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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Max Dumesny #5 Crane Cams / Landrigan's Earthmoving Pontiac

    Hello again, and welcome back to the NASCAR Racing Champions diecast blog~ Today's post is going to be a special "Australian" post, where we'll be looking back on Max Dumesny's time in the #5 Crane Cams/Landrigan's Earthmoving Pontiac, which he drove his rookie season in the Australian NASCAR series~

    Now, I must start off by saying that I am very upset with the Australians for their extremely poor record keeping of the Australian NASCAR series~ I researched until my eyes started bleeding, and still came up with pretty much nothing informational about the stats of the series~ So in the famous words of Dave Marcis, I'll have to do the best with what I got on this one~

                                                            Dumesny heads for the pits~
Max Dumesny #5 Crane Cams Landrigan's Earthmoving Pizza Hut Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1991 1992 1993

    The idea of bringing NASCAR to Australia was first brought up by four time Australian Touring Car champion, Bob Jane~ He personally invested $54,000,000 to build the Calder Park Thunderdome, which he modeled after Charlotte Motor Speedway~ They broke ground for the track in 1986, with hopes of running the first race in 1987~

    With the completion of the Calder Park Thunderdome extensions in 1987, the much delayed debut NASCAR race finally happened near the end of the year, with the first major event, the "Goodyear NASCAR 500" running on February 28, 1988~

    Initially Cup drivers such as Neil Bonnett, Bobby Allison, Michael Waltrip, Dave Marcis and Kyle Petty visited the Thunderdome but they lost interest over time, so big name "guest" drivers were lured from circuit racing to help sweeten the pot~ Star touring car drivers Allan Grice and Dick Johnson were both early supporters of the concept, with both traveling to America to race in the Cup Series, although they had little success~

                              Dumesny also had brief sponsorship from Pizza Hut, shown here~
Max Dumesny #5 Crane Cams Landrigan's Earthmoving Pizza Hut Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1991 1992 1993

    I forgot to mention this before I got started, so I guess now is a good time to mention that his last name is pronounced "dumbs-knee" for those who didn't know~ For the longest time, I was calling him "Max Doom-ez-knee"~ As with many American drivers, Max got his start on dirt tracks, and is a muli-time champion spanning all sorts of racing divisions, though Sprintcars were his specialty, with 7 championships~

    Dumesny married his wife Melinda (who is also a Sprintcar driver) in 1986, and they have four children, all of whom are now racers themselves~ Max just turned 58 on July 12th, and is still winning races and track titles, in a career that has spanned more than 35 years~ In 2015, the Speedway Racing Association of Victoria granted "Life Membership" to Dumesny, and allocated his racing number "V5" to only be used by a Dumesny~

    Max finished runner up in the Championship standings in his rookie campaign in the Australian NASCAR series~ I don't know if he won any races, because I couldn't find any stats for that season~ I did find where he was runner up, and that he drove this Pontiac~ The following season, the team switched to Oldsmobiles, and Dumesny won the championship~

                                                           Dumesny blows an engine~
Max Dumesny #5 Crane Cams Landrigan's Earthmoving Pizza Hut Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1991 1992 1993

    Dumesny won 3 races during the 1992-93 Australian NASCAR season, as well as winning his only championship in the series~ Two years later, he again finished runner up in the points battle, before focusing more on his Sprintcar career~ The series folded in 2001, due to the growing popularity of the V8 Supercar series~

    I really don't know what else to say about Dumesny's time in the Australian NASCAR series~ Records weren't properly kept, and if they were, they're not anywhere on the internet~ I guess Australian's just didn't really care for NASCAR, so no one cared to save any records, or preserve them on the internet for others to view~

    I was able to find a couple of races, and took some nice screenshots of his cars, but I have nothing to write about other than what I've already written, so there's no point in adding the other pictures~ If anyone is interested in them, just email me @, and I'll send them to you~ I feel kind of horrible about this post, but it's out of my control.. it's the Australians fault~ I tried everything I could think of to find those stats, but kept coming up empty~ Shame on you, the Australians.. shame right on you~

                             Max Dumesny #5 Crane Cams/Landrigan's Earthmoving Pontiac~
Max Dumesny #5 Crane Cams Landrigan's Earthmoving Pizza Hut Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1991 1992 1993
                                                              Click pics to enlarge~
Max Dumesny #5 Crane Cams Landrigan's Earthmoving Pizza Hut Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1991 1992 1993

    It's a shame I couldn't find those stats to do a proper post on Dumesny, because I really like this car~ Yeah, it's a little basic... but it's pretty noticeable on the track (from the races I saw), and it's also pretty noticeable in your Racing Champions collection~ It stands out a lot since many people in America have never even heard of Max Dumesny, let alone seen his Racing Champions diecast~

    If you enlarge the pictures, you can see the "Thunderdome" contingency on the car~ Racing Champions also made a Thunderdome car for their 1992 Track/Event car set, which is one of the harder ones to obtain, along with the pink/blue Dover Downs car~ You pretty much just have to order it from Ebay, because it's basically impossible to find, at least where I'm from~ I did luck out and find this Dumesny car at my local flea market~ It was in the dollar bin, and I grabbed it out as fast as I could~

   The card for this one isn't the best, but it's better than some~ I would have preferred a shot of Dumesny standing in a field with the car~ I'd give this car a B+ on the Racing Champions quality scale for that very reason~ I enjoy having this car in my collection even if I couldn't find all the information I wanted to find for it~ It's a little piece of NASCAR history, albeit a totally forgotten piece thanks to the greedy butt Australians~ Let's just move on to the bonus car for this post~

                                            Robbie Stanley #62 Linville Racing Chevrolet~
Robbie Stanley #62 Linville Racing Chevrolet 1992 1993 1994 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    Robbie Stanley was an extremely talented USAC Sprint Car driver who dominated the series during the early 1990's, winning three straight titles from 1991-1993~  He was a native of Indiana, born on November 16th, 1967~

    After failing to obtain sponsorship for his BGN car, Stanley decided to try for a fourth USAC championship~ It was a decision that sadly cost him his life, as he was killed during an accident at Winchester Speedway on May 26th, 1994~

    This isn't the best job I've done on a custom~ I'm not very pleased with the numbers, but it was the best I could do with what I had to work with~ This car was requested by a member of a diecast forum that I am for some reason no longer allowed to reply on~ Hopefully he sees that it finally made it onto the blog~ Below are some videos on Dumesny and Stanley, enjoy them.. and please share this post with your friends on social media~ :)

                                                      Very short Dumesny interview~

                           Dumesny wins the 1989-90 World Series Sprintcar Championship~

                                                  Very short Melinda Dumesny interview~
                                                Robbie Stanley tribute from Dave Despain~



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

James Hylton #48 Ford Talladega Torino Cobra

    Hello again, and welcome back to the NASCAR Racing Champions diecast blog~ In today's post, I'm going to be looking back on the career of one of NASCAR's greatest independent drivers in the history of the sport, Mr. James Harvey Hylton~ Hylton's NASCAR career started back in 1964, when he ran three races in Bondy Long's #71 Ford at the age of 29~ He last raced in the Cup series in the 1993 running of the "TranSouth 500" @ Darlington, but made his final Cup attempt for the 2009 Daytona 500, where he was forced to withdraw due to engine woes~

    Though Hylton hasn't raced in the Cup series since 1993, he was a regular in the ARCA series for 23 years, running his final ARCA race in 2013 @ Kansas, for the rain shortened "Kansas Lottery 98.9", where he finished in 18th place at the age of 78~ In this post, I'm going to be focusing specifically on Hylton's 1970 season, which was the main season that he drove the #48 Ford Talladega Torino Cobra~ Though he ran other Ford makes during the season, I'm just going to discuss the season as a whole, and not focus on which races he specifically drove the Talladega in~

                                         Colorized photo from 1972 "Talladega 500" win~
James Hylton #48 Ford Talladega Torino Cobra 1970 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    Hylton's first race driving a Ford as an owner came in the 1970 "Richmond 500", and man did he start things off on the right foot~ After falling seven laps down due to problems in the pits, Hylton soared back to the front of the pack following battery issues with Richard Petty's Plymouth~ James led the final 160 laps of the race on the way to his first career victory~ Richard Petty came in second, followed by Elmo Langley, Bobby Isaac, and Neil "Soapy" Castles~

    James started and finished 3rd in the "Savannah 200" @ Savannah Speedway in Georgia, and followed that up with a 6th place finish in the "Atlanta 500", and a 4th place run in the "Southeastern 500" @ Bristol~ The following week @ Talladega, James finished in 8th place in the "Alabama 500" after starting from 22nd~

    Hylton qualified 4th for the "Gwyn Staley 400" @ North Wilkesboro, and though he finished the race four laps off the pace of race winner Richard Petty, he still came home in the 4th position, earning $1,500 for the day~ North Wilkesboro paid much better than a lot of tracks back then, as Hylton's 5th place finish in the "Columbia 200" a few days later only paid $325~ Though that sounds like a very small amount of money, it was enough to keep the team going back then, albeit barely~

                                                           Side shot of Hylton's car~
James Hylton #48 Ford Talladega Torino Cobra 1970 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    Moving on to the "Rebel 400" @ Darlington, Hylton qualified 13th in the 36 car field, and was able to work his way up to a 4th place finish behind race winner David Pearson, Dick Brooks, and Bobby Isaac~ The following week saw the series in Beltsville, Maryland for the "Beltsville 300", where James picked up his only pole of the season~ He led a total of 19 laps, but was beat out by Bobby Isaac for the win~ Hylton finished runner up, followed by Bobby Allison, Neil Castles, and Dave Marcis~

    The next stop on the schedule was in Hampton, Georgia for the "Tidewater 300", where Hylton qualified 3rd, and came home in the 4th spot~ He then finished 5th in the "World 600" @ Charlotte, picking up race winnings of $6,200~ Donnie Allison won the race, followed by Cale Yarborough, Benny Parsons, Tiny Lund, and Hylton~

     Hylton qualified 6th for the "Maryville 200" @ Smokey Mountain Raceway in Maryville, Tennessee, and worked his way up to a runner up finish, behind Bobby Isaac~ Neil Castles finished 3rd, followed by Dick Brooks and Dave Marcis~ The 1/2 mile track didn't pay that well, with Hylton earning 900 dollars for his runner up finish, and race winner Bobby Isaac picking up 1,500 dollars~ Isaac led every lap of the event on his way to victory~

                                                    Colorized close-up of James Hylton~
James Hylton #48 Ford Talladega Torino Cobra 1970 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    Up next on the schedule was the "Virginia 500" @ Martinsville, where James qualified in the 10th position~ 39 drivers started the race, and only 1/2 of them made it to see the checkered flag~ Richard Petty won the pole for the event, but the race was rain delayed, and Petty was injured at Darlington before they could return to run the Martinville race, so the pole was given to LeeRoy Yarbrough instead, and Petty would miss the race due to his injuries~

    Hylton wound up finishing the race in 7th place, and he may have finished a little bit better, but the race was ended early due to rain~ Bobby Isaac took the win, followed by Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough, David Pearson, and Dick Brooks~ Hylton finished 8th the following week at Michigan for the running of the "Motor State 400"~ Cale Yarborough won the event, followed by the late Pete Hamilton, David Pearson, LeeRoy Yarbrough, and Bobby Isaac~

    The series next raced at one of my favorite discontinued tracks on the circuit, Riverside International Raceway, in Riverside, California~ James qualified 5th, and came home in 3rd place, and I feel like this race in particular shows just how good of a racer Hylton really was~ Though he didn't win, Riverside was a fiercely tough track on equipment, as well on the drivers themselves.. so to come out of there with a 3rd place finish as an independent driver.. it must have felt like a victory for the underfunded Hylton team~ Richard Petty won the event, followed by Bobby Allison, Hylton, John Soares, Jr., and Dick Guldstrand~

                                    Hylton battles with Bobby Isaac during the 1970 season~
James Hylton #48 Ford Talladega Torino Cobra 1970 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    Next up was Hickory, North Carolina for the "Hickory 276", where Hylton qualified in the 5th position~ Bobby Isaac was on the pole, and led all 276 laps of the event on his way to victory~ He was followed by Dick Brooks, Dave Marcis, G.C. Spencer, and Bill Seifert, who picked up the final top 5 finish of his career~ James ran well in the race, staying in the top 5 all day long, but his throttle hung up on him late in the race, putting him out of contention, and resulting in a 13th place finish in the 22 car field~

   The following week the series headed to Kingsport, Tennessee for the "Kingsport 100"~ This track still exists today, and is a local favorite of mine since I live about 20 minutes away~ James qualified 7th for the event, with Richard Petty on the pole in his 1970 Plymouth~ NASCAR ran a total of three races here, with the last one being held in 1971, and Richard Petty won two of them, with Bobby Isaac winning the final event held at the track~

    Petty dominated this race, leading 263 of the 297 laps on his way to one of his record 200 victories~ James finished runner up, albeit 2 laps down, and he was followed by Dave Marcis, Bobby Allison, and Neil Castles~ I should also mention about Kingsport that it started out as a dirt track, then was converted to asphalt for the 1969 season before being converted back to dirt in 1984, and eventually being converted back to asphalt as it is currently~

Hylton withdrew from the 1970 Daytona 500 in his #48, driving instead the #23 Star City Plymouth~
James Hylton #48 Ford Talladega Torino Cobra 1970 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    Hylton started 8th for the "Greenville 200" @ Greenville-Pickens Speedway, with Bobby Isaac on the pole~ Isaac led all but 10 laps of the 200 lap event on his way to victory, and Hylton finished in 4th place, three laps down~ In the return to Daytona, Hylton qualified 13th in the 40 car field, and held on for a 7th place finish~ The race was won by Donnie Allison, followed by Buddy Baker, Bobby Allison, Charlie Glotzbach, and Dick Brooks~    

    Next up was the tiny .362 mile paved track known as Albany-Saratoga Speedway, in Malta New York, where Hylton qualified 5th, with Isaac again claiming the pole position~ Richard Petty went on to win the race, while James fell one position to finish in 6th place~ Hylton's winnings for the race.. 300 bucks.. for a 6th place finish!~ He would then finish 8th in the "Thompson 200" @ Thompson Speedway, followed up with a 5th place effort in the "Schaefer 300" @ Trenton Speedway~

    The series next raced at Bristol, for the "Volunteer 500", where Hylton had his worst finish (not counting crashes or mechanical issues) while in his own equipment, with an 11th place finish~ Bobby Allison was credited with the win in the #22 Coca-Cola Dodge, followed by LeeRoy Yarbrough, Bobby Isaac, G.C. Spencer, and Richard Petty~ When I said Allison was "credited with the win", it's because Donnie Allison was actually behind the wheel due to Bobby being under the weather~ The same goes for LeeRoy Yarbrough, as Dave Marcis was finished the race in Yarbrough's car~ Donnie and Marcis had both fell out of the race earlier due to mechanical problems~

                           Hylton celebrates his first career win at Richmond - 1970~ Colorized~
James Hylton #48 Ford Talladega Torino Cobra 1970 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    After all you've read so far, I still have 20 races to go to finish out Hylton's 1970 season, so forgive me, but I'm gonna speed through the remaining 20, because I only have three more pictures and this has been an extremely long post~ Hylton finished 4th in the "East Tennessee 200" @ Maryville~ That was followed up by a lap 17 crash in the "Nashville 420" @ the Nashville Fairgounds, which resulted in a 28th place finish~ He rebounded the following week with a 10th place finish in the "Dixie 500" @ Atlanta~

    The next stop on the circuit was in Hylton's home state of South Carolina for the "Sandlapper 200" @ Columbia Speedway, where he scored a 9th place finish~ He then finished 2nd in the "West Virginia 300" @ Ona Speedway, which still exists today if you're ever up that way, it's worth checking out~ Hylton followed his runner up finish with a 9th place effort @ Michigan for the "Yankee 400"~

    The following week the series was back in Talladega for the "Talladega 500"~ James qualified 10th in the 50 car field, and came home in the same position~ Pete Hamilton won the race in the #40 7-Up Plymouth, in what would be his final victory for Petty Enterprises~ James then went on to finish 4th in the "Myers Brothers 250" @ Winston-Salem's Bowman Gray Stadium, in a race won by Richard Petty~ This was follwed up with a 5th place run @ South Boston, where Richard Petty was again the victor~

                                      Hylton's car awaits the start of the 1970 "Citrus 250"~
James Hylton #48 Ford Talladega Torino Cobra 1970 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    James had a 7th place finish in the "Southern 500" @ Darlington, in one of the most grueling races of the season~ He followed this up with a 5th place finish in the "Buddy Shuman 276" @ Hickory, in a race won by Bobby Isaac~ Richard Petty was second, followed by Bobby Allison, Dick Brooks, and Hylton~ This was Isaac's final race at the legendary track, as he didn't attempt to run the 1971 races, and they quit running there following that season~

    After qualifying 5th for the "Capital City 500" @ Richmond, Hylton slid back a bit to finish in 8th place~ Would it surprise you to know that Richard Petty won this race?~ I didn't think so~ After qualifying 25th for the "Mason-Dixon 300" @ Dover (his worst qualifying effort of the season), Hylton clawed his way up to the front and was able to salvage a 7th place finish at the Monster Mile~ I'm gonna surprise you now and let you know that Richard Petty also won that race~ It must have been miserable back then to NOT be a Petty fan~ The guy won on a CONSTANT basis, and it must have angered a lot of fans, though I wouldn't have been one of them~ I love watching footage of vintage Petty in action~

    Hylton qualified 8th for the "Home State 200" @ Raleigh, and held on for a 4th place finish~ Wouldn't you just know that the race winner was Bobby Isaac... I'm lying, it was Richard Petty again~ :P Moving on to North Wilkesboro for the "Wilkes 400", James qualified 8th, and moved up a few positions to finish in 5th place~ Bobby Isaac won the race, and I'm not lying this time.. he really did~ The King had to settle for runner-up, followed by Donnie Allison, Bobby Allison, and Hylton~

                                        Another shot from victory lane @ Talladega - 1972~
James Hylton #48 Ford Talladega Torino Cobra 1970 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    After qualifying 16th for the "National 500" @ Charlotte, Hylton was involved in a lap 126 crash involving Don Tarr, resulting in a 29th place finish~ He would fair better in the "Old Dominion 500" @ Martinsville the following week, where he rolled of 14th, and came home in the 8th spot~ He next finish 6th in the "Georgia 500" @ Macon, followed up by an 8th place effort in the "American 500" @ Rockingham, and ended the season with a 5th place finish in the "Tidewater 300" @ Hampton~

    Hylton's 1970 season ended with 47 races ran, notching 1 win (Richmond), 1 pole ( Beltsville), 22 top 5's, and a whopping 39 top 10's~ He led a total of 199 laps, and had an average start of 10.1, and an average finish of 8.1, and earned $78,201 in race winnings~ Bobby Isaac went on to win the 1970 championship, his first and final time doing so in his illustrious career~

    James finished 3rd in the 1970 championship points battle~ He would finish 2nd the following season, driving a mix of Fords and Mercurys, but went winless, and for the most part sponsorless throughout the season~ He would pick up sponsorship from Pop Kola for most of the 1972 season, and would win his second and final race of his Cup career that year as well~

                                         The final ride of James Hylton~ Kansas - 2013~
James Hylton #48 Ford Talladega Torino Cobra 1970 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    Hylton made his final start as a driver in the 2013  "Kansas Lottery 98.9" @ Kansas, in the ARCA series at the age of 78~ He finished 18th in the rain shortened event, ending a career that spanned 49 years~ In his 32 year NASCAR career, Hylton ran a total of 602 races, with 2 wins, 4 poles, 140 top 5's, and 301 top 10's~ It's jawdropping to think that half of the races he ever entered resulted in a top 10 finish~

    For his entire Cup career, Hylton had an average start of 17.0, with an average finish of 13.5~ As an independent driver with stats like that, it's easy for me to say that Hylton would have won multiple championships if funded the way that Petty was at the time~ The guy did this in his own equipment, with no backing from the manufacturers whatsoever~ I mean, Dave Marcis was a pretty dang good independent driver, but Hylton is just in a class all by himself as far as I'm concerned~ He's a true NASCAR hero and legend, and I feel like he should be recognized by NASCAR as a Hall of Fame driver, as he should be~

    It makes me so mad that drivers like boring Dale Jarrett are in the Hall of Fame, while a driver of Hylton's caliber will be forever snubbed~ He finished runner up for the championship three times in his career driving extremely overused, worn out, cheap equipment.. and he made it work~ He's a true testament to the sport, and a legend in my eyes eternally~ God bless you, James Hylton!~ And thank you for being a respectable, honest, hard working man your entire life!~ :)

                                          James Hylton #48 Ford Talladega Torino Cobra~
James Hylton #48 Ford Talladega Torino Cobra 1970 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog
                                                                Click pics to enlarge~
James Hylton #48 Ford Talladega Torino Cobra 1970 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    Although they're collectable now, and somewhat expensive compared to standard Racing Champions issues, people didn't really buy these "Collector's Series" cars that much back when they were new~ That would explain their higher price currently~ These were always on the discount racks back in the day, and I'm sure tons of them were bought cheaply and given to children, who tore them open and destroyed most of them~

    These days the "Collector's Series" cars are sought after by collectors, and some of them are pretty hard to track down~ I still don't own a complete set of any of them, though I am close to having them all~ I think Racing Champions did a fine job on these, with the exception of the cards which I never cared for~ The pictures they used are hideous, and extremely grainy, and I hate that they used black and white photos for all of them, even though there are plenty of color photos of each driver~

    I give this car a B+ on the Racing Champions quality scale, with points taken off due to the boring card~ The car itself is pretty awesome, and I especially love the gold color on the car~ I'm glad that Racing Champions included a couple of Hylton cars in these sets~ My favorite is his winged car, and I'll eventually be doing a post on that one as well, though it may be a year or so before I get to it~ I've got a ton of others to do first~ Well, I've rambled on about Hylton for long enough.. so let's get into the bonus car for this post, which is one of my favorites that I've made so far~

                                                Butch Leitzinger #03 Bobcat Chevrolet~
Butch Leitzinger #03 Bobcat Mcintosh Equipment Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1994 Winston Cup debut Watkins Glen

    Butch Leitzinger is a champion in all kinds of levels of racing, including IMSA (ALMS) WSC (twice), IMSA (ALMS) GTU (once),  USRRC Can-Am (once), and a three time overall winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona~ He is a test driver for Bugatti, and is considered a master of road course racing, but his time in this #03 Bobcat Chevrolet ended in doom, despair, and plenty of agony for Butch~

    Leitzinger made his Cup Series debut in this car for the 1994 running of the "Bud at the Glen" @ Watkins Glen, where he qualified 38th~ An oil leak ended his day nine laps shy of the checkered flag, which resulted in a 38th place finish for Butch~ Mark Martin boringly dominated and eventually won the event to the dismay of myself and many others, I'm sure~ I was hoping Ernie Irvan would be able to get the win, but he came home in the runner-up spot, followed by Dale Earnhardt, Ken Schrader, and Ricky Rudd~  

    Butch ran a total of three more Cup races in his career, with a best finish of 12th in the 1995 "Bud at the Glen", driving the #40 Kendall Pontiac for the Dick Brooks team~ He dang near won the 2000 running of the "Lysol 200" @ Watkins Glen in the BGN series, but Ron Fellows narrowly beat him out~ Butch was driving the #30 Little Trees Chevrolet that day, while fellows was driving the #87 Bully Hill Vinyards Chevrolet, owned by Joe Nemechek~  His finish was overshadowed by Jimmie Johnson's death defying crash that happened going into turn 1~ 

    I think this is one of my favorite Photoshop customs that I've made~ I messed up a little bit on the checkerboarding, but oh well.. I still think it looks pretty appealing~ Thank you all for visiting the blog again, or for the first time!~ Please share this post with your friends on social media, and click the follow button at the top of this page~ I've added some videos below from throughout Hylton's career.. enjoy them, and I'll be back soon with another installment of the NASCAR Racing Champions blog~

                                            James Hylton destroys Dodge in an interview~
           Hylton speaks about bonus money for qualifying @ Martinsville & championship battle~

                                                      Hylton segment for Daytona 500~

                                      James Hylton sings "All American Stock Car Racing Fan"~

Monday, July 3, 2017

Dave Marcis #30 Dodge Daytona

    Welcome back to the NASCAR Racing Champions blog~ It's been quite some time since I last made a post, but I guess that'll happen from time to time~ I haven't had a chance to sit down and get a post done in so long that I failed to get a post up for the two year anniversary of the blog, which was on June 27th~ On that day, I made my first post on the 1991 Daytona 400 Support Our Troops Set, and followed that one up the same day with Stanley Smith's #49 Ameritron Batteries Chevrolet~

    In the two years since I started the blog, I've tallied up 116 total posts, and the blog has received 96,832 page views~ It makes me happy to think that I've done something that helps give these ol' racers a little respect and honor~ We saw some of the best racing in the history of the sport, and some of the biggest personalities in sports history, and I like keeping that memory alive and well for future generations of race fans, as well as us ol' Grand National/Winston Cup fans~

    When I first started the blog, I wanted my first post to be on Dave Marcis' #71 Big Apple Markets Chevrolet, but I didn't have one yet, and couldn't find one without flaws, so I moved on to other posts, and never did the Big Apple post, even after I found a semi-flawless version~ So I figured I'd do a Marcis post for this special two year anniversary post, except I chose his #30 Dodge Daytona from the 1992 Collector's Series Dodge Daytona set~

                                     Marcis grins for the camera in the #30 Dodge Daytona~
Dave Marcis #30 Dodge Daytona Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1969 1970 Superbird

    Dave's NASCAR career began in 1968, where he ran 10 races for Larry Wehrs in the #30 Chevrolet, picking up a couple of top 10 finishes along the way~ Marcis started the 1969 season with Wehrs, but the team was sold to construction tycoon Milt Lunda following the "Alabama 200" @ Montgomery, which was their first race of the season~ The team ran Chevrolets for the next two events, but made the swap to Dodge for the "Carolina 500" @ Rockingham, and remained with Dodge for the remainder of the season~

    Following the swap to Dodge, Marcis instantly started qualifying better - with a 4th place starting position for the "Cracker 200" @ Augusta Speedway~ He didn't last long in the race however, running only 27 laps before the engine gave out, resulting in a 23rd place finish in the 25 car field.. and his earnings for the race is listed as 0 dollars~ Dave improved the following week for the "Southeastern 500" @ Bristol International Raceway, qualifying and finishing in 6th place, for his first career top 10 in a Dodge~ He followed that up with another 6th place finish one race later in the "Atlanta 500"~

    Marcis qualified 3rd for the "Hickory 250", and smoothly came home in 4th place, with a perfectly intact race car~ The race was won by the legendary Bobby Isaac in the famed #71 K&K Insurance Dodge - a team Marcis would find himself driving for in just a few seasons, which would net him 4 of his 5 career Cup wins~ Dave qualified 3rd for the "Tidewater 375" @ Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va., and finished in the same spot~ The race was won by pole sitter David Pearson, and the #17 Holman-Moody Ford team~

                                                      A #30 Marcis car restored in 1978~
Dave Marcis #30 Dodge Daytona Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1969 1970 Superbird

     Throughout the next few races, Marcis would qualify well, but had two more blown engines, and an ignition problem that ruined his chances at being competitive during race conditions~ In the "Kingsport 250" @ Kingsport Tn., Marcis nearly put the car on the pole, but was beat out by Bobby Isaac, with Marcis on the outside pole~ Richard Petty went on to win the race, with independent driver Big John Sears picking up one of two career runner up finishes, a career best~ Marcis had a flywheel go bad, and finished in 14th place, with race winnings of 240 bucks~

     Marcis qualified 10th for the "Firecracker 400" @ Daytona, and brought the #30 Lunda Construction Dodge Daytona home in 6th place~ LeeRoy Yarbrough went on to win the race in Junior Johnson's #98 Torino Talladega~ Dave started 8th in the "Northern 300" @ Trenton Speedway in New Jersey, and again finished in the 6th position~ David Pearson won the race, and eventually the season points championship~
    Over the span of the next 12 races, Marcis would continuously be in the top 10 on the starting grid, but the team was plagued with engine problems, overheating, oil leaks, broken springs, rear end problems, and ignition issues, resulting mostly in mediocre finishing results~ He led 10 laps early on in the "Southern 500" @ Darlington, but steering issues relegated him to a 33rd place finish~ During this 12 race span, he had a best finish of 6th place in the "Wilkes 400" @ North Wilkesboro - a race also won by David Pearson~

                                                      The good ol' days of NASCAR~
Dave Marcis #30 Dodge Daytona Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1969 1970 Superbird

    For the remaining 6 races of the season, Marcis never qualified outside of the top 10, but 4 of the 6 races were plagued with mechanical problems or totally blown engines~ He did manage a 4th place finish in the "American 500" @ Rockingham, a race again won by LeeRoy Yarbrough - who finished the race as the only car on the lead lap~

    His last good finish of the season came in the season finale for the "Texas 500" @ College Station, where he squeaked out a 9th place finish after starting 10th~ This race would mark the final time Richard Petty would drive a Ford during his NASCAR career, finishing in 24th place following a blown clutch~ Bobby Isaac went on to win the race, followed by Donnie Allison, Benny Parsons, James Hylton, and Dick Brooks~

   Marcis finished out the 1969 season having competed in 37 of 54 events, with 3 top 5's, and 11 top 10's, 10 laps led, $32,383 in race winnings, and was 19th in the final points standings, with an average start of 10.3, and an average finish of 17.4~ Team owner Milt Lunda decided he wanted out of the racing business, and sold the team to Marcis, marking the first time he owned his own car in the top racing series~ He would continue to run the #30, and also stuck with Dodge race cars, though he would moonlight for other teams throughout the 1970 season when he could~

                                          Look how proud he is in front of that beautiful car~
Dave Marcis #30 Dodge Daytona Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1969 1970 Superbird

    Marcis' first race as a team owner came in the 1970 season opener "Motor Trend 500" @ Riverside, where he started 20th, and finished in 14th place following a crash with 30 laps remaining~ Following a water pump issue in the Daytona qualifier, Marcis ended up starting 33rd for the "Daytona 500", but fought his way up to 10th, for his first top 10 as a team owner~ He finished 6th in the "Carolina 500" @ Rockingham, and 5th in the "Savannah 200" @ Savannah, Ga., in what was the final NASCAR race at the track~

    1970 was to some the final true season in NASCAR, due to the fact that NASCAR quit racing in smaller towns and on dirt tracks following the end of the season~ Though I wasn't born back then, I can assure you that I agree with them 100%~ Who wouldn't like to see the current Cup guys running local dirt tracks and smaller local/hometown tracks?~ The crowds they have now might just fill a local track up... if NASCAR was lucky - but anyway, back to Marcis we go~

    Dave had a good run in the "Beltsville 300" @ Beltsville, Maryland, where he finished 5th after starting from the 4th spot~ Bobby Isaac won the race in what would be a championship winning season for the #71 K&K Insurance team~ Marcis also ran well the following week in the "Tidewater 300" @ Langley Speedway, where he brought the #30 Dodge home in 9th place - 19 laps off the pace of race winner, Bobby Isaac~ Bobby Allison was 2nd, followed by Neil "Soapy" Castles, James Hylton, and Benny Parsons~

                                                     The rear of the #30 Dodge Daytona~
Dave Marcis #30 Dodge Daytona Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1969 1970 Superbird

    His next good finish came in the "Maryville 200" @ the Smokey Mountain Raceway in Maryville, Tn., where he picked up a 5th place finish~ Bobby Isaac led every lap of the event on his way to another victory, and he was followed by James Hylton, Neil Castles, Dick Brooks, and Marcis~ He then had a 9th place run in the "Motor State 400" @ Michigan~ Cale Yarborough won the race, followed by Pete Hamilton, David Pearson, LeeRoy Yarbrough, and Bobby Isaac~

    Marcis qualified 6th for the "Hickory 276" @ Hickory, and though he finished the race 4 laps off of the winner's pace, he still came home with a 3rd place finish behind Dick Brooks, and race winner Bobby Isaac~ The next week the series was at Kingsport in what would be the final race at the Kingsport Speedway - and Marcis qualified 5th for the event, with Richard Petty winning the pole~ Petty went on to win the race, followed by James Hylton, Marcis, Bobby Allison, and Neil Castles~

    Dave qualified 4th for the "Albany-Saratoga 250" @ Malta, NY, with Bobby Isaac on the pole~ Richard Petty quickly took the lead and never looked back on the way to the checkered flag~ He was followed by Bobby Allison, Marcis, Neil Castles, and G.C. Spencer~ Marcis then finished 6th in both the "Thompson 200" @ Thompson, CT., and the "Schaefer 300" @ Trenton Speedway~ After qualifying 8th for the "Volunteer 500" @ Bristol, he blew an engine 83 laps into the event, and settled for a 23rd place finish which netted him 465 bucks~

                                                       Custom tribute to Dave Marcis~
Dave Marcis #30 Dodge Daytona Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1969 1970 Superbird

    By this point in the season, Marcis had crashed his good cars, and was running on fumes in the bank account, so he started moonlighting for other teams to make it through the season~ This hurt his teams development, but also - the cars he was moonlighting in were mostly junk, so he didn't run well in them either~ His best runs the rest of the season were a 5th place finish in the "West Virginia 300" @ International Raceway Park in Ona, W.V., driving for Cecil Gordon, and a 7th place run in the "Home State 200" @ the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, N.C., driving for Earle Brooks~

    In the "Old Dominion 500" @ Martinsville, Marcis was one of 14 independent drivers to "quit" the race in protest due to $10,000 of bonus money that was awarded to the top qualifiers for the event~ Those drivers who won the money were pole winner Bobby Allison, Bobby Isaac, Cale Yarborough, Richard Petty, and Dave Marcis himself~ This was just a 30 car field, so you can imagine what 14 guys just dropping out of the race by lap 40 would look like~ The independents turned the race into a ghost town one by one, and NASCAR big wigs didn't like it one little crumb~ Petty, Allison, Yarborough, and Isaac went on to finish 1,2,3,4~

   Marcis finished out the 1970 season having competed in 47 of 48 events (DNQ'ing @ the second Talladega race),  with 3 top 5's, and 15 top 10's, he led a total of 14 laps, and earned $41,111 in race winnings~ He finished 9th in the final points standings, and had an average starting position of 12.6, and an average finish of 17.5~ For the 1971 season, Marcis would swap the #30 for #2, though he kept driving Dodges~ The Daytonas were also outlawed by 1971, thus officially ending his time in the #30 Dodge Daytona forever~

                                                       Dave Marcis #30 Dodge Daytona~
Dave Marcis #30 Dodge Daytona Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1969 1970 Superbird
                                                               Click pics to enlarge~
Dave Marcis #30 Dodge Daytona Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1969 1970 Superbird

    To me, this was the coolest looking Dodge Daytona that Racing Champions made~ I mean, I like the Marty Robbins one, and I have it in my collection.. but I just prefer this one over it~ I've always loved the baby blue cars, and Marcis drove a few of them in his career~ Dave has been criticized numerous times over his career choices, and choosing to run in his own stuff when he could have ran for better teams - but I think he was just trying to do what he felt was best for his family... was he wrong sometimes?~  Probably.. but he was right enough to stay in the Cup series for 35 solid years - that's pretty dang impressive in my book~

    No matter how bad things seemed at times, drivers like Marcis, J.D. McDuffie, James Hylton and a slew of other independent teams could always find a way to make it through at least a partial season year after year~ Drivers and teams helped each other out, and Big Bill France would always make sure teams would at least have enough money to get to where they were going~ Then greed took over and ruined it all - making it impossible for the independent teams to survive in the sport~ It even got so expensive just to go to a race that many fans were turned off after their current driver at the time retired~ Most people quit going to the tracks by 2007, and it just got worse from there~

    Back to the car, I really love everything about it~ The yellow and black are a perfect color combo for the baby blue main color of the car~ I'd have to give this one an A+ on the Racing Champions quality scale, as it is my favorite car from the set~ Dave didn't run this winged version in all of the 1969 and 1970 tracks, I just gave the history of the full 69-70 season~ The car shown above that was restored in 1978 is now painted up in Winston Cup colors, or was.. not sure if it still is~ Richard Petty drove it around at some track back in the day, but I was too tired to look it up at this point.. so I'm just gonna go straight into the bonus car for this post now~ :)

                                          Jake Raudabaugh #63 SqueezIt Chevrolet Lumina~
Jake Raudabaugh #63 SqueezIt Chevrolet Action Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1997 Squeez It Squeez-It Busch North East

    The cool thing about these bonus cars is they're just a bonus, so I can make up custom cars, or use non Racing Champions cars, and it doesn't really mess with the regular post~ This car was sent to me by a fan of the blog named Rob~ Thanks, Rob~ :) It was made by Action in 1997, and although Chevrolet had switched to Monte Carlos in 1995, this car was ran in the lower tier Busch North series, and was still allowed to run as a Lumina~

    Raudabaugh drove this car for one race only, during the "Nazareth 100" @ Nazareth Pa., in the Busch North series~ He qualified 33rd in the 34 car field, and finished the race 7 laps down - in the 25th position~ The race was won by former BGN series driver Bobby Dragon, who was driving Dale Shaw's #7 Skoal Bandit Pontiac~ Though he did attempt to qualify for two races in 1998, he failed to make the field, and his sponsor isn't listed, so there's no way of knowing if SqueezIt was the sponsor for those two events or not~ Well, unless you call the guy yourself and ask him~ :P

   Though he's unknown to many, Raudabaugh still races to this day in Pennsylvania~  In 2002, he was crowned KARS Champion in the 358 Sprint series, and won a race as recently as May of this year at Selinsgrove Speedway in Pennsylvania~ He is the owner of Fine Line Auto Body in his hometown of Carlisle Pa., and is a sponsor and fundraiser for PET, Personal Energy Transportation~ 

    Thank you all for coming back to the blog for the past two years!~ I hope you enjoyed this post, and have a wonderful 4th of July!~ Happy birthday, America!~ Please share this post on social media, and click the "Follow" button at the top right hand side of this page~ Below is some footage of the classic cars from the 69-70 era~ Enjoy it, and have a great Independence day!~

                                                     NASCAR 1969 Flat Out~ 12 mins.~

                                            Daytona/Superbird/Torino/Talladega footage~

                                                     1970 Daytona 500 feature~ 7 mins.~

                                    Old footage from the final NASCAR race at Trenton, NJ~