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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Bill Elliott #94 McDonald's Mac Tonight Ford

    Welcome back to the NASCAR Racing Champions diecast blog~ While I was browsing through the news the other day, I seen where Jamie McMurray was gonna have a special "Mac Tonight" paint scheme for the throwback race @ Darlington this season~ This got me so excited that I decided to do a post on Bill Elliott's version of the car today~ I loved Mac Tonight, he was awesome.. and the car Bill drove was even more awesome~

    I miss the days when McDonald's had all their little characters~ Mac Tonight, Mayor McCheese, the Hamburglar, and so on.. these characters were designed to make kids scream for hours that they wanted to go to McDonald's, and it worked~ If you were a parent in the 80's and 90's, you know quite well how many "Happy meals" were purchased during this time~ McDonald's even sold plates, cups, and basically anything they could put Ronald McDonald and the gang's faces on~

   Bill had some awesome "special" paint schemes, but my favorite was probably this one, although the Batman Forever car was pretty dang cool too~ This car wasn't ran in that many races, but it was in more than the Batman Forever car, or the Piggly Wiggly car of Kevin Lepage~ Well, what am I waiting for?~ Let's dive into this thing, so I can get to McDonald's for a Big Mac!~ :D

                                        The wonderfully cool Mac Tonight, doing his thing~
Bill Elliott #94 Mac Tonight Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Jamie McMurray Darlington throwback 2016 1997 1998

   Mac Tonight was first used nationwide in 1987, and he was created to boost McDonald's sales after 4 PM~ He sang a song that was similar to the tune "Mack the Knife", a song made popular by Bobby Darin~ In 1989, Darin's son filed a lawsuit against McDonald's, stating that the song infringes upon his deceased father's trademark without prior permission~ McDonald's was then forced to remove the song from all TV and radio advertisements~

   Everyone loved "Mac" however, as sales at some McDonald's boasted a 10 % increase in evening/late night sales~ I remember getting a little toy Mac in a Happy meal when I was young, I think he was riding a moped or a bike~ Eventually, the Mac Tonight commercials seemed to just fizzle out~

    He was brought back in 1997 for the 10 year anniversary of his nationwide debut~ Bill Elliott was currently being sponsored by McDonald's, so his car would sometimes feature the special "Mac Tonight" theme~ I remember the first time I saw him live in this car at Bristol, in the 1997 Goody's 500~ That was actually the debut of this new paint scheme~ I watched that car all night long too, I had never seen a car with stars all over it, and a dang moon head guy wearing sunglasses on the hood~ This was great!~ :D

                                      Bill Elliott hero card featuring the #94 Mac Tonight Ford~
Bill Elliott #94 Mac Tonight Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Jamie McMurray Darlington throwback 2016 1997 1998

     When I found out that Bill was gonna be running this car for the first time at Bristol, I couldn't wait to get to the track to see it!~ I had already seen pictures of it, but I wanted to see the real thing~ And man, was it sharp out there.. under the lights of Bristol!~ Elliott started 36th that evening, and was able to salvage a 16th place finish, albeit three laps off the pace of race winner, Dale "Boring" Jarrett~ I was so mad that Jarrett won, because he bores me to death, and I was pulling for Dick Trickle, who managed to finish in 3rd place~

     Bill's next race in the Mac Tonight machine was in the Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 @ Richmond, where he sat on the pole in what would turn out to be his final pole position as an owner/driver~ After leading 43 laps during the early parts of the race, Elliott's car began to fade away, and he eventually finished in 30th place... 5 laps down to race winner, Dale "Boring" Jarrett~ This was also the Cup series debut of Kenny Irwin, who sat on the outside pole for the event, and led 12 laps, finishing in 8th place~

                                           The #94 Mac Tonight Ford awaiting the race~
Bill Elliott #94 Mac Tonight Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Jamie McMurray Darlington throwback 2016 1997 1998

    Next up was the CMT 300 @ Loudon, where Elliott qualified in the 10th spot~ He had a decent race, remaining on the lead lap and finishing in 11th place~ Steve Grissom, who finished a career high 4th place in the first race at Loudon earlier in the year, again finished 4th, tying his Cup series best effort~ Jeff Gordon was the race winner, followed by Ernie Irvan, Bobby Hamilton, Grissom, and Ricky Craven rounded out the top 5~

    The series next stopped @ Dover for the MBNA 400~ Bill qualified in 13th place, and again ran decent during the race~ He never led, but was able to hold on to an 8th place finish~ Mark Martin won the event, which only had one caution (for "Dum Dum" Michael Waltrip), while Kyle Petty, who led for 191 laps, finished 3rd after having to pit for a splash and go with only a few laps remaining~ It would be his last top 5 finish until the 2007 Coca-Cola 600~
                                                     
                            #94 Mac Tonight Ford with #33 Skoal Chevrolet~ Richmond - 1997~
Bill Elliott #94 Mac Tonight Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Jamie McMurray Darlington throwback 2016 1997 1998

    The final race of the season for the Mac Tonight theme came in the Hanes 500 @ Martinsville~ Elliott qualified in 16th, and was able to pull off a top 5 finish, with a 5th place run~ Rusty Wallace dominated the event, leading 226 of the 500 laps, but was black flagged (wrongly, I must say) by NASCAR for jumping the start, and finished in 15th, as the last car on the lead lap~ This gave the win to Virginia's own, Jeff Burton~
 
    Bill drove the #94 Mac Tonight Ford for one more race in the 1998 Cup season, the Goody's 500 night race @ Bristol~ I think it's cool that I was at the first, and last race he ever ran this car in~ I knew about the first race, but I didn't actually know his last race in the car came at Bristol until I wrote this post today~ I just remember being there and seeing it again.. watching it shine in the night as it went around the track~

    Elliott started 27th in the event, and was only able to salvage a 19th place finish out of the deal~ The race was won by Mark Martin, who led 190 of 500 laps, and had just lost his father the week before~ A still grieving Martin celebrated in victory lane, in what had to have been a very special moment for him after the loss~ Jeremy Mayfield led a surprising 173 laps, and ended up finishing in 8th place, and Kevin Lepage picked up his first career top 10, with a 10th place finish~

                                           Bill Elliott #94 McDonald's Mac Tonight Ford~
Bill Elliott #94 Mac Tonight Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Jamie McMurray Darlington throwback 2016 1997 1998
                                                               Click pics to enlarge~
Bill Elliott #94 Mac Tonight Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Jamie McMurray Darlington throwback 2016 1997 1998
                                      Bill Elliott #94 McDonald's Mac Tonight Ford Truck~
Bill Elliott #94 Mac Tonight Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Jamie McMurray Darlington throwback 2016 1997 1998
                                                                 Click pics to enlarge~
Bill Elliott #94 Mac Tonight Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Jamie McMurray Darlington throwback 2016 1997 1998
                                 Bill Elliott #94 McDonald's Mac Tonight 1/24 scale version~
Bill Elliott #94 Mac Tonight Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Jamie McMurray Darlington throwback 2016 1997 1998

    Well, I just decided to throw a few more items down here this time~ This isn't even all of the Mac Tonight diecasts that I've got~ I've got the gold one, and I think somewhere I have a hauler, or a Dually truck~ :P I really love this truck the most out of all of them~ Its little hood opens, and its tail gate goes down, so that's pretty cool too~

    I love all of the Mac Tonight cars, and they really look awesome all displayed together~ The card I used for these was from the gold car.. I don't have cards for the 1/64's.. I think they didn't come with one~ I thought about making a custom card, but I couldn't find many pics of the Mac Tonight car to work with, and I couldn't waste one, because I needed them for the post~

    I'm excited we're gonna get to see this paint scheme back out on the track, I just hope Jamie McFlurry doesn't fudd it all up~ I'm not a big fan of his, but I'll pull for him during that race, just for the sake of the car~ The Bojangles Southern 500 @ Darlington is gonna be an awesome event, and I just can't wait to see all the awesome paint schemes, especially the Tide car!~ (Even though I don't like Kenseth)~ I'm gonna easily give this car an A+ on the Racing Champions quality scale, as it's one of the coolest, and at the time, most innovative paint schemes of all time~

    I'd like to thank everyone for stopping in for a bit, I hope you enjoyed the post, and please remember to share it via Facebook, Twitter, or any other form of social media out there~ I'm looking forward to the Bristol races this weekend, especially the truck race tonight!~ Go #75!~ Below are some videos featuring Elliott and his career in NASCAR~ Enjoy them, and have a great weekend!~ :)

                                               Funny Bill Elliott McDonald's commercial~

                                           Ford Thunderbird commercial featuring Elliott~

                                                   McDonald's Mac Tonight compilation~

                                                     Finish of the 1994 Southern 500~

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