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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~

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