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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Tommy Ellis #99 Goo Goo Clusters Buick

    Welcome back to the NASCAR Racing Champions blog, the only blog dedicated solely to 1/64 scale NASCAR Racing Champions diecasts~ I about feel too embarrassed to do this post, because I wasn't pleased with the outcome of the car.. but I don't have anything else to do, and the pics of the car won't effect the story none~ In today's post, I'm gonna be discussing Tommy Ellis' time in the #99 Goo Goo Clusters Buick.. one of my all time favorite BGN paint schemes~ So let's roll that beautiful bean footage!~

    Known in the racing world as "Terrible" Tommy Ellis for his extremely aggressive driving style, Ellis would dang near beat his car to death in his quest for the top spot~ Before I start talking about his time in the Goo Goo car, I just wanna say that if you were lucky enough to get to see Tommy race in person, you truly got to see racing in its purest form~ Maybe even more so than Dale Earnhardt, you either loved Ellis, or you deeply despised him.. there was NO in between~ And now, on with the Goochy Goo Goo~

                                        Ellis battles Jimmy Hensley (25) and Chuck Bown (63)~
Tommy Ellis Goo Goo Clusters Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN

    Tommy's #99 team was owned by John Jackson~ The team picked up sponsorship from Goo Goo Clusters to start the 1989 BGN season, after winning 3 races during the 1988 season in a basically un-sponsored car, and winning the series championship~ Tommy started 11th in the season opening Goody's 300, but was involved in a lap 6 crash, that also involved Patty Moise, and Donnie Allison, who was making his final NASCAR start~ All three drivers were unable to continue the race, resulting in a 39th place finish for Ellis~

    In the Goodwrench 200 @ Rockingham the following week, the team bounced back, picking up their first top 5 with the Goo Goo car, with a 3rd place finish~ The following week in the Miller Classic @ Martinsville, Ellis led the last 40 laps of the 200 lap event, on his way to his first victory of the season~ This race was dominated by Rick Wilson in the #75 Food Country car, who led the first 160 laps before his engine expired~ He had almost lapped the entire field before it happened~

    The next race was down in good ol' Hickory for the Mountain Dew 400, where Ellis qualified in 9th, and finished runner up to Jimmy Spencer, who was driving the #34 Wayne Paging Buick~ This was the first win of Specer's BGN career~ After this event, Ellis was in 3rd place in the points standings, behind Jack Ingram, and eventual 1989 BGN series champion, Rob Moroso~

                                                     Sometimes, bad stuff happens~
Tommy Ellis Goo Goo Clusters Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN
 
    Ellis also finished runner up finish at Nazareth, in the GM Parts 300.. this time to Bobby Hillin Jr., who was driving the #81 Roses Buick~ He followed that up by winning the Busch 200 @ South Boston, leading 116 laps in a dominating performance~ In the Firecracker 200 @ Volusia County, Tommy finished runner up to Rob Moroso, who destroyed the field, leading 186 of the 200 laps~

    He finished runner up to Tommy Houston a few races later, in the Coors 200 @ South Boston~ The following week, the series was back in Hickory, this time for the Pepsi 200~ "Terrible" Tommy led 156 laps in the 200 lap event, once again ripping the field to shreds~ The 24th race of the season was the Commonwealth 200 @ Richmond, and Tommy again finished runner up, this time to Bobby Hamilton, in the #8 Lighting & Fans Oldsmobile~

    After that race, Ellis was leading the points standing by 9 points over Tommy Houston, and eventual season champions Rob Moroso was in 4th place, 94 points behind Ellis~ Tommy ended up finishing in 3rd place in the final points standings, behind Tommy Houston, and Moroso~ He finished the season with  1 pole, 3 wins, 11 top 5's, and 18 top 10's~

                                             Custom Tommy Ellis Racing Champions card~
Tommy Ellis Goo Goo Clusters Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN

    Tommy ran his final season with the Goo Goo sponsorship in the 1990 season~ He won the pole in the Miller Classic @ Martinsville for the second year in a row, and while he led 174 of the 200 laps, he finished in 9th place~ He finished 2nd to Tommy Houston in the Mountain Dew 400 @ Hickory in the following event~

    He was crushing the field again in the Carolina Pride/Budweiser 200 @ Myrtle beach, leading every single lap of the race.. except the last one~ Tommy ran out of gas on the last lap of the race, and was beat out by Mark Martin, who was driving the #1 Carolina Ford Dealers car that Jeff Gordon would drive the following season~ I'd say that's gotta haunt you a little bit, if you're Ellis.. perhaps not, but it would me~

   Ellis picked up his final BGN series victory in the Budweiser 300 @ Loudon, in the inaugural BGN series race at the track~ In victory lane, he called the win "the biggest win of my career"~ He won his final career pole in the Ames/Splitfire 200 @ Dover, but was involved in a crash on lap 138 with the #75 U-Can-Rent car of Jimmy Spencer, and the #79 K.R. Rezendes Inc. Oldsmobile of Dave Rezendes, resulting in a 27th place finish~ He finished the season with 3 poles, 1 win, 5 top 5's, and 13 top 10's, and finished 6th in the final points standings~

                                           Tommy Ellis #99 Goo Goo Clusters Buick~
Tommy Ellis Goo Goo Clusters Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN
                                                              Click pics to enlarge~
Tommy Ellis Goo Goo Clusters Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN

    Well, here's this monstrosity~ Yeah, I did the lazy thing on the top picture again, but only because I didn't like the way the 2nd picture (which I always do first on Photoshop) looked~ The main thing I don't like about it is that dumb white/gray stripe on the side~ I should have just left it off, because he didn't always have that stripe on there.. but I had already saved it before I noticed, and didn't want to start over~

    The stripe ruins the entire car, and so I'm gonna have to give it a D+ on the Racing Champions quality scale.. but only because of my mistake~ If I had done it right, it would have easily been an A+~ I loved watching this car race back then, and I always loved to watch Tommy Ellis race~ After the 1990 BGN season, Ellis started appearing in less BGN races~ He ran in 22 races during his last 4 seasons, with 0 poles, 0 wins, 2 top 5's, and 5 top 10's~

    The reason for his absence was that the sport had grew into something that he didn't enjoy anymore~ He was angry that he couldn't race hard anymore, or risk a penalty by NASCAR~ He complained that NASCAR officials were ruining the races, and he walked away from the sport during his peak, never to return~ 

    Tommy's name is on the back of older Racing Champions cardbacks, so I like to think this is the car they were gonna make~ It would have been so cool to see what they would have done with it~ I haven't seen any prototypes of it, but there may be some~ I'm not sure what happened to cause it not to be issued, yet they leave his name on the packaging~ Thank you all for stopping by the blog, it was fun to look back on Tommy Ellis' time in this car~ Below are some videos of Ellis and other random NASCAR stuff, since there isn't much on him~ NASCAR tries to block him out of history~

                                                         1987 Gatorade 125 Ellis flip~

                                             Cool AAA race @ Milwaukee Mile - 1953~

                                             Even cooler 1960 Southern 500~ *30 mins.*~

                                    Darlington Throwback 1988 Gatorade 200~ *Full race*~
                                                                                                                     
   

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