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Friday, July 31, 2015

Sterling Marlin #10 Maxwell House Chevrolet

    Sterling Marlin ran 2 races in the BGN series in 1992~ He did so in this #10 Maxwell House Chevrolet~ When I first saw this car at the flea market mall, I was kind of shocked because I couldn't remember him driving a #10 Maxwell House car~ I then came home and researched it and found out why~

    Sterling's first race in the car came in the first race of the season, the Goody's 300 @ Daytona, where he qualified in the 7th position~ He led 2 laps before having clutch issues on lap 28, ending his day~ He finished 39th in the 44 car field, and Dale Earnhardt picked up the win, his 16th at Daytona, making him the tracks all-time winningest driver~

    This race was also known for a fiery crash that nearly claimed the life of Joe Nemechek, who would go on to win the BGN championship that season~ On lap 75, Nemechek was caught up in a multi-car crash, and his car burst into flames~

    Fellow drivers Todd Bodine and Tom Peck came to his rescue and pulled him from the car, thus saving his life~ Nemechek continued to race the car the next 6 weeks with severe burns~ This was also the first race for Jack Roush's BGN team, with Winn Dixie sponsoring the car driven by Mark Martin, who finished 7th~

                                          Marlin's car was similar to this one, though darker~
Sterling Marlin #10 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN

     Marlin's final race in the #10 Maxwell House car came 11 races later, in the Champion 300 @ Charlotte~ He rolled off 23rd in the 42 car field, and finished 4th~ The race ended under caution due to a last lap crash involving Dick Trickle and Todd Bodine as they battled for 2nd place~ Jeff Gordon went on to win in his #1 Baby Ruth Ford, this would be his second career victory~ Clifford Allison led 4 laps in the race, the first and only laps led in his tragically short career~

  Sterling Marlin #10 Maxwell House Chevrolet~
Sterling Marlin #10 Maxwell House Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN Busch
                                                              Click pics to enlarge~
Sterling Marlin #10 Maxwell House Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN Busch
    As I was doing my research on this car, the first thing I noticed was how bad Racing Champions failed on the cars paint scheme~ Their version of the car is maroonish, while Sterling's real car was basically red~ I don't know how they managed to get it so wrong, it's not even close~ Other than that, this car is really nice~

    The card shows Marlin glaring into the camera from his cockpit, clearly in a red, not maroon car~ All in all, I give this car a B- rating, it would easily be an A+ if not for the mistake made by Racing Champions on the cars color~

    Seeing as how he only ran 2 races in the car, I wasn't able to find much footage of the car itself~ I did, however, find the entire 1992 Goody's 300, which I have added below~ I also added a few more clips from Marlin's career as a whole~ Thanks for stopping in to the blog as always, it's greatly appreciated!~ :)

                                                        1992 Goody's 300 (full race)~

                                                  Marlin's "Bug-eyed dummy" comment~

                                                           All of Marlin's Cup wins~
                                    1991 Valleydale Meats 500 hard crash~ (I was at this race)~

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Jay Fogleman #5 Innkeeper Buick

    Greetings once again fellow Racing Champions enthusiast~ Today I'll be reviewing Jay Fogleman's #5 Innkeeper Buick that he ran in 1991~ Jay ran this car, owned by the legendary Sam Ard, in 4 races during the 1991 season~ Ard's career ended following a vicious crash in 1984 at the North Carolina Speedway, which left him with severe head trauma~ After the crash, he began fielding cars for other drivers~ Fogleman first raced for Ard during the 1989 season, where he ran 6 races, with a best finish of 11th @ Hickory in the Pepsi 200, driving the #5 Winner's Circle Buick~

     Jay again drove for Ard in the 1991 season, this time in the Innkeeper car~ His first race came in the 14th race of the season, the Roses Stores 300 @ Rougemont, where he qualified 6th in the 31 car field, and finished 11th, 3 laps off the pace of race winner Robert Pressley~ He next raced in the 20th event of the season, the Coors Light 300 @ South Boston, qualifying 17th in the 28 car field,  and came home in the 8th position, 2 laps behind race winner Steve Grissom~

                                  Richard Lasater also drove the Innkeeper car below in 1992~
Jay Fogleman #5 Innkeeper Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast Richard Lasater

    Fogleman next raced the car 3 races later in the Texas Pete 300 @ Rougemont, where he rolled off 13th in the 30 car field, and drove the car to an 8th place finish after getting involved in a crash near the end of the race, and finishing 3 laps off the pace of race winner Jimmy Hensley~ His final ride in the car came in the final even of the season, the Winston Classic 200 @ Martinsville~ Jay qualified 11th in the 32 car field, and finished 13th, 3 laps behind race winner Harry Gant~ This race also was known for being the only time Jeff Gordon ever drove an Oldsmobile, as he crashed his primary car and had to drive Bobby Labonte's back up car~

    Jay ended his BGN career with 19 starts spanning 6 seasons, with 0 poles, 0 wins, 0 top 5's, and 2 top 10's (South Boston and Rougemont in 1991)~ He led a total of 51 laps, all coming in the 1989 Texas Pete 200 @ Rougemont~ His race winnings for his career totaled $40,420, with 22,000 of that coming in his final 2 starts of his career in 2000 @ South Boston and Myrtle Beach~

                                                     Jay Fogleman #5 Innkeeper Buick~
Jay Fogleman #5 Innkeeper Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN
                                                              Click pics to enlarge~
Jay Fogleman #5 Innkeeper Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN

                                          Promo card with white card back~ Different card~
Jay Fogleman #5 Innkeeper Buick Racing Champions white 1992 promo diecast 1/64 blog NASCAR

     Even though he didn't run but 4 races in this car, this is again one of my favorite Racing Champions cars~ The bright yellow really pops on the display shelf among the other cars, and the Innkeeper logo looks pretty cool too~ When I was a kid, I banged this car to pieces having pretend races on the floor~ I used to let him win a lot of those races~

    One of my favorite things about this car is the logo on the deck lid reading "Drug Abuse A race you can't win"~ I always thought that was cool~ Jay kind of looks silly in the picture for the card~ He reminds me of a nerdy Dad~ lol~ All in all, I easily give this car an A+ rating~ Most of the Innkeeper cars I see have Racing Champions tires, but this one has Goodyear's on it~ This doesn't make it more rare.. it's just that they had some left over after they switched to putting Goodyear's on the cars, so this is one of the later models~

    Looking back on Jay's BGN career, it's kind of hard to figure out why he never got a solid ride~ He averaged a 16th place start, and 17th place finish for his career.. numbers that are definitely worthy of getting a decent ride, it just never panned out for him~

     He continued racing following his stint in BGN, and is known as a short track ace who still races Late Models~ His son Tate also races~ I was only able to find 1 video of Jay's career, a full race of the 1991 Winston Classic~ I have added it below, along with some videos of Jay's career in PASS South Super Late Models~ Thanks for stopping by the blog!~ Your support is greatly appreciated!~ :)

                                                        1991 Winston Classic (full race)~

                                    Victory lane interview with Daniel Hemric and Fogleman~

                                                          Dogwood 150 Fogleman win~

                                               1992 Hickory (Fogleman spin) #00 car~

Monday, July 27, 2015

Cale Yarborough #66 Phillips/TropArtic Pontiac

    Out of all the Racing Champions cars I have, there are 2 of them that really don't make sense, and sort of anger me to a degree~ One of them is the Kenny Bernstein Quaker State car, with the other being this Cale Yarborough #66 Phillips/TropArtic Pontiac~ The reason behind me repulsion for these cars is that Kenny and Cale never raced them, yet Racing Champions made it appear as if they did, especially for the Cale car, as it has his name printed on the car, while Kenny Bernstein's car is left blank where the name should be~

    The last race Cale ever ran came in the 1988 season finale @ Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal 500, where he started the race in 26th, and earned his final top 10 of his career with a 10th place finish, driving the #29 Hardee's Oldsmobile~ I can't find any information stating that he was rumored to race anymore after the end of the 1988 season, so again, I don't see why Racing Champions made this car with his name on it~
                                                Lake Speed's Phillips/TropArtic Pontiac~
Cale Yarborough #66 Racing Champions 1/64 age value

      For the start of the 1990 season, Cale had picked up sponsorship with Phillips/TropArtic, and changed the car number from 29 to 66~ He also switched car manufacturers from Oldsmobile's to Pontiac's, and chose Dick Trickle to drive the car after Dale Jarrett left for greener pastures~

    Under this sponsorship, the team ran 3 seasons with drivers Dick Trickle, Chuck Bown, Randy Lajoie, Dorsey Schroeder, Lake Speed, another stint with Trickle, Jimmy Hensley, Bobby Hillin Jr., and Chad Little~ It seems like Cale couldn't make up his mind, or even give these drivers time to adjust to the car before he ditched them for someone else~ During this 3 year stretch, the team had 1 pole, 0 wins, 2 top 5's, and 8 top 10's~

    I'm not going to get into the stats for the other drivers of this car, as Racing Champions did make several versions of this car, and I will be reviewing them later on individually~ The car ran 87 races under this sponsorship, with Trickle driving the majority of the races in it with 33 starts~

                                         Cale Yarborough #66 Phillips/TropArtic Pontiac~
Cale Yarborough #66 Trop Artic Phillips Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast Winston Cup age
                                                              Click pics to enlarge~
Cale Yarborough #66 Trop Artic Phillips Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast Winston Cup age

    Racing Champions didn't do a bad job with the car, it basically looks just as the real one did~ As I said earlier, my main gripe is that he never drove the car, or as far as I know, was never even rumored to drive it~ It would be like if they made a David Pearson #16 Chattanooga Chew car just because he was the owner of the car, except a Pearson car would make more sense, as he was at least planning on driving that car until neck and back problems forced him to change his mind, leaving it solely to his son Larry to drive~ I remember when I first bought this car as a child, I was so excited that Cale may just come back and run a few races again, only to find out that was never the case~

     My only theory as to why this car was made would be that perhaps Cale didn't have a driver secured yet, so Racing Champions just slapped his name on it, along with a somewhat bad card that shows Cale sitting on a tire, staring at the ground~ In all honesty, I believe had Cale ran the car, he could have had just as good, if not better results in it than Trickle and the rest of the drivers that piloted the ride~

    I actually had no intentions of reviewing this car until much later down the road, but one of my monitors died and left me no choice~ I use the other monitor to gather information for my posts, and having just one monitor makes it more difficult, with having to switch tabs so many times~ Below are some videos of Cale's career in NASCAR~ Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by the blog~ I had a busy weekend, so I apologize for not posting the past couple of days~

                                              Cale flies over the wall (1965 Southern 500)~

                                                      Song about Cale Yarborough~

                                                        Cale wins the 1974 Southern 500~

                                                  Cale Yarborough Hall of Fame video~

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mike Skinner #3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet

    After last night's absolutely spectacular truck race @ Eldora, I decided I'd review a truck for the first time here on the blog~ I only have 2 of them at the moment, so I chose Mike Skinner's GM Goodwrench Chevrolet, mainly because I bought Bob Keselowski's truck loose without a card or stand~

    The truck series began in 1995, and many Cup series owners and drivers fielded trucks for up and coming drivers~ Richard Childress chose Mike Skinner to pilot his #3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Silverado~

    The series kicked off for the first time in Phoenix for the Skoal Bandit Cooper World Classic, with P.J. Jones capturing the pole, while Mike rolled off 16th~ Ron Hornaday Jr. passed Jones on lap one to become the first person to lead a lap in the series~ Mike passed Terry Labonte on the final lap to win the first ever truck series race, having led a total of 30 laps during the race~

    He also picked up wins @ Portland (Maxx Race Cards 200), I-70 Speedway (Western Auto 200), Louisville (Ford Credit 200), Milwaukee (Sears Auto Center 125), IRP (Action Packed Racing Cards 150), Mesa Marin (Spears Manufacturing 200), and Phoenix (GM Goodwrench/Delco Battery 200)~ He also picked up 10 poles during the season~ He finished the season with 10 poles, 8 wins, 17 top 5's, and 18 top 10's, and won the first ever Championship in the series, defeating Joe Ruttman by 126 points~

                                              Mike Skinner - 1995 Truck Series Champion~
Mike Skinner #3 Goodwrench truck 1/64 Racing Champions NASCAR diecast Champion

    The truck series added 4 more races to the 1996 schedule, and Mike picked up his first win of the season in the NAPA 200 @ Tucson~ The next stop on the circuit was the Colorado 250 @ Colorado, where again, Skinner captured the win~ The following race was in Topeka for the Lund Look 225, where Mike picked up his 3rd victory in a row, the first to do so in the truck series~ Up next was the inaugural race @ Bristol, the Coca-Cola 200, where Mike sat on the pole, and came home 4th~

    His next win came in the 13th race of the season, the Cummins 200 @ IRP~ He again won back to back races with a win in the Steven Beil/Genuine Parts 200 @ Flemington~ In the Fas Mart Truck Shootout @ Richmond, Skinner qualified 2nd, and held off Ron Hornaday Jr. for the win~ He qualified 16th in the Hanes 250 @ Martinsville, and charged to the front to take the victory over one of my favorite drivers at the time, Butch Miller~ In the Ford Dealers/Ford Credit 300 @ Mesa Marin, Skinner again held off Ron Hornaday Jr. to capture his final victory of the season~

   Although he won 3 more races than any other driver in the series that season, Skinner finished 3rd in the final points standings, behind Jack Sprague, and series Champion Ron Hornaday Jr.~ When all was said and done, he finished the season with  5 poles, 8 wins, 17 top 5's, and 20 top 10's~ In his 2 years in the #3 truck, he totaled 15 poles, 16 wins, 34 top 5's, and 38 top 10's in 44 races~

                                           Mike Skinner #3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet~
Mike Skinner #3 Goodwrench Truck Series Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Dale Earnhardt
                                                          Click pics to enlarge~
Mike Skinner #3 Goodwrench Truck Series Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Dale Earnhardt

    Racing Champions did a splendid job on this die cast~ It is a spitting image of the truck he ran during the 1995 season~ The glossiness on this truck is superb, and the logos and truck number really pop~ I only own 2 trucks, but this one is by far my favorite~ Every detail is there, and in my opinion, Racing Champions did a better job on this truck than they were doing with most of their cars at the time~

     I do however have an issue with the card, as it looks kind of bland in comparison to the truck~ But all in all, I give this truck an A- overall~ If it had a cooler looking card, it would easily be an A+, and it looks amazing on display with all the other Racing Champions memorabilia I own~

    Mike left the truck series as far as driving full time following the 1996 season, and moved up to the Cup series, also driving for Richard Childress in his #31 Lowe's Chevrolet~ He never had the same success he had in the truck series, and finished his Cup career with 6 poles, 0 wins, 10 top 5's, and 39 top 10's in 286 starts~ He also failed to qualify for 41 events~

    I remember vividly pulling for that Lowe's car, and he had several chances to win in the car, he was just never able to pull it off and seal the victory~ The closest he ever came to winning in the Cup series was a 2nd place finish in 2000 in the Diehard 500 @ Talladega, a race won by Jeff Gordon~ Below I have added some videos showing some highlights from his career~ Enjoy, and as always, thank you for stopping by the blog!~

                                          All of Skinner's Cup wins (all non-points races)

                                                        2007 Kroger 200 Skinner win~

                                                       2009 Gateway Skinner win~

                                                 Inaugural truck series race Skinner win~

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hut Stricklin #12 Raybestos Brakes Buick

    Hut Stricklin was probably one of the greatest drivers never to win a Cup race~ He just never landed a good ride during his tenure in the series, and the one time he did manage to get a somewhat decent ride (1995 - King Racing), the team shut down at the end of the year~ I believe he would have won a few races had Bernstein kept the team going for the 1996 season~ He also finished 14th in the 2000 Brickyard 400, driving for Junie Dunlavey, with barely enough crew members, and serving as his own crew chief.. that in itself is a very impressive feat~ However, I'm going to stick to writing about his time in Bobby Allison's #12 car for this post~

    His first race for the team came in the 9th race of the 1990 season, the Winston 500 @ Talladega~ A native of Alabama, this was considered to be his home track~ Stricklin qualified 18th, and drove the car to a 9th place finish, one lap off the pace~ His next top 10 came in the Miller Genuine Draft 500 @ Pocono, where he started 21st, and finished 6th~ He ended the year with 2 top 10's, and finished 28th in the final points standings~

                                                   Hut Stricklin's 1990 Raybestos Buick~
Hut Stricklin #12 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Bobby Allison

    The 1991 season was the best season of Hut's career~ He finished 6th in the Coca-Cola 600 @ Charlotte, leading 19 laps, and followed that up with another 6th place run in the Budweiser 500 @ Dover~ In the Miller Genuine Draft 400 @ Michigan, Hut qualified the car 9th, and finished 2nd to fellow Alabama native Davey Allison~ He also led the race for 27 laps~

    In the Miller Genuine Draft 500 @ Pocono, Stricklin qualified 6th, led 7 laps, and finished 4th~ He scored another top 5 in the Peak Antifreeze 500 @ Dover, where he qualified 19th, and finished in 4th~ By the end of the season, he had 3 top 5's, and 7 top 10's, finishing a career best 16th in the final points standings~

    His final season with the team came in 1992, where he ran 21 races with them before being replaced by Jeff Purvis~ During this season, the team swapped from Buick to Chevrolet~ They would swap to Ford's following the Bud 500 @ Bristol~ His first top 10 of the season came in the GM Goodwrench 500 @ Rockingham, where he finished 9th~

    He followed that up the next race with another 9th place finish in the Pontiac Excitement 400 @ Richmond~ In the Food City 500 @ Bristol, Hut picked up his best qualifying effort of the season, starting 5th, and scored another top 10, finishing in the 8th position, although 5 laps down~ His final top 10 in the car came in the Budweiser 500 @ Dover, where he started the car in the 23rd position, and came home 7th, 2 laps off the pace of the leaders~

                                      Hut Stricklin's Raybestos Lumina 1992 with son Taylor~
Hut Stricklin #12 Raybestos Brakes Buick Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    Hut's final start in the car came in the Mountain Dew Southern 500 @ Darlington, where he rolled off 23rd, and finished in 11th place, 1 lap down~ He then ran 4 races for Junie Dunlavey (Richmond, Dover, Martinsville, and North Wilksboro), 1 for Junior Johnson (Charlotte), and finished the season driving the final 2 races for Larry Hedrick, (Phoenix and Atlanta) driving the #41 Kellogg's Chevrolet~

                                                Hut Stricklin #12 Raybestos Brakes Buick~
Hut Strickline #12 Raybestos Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Bobby Allison Winston Cup
                                                              Click pics to enlarge~
Hut Strickline #12 Raybestos Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Bobby Allison Winston Cup

    I always thought this was a cool paint scheme back in the day~ It's a shame that Allison wasn't as good at being a car owner as he was a driver~ The team just never was up to par with the rest of the field, and Hut really had to wheel the car to get the results that he had in it~ This specific car has a few defects straight out of the packaging~ 

    If you'll notice about Hut's name, the blue is showing through the white, and there is a chip in the paint above the Goodyear tire contingency that was like that straight from the packaging~ Other than that, RC did a good job on the car, and the card looks cool as well~ I give the car a C+ rating overall~

    As I said earlier, I truly believe Hut Stricklin was plagued throughout his career with having to drive for sub-par teams~ If he would have been in Mike Skinner's #31 car, I guarantee that car would have won some races~ Hut had the ability to get the job done, he just didn't have much to work with~ He was an underrated driver for all of his career, that just didn't get the credit he deserved due to driving for underfunded teams~ Below are some clips spanning throughout his career, enjoy, and as always, thank you for stopping by the blog!~ 

                                   Top 10 unluckiest NASCAR drivers~ #6 - Hut Stricklin~

1989 Bud @ the Glen - Petty Stricklin spin~

   1991 Diehard 500 - Stricklin Bodine wreck~

1991 Bud 500 - Multi-car wreck w/ Hut~

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Bobby Hillin #42 Mello Yello Pontiac

    During the 1991 running of the Winston 500 @ Talladega, Kyle Petty was involved in a lap 70 crash caused by the #4 car of Ernie Irvan~ As a result of this crash, Kyle broke his leg, and was sidelined for 11 races~ Kenny Wallace filled in for the next 2 races @ Charlotte and Dover, and was then replaced by Tommy Kendall for the road course race @ Sonoma~ Bobby Hillin then filled in for the remaining 8 races while Kyle recovered~

    His first race in the car came in the Champion Spark Plug 500 @ Pocono, where he qualified 22nd, and finished 15th~ He then qualified 17th in the Miller Genuine Draft 400 @ Michigan, where he again came home in the 15th position~ Moving on to the Pepsi 400 @ Daytona, Hillin started the race 25th, and once again finished 15th~ Hillin then had trouble in the Miller Genuine Draft 500 @ Pocono, where he started the race 14th, but finished 28th, several laps off the pace~

                                              Bobby Hillin in the 42 car @ Watkins Glen~
Bobby Hillin #42 Mello Yello car Kyle Petty SABCO

    Hillin came  close to scoring a top 10 in the car in the Diehard 500 @ Talladega, where he qualified 21st and finished 11th~ At the Budweiser at the Glen @ Watkins Glen, Hillin started the race 16th, and finished 18th~ He then qualified 20th for the Champion Spark Plug 400 @ Michigan, but engine issues would render him to a 33rd place finish~

    His final run in the car came in the Bud 500 @ Bristol, where he started 15th, but was plagued with issues throughout the race, resulting in a 30th place finish, 280 laps off the pace~ Hillin ran 2 more races that season for Martin Birrane in the #53 Longhorn Steaks Chevrolet @ Charlotte (Mello Yello 500) and Atlanta (Hardee's 500), and also attempted to qualify for the AC Delco 500 @ Rockingham, but failed to make the field~

                                                Bobby Hillin #42 Mello Yello Pontiac~
Bobby Hillin #42 Mello Yello Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Sabco Kyle Petty
                                                              Click pics to enlarge~
Bobby Hillin #42 Mello Yello Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Sabco Kyle Petty

    The Mello Yello car was one of the coolest looking cars on the track during its NASCAR tenure~ It's a shame I can't say the same for the Racing Champions version of the car~ My main gripe about the car is the fact that Racing Champions used stickers for the hood, side panels, and deck lid, instead of paint~ I have no idea why this was done, but it really makes the car look dumb, especially at the front of the car, where the stickers tend to peel upwards off of the car~

    Since this picture was taken, I took a dab of super glue and put it under the parts that stuck up to secure them, I just wanted to show what the stickers tended to do before I fixed it~ If you want a Mello Yello car that has paint instead of stickers, you are in luck though, as you can buy the Kyle Petty Premier version of the car~ As it sits, I give this car a C- rating, solely due to the stickers ~

    Once again, Racing Champions surprised me by making a Hillin version of this car, although not as much as with the Greg Trammell car~ Oddly enough, Hillin and Petty would get into a scuffle a couple years later in the 1993 Daytona 500~ I have added a video of the scuffle down below, as well as the clip of the accident that broke Kyle's leg (What is it with Kyle's and breaking legs in NASCAR?~ Look out Larson)~ Grab yourself a Mello Yello and enjoy the day, and as always, thanks for stopping by the blog!~

                                                   1991 Winston 500 (Kyle breaks leg)~

                                               1993 Daytona 500 (Kyle & Hillin scuffle)~

                                         Vintage Mello Yello commercial (for the heck of it)~

                                          Senator Bobby & Senator McKinley Mello Yello~

Monday, July 20, 2015

Greg Trammell #18 Melling Automotive Ford

    This may be the hardest blog post I've ever had to write, for the simple fact that Greg Trammell's racing career didn't last long at all~ His sole BGN start came in 1992 @ Darlington in the MarkIII Vans 200, driving the #11 Budweiser Ford co-owned by Junior Johnson and Charles Hardy~ Starting in 35th, he lasted only 18 laps before succumbing to handling issues, finishing 35th in the 36 car field~

    In 1989, Greg ran 4 ARCA series races for Harry Melling in the #91 Melling Racing Ford~ The first of these races was the 96 Rock 500k @ Atlanta where he started 15th and battled his way up to finish 4th~ His next race was the Champion Spark Plug 100 @ Pocono where he rolled off 3rd and came home 4th~

     He then ran the AC Spark Plug 100, also at Pocono, where he qualified 9th, and finished runner up to Bob Keselowski~ His final race of the 1989 season came in the Atlanta Journal 500k @ Atlanta, where he qualified 14th, and finished 23rd after crashing on lap 92~

                                                Greg Trammell's Racing Champions card~
Greg Trammell NASCAR Racing Champions 1/64 rare

    Greg attempted to qualify for the season opener @ Daytona in the #91 Melling Automotive Ford, but failed to make the field~ The remainder of the races he ran was in the #18~ His next attempt came in the 6th race of the season, the Champion Spark Plug 150 @ Pocono, where he started and finished in 3rd~

    He skipped the next 3 events, and his next start came again @ Pocono in the AC Spark Plug 150, where he started 4th and finished 3rd~ This was the first race he ever led, leading 11 laps~ He skipped the 11th race of the season, and next raced @ Michigan in the Michigan 200, where he qualified 5th, and finished 8th~ After skipping the next 5 races, he qualified 3rd in the Atlanta Journal ARCA 500k, leading 3 laps and finishing 8th~

For the 1991 season, Greg ran 1 race, the Atlanta ARCA 500k, where he started on the pole, led for 46 of the 204 laps, and won the race~ This was the final race of his ARCA career, and his only win~ He was 25 years old~

    After this event, and the one and done start he had in the BGN series, his racing career was done~ If he ran any races in lower divisions after 1992, I don't know of them~ He finished his ARCA career with 9 starts, 1 DNQ, 1 pole, 1, win, 6 top 5's, and 8 top 10's~ Pretty good stats for someone that just seemed to drop off the face of the earth~

                                          Greg Trammell #18 Melling Automotive Ford~
Greg Trammell #18 Bill Elliott Ford Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Harry Melling age
                                                               Click pics to enlarge~
Greg Trammell #18 Bill Elliott Ford Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Harry Melling age

    This car was basically a copy of Bill Elliott's Cup car with Melling Automotive as the sponsor instead of Coors~ I always thought Bill's red Coors car was one of the coolest looking cars on the track at the time, and basically think the same about this one~ I love the gold and blue striping and the gold rims~

    The car also seems to have a lot more shine to it than some of the other RC cars~ Red cars seemed to all have more shine to them than some of the others~ I was always a fan of the Ford cars that RC did back then, they were bigger and boxier, making you feel like you were getting more car for your money versus buying a Pontiac car, which seemed much smaller compared to the Fords~ This is one of my favorite RC cars, basically because I don't see how it got made since he didn't last long at all, and this was an ARCA car~

    I wish I knew what happened to Greg Trammell, I really do... but there just isn't any information on the guy, at least that I could find... and believe me, at this point, I've spent the last 4 hours searching for info for this post~ I was blown away when I couldn't even find a single picture of him on Google images~ The only thing you'll find is pics of this RC car, and 1 very, very small pic from a Youtube video that is extremely too small to use~

    It got me wondering if he was like the modern day Fred Lorenzen of his day, and just gave up racing to be with his family~ Whatever happened to him, there's still people like me out there that remember him, if for nothing more than his RC car~ I was able to find a couple ARCA races he ran on Youtube that I have posted below~ Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by for another Racing Champions review~

                                                             1990 AC Spark Plug 150~

                                                         1990 Michigan 200 (part 1)

                                                        1990 Michigan 200 (part 2)

                                                       1990 Michigan 200 (part 3)

                                                1990 ARCA Atlanta Journal 500k start~

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Steve Kinser #26 Quaker State Ford

    Steve Kinser may be the king of Sprint cars, winning 20 championships, but in the NASCAR world, he was one of the biggest duds in the history of the sport~ Before the start of the 1995 season, it was announced that Brett Bodine would be leaving King racing, the team he had driven for the previous 5 seasons for, and would be replaced by Kinser~

    The news of Kinser moving up to the Cup series was big news in the Sprint car world, and everyone seemed to believe that Kinser would do well in the series~ He signed a 3 year contract with the team, and declared that during that time, he'd be 100% devoted to racing in the Cup series, and wouldn't compete in Sprint cars at all~

    Car owner Kenny Bernstein's decision to pick Kinser to drive the car was partly due to the success of Jeff Gordon coming up from USAC's and becoming a star in the NASCAR ranks~ Kinser had ran well during 4 IROC starts during 1994, picking up a win @ Talladega, further feeding into the idea that he'd be a good fit for the Cup series~ At the age of 41, he was finally about to compete for Rookie of the Year honors~

    Bernstein spent a lot of time with Kinser before the start of the season, reviewing race footage from each track they'd be running, and filling Steve with all the knowledge he could pass along~ Kinser had tried to break into the Cup series 2 years earlier, driving the #31 Carrier Chevrolet for Clint Folsom, but failed to qualify for both races he attempted to make (Daytona 500, Winston 500)~
                                                        Steve Kinser's 1995 promo card~
Steve Kinser #26 NASCAR Racing Champions 1/64 diecast blog

    The start of the 1995 season was underway, and Kinser quickly found out that the Cup series was much more difficult than he had anticipated~ Starting dead last in the Daytona 500, he lasted only 27 laps until he was involved in a crash, finishing 40th~ The next race was the Goodwrench 500 @ Rockingham, where again Kinser looked like a fish out of water, qualifying 39th, and finishing 27th, 56 laps behind race winner  Jeff Gordon~ The 3rd race of the year was the Pontiac Excitement 400 @ Richmond~ Kinser started 36th, and finished 28th, 9 laps down~

    Sadly, this race would be the closest he ever came to finishing on the lead lap~ Next up was the Purolator 500 @ Atlanta, where Kinser qualified a career best 23rd, but was involved in a crash on lap 9, ending his day~ He would finish 41st~ The next stop on the circuit was the TranSouth Financial 400 @ Darlington, where he qualified 32nd, and finished 40th, due to engine failure~

    Up until this point, Bernstein was willing to stick it out with Kinser, despite his lackluster results~ But following back to back DNQ's @ Bristol (Food City 500) and North Wilksboro (First Union 400), the team's sponsor Quaker State had seen enough, and demanded Bernstein to release him or risk losing their sponsorship~ Kinser was let go, despite having signed a 3 year contract before the start of the season, and was replaced by Hut Stricklin~ Bernstein would shut the team down following the end of the season~

                                                  Steve Kinser #26 Quaker State Ford~
Steve Kinser #26 Quaker State Ford Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog
                                                            Click pics to enlarge~
Steve Kinser #26 Quaker State Ford Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    As for this RC car, I personally prefer the older version that was mostly all green~ I'm not a fan of the stripes they added to the car~ Sometimes simple is better~ I'm not saying it's an ugly car by any means, I just preferred the look of the car back in the earlier days~ I'm also not a fan of the rubber tires, as I think they look too big compared to the older RC cars~ I also don't like the see through windows and the window netting~ The reason being, it just looks odd displayed beside the older RC cars~ All in all though, I'd give the car a solid B+ rating~

    Steve's NASCAR career was one of the biggest failures that I've ever witnessed~ Some people have said that he wasn't ready for NASCAR, which makes me laugh~ At 41 years old at the time, when was he ever going to be "ready"?~ In my opinion, he waited too long to move up to Cup~ I don't know if he ever would have developed into a top notch driver in NASCAR, but I'm sure he's not too concerned about it, as I said earlier, he is a 20 time World of Outlaw champion~

    No one can say that he's a horrible driver with a record like that, he just wasn't cut out for Cup series racing~ I would have liked to see what he could have done if given the chance to fulfill his 3 year contract that he signed with Bernstein, but I seriously doubt he would have had many decent finishes~ It would have given me a little more to write about though~  As you'd imagine, there aren't any videos of Kinser's NASCAR career on the internet, however I have added a few videos below, most of them full races which I will tell you where to skip to see some of his crashes, along with a song written about him~

                                               1995 Daytona 500 crash~ (skip to 40:21)

                                                         Song written about Kinser~

                                                1995 Purolator 500 crash (skip to 5:00)

                                                       Highlights from WoO career~

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Phil Parsons #29 Diamond Ridge Oldsmobile

    Today's post is going to be somewhat short~ This is due to the fact that I have other Phil Parsons cars to review, and that he didn't run this car in many races~ I'll provide the information that I was able to find~

    Phil ran this car in 3 races during the 1991 season under the Diamond Ridge sponsor~ His first start in the car came in the seventh race of the BGN season, the Pontiac 200 @ Darlington, where he started 34th, and finished 4th~

                                           Phil's Racing Champions card for the #29 car~
Phil Parsons #29 Pontiac car Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    His next race in the car came 5 races later in the Champion 300 @ Charlotte, where he rolled off 39th, and finished 42nd due to vibration issues after only running 19 of the scheduled 200 laps~ His final start with the Diamond Ridge sponsorship came in the 28th event of the season, the All Pro 300 @ Charlotte, where he qualified 20th, and finished 9th, 2 laps down~

    He ran 3 more races during the season, with sponsorship from Wheels Discount Auto (Fay's 150 - Watkins Glen - St. 8th Fin. 15th), NesQuik (Gatorade 200 - Darlington St. 19th Fin. 29th), and WHOA TV 32 (AC Delco 200 - Rockingham St. 23rd Fin. 29th). He also attempted to qualify for the Goody's 300 @ Daytona, but failed to make the field, driving the Champion Rentals car~
                                              Phil Parsons #29 Diamond Ridge trading card~
Phil Parsons #29 Pontiac car Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

     I would also like to note that the cars in the above pics are Steve Grissom Chevrolet's~ Parsons never drove for Diamond Ridge in a Chevrolet~ However, he did run 3 races in 1990 in the Cup Series with Diamond Ridge sponsorship, driving Pontiac's~ The first of those races came in the Miller Genuine Draft 400 @ Michigan, where he rolled off in the 36th position, and finished 22nd~

    His next race came in the DieHard 500 @ Talladega, where he started 8th, and finished 41st due to a lap 25 crash~ His final Cup race with Diamond Ridge as his sponsor came in the Heinz Southern 500 @ Darlington, where he qualified 28th, and came home 19th~ Racing Champions made a die cast track car for the Heinz Southern 500, which I will be reviewing later~

                                           Phil Parsons #29 Diamond Ridge Oldsmobile~
Phil Parsons #29 Pontiac car Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog
                                                              Click pics to enlarge~
Phil Parsons #29 Pontiac car Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog
    When I got back into collecting Racing Champions cars, this was one of the ones I desperately wanted~ I just love the color of it~ It's not even close to the color of the actual car, which I'm thankful for.. because I like this color much better~ As with the Jimmy Means #52 car, logos were left off of this one for unknown reasons~

    Perhaps Phil hadn't secured sponsorship at the time they produced the car, but the card has the logos on the car.. so I'm not sure what the reasoning was for the blank car~ Regardless, I think this is one of the coolest looking cars they made~

    As far as I can tell, there were 4 variations of this car, all basically looking the same, but with minor changes~ The one exception being the older version with the older Oldsmobile body, the ones that tended to crumble apart due to metal fatigue~  This particular car was signed and numbered by Parsons himself, with this one being #146 of 10,000~

    This car was sent to me, along with several others which I will be reviewing later, by one of my newest friends, Jeff~ I want to again sincerely thank him for being so kind and generous sending me these die casts~ I couldn't have been happier when I opened the package and saw all the great things he had sent~ I will cherish them for many years to come~

    Below are some videos on Parsons, I couldn't find any footage of this actual car.. it's hard just to find anything about the guy~ Thank you all for stopping by and checking out the NASCAR Racing Champions blog~

                                                   Parsons hard crash 1998 Nashville~

                                                  Phil Parsons singing Born to Drive~ lol~

                                               Phil Parsons violent flip 1983 Talladega~

                                             Phil's only Cup win 1988 Winston 500 (full race)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Kenny Wallace #36 Cox Treated Lumber Pontiac

    Kenny Wallace announced yesterday that he will retire from all NASCAR competition following the U.S. Cellular 250 Xfinity series race @ Iowa Speedway~ He currently has the most career starts in the series, with 546 races under his belt, spanning over 26 years~ He got his first start in 1988 at Martinsville in the Advance Auto 150, driving Dale Earnhardt's #8 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet, where he rolled off 26th, and finished 11th~ He ran full time the following season in the #36 Cox Treated Lumber Pontiac, owned by his brother, Rusty Wallace~

    He started the season off by claiming the pole for the Goody's 300 @ Daytona, and finished the race in 10th~ He won the pole for the Granger Select 200 @ Nashville, and led 154 of the 200 laps, finishing 3rd~ He then won the pole for the Louisville race, also called the Granger Select 200, leading 60 of the 200 laps, and finishing 7th~ He finished the season 6th in the points standings, with 3 poles, 4 top 5's, and 16 top 10's, and won Rookie of the Year honors~

                                                    Thanks for the memories, Herman~ 
Kenny Wallace #36 Cox Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

        The 1990 season saw much of the same for Wallace~ He won the pole for the Pontiac 200 @ Darlington, leading 8 laps, and finishing 8th~ By the seasons end, he had 1 pole, 4 top 5's, and 14 top 10's, finishing 7th in the points~ Wallace won his first career BGN race @ Volusia County, in the Spring 200, where he started 13th, and led 127 of the 200 laps~ He would get his second win in the Budweiser 300 @ Loudon, where he started 3rd, and led 202 of the 300 laps~

    Wallace finished the season a career best 2nd in the points standings, having tallied 2 wins, 1 pole, 11 top 5's, and 17 top 10's~ The start of the 1992 season was the last time Kenny ran a Cox sponsored car~ He did so in the first race of the season, the Goody's 300 @ Daytona, where he started 3rd, and came home 16th~ The following race, he picked up sponsorship from Dirt Devil~ He won his first race with the new sponsorship in the Miller 200 @ Martinsville, having led 101 of the 200 laps~ He won 4 poles this season, @ Nazareth, Watkins Glen, Loudon, and Bristol, and had 7 top 5's, and 15 top 10's~

                                           Kenny Wallace #36 Cox Treated Lumber Pontiac~
Kenny Wallace #36 Cox Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN Rusty Mike
                                                                Click pics to enlarge~
Kenny Wallace #36 Cox Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN Rusty Mike

     This is one of my all time favorite Racing Champions cars~ I just love the green and black paint scheme~ The hat Kenny is wearing in the card is cool looking too, with those splashes of green~ The yellow stripe around the bottom of the car is just like Rusty's Cup car~ I'm not sure if Cox Treated Lumber is in business anymore, but it sure would be cool to see this car on the track again~ The paint schemes of today, most of them anyway, are too chaotic in my opinion~ These simple paint schemes were some of the best ever~

    As his career comes to an end, it's gonna be a little odd not seeing Kenny on the track~ Although he hasn't ran the full schedule since 2011, he's been a part of NASCAR since I was just a kid~ He's one of the last drivers left that has personality, and he's much more tolerable than Michael Waltrip~ We can look forward to seeing Kenny on television, and he's still gonna run some dirt track races~ Below are some videos of the man they call Herman~ Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by~

                                          Kenny's final win~ 2001 Sam's Club 200~ (full)

                                                   Kenny talks about first Daytona 500~
                                                             Kenny's top 5 moments~

                                          Chasing Daytona:Kenny Wallace (documentary)~