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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~



  1. David and Kristen are doing well. Tonight, David's Son,Justin will race at Huntsville Speedway. David is a wonderful guy and is right there supporting Justin. Aunt Kristen actually runs things but that ok too.

    1. Thanks for the update, Chris~ It's great to know that Justin is following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather before him~ Be sure and let Justin know we're all pulling for him over here at the Racing Champions blog!~ :)