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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Dale Jarrett #32 White Rain Ford

    I can't think of a driver I disliked more than Dale Jarrett~ He was, in my opinion, one of the most boring drivers in the history of the sport~ If you take away his time with Todd Parrott, you aren't left with much, not to mention he was a notoriously awful teammate, and a Ford driver~ Now that I've got that out of the way, we'll look back at his time in the Busch series, in the #32 White Rain Ford~

    Jarrett's first race with sponsor White Rain came at the start of the 1997 Busch Series season, in the Gargoyles 300 @ Daytona~ Jarrett was the owner/driver of the team, and qualified the car in 11th spot~ This was the last Busch series race with a 45 car field, and Jarrett was caught up in the first caution of the day, barely 10 laps into the event~ He was the only driver involved that didn't continue the race, which resulted in a 45th place finish~ He rebounded in the following race, the Goodwrench Service 200 @ Rockingham, with a runner up finish, his best finish in the White Rain car, and his last top 5 of the season~

    Dale's next top 10 came in the GM Goodwrench/Delco Batteries 200 @ Dover, 15 races into the season, where he finished 6th~ He followed that up with an 8th place finish in the Lysol 200 @ Watkins Glen, a fine finish for Jarrett, considering his troubles on road courses~ He picked up his final top 10 of the season in the All Pro Bumper to Bumper 300 @ Charlotte, where he finished in the 7th position~ He finished the season with 13 starts, 1 DNQ (Moore's Snacks 250 @ Bristol), 0 wins, 1 top 5, and 4 top 10's, while finishing 36th in the BGN final points standings~

                                                     Dale Jarrett White Rain promo card~
Dale Jarrett #32 White Rain Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN

    Jarrett was back with the White Rain sponsorship for the 1998 BGN season, but skipped the first 2 races of the year~ In the 3rd race of the season, the Sam's Town Las Vegas 300 @ Las Vegas, Jarrett qualified the car 23rd, and finished 5th~ His next race in the car came 3 races later, in the Moore's Snacks 250 @ Bristol, where bad luck plagued him the entire race, and he finished in 30th position, 37 laps down~ His luck would come back to him in the 13th race of the season, the MBNA Platinum 200 @ Dover, where he finished 4th~ 10 races later, in the Food City 250 @ Bristol, Jarrett managed to pick up a 3rd place finish~

    Following the Bristol race, was the Dura-Lube 200 @ Darlington, where Jarrett would pick up his final top 10 for the White Rain team, with a 7th place finish~ In his final race with the team, the Stihl 300 @ Atlanta, Jarrett qualified 8th, but a sour engine ended his day on lap 37, and he finished 42nd in the 43 car field~ He finished the season with 12 starts, 1 DNQ (Hardee's 250 @ Richmond), 0 wins, 3 top 5's, and 4 top 10's, while finishing 41st in the BGN final points standings~

                                                     Dale Jarrett #32 White Rain Ford~
Dale Jarrett #32 White Rain Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN Ned Gillette
                                                               Click pics to enlarge~
Dale Jarrett #32 White Rain Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN Ned Gillette

                 Added bonus: Very bad Photoshop custom I did on Jarrett's #32 Nestle Crunch car~
Dale Jarrett #32 Crunch Busch BGN Racing Champions 1/64 Custom NASCAR diecast blog


    Although I do like this car's paint scheme, I have several problems to address here~ The first one being the big tires~ I can't stand them~ I despised them on the Premier cars, and I despise them on these regular issue cars even more~ I wish they would have left the smaller tires on these regular release cars, and left the fat tires on the rich kid Premier cars~ Big tires is the main, and basically only reason I detest Matchbox/White Rose cars~ I have some in my collection, but dang.. those tires are just hideous~

    Another issue I have with the later RC releases, is the yellow border around the cards, and the black sticker on the stand~ I wish they would have left the cards alone, and kept the white border, as well as the silver sticker on the stands~  I was pleased when RC started making more BGN cars, I gotta give them credit on that~ One of my personal favorite BGN schemes is Dennis Setzer's #43 Lance car~

    For what it is, and the year it came out, I still enjoy this car, and I'd give it a C+ on the Racing Champions quality scale~ It could be a B- if it wasn't for that paint smudge, and the card kinda looks corny~ I never was much of a Ford fan, and Dale Jarrett was one of my most despised drivers, especially when he went over to drive for that prick Robert Yates.. but I can still enjoy the RC cars for what they are, a reminder of the past, a glimpse back into NASCAR history~

   The bonus car is of his #32 Nestle Crunch Pontiac, Photoshopped onto a Rob Moroso #20 Oldsmobile body~  I did a bad job on it, and it took forever, so I just decided to add it to this post instead of making the other picture I'd need to make a post of its own~ I would have loved to have a real version of this car~ It was one of my favorite BGN schemes~ Below I have added some videos from Dale Jarrett's BGN career~ Thanks to everyone that stops by the blog,  and goodnight Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are~ :)

                                              1998 BGN Bristol Night Race restart/finish~

                                           1998 BGN Bristol spring race Jarrett interview~

                                         1997 Gargoyles 300 highlights - Jarrett interview~

                                                     Shane Hmiel flips off Dale Jarrett~

                               

Monday, October 26, 2015

Andy Belmont #59 FDP Brakes Ford

    Andy Belmont's NASCAR Cup career spanned 9 seasons, in which he made 12 starts in the series~ He failed to qualify for 20 other Cup races~ He qualified for 8 races in 1992 while running for Rookie of the Year, with 7 of those races being ran with sponsorship from FDP Brakes, driving Pat Rissi's #59 Ford~ In today's post, I'll be looking back on his time in the FDP car~

    Belmont's first career race came in 1989, when he ran the Peak Performance 500 @ Dover in which he finished 29th~ He also ran one race in 1991, the Peak AntiFreeze 500, where he started and finished in last place~ In 1992, Belmont ran for Rookie of the Year honors~ He started the season off with sponsorship from Slick 50, and failed to qualify for the Daytona 500~ Belmont made the 2nd race of the season, the GM Goodwrench 500, qualifying 39th in the 40 car field, and finishing 38th~

    Andy then failed to qualify for the Pontiac Excitement 400 @ Richmond, and lost his Slick 50 sponsorship~ He wouldn't regain sponsorship to continue racing until the 11th race of the season, the Budweiser 500 @ Dover, where he qualified 35th in the newly sponsored #59 FDP Brakes Ford~ His first race with the team only lasted 59 laps before the engine let go~

                                      Andy Belmont in front of the #59 FDP Brakes Ford~
Andy Belmont #59 FDP Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN


     Belmont's next race came in the Champion Spark Plug 500 @ Pocono, where he again blew an engine, this time on lap 3, ending his day~ He raced again the following week in the Miller Genuine Draft 400 @ Michigan, where he finished 34th~ The following race was the Pepsi 400 @ Daytona, and Belmont nearly cracked into the top 30 for the first time in his career, with a 31st place finish~ At Pocono the following week, for the Miller Genuine Draft 500, Belmont posted his career best finish, with a 28th place finish~ This was also the first, and only time he ever got a top 30 finish~

    Following the Pocono race, the next race up was @ Talladega, for the DieHard 500, where Belmont finished 39th in the 40 car field, again due to a blown engine~ Andy failed to qualify for the Champion Spark Plug 400 @ Michigan 2 weeks later~ His final race in the FDP Brakes sponsored car came in the 21st race of the season, the Mountain Dew Southern 500 @ Darlington~ He started the race in 35th, and wound up 32nd in the 38 car field~ Although he only ran 8 races during the season, Belmont finished runner up for Rookie of the Year honors to Jimmy Hensley~

                                                   Andy Belmont #59 FDP Brakes Ford~
Andy Belmont #59 FDP Brakes Ford Racing Champions 1/64 die-cast NASCAR blog metal arrester
                                                               Click pics to enlarge~
Andy Belmont #59 FDP Brakes Ford Racing Champions 1/64 die-cast NASCAR blog metal arrester


    Andy's car was the first Racing Champions car issued with the new Ford body, and I must say, I like this body style much better than the previous Ford body~ I first got this car in the hauler set, the one that comes with the car~ I had seen it before in pictures, and really thought it looked amazing~ In person, it looks even more amazing!~ I think they could have used a better pic for the card, though~ Andy looks like he's just at a picnic, and someone came over and said "Hey Andy", and he looked up at them taking his pic real fast~ haha~

    The quality of the new Ford body is top notch, along with the bright blue and pink paint~ The checkerboard pattern on the sides and down the hood are pure eye candy~ As you read above, ol' Andy didn't have the greatest Cup career.. but danged if he doesn't have one of the nicest looking Racing Champions cars ever made!~ Add in the fact that they used the silver rims, and it's a total A+ all the way off the scale of the Racing Champions quality meter~

    Another cool bit of Belmont history.. he was the last guy to drive a Pontiac in the Cup series, when he did so in the 2004 Nextel Open~ In 2012, Belmont sold his ARCA series team, and moved to Pennsylvania to help run a family business~ Two of his three sons work with him to run the business on a daily basis~ Thanks for stopping by the blog, it's raining here the next 2 days, so I may get a few extra posts in while I can~ Below are a couple videos featuring Andy.. I couldn't find much, but what I could find is all here~ :)

                                           Andy Belmont ARCA crash - 1995 Daytona 200~

                                     Andy's car on fire in 1986~ Bad attempt to extinguish it~

                                            2005 Hantz Group 200 - Andy Belmont crash~

                                            Tim Wilson song for the heck of it~ RIP Tim~


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ricky Rudd #5 Tide Chevrolet

    When I think of drivers who should have won a championship, Ricky Rudd always comes to mind~ Had Rudd stayed in the #5 car with Hendrick, I believe he would have won at least one~ 2 seasons after Rudd left the #5 car, Terry Labonte won the championship in it, while Rudd struggled with his own team~ Today though, I'll be looking back at his time in the #5 Tide ride~

    Ricky signed with Rick Hendrick in 1990, after spending the previous 2 years driving for Kenny Bernstein's #26 Quaker State team~ His first race in the Tide car came in the 1991 Daytona 500, where he qualified well, with a 9th place starting spot, and finished in the same position~ In the next race, the Pontiac Excitement 400 @ Richmond, Rudd qualified 4th, and finished 2nd, leading 154 laps~

                                              Rudd in the #5 Tide car passing Brett Bodine~
Ricky Rudd #5 Tide Rick Hendrick 1991 1992 1993 Darrell Waltrip

     In his 5th race with new sponsor Tide, Rudd won the TranSouth 500 @ Darlington, after starting in 13th~ After this race, Rudd became the points leader, and remained there until the end of the Winston 500 @ Talladega, where he finished 13th~ Ricky finished the season 2nd in points, his career best, picking up 1 pole, 1 win,  9 top 5's, and 17 top 10's~ This was also the season Rudd was wrongly penalized by NASCAR after the Sears Point race in which he spun Davey Allison to take the lead, and pick up the win~ After the race, NASCAR penalized Rudd, and gave Allison the win, infuriating Rudd~

    Rudd's 1992 season started off disastrous, with a 40th place finish in the Daytona 500 after suffering engine problems on lap 79~ He picked up his first top 10 five races into the season in the TansSouth 500 @ Darlington~ He again only claimed one victory during the season, picking up the lone win in the Peak Antifreeze 500 @ Dover in the 23rd race of the year~  He finished 1992 with 1 pole, 1 win, 9top 5's, and 18 top 10's, finishing 7th in the final points standings~

                                                     Ricky Rudd wins @ Dover 1992~
    In his 5th race with new sponsor Tide, Rudd won the TranSouth 500 @ Darlington, after starting in 13th~ After this race, Rudd became the points leader, and remained there until the end of the Winston 500 @ Talladega, where he finished 13th~ Ricky finished the season 2nd in points, his career best, picking up 1 pole, 1 win,  9 top 5's, and 17 top 10's~ This was also the season Rudd was wrongly penalized by NASCAR after the Sears Point race in which he spun Davey Allison to take the lead, and pick up the win~ After the race, NASCAR penalized Rudd, and gave Allison the win, infuriating Rudd~


    Although Ricky's time in the #5 Tide car was consistent, 1993 proved to be his worst year with the team~ Rudd again won only 1 race, the Miller Genuine Draft 400 @ Michigan~ He dropped to 10th in the final points standings, having netted 0 poles, 1 win, 9 top 5's, and 14 top 10's~ At season's end, Rudd announced he would form his own team for the 1994 season, and would bring his Tide sponsorship with him~

                                                         Ricky Rudd #5 Tide Chevrolet~
Ricky Rudd #5 Tide Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog age Rick Hendrick Darrell Waltrip
                                                             Click pics to enlarge~
Ricky Rudd #5 Tide Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog age Rick Hendrick Darrell Waltrip

    I personally always felt like the Tide paint scheme was one of the best of all time~ It was instantly recognizable on the track, no matter where it was running~ With that being said, I feel like Racing Champions missed the mark a little bit with this car~

    The orange paint used for the car seemed sun faded even when brand new, like it needed to be brighter~ Also, the yellow and the blue on the side of the car tends to crack up, leaving tiny cracks all throughout the paint~ I still enjoy the car, and other than that, they did a decent job with it~ I give it a C+ on the Racing Champions quality scale~

    Ricky Rudd ran a total of 906 races during his 32 year career~ He never won more than 2 races in a season, but always seemed to be up there contending for the win week in, and week out~ He was a quiet, respectable racer, and one the NASCAR world will truly miss watching on the track~ Below, I have added some videos based on his career, and one revisiting the infamous "stolen" race win~ Thanks for stopping by the blog!~ :)

                                                     NASCAR steals Rudd's win away~

                                                  1989 Holly Farms 400 - Final laps~

                                                                  900th start tribute~

                                                       All of Ricky Rudd's Cup wins~