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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Cale Yarborough #21 Ford Talladega Torino Cobra

    Welcome back NASCAR fans!~ I hope you all survived Independence day.. as you can probably tell, I did~ I'm on "vacation" for the week, so I'm gonna try and get a few more cars posted while I've got the free time~ I'm too poor to go on vacation~ haha~ In today's blog post, we're going further back in time than we've ever gone before here on the blog.. all the way back to the 1969 and 1970 NASCAR seasons, to take a gander at Cale Yarborough's time in the #21 Ford Talladega Torino Cobra, owned by the famed Wood Brothers~

    Cale's first race for the Wood Brothers came in the 1966 Southern 500 @ Darlington, which was the 42nd race of the season, for those who complain that the current season is too long~ :P From 1967-1968, he won 8 races with the team, along with 8 poles, 19 top 5's, and 23 top 10's, while competing in 38 of the scheduled 98 races during those 2 seasons~

                                                      Ready for the 1969 Daytona 500~
Cale Yarborough #21 Ford Talladega Torino Cobra Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR blog wood brothers

    Going into the 1969 season, the Fords and Mercurys had designed a new car to gain an edge on the competition~ For the Fords, it was the Ford Talladega Torino Cobra, and for the Mercurys, the newly designed Mercury Cyclone~ Cale attempted to run 20 races during the 1969 season with the Wood Brothers, but didn't make the field for the Talladega 500~

    This was a controversial race, as Richard Petty had tried to form a racers union, causing many of the well named racers to pack up, and go home without qualifying~ The drivers who left without qualifying were Richard Petty, Bobby Johns, John Sears, Buddy Baker, David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Wendell Scott, James Hylton, Charlie Glotzbach, and Paul Goldsmith~ Goldsmith's car was still ran by Richard Brickhouse, who went on to win the race, picking up his only career victory~ Several other driver's cars who withdrew were still driven in the race as well~

                                             Cale's #21 Torino Cobra~ Colorized by me~
Cale Yarborough #21 Ford Talladega Torino Cobra Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR blog wood brothers

    For the most of the 1969 season, the Wood Brothers ran the Mercury Cyclones~ Of the 19 races they ran, only 4 of them were in the Torino Cobra, and 1 of those was the 50 lap qualifier for the Daytona 500~ In that qualifier, he started 9th, and finished runner up to David Pearson, also running the new 1969 Ford~

    Cale started in the 5th position in the 1969 Daytona 500, driving the car posted in the above picture~ Cale ran pretty strong all day, and had led for 17 laps... and then he blew a tire on lap 104, acquiring assistance from the track crew to get out of the car, in what was a pretty scary crash~ Thankfully, he only ended up with a few cuts and scrapes~ He finished the race in 38th place in the 51 car field~ LeeRoy Yarbrough went on the win the race on the very first ever last lap pass for the win in Daytona 500 history, passing Charlie Glotzbach on the final lap of the race~

                                                     Cale giving the camera the evil eye~
Cale Yarborough #21 Ford Talladega Torino Cobra Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR blog wood brothers

    He then ran the car in the Carolina 500 @ Rockingham, where he qualified in the 11th position~ David Pearson won the pole.. and while Cale was able to lead for 65 laps, he was no match for Pearson, who easily won from the pole position, and led 311 of the 500 laps~  It's worth noting that Cale was only driving these Fords because the new Spoiler II for the Mercury Cyclone wasn't approved by NASCAR at the time~

    Cale's final time driving a Ford of any kind for the Wood Brothers came in the 1969 Southeastern 500 @ Bristol~ He started in 3rd place, but wasn't quite fast enough to take the lead from David Pearson, and Bobby Isaac~ Isaac led for 249 laps before his radiator gave out 52 laps shy of the checkered flag~ Pearson led for 237 laps, before being passed by Bobby Allison, who led the final 7 laps, and won the race~  Cale finished 4th, but never led a lap~

    In his first race with the newly approved Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II, he started in 5th place, led 308 laps, and won the race~ The only car besides him on the lead lap was David Pearson~ Paul Goldsmith, who finished in 3rd place.. was 2 laps down, while 10th place Buddy Arrington was 22 laps down~

                                         Cale Yarborough #21 Ford Talladega Torino Cobra~
Cale Yarborough #21 Ford Racing Champions 1/64 die-cast blog NASCAR Wood Brothers Cobra Torino
                                                               Click pics to enlarge~
Cale Yarborough #21 Ford Racing Champions 1/64 die-cast blog NASCAR Wood Brothers Cobra Torino

    I absolutely love these "Collector's Series" cars that Racing Champions made~ I don't have a complete set of any of them, but I'm very close on all 5 sets~ The problem is, finding doubles of them to use here on the blog~ I'd love to do a post on the #30 Dodge Daytona that Dave Marcis drove, but I only have 1 of them.. so I have to wait and find another one for cheap before I can do a post on him~

    This Yarborough car is tough looking as can be~ He never won a race in it, but he came close.. and only ran it in a handful of races~ I love the 2 red stripes that go down the side of the car~ That really sets it off~ The card is pretty dang awesome as well, with Cale getting kissed on both cheeks by 2 lovely ladies~ :P I like the yellow, black, and red scheme on the left side of the card as well~ They should have done that with all the Racing Champions cards, but I guess they had to make these appear more special~

   I give this car an A+ on the Racing Champions quality scale, as I don't really see any flaws with it that I would care to address~ Great card, great quality(for Racing Champions), and a great car.. can't ask for any more than that~ Below are some clips of Cale, spanning throughout his famed career~ Thanks for stopping by the blog again, and feel free to comment with any suggestions on future blog posts~ :)

                                                     Cale wins the 1974 Southern 500~

                                                     The miraculous 1983 backup car~

                                          Cale goes over the wall in the 1965 Southern 500~

                                                            All of Cale's Cup wins~

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