Dave Marcis #71 Big Apple Market Chevrolet~
Dave Marcis #71 Big Apple Market Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1990 1991 1992 Winston Cup Owner Driver
                                                               Click pics to enlarge~
Dave Marcis #71 Big Apple Market Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1990 1991 1992 Winston Cup Owner Driver

    In my very first post on this blog, I stated that I really wanted to do a post on this car.. but at the time, I couldn't find one that looked good enough to do a post on~ I kept finding them with chipped paint, or the autograph was smeared, there was always something wrong with every Marcis car I found~ And then I finally found this one.. but that was over a year ago~ I had different cars that I already had lined up to do a post on, and just never got around to doing this one~

   When I was a kid, I would have races on the floor with these Racing Champions cars~ These were 8 car events, and I would go around, and around in circles having races all day long~ This Marcis car and the Food Country car won almost all of those races~ One of the cars I used to race a lot in those races was the rare #33 Bobby Labonte Dentyne Pontiac, and although  I finally found another one a few months ago, it still bothers me that I ruined a rare car by having my little races~

   I was just a small sperm the last time Dave Marcis went to victory lane, so I made him a constant winner when I held my races~ This car has tons of nostalgic memories to me, and though Dave never did much in it, it's still one of my favorite Racing Champions cars of all time~  Now let's get to the bonus car for this post~

                                   Mike Wallace #7 Piggly Wiggly/Clabber Girl Chevrolet~
Mike Wallace #7 Piggly Wiggly Clabber Girl Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Ed Whitaker Bristol Virginia Busch Grand National 1997 Bristol
    Mike Wallace drove six BGN races for Ed Whitaker during the 1997 season, and in at least one race, this is what his car looked like~ I can't vouch for the other five races, but this was the car Mike drove at Bristol for the 1997 "Moore's Snacks 250", where he qualified 7th, and finished 17th after being involved in an 8 car pile-up midway through the event~ Wallace was able to continue, but the damage was too severe to compete for the win~

   The race was won by Jeff Burton, who was driving the #9 Track Gear Ford, followed by "Magic Shoes" Mike McLaughlin, Randy LaJoie, Michael Waltrip, and Dick Trickle to finish out the top 5~ This Piggly Wiggly scheme is one of my favorites, and I was pleased with the outcome of this Photoshop custom version~ It's feels good to bring a lost paint scheme back to life, and preserve it for people to see years from now~ 

   I'd like to thank you all for stopping by the blog.. I hope you enjoyed this post, if you did, please click the "Follow" button at the right hand side of the top of this page, and I'll have a new one up some time next month~ Below are some random NASCAR videos, because I've already used all the Dave Marcis videos in other posts~ Happy Racing Season, y'all!~ :)

                                                     Kyle Petty sings "The Other Guy"~

                                             Winston Cup Photographers segment - 1991~

                                      Dale Earnhardt McDonald's Breakfast commercial - 1991~

                                           1988 Valleydale Meats 500 - Bristol highlights~




Sunday, January 21, 2018

Ken Schrader #49 Schwan's Dodge

    Hello again race fans, and welcome to the 2018 edition of the Racing Champions 1/64 diecast blog~ Well, it's been a while since I've had time to make a post, so I hope you'll excuse my brief absence~ I didn't really want to do a post on Ken Schrader, but I already had the pictures finished, and the weather has been horrible here.. so I haven't been able to get any pictures for a while now~

   It's not that I don't like Ken Schrader.. I've just already done a post on him, and I've got a ton of drivers to do that haven't had a post yet~ I'll get to them when I can, but for now, we're gonna be looking back at Ken Schrader's boring time in the #49 Schwan's Home Service Dodge, owned by Beth Ann Morgenthau~ Schrader drove for Morgenthau from 2003-2005, and once more in 2007, earning all six career top 10 finishes for the low budget team~

  The Schwan's sponsorship ended up being a two year deal for the 2004, and 2005 Cup seasons~ During the 2004 season, Schrader went through three crew chiefs, with Scott Eggleston, Donnie Richeson, and David Hyder~ So let's start this off looking back at that 2004 season, their first season with the Schwan's sponsorship~

                                           Custom Ken Schrader Racing Champions card~
Ken Schrader #49 Schwan's Home Service Dodge 2004 2005 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Beth Ann Morgenthau Cup Series 2018

    At this point in his career, I'm just gonna start off by saying it... Ken Schrader deserved to be in dog equipment~ Throughout his career, he was given quality rides, and when he was good, he could fly... but that was part of his problem~ Schrader would take off and grow a powering lead, only to blow his engine up by giving it so much hell for so long~

    I know the guy would have had at least 6 or 7 more wins if not for that one issue alone~ And when his car wasn't perfect, he just couldn't make it perform better the way Dale Earnhardt and others could~ I was a Ken Schrader fan, but he just didn't have what it took to get the job done in crunch time~

   One good thing about Schrader was, he would usually bring the car home in one piece.. at least the body of the car~ He blew up a lot, but he usually steered clear of trouble on the race track, for the most part~ Well, now that I've got that out of the way, let's get into the meat and potatoes of the thing~

                                                         Does that thang got a Hemi?~
Ken Schrader #49 Schwan's Home Service Dodge 2004 2005 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Beth Ann Morgenthau Cup Series 2018

    Schrader started the 2004 Cup season off with four straight finishes without a top 25~ He only squashed that feat with a 22nd place showing in the "Carolina Dodge Dealers 400" @ Darlington~ He capped that off the following week @ Bristol in the "Food City 500", with a nice 6th place run~ This would come to be the only top 10 finish of the season for Schrader, who was actually making the Morgenthau team look good at this point, even with such tepid finishes~

    Moving on to Texas, Schrader qualified poorly for the "Samsung/Radio Shack 500", rolling off from the 39th position, but was able to finish the race, and pull out a 19th place showing~ He wasn't so lucky the following week @ Martinsville, during the "Advance Auto Parts 500", where he dropped out after only 118 laps of competition, due to brake issues~

   For the next few races, Schrader didn't do anything spectacular, but he was able to lead a lap @ Fontana during the "Auto Club 500", something the team had never done before then~ The rest of the season was blah, blah, blah... the only time he cracked the top 20 for the rest of the season was an 18th place finish @ Indianapolis, and a 16th place showing in the "Sylvania 300" @ Loudon~ He did lead five more laps during the season, bringing that total to six on the year, and the team ranked 31st in the final points standings~

                                               Morgenthau got all fancy with this card~ :P
Ken Schrader #49 Schwan's Home Service Dodge 2004 2005 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Beth Ann Morgenthau Cup Series 2018

    Remember that thing I said about Schrader not wrecking a lot... well, 2005 wasn't the best example of that, with Schrader being collected in four accidents throughout the season, along with three more blown engines~ But the ol' tiger did have a better season than the one before, it just didn't quite show in the points standings, but that was mostly due to the wrecks, and blown engines~ His finishes when he did finish improved significantly~

    Following a blown engine in the Daytona 500, Schrader came back "strong" @ Fontana, with a 14th place finish  in the "Auto Club 500", after starting 38th~ He did a role reversal the following week at Las Vegas, when he qualified 14th for the "UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400", but only mustered a 34th place finish at the end of the day~

    Blah, blah, blah on down to the 9th race of the season, where Schrader pulled off an 8th place finish in the "Aaron's 499" @ Talladega, after starting next to last~ Three races later, he picked up another top 10 finish, with a 9th place outing in the freakin' "Coca-Cola 600"~ He was at it again five races later, with a 10th place finish in the "Pepsi 400" @ Daytona, after rolling off from 40th position to start the event~

                                                         Schrader put an end to Digger~
Ken Schrader #49 Schwan's Home Service Dodge 2004 2005 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Beth Ann Morgenthau Cup Series 2018

    After several disappointing finishes in a row, Schrader qualified 7th for the "Sharpie 500" Bristol night race, and finished in 11th place, on the lead lap~ Following this race, the remainder of the season was somewhat lackluster, with the exception of the "Subway 500" @ Martinsville~

    Schrader qualified 24th for the event, but was leading a quarter of the way in~ He kept the lead for 17 laps before handing the lead back to Tony Stewart~ Jeff Gordon went on to win the event, followed by Tony Stewart, Jimmy Johnson, Bobby Labonte, and Jeff Burton finished out the top 5~

   The last few races all ended in disappointment, and Schrader again finished the season 31st in the final points standings~ He would leave the team at the end of the season to drive for the Wood Brothers, but returned for one race during the 2007 Cup season, when the Wood Brothers decided to scale back the amount of races they wanted to run~ He finished 25th in the 2007 Brickyard 400, in what was his final race for the team~

                                                    Ken Schrader #49 Schwan's Dodge~
Ken Schrader #49 Schwan's Home Service Dodge 2004 2005 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Beth Ann Morgenthau Cup Series 2018
                                                                   Click pics to enlarge~
Ken Schrader #49 Schwan's Home Service Dodge 2004 2005 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Beth Ann Morgenthau Cup Series 2018

    I gotta give them credit, for a Beth Ann Morgenthau (BAM) car, this thing was pretty sharp!~ I can't think of many teams that have used this specific shade of yellow, but I like it~ I've never bought anything from Schwan's, but I've been to people's houses that did, and they have some pretty good items~ I just prefer to go to the store myself, and buy my stuff from a store~ I don't know why, but that's just what I'm used to doing.. so I don't think Schwan's is for me~ It seems to personal~

   Morgenthau's team went under in 2008, but as far as I know she still funds Derrike Cope to some degree, or at least she did when he was running in whatever they call the BGN series these days, before his return to the Cup Series~ I liked her team.. she gave rides to Hornaday Jr., Shawna Robinson, Derrike Cope, Kevin Lepage, and even German driver, Klaus Graf.. who finished 17th at Sonoma in 2004, in what was his only Cup start~

   Teams like that are pretty much gone in the series these days, but I feel like they are making a silent comeback~ With the arrival of Cope in the Cup series last year, it gave me hope that the "little team that could" mentality is slowly making its way back into a series that seems to have turned its back on them long ago~ Little things like that give me hope in the sport moving forward, and now that Danica is gone, at least Darrell Waltrip can get back to saying "Let's go racing boys!~", instead of "Let's go racing boys, and Danica!~"... that was making me want to just puke~ And now, for what was supposed to be the bonus car for the Christmas post that never happened until now~

                                                Santa Claus #25 Santamobile Chevrolet~
Santa Claus #25 Santamobile Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/24 diecast blog 2018 Merry Christmas

    If you look long enough, you'll eventually find out that there's nothing you can't expect Racing Champions to produce~ Any little dumb thing they could think of, they slapped it on a diecast~ I've spent countless hours researching these dang things, and just when I think I've seen it all... someone will email me a picture of a car they have, and my hair blows back~

    And it's not just me this happens to.. I know people who have collected these cars, and studied about them far longer than I have, and I'll show them a picture someone showed me, and it'll shock them too~ That's one thing I love about Racing Champions cars... you can NEVER have the full set~ There will always be someone who has some random error car that you don't have, and some will say those don't count as part of a "full collection"... but in the world of Racing Champions, anything counts.. that's the charm of them~

    When you find one that is all messed up with errors, it makes you feel good as a collector, because it's something that, perhaps only you can have.. and if not, it's only a small number of people with the exact error~ Anyway, I made this picture for y'alls Christmas post, and I just never got around to posting in time for Christmas, so I hope y'all had a Merry Christmas, and a wonderful New Year in 2018!~ Below are some clips from some Youtube channels that I'd like you to subscribe to, enjoy them, and I'll see you next time, here at the Racing Champions diecast blog!~ :D

                                       Copperhead Cup Series - First Copperhead Cup race~

                                               Campbell N. - "The Craziest Race on Earth"
                                     nascarman History - Benny Parsons Family BBQ~ 1985~ 
                                              friskynixon - "The Nixon Tapes Podcast #2"~

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

1991 Mello Yello 500 Pontiac event car

    Hello once more, and welcome back to the NASCAR Racing Champions diecasts blog~ In today's post, I'm going to be discussing the 1991 running of the "Mello Yello 500", which took place at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 6th, 1991~ Racing Champions made a track/event car for this race, and to my knowledge this was the second time they made a track/event car, with the first being the 1991 "Heinz Southern 500" Pontiac~

    Although this one is technically the second track/event car produced, I'm still leaning towards this was the first one ever made, and Racing Champions just produced the "Heinz Southern 500" car to beat RCCA out of a good idea~ At any rate.. this is one of the first, if not the first one ever made, so let's not waste anymore time worrying about that.. and let's just find out what happened during the 1991 Mello Yello 500~

                                                       Custom Racing Champions card~
1991 Mello Yello 500 Ponitac Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Charlotte #91 Winston Cup

    Coming into the weekend of the 1991 running of the "Mello Yello 500" @ Charlotte, Richard Petty made it official, and announced that he would not be returning after the 1992 Winston Cup season~  A replacement driver wasn't named, but Petty assured fans that he wouldn't be stepping away from NASCAR competition, just from competing himself~

    It was hard for the NASCAR world to talk about much else following that announcement, and Mark Martin's pole position played second fiddle to the King's retirement announcement~ Davey Allison qualified alongside of Martin in the #28 Texaco Havoline Ford, followed by Alan Kulwicki in the #7 Hooters Ford~ With the first three positions being held by Fords, other teams knew they had a hard road ahead of them if they were gonna leave out of Charlotte Motor Speedway with a trophy~

   Nine drivers failed to make the 41 car field, with veterans such as Buddy Baker, and Larry Pearson, as well as Jeff Purvis, Mike Potter, Delma Cowart, Jim Sauter, Randy Baker (Buddy's son), Robbie Faggart, and Tracy Leslie all being sent home early~ Brad Teague make the field in the un-sponsored #99 Ralph Ball Chevrolet, and picked up Pearson's Kellogg's Corn Flakes sponsorship following his failed qualifying attempt~

                       Bobby Hillin's #53 Longhorn Steaks Chevy had problems before the start~
Bobby Hillin #53 Longhorn Steaks Chevrolet 1991 Mello Yello 500 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Winston Cup Martin Birrane Charlotte

    Before the drop of the green flag, Bobby Hillin's #53 Longhorn Steaks Chevy stalled on pit road~ The team was able to fix whatever problem the car was having, and he was sent out with the rest of the field for the start of the race~ Mark Martin's #6 Folgers Ford roared ahead of the field, but the caution flag waved for the first time after only one lap of competition, due to a crash involving Darrell Waltrip, and Dave Marcis~

    During the caution flag, Dorsey Schroeder brought the #66 TropArtic Pontiac behind the wall due to a blown head gasket, and his race was over, resulting in a 41st place finish~ When the racing resumed, it lasted only eight laps before Mike Skinner's #13 Glidden Paints Chevrolet spun out, and brought out the second caution of the day~ An oil line had busted on Skinner's car, and his day was done, with a 40th place finish~

   When the green flag dropped for the third time of the day, it lasted for only one lap before Richard Petty and Sterling Marlin were sent spinning, bringing out the third caution in only 18 laps~ Both cars were able to continue on, and up to this point, and the race didn't have its next victim until Gary Balough's #27 Terminal Trucking Pontiac dropped out of competition on lap 42 with a broken camshaft~ At this point of the race, Mark Martin had led every lap of the event, and looked very strong as the race continued~

                                               Mike Skinner's #13 Glidden Paints Chevrolet~
Mike Skinner #13 Glidden Paints Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1991 Charlotte Winston Cup Thee Dixon

    Well, if you're a superstitious kind of person... you can easily see why Mike Skinner didn't last long in the race, with a green car and the #13~ I've tried a couple times to make a custom of this car, but it just never works out right.. anyway, back to the race~ Kenny Schrader took the #25 Kodiak Chevrolet behind the wall after 59 laps with piston issues, and following that, the race went pretty smooth for a change, and so they were off on a 110 lap green flag run~

    The yellow finally came out on lap 130, due to a crash involving Ernie Irvan and Kerry Teague~ Teague got loose coming out of turn 4 when Dave Marcis went by him on the outside, causing him to lose control of the #95 Texaco & Powerup Oldsmobile~ Irvan was collected when he was told by his spotter to go high, and he decided to go low... he then smashed the entire right side of the #4 Kodak Chevrolet into Teague's car~

    Teague's day was done, resulting in a 37th place finish, but Irvan's crew went to work on the Kodak machine in hopes of salvaging some valuable championship points~ The team eventually got the car repaired, but Irvan was over 50 laps down by that point~ NASCAR wouldn't allow his car back on the track with just a roll cage on the right side, so the team strapped their pit sign to the side of the car, and sent Irvan back onto the track~ The funniest thing about this is that they put the sign on upside down, so Irvan's car looked pretty absurd to say the least~

                                                       I told ya' it was pretty absurd~ :P
Ernie Irvan #4 Kodak Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1991 Charlotte Winston Cup Morgan McClure

    As the race was under caution for the Teague/Irvan crash, Hut Stricklin's #12 Raybestos Brakes Buick blew a piston, which put an end to his day, and he finished 36th~ When the race resumed, Mark Martin picked up where he left off, and was blowing the field away~ He was on his way to a fairly easy victory when his engine blew on lap 212, ending his day with nothing but a 35th place finish to show for it~

   Dale Earnhardt inherited the lead following Martin's demise, and the race continued on caution free for 22 laps until a five car accident involving Ricky Rudd, Derrike Cope, Morgan Shepherd, Jimmy Hensley, and Dave Marcis brought out the fifth caution of the day~ This was the only race during the 1991 season where Ricky Rudd failed to finish in the top 20~ Dave Marcis finished 34th following his second wreck of the day, with Cope finishing 33rd, and Rudd finished 32nd~

   Greg Sacks was the next victim of the race, when his engine blew in the #47 Kanawha Insurance Oldsmobile, resulting in a 31st place finish~ Ernie Irvan finished 30th in his dead Kodak Chevrolet, followed by Bobby Hamilton, who had a tremendous run going in the #68 Country Time Oldsmobile before his engine blew~ Morgan Shepherd would limp home in 28th place after being involved in the five car accident from earlier in the event~

                                 D.W. and Brad Teague's #99 Kellogg's Corn Flakes Chevrolet~
Brad Teague #99 Kellogg's Corn Flakes Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1991 Winston Cup Charlotte Ralph Ball

   The final caution came out when Stanley Smith and Jimmy Hensley spun out~ Smith's day was done after running a decent race all day long, and Hensley continued after being involved in his second accident of the day~ Smith would finish 22nd, while Hensley finished in 20th~ Dale Earnhardt's engine blew after 302 laps, ending his day with a 25th place finish~

   Davey Allison took over the lead following Earnhardt's exit from the event, and it looked like it was gonna be a battle between Allison, Harry Gant, and Alan Kulwicki for the victory~ All three drivers made pit stops nearing the end of the race, but Geoff Bodine and the #11 Budweiser Ford team decided to stay out and gamble on fuel for the win~

   Jimmy Means and Jimmy Spencer both dropped out of the race within minutes of each other, and both were for ignition problems~ Means finished 24th, while Spencer came home 23rd~ Brad Teague finished 21st in the #99 Kellogg's Corn Flakes Chevrolet, in what turned out to be his only Cup start of the year following DNQ's in the Daytona 500, as well as the Coca-Cola 600~

                                       Another torn up Bob Whitcomb Purolator Chevrolet~
Derrike Cope #10 Purolator Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1991 Charlotte Bob Whitcomb Winston Cup

    Wally Dallenbach was able to get a decent finish out of Junie Donlavey's #90 Motorsports Sportswear Ford, finishing 19th for the underfunded team~ Rick Wilson had a quiet, yet productive run in the Stavola Brothers #8 Snickers Buick, finishing 17th without ever being shown on television that day~ He was like a Snickers ghost~

    Joe Ruttman brought the #75 Dinner Bell Oldsmobile home in 16th for RahMoc Enterprises, and Kyle Petty picked up a top 15 finish in the #42 Mello Yello Pontiac with his 15th place showing~ Ted Musgrave was shown quite a bit during the race coverage, as he drove the #55 Jasper Engines Pontiac to a 14th place finish~

   Rick Mast's day was equally quiet to Wilson's, but Mast was able to crawl all the way up to a 13th place finish in the #1 Skoal Classic Oldsmobile, owned by Richard Jackson~ Richard Petty pulled out a great finish in the famed #43 STP Pontiac after announcing that he would retire following the 1992 Winston Cup season, picking up a 12th place finish despite being involved in the third caution of the day~ Bill Elliott finished 11th in the #9 Coors Light Ford, after starting from the 9th position~

                                Kulwicki's team makes adjustments during a mid race pit stop~
Alan Kulwicki #7 Hooters Ford Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1991 Charlotte Winston Cup

   About as surprising as the King's 12th place finish was Chad Little's 10th place showing in the #19 Bull's Eye Barbecue Sauce Ford, owned by his father, Chuck Little~ Chuck's career as a NASCAR owner was a little bit odd in the fact that Chuck's first time as an owner in the Cup series came in the 1975 season, with himself as the driver, in what turned out to be his only Winston Cup start~ He qualified 19th for the "Winston Western 500" @ Riverside, and finished 28th after blowing the engine only 35 laps into the event~    

   He wouldn't own a Cup series team again until the 1990 season, when his son Chad needed a ride~ He owned Chad's Cup team for two season, and folded following the 1991 season~ This race was the only top 10 the team ever got, though Chad did have several great runs in the car during the '91 season, not to mention he had one of the coolest looking paint schemes of all time!~ At any rate, I'm sure his top 10 in this race felt like a win for the family owned team~

  Darrell Waltrip must have been drinking whatever Richard Petty was drinking, because he was able to wheel the #17 Western Auto Chevrolet back to a 9th place finish, following his lap 2 incident with Dave Marcis~ Brett Bodine finished 8th in the #26 Quaker State Buick, owned by Kenny Bernstein, and he was followed by Michael Waltrip, who finished 7th in the #30 Pennzoil Pontiac, owned by Chuck Rider, who passed away on July 10th, 2005~

                              Morgan Shepherd heads for pit road following  the lap 234 crash~
Morgan Shepherd #15 Motorcraft Ford Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1991 Winston Cup Charlotte Bud Moore

   Terry Labonte miraculously finished 6th in the lame duck Billy Hagan owned #94 Sunoco Oldsmobile~ Hagan's team hadn't been competitive in some time, and the team would only manage four more top 10 finishes before folding following the 1994 season~ Billy Hagan passed away on November 16th, 2007, and I honestly didn't know that until I was doing research for this post~

   Sterling Marlin must have made the drink that Richard Petty and Darrell Waltrip were drinking, and I guess he drank a little more of it than they did, because he brought the #22 Maxwell House Ford home in 5th place, following his crash with Richard Petty earlier in the event~ Junior Johnson must have been a happy man that day, but you wouldn't have known it if he was... he wasn't much on emotions, especially back then... he's mellowed out a little more as he got older~

 "Handsome" Harry Gant did everything he could to get Leo Jackson's #33 Skoal Bandit Oldsmobile to the front of the pack, but he never was able to keep up with the raw power the Ford teams had, but still pulled off a 4th place finish, one of two Oldsmobiles in the top 10, with Labonte being the other~ Michael Waltrip was the only Pontiac in the top 10, Brett Bodine was the lone Buick, and Darrell Waltrip's battered #17 was the only Chevrolet to achieve top 10 status~ The rest were Fords, and this race kicked off a streak of 9 straight wins for the blue oval teams~

                                      I'd also prefer Richard Petty over Ty Detmer for QB~
NASCAR Racing Champions 1/64 diecast blog 1991 Winston Cup Charlotte TBS Ty Detmer Richard Petty

   Alan Kulwicki drove the #7 Hooters Ford to a safe, clean, 3rd place finish, although thanks to Bodine's fuel strategy, he was one lap down~ Davey Allison was the only driver left on the lead lap besides Bodine, but he was too far behind to catch up, and the caution flag he so desperately needed never came, so he was forced to settle for the runner-up spot~

  Geoff Bodine's team was caught cheating before the "Coca-Cola 600", so people were still a little bit mad at him and Junior Johnson.. but that just fueled Johnson to come back and prove his point, and that's exactly what they did~ Some have speculated that the team had illegal stuff on it that day, Larry McReynolds went totally bonkers, saying he could prove that the tank was illegal, but when it was all said and done, Geoff Bodine won the 1991 "Mello Yello 500"~

  Though he probably would have still lost, Ricky Rudd's poor finish in this race helped to seal the 1991 Winston Cup championship over to Dale Earnhardt, in what was his fifth championship, and second back to back championship of his career~ This was final win during Bodine's tenure with Junior Johnson, as he would be replaced by Bill Elliott at the end of the season~ He picked up the Bud Moore #15 Motorcraft ride after Morgan Shepherd left to drive for the Wood Brothers, following Dale Jarrett's departure for Joe Gibbs Racing~      

                                                 1991 Mello Yello 500 Pontiac event car~
1991 Mello Yello 500 Ponitac Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Charlotte #91 Winston Cup
                                                              Click pics to enlarge~
1991 Mello Yello 500 Ponitac Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Charlotte #91 Winston Cup

    So here we have what I'm calling the very first Racing Champions track/event car~ Like I said in the "Heinz Southern 500" post, RCCA had ordered this car to promote the "Mello Yello 500", and it's my theory that Racing Champions realized this was a good idea, and so they came up with the "Heinz Southern 500" car since it was a few races before the "Mello Yello 500"~

   This proved to be a lucrative business move, as track/event cars are still being made to this day, and it all started with this one~ This car originally came with a set of earplugs that said RCCA on the case, and didn't come with a card, stand or standard packaging~ I made the card in Photoshop and stuck it in the picture~

   As far as rarity goes, this car isn't impossible to find, but it's getting harder to get it with the original earplugs~ It's a historic car, being the first of its kind, but it's not that special looks wise~ I like the huge Mello Yello 500 logo on the side, and the silver rims~ The race was much more exciting than the car, but the historical nature of the car makes up for its unappealing color~ I would have preferred a green car, with yellow and white trim~ I give this car a C+ on the Racing Champions quality scale, because it didn't come with a card, and it's pretty bland, and on that note, let's check out the bonus car for this post~

                                                   Diggity Dave #84 White Castle Ford~
Diggity Dave #84 White Castle Ford Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog custom Mike Alexander

    I've got several of these Diggity Dave "fantasy" cars, so I have to put them in the posts from time to time, though I've got a lot of awesome real cars made up to post~ I've just got to balance it out from time to time~ Anyway, this time I'm in the #84 White Castle Ford~ I've only been to a White Castle one time, and that's when I was playing music still, and was in Columbus Ohio for a show at Bernie's Distillery~

   The morning after the show, we went to White Castle for breakfast, which turned out to be a bad idea~ I had gotten drunk at the show the night before, and locked my keys in the car..  so we busted the driver side window out like a bunch of dummies~ So we're driving in near winter with a busted out window, and I didn't have a valid license at the time~ I used an old Elvis Presley shirt tucked into the door to shield the wind from coming in, which was illegal as heck, but I was young~

   Anyway, the whole way back.. all three of us were having to stop and use the bathroom every 20 minutes~ haha~ The White Castle food hated us... I think you've gotta build up a tolerance for it, because we were all basically dying~ We survived obviously, and so I made this car~ Thank you all for stopping by the blog, I hope you enjoyed this post, and I'll be back soon with another one~ Please share this post, and click the follow button at the top of the page here~ Below are some random NASCAR videos because there weren't any videos from the 1991 Mello Yello 500, except for the full race~

                                             Darrell Waltrip doesn't like Geoff Bodine~

                                                           NASCAR pit road drama~

                                                    Buffet Benny~ North Wilkesboro~
                                     Rain stories with Cale Yarborough, Ned Jarrett, and B.P.~