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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Jimmy Means #52 Alka-Seltzer Pontiac

    Jimmy Means was one of my favorite drivers as a child~ He was one of the gritty, hard working owner/drivers in the Cup series, and a true racer~ NASCAR has lacked drivers like Means for many years now, and in today's post, I'm going to be talking about Jimmy's time in the #52 Alka-Seltzer Pontiac~

    Jimmy picked up sponsorship from Alka-Seltzer to start the 1989 season, and failed to qualify in his first race with the sponsor, the 1989 Daytona 500~ This race had a large number of entries, with 61 drivers vying for a spot in the 500~ His first start in the car came in the following race, the Goodwrench 500 @ Rockingham, where he qualified 35th, and finished 33rd~

    He led his first laps in the Alka-Seltzer car in the DieHard 500 @ Talladega, leading 4 laps before being involved in a crash in turn 4 involving Geoff Bodine, Derrike Cope, Rusty Wallace, Michael Waltrip, and Stan Barrett on lap 26~ Jimmy's best run of the season came in the Pepsi 400 @ Daytona, where he managed a 12th place finish~ He failed to qualify for 7 races during the season, and finished 31st in the final points standings~

                                                    Jimmy Means promo card 1989~
Jimmy Means #52 Racing Champions /64 NASCAR diecast blog age BGN Winston Cup

    For the start of the 1990 season, Means was again in the Alka-Seltzer car, and made the field for the season opening Daytona 500, where he rolled off 37th, and finished 29th, 5 laps off the pace of race winner Derrike Cope~ His best finish of the season was again a 12th place in the Pepsi 400 @ Daytona~ This was the best season for Means in the Alka-Seltzer car, only failing to qualify for 2 races, and moving up 2 spots from the previous season to 29th in the final points standings~

    The 1991 season was the final year of sponsorship for Alka-Seltzer with the Means team, and it was the worst season he had with the sponsor~ He made 20 starts that season, with a best finish of 20th in the Winston 500 @ Talladega~ Bobby Hillin Jr. drove the car for the Budweiser 500 @ Dover, and the following race @ Sonoma, the Banquet Frozen Foods 300, and Mike Wallace ran the car for the Pyroil 500 @ Phoenix, and the season finale race @ Atlanta, the Hardee's 500~ Means failed to qualify for 5 races, and finished 33rd in the final points standings~

                                                 Jimmy Means #52 Alka-Seltzer Pontiac~
Jimmy Smut Means #52 Alka Seltzer Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog custom age
                                                             Click pics to enlarge~
Jimmy Smut Means #52 Alka Seltzer Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog custom age

*UPDATE* ***I have now updated this post with custom pics that I Photoshopped, so now it says Alka-Seltzer like it should~ The below review is for the regular car with no logos***

     If you've read my blog in the past, you already know what my main gripe is about this car~ It appears as if it's a sponsorless car, when in fact, it wasn't~ I asked Jimmy's twitter account what the reason for this was, and he or someone who runs the page was nice enough to reply back to me, and I thank them for the information~

    It turns out, along with alcohol and tobacco, Racing Champions could not put medicine sponsors on their cars~ I never knew this, and always wondered why it was missing its logos~ I find this to be absurd, because this was one of the greatest looking paint schemes of all time, and still is to this day, in my opinion~

    Nonetheless, the powder blue of this car is still outstanding looking on the Racing Champions car, and the card that come along with it adds a nice touch~ It's also cool to see the Alka-Seltzer brand logos on Jimmy's racing suit~ I give this car a B+ on the Racing Champions quality scale, and would like to add that it would easily be an A+ if it had the Alka-Seltzer logos on the car~

    Jimmy may not have had the best of luck in NASCAR, but he was a heck of a driver on the short tracks of Alabama~ He was one of the hardest working guys in the sport for 18 seasons, and I'm sure no one can attest to that~

    I miss drivers like him, who had to do it all on their own, and make things happen~ We may never see another driver like Jimmy in the Cup series again, and for that, I am deeply saddened~ Below is a few clips featuring Means and his time in the Cup series, and as always, thanks to everybody who stops by the blog~ I'll see ya' next time~

                                             1988 Pontiac Excitement 400 - Means crash~
                                    1993 Splitfire Spark Plug 500 - Means gets some damage~
                                              1987 Bud at the Glen - Jimmy Means spins~
                                           Jimmy Means Racing gets a top 5 w/Joey Gase~ 

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