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Friday, November 27, 2015

Joe Nemechek #87 Texas Pete Sauces Chevrolet

    Joe Nemechek, despite being very quiet personality wise, and slightly ugly, has managed to continue racing in the major ranks for over 25 years~ Joe is a decent driver, but his stats say otherwise, due to his recent years with start and park teams~ Throughout his career, minus the Hendrick ride he had in Cup for 1 season, Nemechek drover for sub-par teams~ He did manage to win 4 races in the Cup series, but today, I'm gonna be looking back to his time in the #87 Texas Pete Sauces Chevrolet he won the BGN series championship with in 1992~

    At the age of 28, Nemechek started the 1992 BGN season off with newly acquired sponsor, Texas Pete Sauces, fielding his own #87 Chevrolet~ He qualified on the outside of row 1 for the Goody's 300 @ Daytona, but was involved in a fiery crash on lap 75, resulting in a 31st place finish~ Nemechek was pulled out of the burning car by Todd Bodine and Tom Peck, and probably would have died if not for them~ He raced the next 6 weeks with severe burns on his back~

    His first top 5 in the car would come in the third race of the season, the Hardee's 200 @ Richmond, where he rolled off from the 4th spot, and finished in 5th~ His next top 5 came in the Miller 200 @ Martinsville, where he started 13th, led for 58 laps, and finished 2nd to Kenny Wallace~

                                               Joe Nemechek #87 Texas Pete promo card~

    Nemechek's next top 5 came in one of the craziest races I can recall, and for some reason, they were calling this race the Mountain Dew 500 on tv, but it was a 300 lap event at Hickory~ The race was a total mess from the very start, as the owners of the track paved turns 3 and 4 the day before the race~ Chunks of the track were coming up all day, resulting in multiple red flags, along with 26 cautions~ Nemechek held on to finish in 4th place, and series veteran Tommy Houston won the race~

    Joe scored another top 5 in the very next race, the Nestle 300 @ Lanier, where he started in 7th, and finished 5th~ He finished 5th again in the 13th race of the season, the Goodwrench 200 @ Dover~ In the Roses Stores 300 @ Rougemont, Nemechek qualified 15th, but charged to the front, leading 4 laps, and finishing 2nd to race winner, Robert Pressley~

    Joe proved he could run well on all types of tracks with a 3rd place qualifying effort in the Lay's 150 @ Watkins Glen~ He stayed up front all day long, and though he didn't lead a lap, he finished in 4th place in the event~ He backed that strong run up the following week in the X-1R Firecracker 200 @ Volusia County, with another 4th place finish~ Nemechek picked up his first career BGN victory in the Kroger 200 @ IRP, with his Mom cheering him on in the pits~ He led for 58 of the 200 laps~

                                        Joe passing Dale Earnhardt for the win @ Loudon~
Joe Nemechek #87 Texas Pete Dale Earnhardt #3 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN win

    Joe followed up his win @ IRP with his first career BGN pole in the aptly titled Texas Pete 300 @ Rougemont~ He led for 59 laps, but finished 2nd to race winner, Jimmy Spencer~ Nemechek pulled the car into victory lane for the 2nd, and final time of the season in the New England Chevy Dealers 250 @ Loudon, where he qualified 10th, and led 43 laps, beating out the legendary Dale Earnhardt on the final lap for the win~ At this time, Nemechek had been the points leader for the BGN series, but a 26th place finish in the Gatorade 200 @ Darlington, dropped him back to 2nd place, 8 points behind Todd Bodine~

     Nemechek regained the top spot in the following race with a 5th place finish, while Bodine finished in 7th, giving Nemechek a 1 point advantage~ However, in the SplitFire 200 @ Dover, Nemechek finished 15th, while Bodine finished 13th, putting Nemechek 5 points behind Bodine~ Bodine then crashed out of the All Pro 300 @ Charlotte, resulting in a 37th place finish, while Nemechek finished 11th~ 

    Nemechek regained the points lead, and never looked back the rest of the season~ In the Winston Classic @ Martinsville, Nemechek picked up his final top 5 in the Texas Pete car, finishing 5th~ He finished 6th in the final event of the season, winning the championship by 3 points over Bobby Labonte~ 

                                         Joe Nemechek #87 Texas Pete Sauces Chevrolet~

Joe Nemechek #87 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR die-cast blog Texas Pete BGN Lozitos
                                                                Click pics to enlarge~
Joe Nemechek #87 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR die-cast blog Texas Pete BGN Lozitos

    This is actually one of the harder Racing Champions cars to find out in the wild, and as with many of the cars I post, one of my favorites~ For an earlier RC car, this one has a lot of stuff on it~ It's plastered from end to end with logo's and contingencies, and I find that very appealing~ The bright mustard yellow, along with the white stripe down the middle and along the sides of the car, really clash well with the red number and Texas Pete logos~ I always loved the little lasso man Texas Pete has on the bottle, so I was happy to see him on a car~ 

    Lozito's Pharmacy was a secondary sponsor on the car to some degree, for the entire season~ This specific car didn't get the best tires or rims, as you can see in the pics above, the lettering is off on the tires, and the yellow on the rims was put on horribly~ Other than that minor flaw, the car and card are both amazing~ The card reminds me of the Butch Miller Food Country card, with Joe smiling in some shop~ I give this car an A- on the Racing Champions quality scale, and it would easily be an A+ if not for the minor flaws mentioned on this specific car~ I have another in the package still that has perfect tires and rims, so it would be an A+ version~ 

    As I said earlier, Nemechek was a decent driver in the sport, but I do think he never got to show what he was fully capable of in the Cup series~ He drove turds to victory lane.. that says something right there about how good he is~ He just was too quiet, never showed any personality, and was too ugly for major sponsorship dollars~ That's one thing I can't stand about NASCAR these days~ You have to look like a queer boy, and have a rich Dad who coddles you, to be able to be a NASCAR driver, and it makes me want to puke~

    Had Joe been a racer in the 70's, or even the 80's, he wouldn't have had that "image" problem, and that's a shame~ Drivers used to look like men, because they WERE men, and that day is done and gone~ That's what I love about the old Racing Champions cars~ I can sit around and look at all the real men that used to drive in the sport, and get a little bit of happiness knowing what it used to be~ That's why I do this blog, for people like me who remember, or want to remember the good times of NASCAR~ The days when we were younger, and our sport was bright, vibrant, and full of life~ Below are some clips on Joe's career, including all his Cup wins~ Thanks for stopping by the blog!~ 85 days till Daytona!~ :D

                                              Joe's fiery Daytona crash~ No sound~  

                                             Joe Nemechek Championship promo~ 

                                           Joe's first BGN win~ 1992 Kroger 200~ 

                                              All of Joe Nemechek's Cup wins~

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