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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Brad Teague #38 Bonfire Restaurant Oldsmobile

    Well, I'm gonna hope y'all aren't tired of hearing about Brad Teague, and I'm just gonna do another "fantasy" car post on his #38 Bonfire Oldsmobile that he ran in the 1991 Goody's 300~ To be honest, I have an SCM kit version of this car, and just assumed Brad had drove it at least a handful of times~ By the time I finished the pictures, and started doing some research.. it was too late for me to know he only ran the car once~ lol~ Oh well.. we'll go with it~

    Brad was always known as a "ladies man" to those who knew him best~ He just loved staying up late, and partying with women all night long.. even if he had a race the next day~ This is basically what led to the demise of his Cup ride with Bob Clark's #31 team, probably the most competitive Cup ride he ever had.. and that isn't saying much~

    Teague was one of the most solid racers I'd ever seen.. but he just couldn't keep his mind off of women long enough to get the real job done~ Had he drove the car the way I know he could have, he would have been in the Cup series for much longer than he was~ He did win a BGN series race with the Henderson Motorsports team back in 1987.. but Teague never ran with a competitive Cup team.. he basically threw his 1 shot out the window, and I'm sad about that~

                                   Teague stands beside the #38 car before the Goody's 300~
Brad Teague #38 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog weiss 1991 bgn daytona
                                                     Photo courtesy of Tim Weiss~

    By the start of the 1991 season, Teague found himself without a ride, after being dumped by Henderson Motorsports the season before~ He got in touch with his good friend Tim Weiss, and the 2 formed Teague-Weiss Racing~ They picked up sponsorship from the Bonfire Restaurant, located in Bristol, Tennessee, and CJR Products~

   Judging by the color of the car, I think this car was purchased from Henderson Motorsports.. a leftover from the U-Can-Rent car, from the season before~ I'm not saying that for certain, it's just my theory, and it makes sense~ The newly formed team arrived at Daytona with high spirits.. Brad had always been a decent qualifier, for the equipment he had available~

   Back during this time, NASCAR was in its prime, and drivers from all over the nation flocked to Daytona for a chance to make the biggest race of the season~ It wasn't odd to have 50 or more drivers trying for a chance to make the field, at any given track~ In this particular event, there were 58 drivers attempting to make the 43 car field~ Would my hero, Brad Teague make the field?~ We shall find out, my friends~ :)

                                My very cherished Teague-Weiss hat, signed by the man himself~
Brad Teague #38 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog weiss 1991 bgn daytona

    At the time of this race, I was a 7 year old, almost 8.. and I had so much anger towards the Food Country team for firing Teague after his brief stint in the #75 U-Can-Rent car~ This man was my hero.. I saw him in the shop working on these cars on a regular basis~ So the #75 Food Country car was my sworn enemy at the time, and I was very vocal about it to team owner, Charlie Henderson~ He obviously didn't care what a little kid had to say, though Teague would return to the Henderson Motorsports team several times during his career after this season~

   Well it was qualifying day, and good ol' Brad did his job, qualifying 28th in the 43 car field~ David Green won the pole in his #8 TIC Financial Oldsmobile, his first career BGN series pole... and several well known drivers failed to make the race, including Jeff Gordon, Phil Parsons, Bobby Labonte, a very young Steve Park, Jeff Green, etc.~ But I'll always remember my favorite part about that qualifying session... our old pals in the #75 Food Country Oldsmobile (being driven at this time by Ward Burton), failed to make the field!~

   Being a young kid, who had just had your little heart crushed... this was like a dream come true~ The first hero I'd ever had in my life had just made the race, and the team that tossed him away failed with their fancy schmancy "hired gun" Ward Burton~ This would also mark a decline in the Henderson Motorsports team (with the exception of Butch Miller's time in the car) that would continue until their departure from the BGN series~

                                       My equally cherished Bonfire Racing hat, also signed~
Brad Teague #38 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog weiss 1991 bgn daytona

     During the start of the race, Bobby Labonte, who was driving the #94 Penrose/Sunoco Oldsmobile, (which was supposed to be the #94 Sunoco Oldsmobile, driven by his brother, Terry... because he was trying to win the 1991 BGN series championship.. and he did) caused a 13 car crash, which took out 9 cars, including Labonte~

     Pole sitter David Green led the first 11 laps, but Dale Earnhardt dominated the event, leading 91 laps of the 120 lap race~ I would like to mention, because he hardly ever gets mentioned.. that Tom Peck picked up an impressive top 10, with a 6th place finish~ This was also the first career BGN start for Tracy Leslie, and the iconic #72 Detroit Gasket car~

     Sadly, Brad's car didn't run well in the race~ And if my theory that he bought the car from Henderson Motorsports as a leftover is correct, that makes perfect sense~ He lasted all of 37 laps before handling issues forced him out of the event~ Thanks to two large crashes though, he was still able to finish in 26th place~ The team won $3,500, while Steven Grissom, who finished 25, was awarded $8,896.. and Jimmy Hensley, who finished 39th.. was awarded $6,146~

    That never made sense to me.. a smaller team finishes better than a well known team, and gets rewarded less money for their effort~ I know it's all politics, but politics piss me off.. and it angers me that a lower tier team gets awarded less money, even if they finish higher than the higher tier team~ Anyway.. this was the only time the team ever ran a BGN race~ I don't think Weiss co-owned another BGN team, but his name isn't even listed on RacingReference as ever being an owner at all.. although I know he was, for at least this one race~

                                                        Teague's lone Cup start of 1991~
Brad Teague #38 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog weiss 1991 Cup Charlotte
                                                     Photo courtesy of Ed McDonald

    Oddly, that would be Teague's only BGN start of the 1991 season~ He also ran one Cup race during 1991, in the Mello Yello 500, driving Ralph Ball's #99 Kellogg's Corn Flakes Chevrolet~ The above picture was the only one I could find of the car~ Brad would make 2 more Cup starts for Ball, one in 1992 (Pepsi 400 - Started 39th - Finished 29th),  and the last in 1993 at Darlington, for the Mountain Dew Southern 500, where he started, and finished in 38th place~

    The day Brad Teague retired from racing was a sad day for me~ It was the end of my childhood hero.. my first hero.. and it hurt me to say goodbye to him~ I was proud of him for finishing in 26th place in a Carl Long car~ That was amazing for that car.. I think the best finish of their season~ Things change, people get older.. but some people, even though it may not be a lot... dream of the days gone by, and live in the moments passed~ I'm okay with living in the past.. I miss these guys.. their grit.. their personality.. I just miss real men racing real cars~

                                           Brad Teague #38 Bonfire Restaurant Oldsmobile~
Brad Teague #38 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog weiss 1991 bgn daytona
                                                               Click pics to enlarge~
Brad Teague #38 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog weiss 1991 bgn daytona
                                          The SCM 1/64 version of the car how it was sold~
Brad Teague #38 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog weiss 1991 bgn daytona

   Well, I'll start off by saying that my Photoshopped version doesn't really look like the real version of the car~ The decals I used were from a 1/64 kit car, that was made by SCM, aka "Stock Car Miniatures"~ The real car didn't say "Model & Hobby World", or "White's Fresh Foods", which was a local grocery store in my part of the woods~ But for some reason, that's what the SCM decals were~

    I got lazy because it took a long time to make the second picture (which I made first), that I just cut it out, and shaped it into the first picture.. so it looks dumb in the first picture.. but oh well, at least it looks good in the second picture~ The last picture is what the SCM verison of the car looks like~ I'm not good at putting decals on, so I have a friend who is gonna help me with it.. but he's covered up with stuff at the moment~ Whenever I send it to him, and he finishes it.. I'll post it on this post, so just check back every now and then~

   This post was a lot of fun for me, and it took me all day to get it done.. well, it's 11:36 PM.. and I'm still working on it~ lol~ It was hard to find pics, so I just found the one, really.. and it took a while to make the car in Photoshop~ That's why I rushed with the car on the stand~ My first born son is gonna be born tomorrow morning.. and I wanted to get this done before then~ lol~ I'm excited for the morning.. I wanna finally hold my son~ I'm gonna tell him about Brad Teague when he gets older.. and he'll carry on the memories after I'm long gone~

   I love this car, even though it isn't really accurate.. and it wasn't ever really made by Racing Champions~ It was nice to look back on that day, and that time period of my life.. I enjoyed making this car~ I'm gonna give it an A- on the Racing Champions quality scale, because I like the U-Can-Rent car better.. but this is still a cool looking car~ Below I've posted some random NASCAR clips, as there were no clips of the 1991 Goody's 300, or the 1991 Mello Yello 500~ Thanks for stopping by the blog, and please share via Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media site~ :)

                                                              Crazy pit rules of 1991~

                                                      1991 All-Star Race highlights~

                        1991 NASCAR commercial featuring Teague in the #75 U-Can Rent car~

                                                        1991 Richmond 400 finish~
                                                               

Friday, July 29, 2016

Greg Sacks #18 Ultra Slim Fast Chevrolet



    Welcome back to the NASCAR Racing Champions diecast blog~ The car I'm gonna be discussing today is a very controversial topic in the world of Racing Champions cars~ Yes, I'm talking about the Greg Sacks #18 Slim Fast Chevrolet, from the 1990 series~ As I first got back into collecting R.C. cars, I found pictures of a car I'd never seen before.. the #18 Slim Fast car~ I was blown away that I had never seen or heard of this car before~ We'll get into that a bit later, but first.. let's find out the history of the real car~

    After being let go from his driving duties of Tom Winkle's #48 Dinner Bell Pontiac following the conclusion of the 1989 Cup season, Sacks found himself without a ride for the start of the upcoming 1990 season~ This worked out to be a good thing however, as Sacks was picked up to drive a car used in scenes of the upcoming movie "Days of Thunder"~ He failed to make the field in the Motorcraft Quality Parts 500 @ Atlanta, driving the #46 Superflo Chevrolet, and also drove the #46 City Chevy in the TranSouth 500 @ Darlington, where he finished in 37th place~

                                                     Sacks on track in the Slim Fast car~
Greg Sacks #18 Slim Fast Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Jay Fogleman

    Greg's first race in the Slim Fast car came in the Winston 500 @ Talladega, and he dang near won the thing, finishing 2nd to Dale Earnhardt, after leading 41 of the 188 laps~ The following week was another important event, the Coca-Cola 600 @ Charlotte, and while he had a poor qualifying effort (28th), he was able to finish in 14th place~ He sat out the next 2 events, and next race in the Miller Genuine Draft 500 @ Pocono~ He had another great showing, with a 5th place qualifying effort, and a 7th place finish, for his 2nd top 10 of the season~

    As we all know, all good things must come to an end.. and in the Miller Genuine Draft 400 @ Michigan, Sacks was sacked  to a 26th place finish, after starting in 32nd place~ He did bounce back, albeit short lived.. in the Pepsi 400 @ Daytona, where he sat on the pole~ However, he had trouble getting up to speed at the start of the race, was bounced around like a pin ball by Richard Petty, and Derrike Cope, and finally crashed out right after he had completed the first lap of the race~ The crash collected over half of the field, and Sacks finished in 37th place~

                                                 Greg Sacks #18 Slim Fast promo card~
Greg Sacks #18 Slim Fast Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Jay Fogleman

    He qualifed 3rd in the AC Spark Plug 500, but was caught up in a crash on lap 137, and finished 33rd~ He finished 18th in the DieHard 500, in his return to Talladega, and 40th in the Budweiser at the Glen @ Watkins Glen~  He then subbed in 3 races for Darrell Waltrip, who had been seriously injured in a practice crash for the Pepsi 400~ In his first race in the car, the Champions Spark Plug 400 @ Michigan, Sacks started 8th, and finished runner up to Mark Martin~

    Sacks was back in the Slim Fast car for the Miller Genuine Draft 400 @ Richmond, where he started 29th, and finished 23rd~ He finished 21st in the Peak AntiFreeze 500 @ Dover, after qualifying in the 29th position~ He was forced by Rick Hendrick to withdraw from the Mello Yello 500 @ Charlotte, due to the recent DUI death of Rob Moroso~ Sacks himself had recently received a DUI, and Rick felt it necessary for Sacks to sit out a race for some reason~

    Greg's final race in the Slim Fast car came in the Checker 500 @ Phoenix, where he started 6th, and finished 12th~ Slim Fast would leave the sport after this race, and Sacks would run his last race for the Hendrick team in the Atlanta Journal 500, driving the #18 Realfruit Refresher Chevrolet~ He rolled off 19th, and ended his time with the team on a good note, with a 10th place finish~

                                                     Custom Racing Champions card~
Greg Sacks #18 Slim Fast Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Jay Fogleman

    When I first found out about this car, I scoured the internet in search of it~ Every time I found a picture of it, it was on some shady website, so I started to believe that perhaps this car was just a myth, or a well made custom~ Then one day, a friend of mine posted a picture of one he had just bought, and I started to second guess my original conclusion~

    What I kept coming back to however, was the fact that the only times I ever got to see a picture of the car, it had a Jay Fogleman card with it, instead of Sacks.. and the one my friend showed me had a card that wasn't even a Racing Champions card~ I questioned him about this, and about a week or so later, he posted a new picture of the car, with a Fogleman card in place of the previous one~

    At this point, I didn't know what to think~ I kept feeling as if I was being duped, and this was just a custom made car that someone was making, and charging a high price for~ That all changed in January of 2017, when I finally was able to get my hands on one~ The car is legit, and I had to apologize to my friend for second guessing him~

                                             Greg Sacks #18 Ultra Slim Fast Chevrolet~
Greg Sacks #18 Slim Fast Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Jay Fogleman
                                                              Click pics to enlarge~
Greg Sacks #18 Slim Fast Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Jay Fogleman

    Well, here she is in all of her glory~ The mysterious Greg Sacks #18 Ultra Slim Fast Chevrolet~ I must say, the hunt for this one is the true fun of it all, as the car is kind of underwhelming itself~ It's a nice looking car, but it's not beautiful.. just mysterious~ I'm extremely happy to have it in my collection, and also happy that I was able to confirm for myself, and others who currently are looking for the car, that it is a legit Racing Champions car~ 

   Now that I have found this car, and have it in my collection, I'll have to start looking for a new "holy grail" piece to add to my ever growing mass of Racing Champions diecasts~ I do have some cars in mind, but I'm gonna keep them private for now, as they're hard to come across, and I want as little competition as possible while I'm tracking them down~ Sorry, I know that's a bit rude of me, but you understand~

   The card in this photo is a custom card that I'm going to have made~ If anyone else has this car, and would like this custom card for it, you can purchase one from me for 5 bucks, free shipping~ I haven't had them made yet, but will have them by the end of February~ I give this car a B+ on the Racing Champions quality scale, and if it came with the Sacks card, it would be bumped up to an A- easily~

                                           **Bonus car** My Photoshop version of the car~
Greg Sacks #18 Slim Fast Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Jay Fogleman

    Here is the Photoshop version of the car, that I made before I owned the original~ As you can see, there are several things I got wrong with the car~ It's still not too bad of a job, considering I'm a novice Photoshopper~

    Thank you all for visiting the blog!~ Please share this post on social media, and click the "follow" button at the top of this page, on the right hand side~ Below are some videos featuring the Slim Fast car, as well as some other Sacks related videos~ Enjoy them, and I'll see ya' next time, here on the NASCAR Racing Champions 1/64 diecast blog!~

                                                  The Pepsi 400 wreckage w/ interviews~
    
                           1990 Busch Clash - Sacks in the #46 City Chevy Days of Thunder car~

                             Sacks relieving Jimmy Horton, who is subbing for Darrell Waltrip~

                                                 1990 Goody's 300 Daytona highlights~
                                                                 
                                                                   

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Morgan Shepherd #97 Texas Pete Sauces Ford

    Morgan Shepherd is the last man standing out of a slew of NASCAR stars, dating back to the good ol' days~ Sadly, he's also the last of his kind, as well~ As current drivers worry more and more about the aftereffects of a long career in the sport, causing some to retire much earlier than what we're accustomed to... Shepherd has got to be the last of the senior veteran drivers, marking the end of an era~ In today's post, I'm gonna be looking back on his time in the #97 Texas Pete Ford, a team owned by the man himself~

    Morgan's first time driving a Texas Pete sponsored car came in the 1988 BGN season, when he drove Hubert Hensley's #63 Texas Pete Chevrolet in the season finale "Winston Classic" @ Martinsville~ He started the race in 9th, and finished in 6th place~ This was also the only time Shepherd ever drove for Hensley, who had 11 wins during his 21 year tenure in the BGN series as an owner~

    His next race in a Texas Pete sponsored car came in the 1990 BGN season~ He drove 9 of those races for Mark Swaim, and 2 for his own #97 team~ The races he ran for Swaim was in the #9 car, except in the True Value Oxford 250 @ Oxford, when the car was renumbered to #18, due to Joe Bessey being in the #9 car~

   Back then, if a driver had your number, whoever qualified the lowest had to change their number for the race~  It most famously happened to Jeff Gordon, driving the #1 Baby Ruth car in the 1992 Budweiser 300 @ Loudon~ Gordon qualified 44th, in the 46 car field, so Busch North driver Tony Hirschman, who qualified 22nd, got the #1 for the race, while Gordon had to change his car to number 4~  

                                             Morgan Shepherd at Oxford in the #18 car~

    His first race in the #97 car came in the 1990 running of the All Pro 300 @ Charlotte, where he started dead last in the 40 car field, and finished in 36th after his engine expired~ He next drove it in the 1990 AC-Delco 200 @ Rockingham, and after qualifying 18th, drove the car home to his 3rd top 5 of the season, with a 3rd place finish~ Steve Grissom won the race in his #31 Big Mama Meat Snacks Oldsmobile, his 3rd win of the season~ 

   Shepherd ran 16 races in the 1991 BGN series, and drove all of them in his own #97 Texas Pete Ford~ The season started out pretty darn good, with Shepherd picking up top 10's in the first 2 events, with a 7th place showing in the season opener @ Daytona, and a 6th place finish in the Pontiac 200 @ Richmond~ It seemed like Morgan was going to have great success in the series that season, and then... disaster struck~

                                              Morgan Shepherd #97 Texas Pete hero card~
Morgan Shepherd Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN

    Morgan began to have a slew of bad luck, resulting in one of the poorest seasons I've ever seen~ He started 7th in the Pontiac 200 @ Darlington, but his engine blew, resulting in a 35th place finish~ His next race was in the Budweiser 250 @ Bristol, where he started 25th, and was involved in a crash on lap 45 which ended his day, finishing 31st~ In the Pontiac 200 (there were a ton of Pontiac 200's apparently.. haha) @ Nazareth, Morgan put the car 11th on the starting grid, but a blown engine regulated him a 35th place finish~ 

    He again qualified in the 11th spot for the Champions 300 @ Charlotte, but.. you guessed it... another blown engine knocked him out of competition, and he finished 30th~ In the Budweiser 200 @ Dover, he started in the 7th position, but handling issues ended his day on lap 74, and he came home in 28th place~

    He next ran in the Fay's 150 @ Watkins Glen, where he qualified in 5th place, but once again was foiled by that pesky engine, and finished 26th~ In the Budweiser 300 @ Loudon, ignition issues plagued his day, and he ended the day in 39th place~ He was involved in a crash in the Kroger 200 @ IRP, and came home 32nd~ The same goes for the Jay Johnson 250 @ Bristol, where a crash on lap 129 resulted in a 27th place finish~

                                                  Custom Racing Champions card~
Morgan Shepherd Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN

   I hate to continue being the bearer of bad news, but in the Gatorade 200 @ Darlington, ignition problems reared their ugly heads once more, and Morgan finished in 35th place~ He did however have 1 more shining moment in the season, with a 5th place finish in the Autolite 200 @ Richmond~ He even led a lap in the race~ In the All Pro 300 @ Charlotte, Shepherd qualified on the outside of the front row, but his engine blew on the 3rd lap of the race, and he finished in 41st place~

  He ran his final race in the #97 Texas Pete car @ Rockingham, in the AC-Delco 200, and started the race in 19th place~ You just know what happened, don't you?~ Yeah, that's right.. he blew an engine on lap 82, and finished the race in 36th spot~ That concluded his 1991 BGN season, as well as his tenure with sponsor Texas Pete, as they left at the end of the season~ In 16 races, he netted 1 top 5, and 3 top 10's, while leading 9 laps, and finishing 32nd in the final points standings~

                                           Morgan Shepherd #97 Texas Pete Sauces Ford~
Morgan Shepherd Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN
                                                              Click pics to enlarge~
Morgan Shepherd Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN

    This car was done by me in Photoshop, and isn't an actual Racing Champions car~ It does give you an idea of how cool it would look if they did make one, though~ The car never had red rims, but I thought it would look cooler, so I made them red~ I used the 1991 Sears set exclusive #91 Ford to make this one~ I'm not the best at Photoshop, but I think it looks decent, and I'm proud I was able to make it look as good as it does~ 

    Black and red are 2 of the best color combinations out there, in my opinion.. and this car really pops~ It was one of my favorites as a kid, and it's awesome to see it again in its current form~ I don't care that it's just a "fantasy" car, I still have to give it an A+ on the Racing Champions quality scale, because it's easily one of my favorite cars of all time~ 

   Morgan Shepherd continues to race in the BGN series (I know what it's really called) today, and although he operates on a shoestring budget, can still qualify the car pretty well~ I can almost guarantee that if he was in a decent car, he could still pick up top 20 finishes on a regular basis~ He a man who deserves respect, but rarely gets it in this day and age~ I'm very proud of him for all he has done, and continues to do for the sport~ Below are some clips from Morgan's career... enjoy them, and thank you all for stopping by the blog~ :)

                                                            All of Morgan's Cup wins~
 
                                                            
    Morgan being awesome and destroying Logano~   


Morgan Shepherd interview~


Top 10 unluckiest drivers - #10 Morgan Shepherd~

Monday, July 25, 2016

Ken Schrader #25 Kodiak Chevrolet

    Ken Schrader was always a favorite of mine, although he often times let me down on race day~ His main problem was he was too cautious with his car, and wouldn't ever go for the win in the way he should have~ I remember countless times where I thought he was going to win the race, only to be intimidated by someone else, who would steal the win away~ In today's post, I'm gonna be going back to his time in the #25 Kodiak Chevrolet, and looking at his time in his most successful NASCAR ride~

    After several winless seasons with long time Cup owner Junie Donlavey, Schrader found himself in a lucky position to start the 1988 Winston Cup season~ Veteran driver Tim Richmond was out of his ride, due to contracting the AIDS virus, and car owner Rick Hendrick pegged Schrader to drive his #25 Folger's car to replace the ailing Richmond~

    In his first race with the team, Schrader put the #25 Folger's car on the pole in the 1988 Daytona 500, and would finish in 6th place~ He also won his first Cup race this season, in the DieHard 500 @ Talladega~ He won again the following season, in the All Pro Auto Parts 50 @ Charlotte~

                                            Ken poses with the Kodiak car @ Daytona~
Ken Schrader #25 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Rick Hendrick

    His first time in the #25 Kodiak car came in the 1990 Daytona 500, where again, he put the car on the pole~ However, engine issues had him out of the race by lap 58, resulting in a 40th place showing~ He also won the pole in the Coca-Cola 600 @ Charlotte (finished 11th), and the AC Delco 500 @ Rockingham (finished 5th), although he wasn't able to reach victory lane during the season~ He was able to get a couple of runner up finishes, in the Budweiser 500 @ Dover, and the Checker 500 @ Phoenix~

    The 1991 season was arguably his best in the Cup series, picking up wins in the Motorcraft Quality Parts 500 @ Atlanta, and the Budweiser 500 @ Dover~ He also finished runner up in the GM Goodwrench 500 @ Rockingham, and the Coca-Cola 600 @ Charlotte~ He finished out the season with 2 wins, 10 top 5's, and 18 top 10's, while finishing 9th in the final points standings~

                                               Ken stands with good friend Dale Earnhardt~
Ken Schrader #25 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Rick Hendrick Dale Earnhardt

    With the start of the 1992 season, Ken Schrader would start on a winless streak that would last the remainder of his career~ I don't think anyone could have predicted this.. I know I didn't~ Up until the end of the 1991 season, he had been getting consistently better, and I figured he at least win a race or two for several more seasons~ But this wasn't the case, as Schrader finished the 1992 season with 0 wins, 4 top 5's, 11 top 10's, and a pole in the Champion Spark Plug 500 @ Pocono~ He also fell to 17th in the final points standings.. slipping 8 spots from the previous season~

    While Schrader didn't win again in the Cup series, he still had a moderately productive season in 1993~ He picked up a career high 6 poles (Richmond, Charlotte, both Pocono races, Michigan, and Darlington), while also scoring 9 top 5's, and 15 top 10's, while improving to 9th in the final points standings~

    The 1994 Cup season was his last season driving the Kodiak car, and he had a somewhat decent year~ While he didn't win any races, or pole positions, he consistently ran strong all season, picking up 9 top 5's, and 18 top 10's~ He also finished a career best 4th place in the final points standings~ Following this season, he would remain with the #25 Hendrick team, but the team would receive sponsorship from Budweiser~ Schrader would remain with Hendrick until the start of the 1997 Cup season, when he was released from the team, and picked up by Andy Petree's #33 Skoal Bandit team~

                                                     Ken Schrader #25 Kodiak Chevolet~
Ken Schrader #25 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Rick Hendrick custom
                                                                 Click pics to enlarge~
Ken Schrader #25 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Rick Hendrick custom
                                                     Custom pics with Kodiak logos~
Ken Schrader #25 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Rick Hendrick custom
                                                                Click pics to enlarge~
Ken Schrader #25 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Rick Hendrick custom

    I know, I know.. the customs look like crap~ lol~ I did the best I could with them, but I just couldn't make them look as good as some of them that I've done~ I guess it still looks better than just a plain car with no logos on it~ I know it wasn't Racing Champions' fault, but I just can't stand seeing a plain car~ Never once when I was a kid watching the race, did I see Ken's Kodiak car and think "That Kodiak car makes me wanna chew some tobacco", or "That Rusty Wallace Miller car makes me wanna drink a beer"~

   I'm not very fond of this car at all, and only bought it because it's part of the set~ I wish I had smaller hands, so I could just order some decals, and make the car look like it should, but my hands are too big, and I rip the decals every time.. so what's the point?~ I give this car a D- on the Racing Champions quality scale, which I believe is the lowest grade I've ever given~ I hated his diecast as a child, and I still hate it to this day~

   As I said earlier, I really can't believe that Schrader only won 4 Cup races~ To think that Kyle Petty has double the wins as Schrader does is purely mind boggling~ No disrespect to Kyle, but in my opinion, Schrader is 1000 times a better driver than Kyle was.. statistics prove otherwise, however~ Below I have added some clips from Ken's career, enjoy them, and as always.. thank you all for stopping by the blog~ :)

                                                           All of Schrader's Cup wins~

                                                       Top 10 Ken Schrader crashes~

                                                                  Schrader on fire~

                                         Schrader and Michael Waltrip racing lawnmowers~

Friday, July 22, 2016

B.D. McClure #92 Collector's World Pontiac

    Welcome back to the NASCAR Racing Champions blog~ Today's post is gonna be a rather unique one, and I'm not really sure how I'm gonna go about it.. but I'm sure it'll all work out when all is said and done~ I say this because today's post is on B.D. McClure, and the #92 Collector's World Pontiac~ If you're not familiar with the name, don't feel bad.. Mr. McClure has turned out to be the hardest person to find information on that I've ever come across in the Racing Champions diecast world~ Even more so than Stanley Smith~ With that being said, I'll work with what I've got, and make a go of this thing~

    I'll start this off by saying that I'm not even sure when Collector's World magazine was founded~ I'm almost certain the first issue was put out in May of 1991~ B.D. McClure was the founder of the company, and he also had owned a NASCAR memorabilia store near Charlotte for several years~ As with Robert Griggs and his Winston Cup Scene magazine, McClure saw the potential of the growing NASCAR memorabilia market, and decided the NASCAR world needed an official price guide for the many articles of NASCAR memorabilia that had entered the up and coming market~

                                Rusty Wallace on the cover of Collector's World - June 1993~
Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Rusty Wallace

    Back in 1991, the NASCAR scene was red hot, and you could find your favorite drivers name or number on just about anything~ Anything that was remotely related to NASCAR was also made into memorabilia~ Being the clever man that he was, McClure jumped in just at the right time, with his new magazine instantly turning into a major success story~

    I can remember being a kid, when my father was the supervisor for the Food Country USA grocery chain.. I would always look at the new magazines every month~ I remember looking through many of the Collector's World ones, as well as the Beckett price guides every month to see how much the Butch Miller #75 Food Country Racing Champions 1/24 scale was worth~ Back then it was worth quite a bit more than it is now, but it's still way up there as far as Racing Champions 1/24's go~

                                Dale Earnhardt on the cover of Collector's World - December 1993~
Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Dale Earnhardt

     If you're new to NASCAR diecast collecting, that's probably not a bad thing~ During the 1990's, NASCAR diecast, and basically anything NASCAR related demanded quite a high price tag~ As companies like Racing Champions, and Winner's Circle started getting out of the NASCAR diecast market, the new cars started getting even more expensive~ Although they had much better detail, I found it preposterous to pay $125.00 for a NASCAR diecast~

    Many people (myself included) got out of collecting diecasts around this time~ I only got back into it last summer, when I noticed how cheap they were again at the local flea markets, and thrift stores~ I guess so many people got out of collecting them, that it just killed the market value.. which is awesome if you're buying, but completely gut wrenching for someone who had bought their collection during the price gouging days of the 1990's~

                                             B.D. McClure custom Racing Champions card~
B.D. McClure #92 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog value age die magazine

    Although B.D. McClure got into the market at the right time, and became an overnight success, time was not on his side~ I'm not sure how it happened, but I do know that he died in 1992~ I was also able to find out that he was born in 1943, so he was either 48, or 49 years old when he died~ The business continued, at least until 1995.. although I'm not sure who took over after Mr. McClure passed away~

    As I said earlier, this guy was so tough to find information on~ He's like the D.B. Cooper of the NASCAR world~ I couldn't find 1 single picture of him on the internet, and I even asked some people in several Facebook groups if they had any pics or information on him, but got no reply~ The small amount of information in this post took me 2 days to gather up~ I at least wanted to find 1 picture of him to use for his Racing Champions card, but it just didn't happen~ This blog post will be a shrine for anyone who remembers him, or is just trying to find out information on who he was~

                                             B.D. McClure #92 Collector's World Pontiac~
B.D. McClure #92 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog value age die magazine
                                                              Click pics to enlarge~
B.D. McClure #92 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog value age die magazine

    I wish I could start off this review by filling you in on how this car came about, but I just can't find out any details~ On the deck lid of the car, it says "In Memory of B.D. McClure", so it obviously came out after his death in 1992~ I would also assume that this is why the car is number 92~

    The car came in a clear PVC box, and was stamped 1 of 5,000 made, so there aren't a whole lot of these out there~ I absolutely love the car, and I wish I knew who designed it~ If you have it on display with other cars, it definitely stands out like a sore thumb~ This thing is bright, and vibrant all the way~ Although the colors are bright and vivid, the car isn't shiny, and has sort of a matte finish to it~

    I'm gonna have to give this car an A- on the Racing Champions scale of quality, due to it's lack of a card and stand~ Of all the people to not make a card for, this has to be the worst choice~ A card along with this car would have been a cherished accent to go along with the car.. but it just wasn't meant to be~ I did the best I could with the card, but I'm not pleased with it at all, it's just the best I could find~ Thank you all for stopping by the blog again!~ I've added some random NASCAR clips below since I'm never gonna find any B.D. McClure videos~ Until next time, stay alive.. don't drink and drive~ :)

                                             1989 Mountain Dew 200 @ Hickory highlights~

                                            Dave Stacy flips into Lake Lloyd @ Daytona~

                                             Poor ol' Casey Atwood's career in a nutshell~

 Finish of the 1993 Kroger 200 @ IRP~


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Brad Teague #75 U-Can-Rent Oldsmobile

    I don't think there's any doubt that Racing Champions made a TON of NASCAR die-casts~ But I often find myself thinking of the cars they didn't make, that I'd like to have in my collection~ With the magic of Photoshop, I've been able to simulate what these cars would have looked like, and today I'd like to share with you my very first Racing Champions "fantasy car" blog post~ We'll be looking at my favorite driver Brad Teague, and his time in the #75 U-Can-Rent/Food Country Oldsmobile, from the 1990 BGN season~ So as YouTube's Adam the Woo would say.. Join me, shall you?~

    The history of this car is confusing as can be~ The car was driven in parts of the 1990 BGN season by Teague for its first 5 events, then Ernie Irvan in its next 5, and Jimmy Spencer drove the last 2 races it entered~ The sponsorship dissolved before the season ended, and Spencer drove 2 more races towards the end of the season in the #75 car with sole sponsor, Food Country U.S.A.~

    Brad's first race in the car was in the season opening Goody's 300 @ Daytona~ He qualified a very impressive 5th place, but was caught up in the first caution of the day, in what was one of the biggest pile ups I've ever seen in the BGN series~ In total, 23 cars were involved in the wreck, with Teague receiving loads of damage, which ended his day, and resulted in a 31st place finish~

                               The 1990 Goody's 300 crash~ Teague can be seen at the far left~
                                                      Photo is owned by Brian Cleary~
Brad Teague #75 Food Country BGN 1990 Goody's 300 crash Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    Teague next drove the car in the Goodwrench 200 @ Rockingham, and once again qualified the car in the top 5, with a seasons best 4th place starting spot~ However, the car was plagued with issued during the race, with Teague finishing in 24th place, 3 laps off the pace of race winner Dale Earnhardt~

    The team next raced in the Pontiac 200 @ Darlington, where Teague started the race in 7th place~ The car just wasn't up to par during the race, but he still managed to pull out a seasons best 15th place finish~ Harry Gant won the race, driving the #7 Skoal car for legendary BGN car owner Ed Whitaker~

    Long time BGN car owner Charlie Henderson, who was also the owner of the Food Country U.S.A. grocery store chain, was well known to lose his temper when his driver didn't do well in certain races~ You had to make the field at Bristol, you had to not crash the car at Bristol, and you had to run well at events where the sponsor of the car was also sponsoring the race~ If not, you were gonna get canned, without notice~

                                             Custom Brad Teague Racing Champions card~
Brad Teague #75 Food Country BGN 1990 Goody's 300 crash Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

   I say this because the next event for the team was the U-Can-Rent 200 @ Lanier Speedway~ Brad qualified very poorly, with a 26th place starting position,  and never was able to get a feel for the track during the race~ He did manage to finish in 16th place, albeit 3 laps down to race winner Chuck Bown, who snapped a winless streak dating back to 1986 @ Oxford Plains~ Bown led all 200 laps in the event~

    Teague was likely cussed out by Henderson for his poor showing @ Lanier, and given an ultimatum that he either run very well in the next event, or he was out the door~ He next raced in the Roses Stores 200 @ South Boston, and qualified the car 23rd in the 30 car field~ The car ran poorly the entire race, and Teague only managed to move up 1 spot, finishing in 22nd place, 5 laps down~

Chuck Bown also won this race, leading 71 of the 200 laps~ Henderson responded by immediately firing Teague, who ran 1 more race during the 1990 season, driving the #0 Parkway Gas Oldsmobile in the Granger Select 200 @ Dublin, where he finished in 15th place~

                                                      Ernie Irvan stands beside the #75 car~
Ernie Irvan #75 Food Country Racing Champions Brad Teague 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    Ernie Irvan then drove the car for 5 events, starting with the Champions 300 @ Charlotte~ He started the race in 39th, and finished in 40th after dealing with wheel bearing problems~ He led for 6 laps in the Budweiser 200 @ Dover before being caught up in a wreck on lap 147 while he was leading, resulting in a 26th place finish~

    Irvan best race in the car came in the Kroger 200 @ IRP~ He started the race in 25th, and although he didn't lead a lap, he crawled his way to a runner up finish~ This would be the highest finish for any driver in the #75 U-Can-Rent car~ Steve Grissom won the race, which was his 2nd career BGN win~ He won his first BGN race the week before @ Dublin Speedway~

    Jimmy Spencer drove the #75 U-Can-Rent car in its final 2 BGN entries~ He led 2 laps in the Ames/Splitfire 200 @ Dover after starting in 26th, but was involved in a crash resulting in a 27th place finish~ His finest moment in the car came in the Zerex 150 @ Martinsville, where he rolled off in the 10th position, and finished in 6th place~ This was also the final race for sponsor "U-Can-Rent", and the team would run the rest of the season with Food Country as the sole sponsor~

                                               Brad Teague #75 U-Can-Rent Oldsmobile~
Brad Teague #75 Food Country U Can Rent Caleb Holman Eldora Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN 1990 Goody's 300 Ernie Irvan Jimmy Spencer
                                                             Click pics to enlarge~
Brad Teague #75 Food Country U Can Rent Caleb Holman Eldora Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN 1990 Goody's 300 Ernie Irvan Jimmy Spencer
                                                               U-Can-Rent Racing hat~
Brad Teague #75 U Can Rent hat BGN Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Charlie Henderson Don

    Well, here she is~ I wish so much that this was real, but it's just an illusion.. dreamed up in my mind, and brought to life by Photoshop, as an image on a blog~ I'm not the worst in the world at Photoshop, but I'm probably one of the worst at making custom cars in real life~ I tend to rip decals, a lot.. and I can't paint worth a darn~ My hands were designed to do physical labor, or type stuff.. they just weren't made to deal with tiny objects, or little paint brushes~ I have the eyes for it, but not the hands~

    Looking at this car makes me so incredibly happy~ It instantly brings me back to my childhood, as I can recall this time period very vividly~ I used to hang out at the Food Country race team shop, and Brad was always there.. I felt like a rock star!~ I was too little to know that he wasn't the best driver out there.. but I was old enough to know he was a race car driver, and I was standing beside him..  he was talking to me... it was some of the greatest memories of my life~

    And it wasn't that Brad wasn't one of the best driver out there.. he just didn't ever have a quality ride in the BGN or Cup series~ Brad is a heck of a driver.. I've witnessed it many times at local tracks, when he's got a good car, he's a beast~ You could put Brad Teague in a decent car right now, and he'd make the field at Bristol, and he'd probably get a top 10 finish~ If you look at the teams he drove for near the end of his career, you'll see that he was getting more out of the cars than anyone else they put in them~

    Although this car is only a "fantasy car" that I made up, it is one of the most beautiful Racing Champions cars I've ever seen~ Take away the bias, and I still feel the same way~ It's an amazing looking race car~ I've always said sweet and simple does it best with NASCAR paint schemes, and this car proves that~ I without any bias, give this car an A+ on the Racing Champions "fantasy car" quality scale~ It truly is a wonderful piece of art, as well as NASCAR BGN history~

    Thank you all for stopping by the blog, whether it's your first time, or you're a long time reader.. it is nice to know someone else out there cares about Racing Champions cars, and old NASCAR history~ Below are some clips of Brad Teague's career.. at least what's on YouTube~  Enjoy!~ :)

    **UPDATE** I finally got a real custom version of the car in the mail today~ Here are the pics of the car, as well as the back of the card~

Brad Teague #75 Food Country BGN 1990 Goody's 300 crash Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog
                                                                Click pics to enlarge~
Brad Teague #75 Food Country BGN 1990 Goody's 300 crash Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog
                                                                     Back of card~
Brad Teague #75 Food Country BGN 1990 Goody's 300 crash Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog


                                                         The 1990 Goody's 300 crash~

  1990 Kroger 200 featuring Irvan in the #75 U-Can-Rent~

                                  Brad Teague crashes in the 1994 Mountain Dew Southern 500~

                                   1987 Firecracker 400 - Tim Richmond/Brad Teague crash~

Sunday, July 17, 2016

David Bonnett #12 Plasti-Kote Restore Automotive Products Chevrolet

    When looking back on the history of NASCAR, David Bonnett is not a name you're likely to see very often~ The son of NASCAR legend Neil Bonnett, David's career in the BGN series lasted only 19 races, during a six year time span~ On today's edition of the blog, I'm gonna be going over his time in the #12 Plasti-Kote/Restore Automotive Products Chevrolet~

     I've heard from several people over the years that Steve Park was the first guy to drive for Dale Earnhardt Inc.~ In fact, on many racing programs, they've said that very same thing~ The truth is, the first Cup driver to drive for DEI was Robby Gordon, in 1996~ Jeff Green also drove for DEI in 1996, and then Steve Park came along in 1997~

    DEI was fielding cars in the BGN series before 1996, and the first ever BGN start of David Bonnett's brief career was in the #3 GM Goodwrench/Sports Image Chevrolet, fielded by Dale Earnhardt Incorporated, all the way back in 1992, in the C-1R Firecracker 200 @ Volusia County~ He scored his solo career top 10 in the race with a 9th place finish~

                                                      Bonnett on track in the #12 car~
David Bonnett #12 Restore Plastikote BGN Neil Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog age

    David's first start in the #12 car came in the 8th race of the 1993 BGN season, the Miller 500 @ Martinsville~ (I've never understood why it was called the Miller 500, when it was only 300 laps on a 1/2 mile track)~ After starting 24th in the 32 car field, he was only able to pick up 3 position during the race, resulting in a 21st place finish~

    He next raced 4 races later, in the Carolina Pride/Budweiser 200 @ Myrtle Beach~ He qualified 22nd, and finished 20th~ Jeff Burton won the race, while his brother Ward claimed the pole position~ Ward would finish second, marking the first time in BGN series history that brothers had finished in the top 2 spots~

                                                  David Bonnett in a fierce battle on track~
David Bonnett #12 Restore Plastikote BGN Neil Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog age Mike Wallace Todd Bodine

    Bonnett next raced in the Detroit Gasket 200 @ Michigan, where he started a season worst 37th in the 41 car field~ Due to a large amount of drivers exiting the race due to crashes, or mechanical issues, Bonnett was able to pick up a season high 17th place finish~ This was also the first BGN start for Bill Elliott's nephew, Casey Elliott, who finished in 20th after starting in 8th place~ He beat his Uncle Bill, who finished 34th after starting on the pole~ Dale Earnhardt finished 2nd in the race, but was regulated to a last place finish due to having an illegal motor~

   David would fail to qualify for his next two events, the Autolite 250 @ Richmond, and the Advance Auto Parts 500 @ Martinsville~ He started his final race of 1993 in the AC-Delco 200 @ Rockingham, and qualified a career high 3rd in the event~ However, he suffered engine failure on lap 44, and ended up finishing a disappointing 39th in the 42 car field~

                                               Custom David Bonnett Racing Champions card~
David Bonnett #12 Restore Plastikote BGN Neil Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog age
    His first race of the 1994 season would be his final race with sponsor Plasti-Kote, as well as his last with the team, as Neil Bonnett was the team owner, and he had just passed away~ David ran the car in the 2nd race of the season, in the Goodwrench 200 @ Rockingham, where he started 13th, and finished a season high of 18th place~ He would run 3 more races that season in the #03 car, owned by Hank Parker Sr, finishing no better than 19th place (AC- Delco 200 @ Rockingham)~

    David also ran 6 races in 1995 for Parker Sr., as well as 2 in 1996, before making his final career BGN start with Doug Taylor's #40 Dunlop Golf Ford, in the Detroit Gasket 200 @ Michigan~ His career consisted of 19 starts, along with 11 DNQ's, 1 top 10 (Volusia County 1992), and 1 lap led 1996 Goody's Headache Powder 300 @ Daytona~ After his career ended, Bonnett drifted away completely from NASCAR, and not much has been written about him since~ It was nearly impossible for me to find enough information about him to write this blog post~

                        David Bonnett #12 Plasti-Kote/Restore Automotive  Products Chevrolet~
David Bonnett #12 Restore Plastikote BGN Neil Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog age
                                                             Click pics to enlarge~
David Bonnett #12 Restore Plastikote BGN Neil Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog age

    I actually just got this car yesterday, and I had never seen it before then~ I do remember the car on the track, but not the Racing Champions version~ I was at the flea market, and just randomly found it~ I love days like that, when you're not expecting much, then you find a treasure~ It's a great feeling, and I needed something to make me feel good yesterday~

   This car is decked out with contingencies all over it~ The card is a photoshop custom that I made, the car just came in a clear pvc box that said it was 1 of 5,000 made~ The cars that come in those tend to have better paint, and more contingencies~ You can't tell in the pictures, but the tires on this one are a little odd~ They seem less black than the normal tires, like they have a matte finish to them~

    Overall, this car is an excellent piece to have in your Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast collection!~ The colors are nice, the paint is shiny, with hardly any mistakes.. the body is smooth as glass~ It's easily an A+ on the Racing Champions quality scale.. even if it didn't come with a card and stand~ This car is a very rare piece of forgotten NASCAR history, and I'm honored to own one of them, and help to keep the memory of David Bonnett alive in the NASCAR world~

   Not much is known about David's life these days, but it's good to know he's still alive somewhere~ I've often wondered if he had the same talking skills as his father had~ I would have liked to see him in the NASCAR booth.. he'd have to do a better job than ol' boring Dale Jarrett~ haha~ Anyway.. I was able to find a clip on YouTube that features David in it for a brief moment~ It's from an awesome race at Volusia County, which had TONS of action in it~ I've also posted a few other videos of random NASCAR stuff~ As always, thank you all for reading the blog, and have a wonderful day!~

                                              Volusia County 1992 - David's only top 10~

                                                    TNN's final Busch Series sign off~ :(

                                                           1990 Miller 200 highlights~

                                                          1995 South Boston finish~