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Friday, June 17, 2016

Chuck Bown #63 Nescafe/Nestea Pontiac

    I've wanted to do a post on Chuck Bown for a long time, and I finally got a double the other day... so here we go~ As the title says, we're gonna be looking back on his time in the #63 Nescafe/Nestea Pontiac, which he ran from 1989, until the end of the 1993 season~

    Bown ran his first full season in the BGN series in 1989, with newly acquired sponsorship from Nescafe/Nestea~ He had an impressive season, picking up a couple of poles (Big Star/Nestle 200 @ Lanier, and the Coors 200 @ South Boston), as well as 5 top 5's, and 12 top 10's in the 29 race schedule~ He finished the season in 9th place in the points standings~

    I don't know if Bown had any clue what was about to unfold for the 1990 BGN season.. but he sure had a breakthrough season~ After starting the season off with a bang (in a bad way) @ Daytona, where he was involved in a crash towards the end of the race, resulting in a 21st place finish... Bown "bownced" back the following week, picking up a top 10 @ Richmond in the Pontiac 200, finishing in 6th place~

                                                    Chuck Bown having a coffee break~
Racing Champions Chuck Bown 1/64 Nescafe

    Chuck picked up his first pole of the season @ Hickory, in the Mountain Dew 400~ He would finish 3rd in the race, after leading 42 laps~ A couple races later, in the U-Can-Rent 200 @ Lanier, Bown put on one heck of a show for the crowd, leading all 200 laps, in dominant fashion, too... as he lapped all but 2 other drivers in his first win with the Nescafe sponsor, and his first BGN win since the 1986 Oxford 250 @ Oxford~

    Bown never cooled off from the roasting @ Lanier, and went on to win the very next race, the Roses Stores 200 @ South Boston, leaving only 9 cars on the lead lap~ He finished 3rd the following race, the Pontiac Excitement 300 @ Nazareth.. and won again the race after that, in the Granger Select 200 @ Hickory~

    Two races later, in the Roses Stores 200 @ Rougemont, Bown found himself in victory lane once  again~ Bown won 2 more times during the 1990 season (Oxford, Rougemont), and went on to become the 1990 BGN series Champion, beating runner-up Jimmy Hensley by 200 points~ During the season, Bown amazingly accumulated 6 wins, 13 top 5's, and 18 top 10's.. while leading 1,224 laps.. all career highs~

                          Chuck Bown celebrates winning the 1990 BGN Series Championship~

    After an off season of basking in the glory of becoming a BGN series champion, Bown found himself on the defensive for the start of the 1991 season, as he defended his championship, and set out to do it all again~ This proved to be a difficult task.. a task in which Bown would find himself defeated, although not before he put up a fight~

    By all means, Bown had a terrific season.. picking up 4 poles, 3 wins (Volusia County, Myrtle Beach, and Dublin), 9 top 5's, and 14 top 10's.. but he also had 3 finishes of 30th or worse, and ended the season 4th in the points standings, behind champion Bobby Labonte, Kenny Wallace, and Robert Pressley~ This, in my opinion, was Bown's last decent season as far on track performance goes~

                                                Chuck Bown custom poster card I made~
Racing Champions Nestea Classic 1990 BGN Champion Chuck Bown Coffee Vintage

    The 1992 season was Bown's worst with the Nescafe sponsor.. failing to win a single race, or even a pole~ He did manage to score 5 top 5's, and 12 top 10's.. but ol' Chuck just wasn't competitive at all.. only leading 161 laps by the end of the season, and finishing 11th in the points standings~

    In his final season in the Nescafe car, Chuck had a few "lasts".. picking up his final pole (Autolite 250 @ Richmond), his final win (Advance Auto Parts 500 @ Martinsville), and his final top 5 of his career (The Pantry 300 @ Hickory)~ He finished the season with 1 pole, 1 win, 5 top 5's, and 13 top 10's, and was 4th in the final points standings~

    Chuck left the BGN series after the 1993 season, to race in the Cup Series for Bobby Allison~ He picked up his only Cup Series pole in the Food City 500 @ Bristol, and finished 7th in the Hanes 500 @ Martinsville~  He ended up running only the first 13 races of the season, due to a bad crash @ Pocono, in the UAW-GM Teamwork 500 @ Pocono~

    Bown received head injuries in the crash, and was out for the rest of the season~ Although he continued to race in the BGN series, as well as others.. he never fully regained his on track abilities~ This race was also the first and only Winston Cup start for Brad Keselowski's father, Bob~

                                               Chuck Bown #63 Nescafe/Nestea Pontiac~
Racing Champions 1/64 Chuck Bown Nescafe Nestea Coffee NASCAR BGN Blog

                                                           Click pics to enlarge~
Racing Champions 1/64 Chuck Bown Nescafe Nestea Coffee NASCAR BGN Blog

     This car was a staple in the BGN series during the early 1990's.. and I'm so glad they made a die-cast of it~ It's pretty much exactly as he ran on the track~ One of my favorite things about it is the Nestea logo on the back~ A little green with red and white.. perfect!~ The card is also a lot nicer than most of the Racing Champions cards from back then~ It's got a nice gloss to it.. not too much, just right~ I also like the added Nescafe/Nestea Racing logo on the card, and how they put Bown in a dark setting for the background~

    All in all, this is easily one of my top 25 favorite Racing Champions cars~ It's got a lot of coolness packed into such a tiny little car~ I had a hard time finding material on Bown to do this blog.. I guess no one cares about him anymore~ I had to make a custom picture of him just to have enough pictures for the amount of words I was typing~ haha~ Below is what I could scrape up video wise on him~ Thanks for visiting the blog, and until next time..  stay alive~ :)

                                        Chuck Bown and Bobby Dotter crash @ Dover 1992~

                                      Bown involved in HUGE crash @ 1994 Winston Open~

                                                   Season ending crash @ Pocono 1994~

                                         1994 Food City 500~ Entire race~ Bown on pole~

2 comments:

  1. Nationally, Chuck Bown's Nestea Pontiac was how I first remembered him and how Pontiac would have nearly overtook the sport, which unfortunately, wasn't. Where BGN Cars in the Early 1990s harder to come by than Cup Cars?

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    1. I don't think they were harder to come by, but they did make a lot of promo BGN cars that were a little harder to obtain~ 1992 was the first year Racing Champions made all of the full time BGN drivers' cars~

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