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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Johnny Rumley #25 Big Johnson Chevrolet

    Well, I know I said I was done for the rest of the year, but I guess I lied about that... I hope you'll forgive me~ :) Welcome back to the blog, folks~ I hope you all had a great Christmas time with your families, and have a safe, healthy start to 2017~ The car I'm going to be looking at today is Johnny Rumley's #25 Big Johnson Chevrolet, owned by Don Beverley~

    This car had been driven by Hermie Sadler, with sponsorship from the Virginia is for Lovers campaign up until the 1995 BGN season~ At the end of the 1994 season, Sadler left the team to join Bell Sadler's (his mother) race team~ Beverly then split the driving time up between Kirk Shelmerdine, and Rumley - with Shelmerdine driving the first 7 races of the season, and Rumley driving the remaining races~ Let's look back at his time in the car, shall we?~

                                                       Johnny Rumley hero card~ 1995~
Johnny Rumley Big Johnson Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1995 Shelmerdine win

    Shelmerdine's seven races in the car didn't go so well, with a best finish of 19th in the Busch Light 300 @ Atlanta~ Rumley's first race in the car came in the Sundrop 400 @ Hickory, where he qualified 6th, led for 26 laps, and finished in 12th~ Johnny Benson Jr. won the race, driving the #74 Lipton Tea Chevrolet, and it was the final win of his BGN career~

    After qualifying 38th for the NE Chevy Dealers 250 @ Loudon, Rumley manhandled his way to a 7th place finish, his first top 10 with the #25 team~ The good times would come to a halt in the Meridian Advantage 200 @ Nazareth, and while Rumley qualified 18th, he was involved in a lap 105 crash, which resulted in a 34th place finishing position~

    In the Red Dog 300 @ Charlotte, Rumley struggled to make the field, qualifying 40th in the 43 car field~ He didn't fare much better when the green flag dropped, finishing the event 68 laps down, in 24th place~ He really only finished that well because Rick Wilson (who was driving the #75 Food Country Ford) caused a massive crash, which took out a ton of cars~ Chad Little went on to win the race, driving the #23 Bayer Ford, owned by Greg Pollex~

                                                  Rumley being interviewed on television~
Johnny Rumley Big Johnson Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1995 Shelmerdine win

     Rumley qualified 28th in the GM Goodwrench / AC Delco 200 @ Dover, but worked his way to the lead as the race went on, leading one lap, before fading back to finish in 6th place, for his second top 10 of the season~ He had a solid qualifying effort in the Carolina Pride / Red Dog 250 @ Myrtle Beach, with an 8th place starting spot, but wasn't able to keep the car alive for most of the race, finishing the event 35 laps down, in 30th place~ Larry Pearson won the race in the #92 Stanley Tools Chevrolet, in what would be the final BGN victory of his career~

    Johnny then failed to qualify for the Lysol 200 @ Watkins Glen~ He then qualified 31st for the Sears Auto Center 250 @ Milwaukee, but had a lackluster showing in the race, only managing a 24th place finish~ The team then traveled to Talladega, for the Hummingbird Fishfinder 500K, where Rumley qualified in 37th place~ He was able to catch the draft in the race however, taking the lead for 4 laps, before settling in for an 11th place finish~

    The series next traveled to South Boston, Virginia, for the Ford Credit 300~ Rumley qualified 19th for the event, but his car suffered a blown engine on lap 118, resulting in a 28th place finish~ To continue the tradition of me only writing about races that Chad Little won, he also won this one, driving the #23 Harris-Teeter Ford~

                                                             Big Johnson Racing poster~
Johnny Rumley Big Johnson Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1995 Shelmerdine win

    Johnny then had a good qualifying run in the Kroger 200 @ IRP, with a 9th place run~ The race didn't go his way however, as he was involved in a massive crash on lap 164, which also involved 7 other cars~ His car was toast, and he finished in 27th place~

    He then had an all around poor showing in the Detroit Gasket 200 @ Michigan, where he qualified 36th, and finished the race six laps down, in the 29th position~ He then qualified 13th in the Food City 250 @ Bristol, but his engine gave up only 33 laps into the event, and he finished in 35th place~

    Next up was the Gatorade 200 @ Darlington, where after qualifying dead last in the 41 car event, he was able to limp along to finish 23rd, 5 laps off the pace of race winner, Mark Martin, who was driving the famed #60 Winn-Dixie Ford~ Rumley then went on to DNQ for the Autolite 250 @ Richmond~ But his luck was about to change, in fact, it would change in the following race~

                                                    Johnny Rumley prepares for the race~
Johnny Rumley Big Johnson Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1995 Shelmerdine win

    Rumley qualified 24th for the MBNA 200 @ Dover, but managed to plow his way through the field, taking the lead with 11 laps to go, and never looking back, on his way to the final BGN victory of his career~ Johnny's win was also the final victory in the BGN series for the Chevy Lumina~

    He then qualified 44th for the All Pro Bumper To Bumper 300 @ Charlotte, and somehow hung around till the end, and came out of it with a 12th place finish~ He would then finish 21st in the AC-Delco 200 @ Rockingham, before heading to the season finale race @ Homestead, where he would crash out on lap 31, finishing in 40th place~

    Johnny finished the season with 17 starts (career high), 1 win (ties career high), 1 top 5 (ties career high), and 3 top 10's (career high), while finishing 28th in the final points standings (career high)~ The team lost the Big Johnson sponsorship at the end of the season, and Rumley drove 6 more races for the team, along with 2 DNQ's, before the team shut down~ He attempted two races (Charlotte, Rockingham) in the #75 Food Country Ford, but failed to make the field in either event~

                                             Johnny Rumley #25 Big Johnson Chevrolet~
Johnny Rumley Big Johnson Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1995 Shelmerdine win
                                                               Click pics to enlarge~
Johnny Rumley Big Johnson Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1995 Shelmerdine win

    This is one of my favorite sponsors that Racing Champions made a car of, along with Sherry Blakley's #83 Ramses Condoms car, and Gary Bradberry's #19 Child Support Recovery car~ Big Johnson shirts were hilarious for a good while, but eventually, the gimmick got stale, and everyone quit wearing them~ Basically, the shirts consisted of a nerdy man, named Big Johnson, who was surrounded by half naked women, along with some quirky saying, pretty much stating that Big Johnson had a big johnson~

   As for this car, it basically looks identical to the real car~ I'm not a fan of the 1995 body style, and they made the tires look phony as well starting with this series~ I collect Racing Champions stuff that was made after 1994, I'm just not a big fan of what the cars became, with the plastic bottoms, and fake wheels.. they should have kept the fake looking wheels on the Premier version cars, and not put them on these standard issues cars~

  I'm going to give the car a B- on the Racing Champions quality scale, because of the newer body style, and horribly plain picture of Rumley on the card.. they could have given him a better card than the one he got~ I'd say most newer fans of the sport have never heard of Rumley, but Racing Champions made two versions of cars he drove, and he won 2 races in only 51 career starts, that's pretty amazing~

  What hurt Rumley the most is that he just wasn't marketable, in an era that was starting to focus solely on marketability at the time~ With Jeff Gordon's arrival just two years prior, the sport was constantly seeking younger, more marketable drivers~ That's what pretty much done Rumley in, he was a "good ol' boy"... and NASCAR was done with that kind of driver~

                 **Bonus Car** Diggity Dave #72 Wrigley's Spearmint Gum Pontiac custom~
Diggity Dave #72 Wrigley's Spearmint Gum Pontiac NASCAR Racing Champions Blog 1/64 Custom Photoshop

   This custom was done using Ken Bouchard's #72 ADAP/Auto Palace Pontiac~ Not the best one I've ever done, but it's not bad looking~ I wouldn't chew this gum, because they put aspartame in it now, and that's nasty~

    Johnny Rumley will be 60 years old this April, and I'm sure he's still out there somewhere, working hard, and having a pretty good life for himself~ He accomplished a lot in his short NASCAR career, a lot more than some people ever accomplish (insert Derrike Cope's BGN stats here)~

   Thank you all for stopping by, and supporting the blog~ I've added a "follow" button to the blog now, it's located at the top of the page, on the right hand side~ Follow the blog to get updated on when I post new blog posts, and please share this blog post on any social media sites that you frequent~ I have added some videos below featuring Rumley, and maybe some other NASCAR stuff~ Y'all be careful out there, and have a happy New Year!~ :)

                                                    Johnny Rumley interview from 1995~

  1995 Kroger 200 - Rumley, Heveron, Mike Wallace crash~

                                     Rumley clipped by Robert Pressley - South Boston 1997~

                                          Interviews with people, Rumley amongst others~

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