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Monday, January 30, 2017

1989 Racing Champions / Action Promo Set

    Hello again, and welcome to the 100th installment of the NASCAR Racing Champions blog!~ I wanted to make this a special post, since it's the 100th one.. so I picked this rare set from 1989, pairing Action, and Racing Champions, in what was the first Racing Champions cars produced~ I do not own these cars, but a friend of mine was kind enough to take some pictures for me, and I was able to make them work~

    I've put in a lot of hours during these 100 blog posts, and I've learned several things along the way that I was never aware of, as well as re-lived some of the memories that I could remember~ There's definitely no shortage in Racing Champions cars, so here's to 100 more posts!~ :) With all of that out of the way, let's get into this special installment of the NASCAR Racing Champions Blog~

                              Frank Wagenhals - President and Founder of Action Products Inc.~
Frank Wagenhals 1989 Racing Champions Action 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog promo red black

    These business cards I show in the post are also courtesy of my friend, Jeff Glover~ This one is of the President/founder, Fred Wagenhals~ Fred is known in the industry as the "Godfather of diecasts"~ He was inducted into the Diecast Hall of Fame in 2010~

   Wagenhals is currently the founder and chairman of Winners Development LLC., a real estate development company~ Wagenhals and Action were in a legal dispute in 1999, and the company was sold to Bruton Smith by 2005~

                                  Fred Miller - Director of Racing at Racing Champions Inc.~
Fred Miller Waterbed Racing Champions Blue Max NASCAR 1/64 diecast blog Director of Racing

  "Waterbed" Fred Miller may be best known as part of the team behind Raymond Beadle's three consecutive NHRA Funny Car Championships in the Blue Max Mustang~ He was a well respected, and highly regarded mechanic, and he traveled along with Beadle to over 100 events per year, as well as both U.S. Championship tours~

    Miller was Wagenhals' first employee, and was hired to deal with the licensing side of the business~ Miller was with Wagenhals when he made the trip to North Carolina, to attempt to obtain the licensing rights for Dale Earnhardt~ Once there, they boarded Earnhardt's boat on Lake Norman, and Earnhardt didn't hesitate to ask how much he was going to get out of the deal~

    Without thought, Wagenhals blurted out the number 300,000, and Earnhardt happily agreed, but wanted his money up front~ There was one problem.. Wagenhals didn't have the cash~ So he rushed back, sold his house, moved into an apartment, and handed Earnhardt the check a week or so later~

    In an interview about his time with Racing Champions, Miller stated "I was approached by Fred Wagenhals with this idea of putting a car in a blister pack with a trading card, under the name Racing Champions. They were going to sell it wholesale~ It looked like a good opportunity because I was though racing, so I got involved in the licensing of things~" He was later fired by Racing Champions, but quickly scooped up by Action~

                         Tod Wagenhals -  National Accounts Manager at Action Products Inc.~
Tod Wagenhals Action Racing Champions NASCAR 1/64 diecast blog 1989

    Tod is the son of Fred Wagenhals~ He was 24 years old at the time of this business card, and was a National Accounts Manager with the company~ He graduated in 1983 from Arcadia High School, in Phoenix, Arizona~ He is currently the Executive Vice President, and C.O.O. of Winners Development LLC., the real estate development company, owned by his father~

    Local charges were filed against him in Scottsdale, Arizona on May 26th, 2006, and he appeared in the Scottsdale Municipal Court~ I'm not sure of what the charges were, or the outcome of the case, but it did go to a jury trial~ I'm guessing since I can't find much on it, that whatever it was, the charges were dropped~ Tod is currently 52 years old, likes to golf a lot, and he's pretty good at it~

                            Darla Mack - National Accounts Manager for Action Products Inc.~
Darla Mack Perkins Action Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    Darla Mack (now Darla Mack Perkins) had the same job title as Tod Wagenhals~ I'm sure she did more work than Tod, but was paid a lot less~ Poor 80's women~ :P All jokes aside, Darla's job with the company was to make sure customers were happy, as well as recruit new customers, or potential customers/clients~

    Darla Perkins is currently 55 years old, and lives in Irving, Texas~ She is currently working as a Procurement Specialist at International Power, in the Lubbock/Dallas area~ She is married to John Perkins~ I'm not sure how long she stayed with the company, but I didn't find her name in any of the articles I was finding for this post, so she may not have been around long~

                           Melodee Dean - National Accounts Manager for Action Products Inc.~
Melodee Dean Action Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1989

    Melodee Dean was also a National Accounts Manager with Action Products Inc.~ She was influential during the Days of Thunder diecast marketing craze~ She is currently 52 years old, and lives in Florida with her husband, Lawrence Dean~

    Dean also runs a not-for-profit called "First Baptist Church of Floral City Inc.", which operates a pet food drop-off & distribution center~ As with Darla Perkins, I'm not sure how long Dean was with the company, but I do think it was longer than Perkins was~

                                                     1989 Action (black Ford) promo card~
1989 Action Products Inc. Black Car Racing Champions Card 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog
                                                             Back of the Action card~
1989 Action Products Inc. Black Car Racing Champions Card 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    This is the card that comes with the black car in the set~ As you can see, it's pretty dull, but gosh... it's so rare~ I love this card, based solely on the rarity of it, this whole set in this post is beyond insane rare~ I'm happy to at least know someone who has them~

    On a quality scale, this card gets a D-, because it's just so boring, but on a rarity scale, it's gotta be an A+, so I'd guess that averages the card out to about a C+ overall~

                                          1989 Racing Champions (red Ford) promo card~
1989 Racing Champions Red #1 Ford Promo 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    This card, besides the fact of having a cooler logo than Action, is even more boring than the Action one~ This is all it is, nothing on the back, just blank white~ I wish they would have written something on the back... some kind of anything would have been nice~ It's still awesome to see this card, since it's such a rare piece of Racing Champions history~

    This one is getting a D+ on the Racing Champions quality scale, since there wasn't anything written on the back~ Enough with these cards, let's get down to the cars themselves, shall we?~

                                                        1989 Action Promo Black Ford~
1989 Action Promo Mini Cars Electric Pedal Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog
                                                              Click pics to enlarge~
1989 Action Promo Mini Cars Electric Pedal Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog
                                           1989 Racing Champions Promo Red Ford~
1989 Action Promo Mini Cars Electric Pedal Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog
                                                                  Click pics to enlarge~
1989 Racing Champions #1 Red promo 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    I would consider these to be the rarest of all of the Racing Champions cars ever produced~ I could be wrong about that, but I know they are super hard to find, at least for sale~ I know of 5 people who have them, and only 3 who have both of them, along with their cards they came with~ As far as the business cards go, those 3 guys are the only ones I know who own them~ I'm sure there are lots more out there somewhere, but they're just super hard to come across~

   You just know several of these sets are lying around somewhere, not being cared about.. I'd say some people have them, and don't even know what they are~ But that's the fun of collecting the old Racing Champions stuff... you just never know what you're gonna find, or what the price will be when you do find it~ I've got cars for as low as 25 cents, still in the packaging.. but I've also paid 62 bucks for a single 1/64... so you just never know, and you've always gotta be on the lookout~

    I'd like to again thank my friend Jeff Glover for letting me use these pictures for the blog~ I hope someday I can replace them with pictures of my own set~ Thank you all for stopping by the blog for this special 100th edition post!~ Below is the bonus car for this post, as well as a video of Fred Wagenhals' HOF speech, and some random NASCAR videos~ Stay safe, and I'll see ya' the next time, here on the NASCAR Racing Champions Blog!~ :)

                             **Bonus car** Kenny Wallace #36 Cox Treated Lumber Pontiac~
Kenny Wallace #36 Cox Treated Lumber Pontiac Cup Racing Champions green white 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog custom

    If Racing Champions came back, and started making retro 1/64's, this is one I'd love to see them make~ I was always a big fan of both Cox schemes, but this green and white scheme was always my personal favorite~

    This car was a bit tricky to make, but I was impressed with the outcome~ I give it an A- on the Racing Champions quality scale, because it does have some minor flaws, but from a distance, she's a beaut, Clark... She's a real beaut!~ :)

                                         Frank Wagenhals' Diecast Hall of Fame speech~ 2010~

                                                Waterbed Fred Miller Blue Max preview~

                                                     Dale knew how to sell diecasts~

                                                   Bill Elliott sings "Crazy Racing Man"~

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Sherry Blakley #83 Ramses Protection Chevrolet

    Hello Racing Champions fans!~ Well, it doesn't seem like it, but this is my 99th blog post~ Since we're so close to 100, I figured I'd make this one a special post too~ I actually just got this car a few days ago, and I'm pretty excited about it~ What we're going to be looking back on today is the Sherry Blakley #83 Ramses Protection Chevrolet~ Blakley drove this car during the 1994 Goody's Dash Series season, as well as a DNQ in the Busch Grand National division~

    In case some of you may not know, Ramses is a brand of condom~ This car was very controversial in its time, and the team used to hand out samples of the condoms to the fans.. at least for the first race~ They also promoted AIDS education, and safe sex~ At first, Blakley went to Ramses parent company, London International, looking for sponsorship from their manicure implements division, but the Sarasota Florida based company had another idea~ We'll get to that, and more in this edition of the NASCAR Racing Champions Blog~

                                                Racing was one of Sherry's many talents~
Sherry Blakley #83 Ramses Pontiac Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Goody's Dash BGN Busch

    Even before she started her professional racing career, Sherry was a fierce competitor.. competing in softball (shown above), basketball, figure skating, and cheerleading~ She attended Clark High School in Texas, and was the co-captain of the cheerleading squad~

    As a youth, she participated in go-kart racing, and won several events~ With her father backing her, she was able to compete for wins, and even championships in the go-kart ranks... but to move up the chain, you need sponsors to back you, and Blakley soon found this out~

                                                Young Sherry getting coached by her father~
Sherry Blakley #83 Ramses Pontiac Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Goody's Dash BGN Busch

    After spending her early teens in go-karts, Sherry was growing tired beating everyone, and was looking for her next challenge~ She had accomplished all she could in the go-karts, and it was time to make the step up to Late Models~ That whole sponsor thing came into play here for the first time~ She picked up sponsorship from Bud Light, and drove a Pontiac in several Late Model starts~

    She was quite competitive in the Late Model division, and with good looks on her side, she was able to keep the sponsorship dollars rolling in, allowing her to move up the ranks quite steadily~ Before long, she was knocking on the door of the Goody's Dash series~

                                               Magazine insert of Blakley's Bud Light car~
Sherry Blakley #83 Ramses Pontiac Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Goody's Dash BGN Busch

    Sherry was one of the few female TIDA Late Model drivers~ Under the guidance of her father Jack, she quickly learned how to mix it up with many experienced male drivers on the TIDA Southwest Circuit such as Slick Yoemans, John Kelly, Rick Rapp, David Umscheid, Greg Davidson, Jay Watson, and dozens of other well known drivers~

    Along with Bud Light, La Quinta was another one of her earlier sponsors~  Before running Late Models, she raced in the All Pro Super Series, running a five race campaign during the 1988 season~ She would compete the following year in the TIDA Late Models, due to poor records, all I can tell you is that she had a best known finish of 14th in a race at Twin Cities Speedway, in Odessa Texas on April 1st, 1989~ Larry Schild won the event~

                                                      Blakley in the All Pro series days~
Sherry Blakley #83 Ramses Pontiac Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Goody's Dash BGN Busch

    As you can see in the picture above, La Quinta was a sponsor during her All Pro series races~ Texas Pete, Skoal Long Cut, and Gatorade were all series secondary sponsors~ I also found it interesting that she drove an Oldsmobile during this time, though it wasn't uncommon~ I had just seen information of her driving either a Pontiac, or a Chevrolet.. up until researching for this post~

    Blakley ran five races during the 1988 season of the All Pro series~ She had a best finish of 12th twice~ The first time came in the San Antonio 100 @ San Antonio Speedway, and the other was the Hoosier Tire 150 @ Mobile International Speedway, in Irvington, Alabama~

   She ran her first Goody's Dash Series event in the 1991 Cam 2 100 @ Five Flags Speedway, in Pensacola, Florida, where she finished in 15th place~ She made that lone start in the series, and took the entire 1992 off, perhaps to be with her family, but I'm not sure of the exact reason~ She returned in 1993 to run the entire schedule, and was quite impressive, as we'll soon find out~

                                                    Sherry at a promo shoot for Ramses~
Sherry Blakley #83 Ramses Pontiac Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Goody's Dash BGN Busch

    The 1993 Goody's Dash Series season was perhaps her finest moment, as far as racing goes~ She ran the complete schedule, with a best finish of 3rd, in the Goody's Dash 100 @ Florence Motor Speedway, in Timmonsville, South Carolina~

    She finished 4th in the Goody's Dash 125 @ the Nashville Fairgounds Speedway, and finished the season off with a confirmed two top 5's, and ten top 10's, while finishing 8th in the final points standings~ Two of the races during the season don't have confirmed stats, so she could have gotten more top 5's, or top 10's.. but I an confirm the above stats stated above~

                                                             Blakley's Dash Series car~
Sherry Blakley #83 Ramses Pontiac Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Goody's Dash BGN Busch

    I'm not sure why, but there are more stats for the 1993 Dash Series, than there are for the 1994 season~ Five races are missing all of the stats, so I can't give a complete rundown on her season, but here's what I know~ She had two top 10's, with the first being an 8th place finish in the NASCAR Goody's Dash 100 @ Florence Motor Speedway, in Timmonsville, South Carolina, and the final one coming in the Dooly Printing & PSK Radio 300 @ the Motor Mile Speedway, in Radford, Virginia~

   Blakley attempted to make one start in the 1994 BGN series season, in the All Pro 300 @ Charlotte~ She was supposed to run a five race deal with Ramses, however NASCAR didn't like the fact of people handing comdoms out to their fans, so they banned the sponsor from the sport, effectively ending Blakley's BGN career~

    She finished off the season in the Dash Series, with mostly lackluster finishes, and ran the final race of her career in the American General Finance 125 @ Hickory, where she finished in 12th place~ After her racing career ended, she got remarried, and sold cars at her new husbands dealership, in North Carolina~

                                                    Blakley during her ice skating days~
Sherry Blakley #83 Ramses Pontiac Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Goody's Dash BGN Busch

    Sometimes in life, we take things for granted when we shouldn't~ We expect people to be there for us, and then one day, they're not there anymore~ Then you start to regret not spending more time with them~ That's why it's important to always be with the ones you love, and let them know you care~ One day, Sherry Blakley was a teenage ice skater, then a race car driver, then, on February 13th, 2011, while vacationing with her husband, she failed to wake up from her sleep, and was gone~

    I haven't ever seen a cause of death for Sherry Blakley, but I'd imagine she had some kind of cardiac arrest, though that is just my speculation~ For someone not even 50 years old to just die in their sleep... it just seems odd to me~ I'm sad that she's dead, but I'm happy that I was able to do this blog post on her, to let people be able to know a little about who she was~

                                              Sherry Blakley #83 Ramses Protection Chevrolet~
Sherry Blakley #83 Ramses Pontiac Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Goody's Dash BGN Busch
                                                              Click pics to enlarge~
Sherry Blakley #83 Ramses Pontiac Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Goody's Dash BGN Busch

    After watching Mark Martin drive the #6 Viagra car, which was totally hideous looking.. this car actually looks pretty amazing!~ The pink stripe down the middle, the Delta Airline wings on the hood (in gold!), the pink striping around the numbers, and along the bottom of the car, which is also trimmed in gold... along with Sherry's name... this car is just all around top notch, and more than worth the current price you can get one for~

    The card shows a great picture of Sherry in front of the car, with rows of palm trees in the background~ Since NASCAR banned this sponsor, the car was taken off of store shelves immediately, so this car is a little bit tricky to find at times, but never more than 15 bucks when you do find it~ I got this one on Ebay for five bucks, free shipping...which is way low, in my opinion~

    As far as the Racing Champions quality scale on this one, I've got to give it an A+ all the way around~ It's a great looking car, with an awesome card.. what more can you ask for from a Racing Champions diecast?~ As always, I'd like to thank you all for checking out the blog~ Please share this post on social media, and click the "Follow" button on the top of this page, on the right hand side to get updates on new posts~ Below I have posted some videos featuring glimpses of the Ramses car, as well as a bonus car~

                           **Bonus Car** Diggity Dave #46 Pizzarias Pizza Chips Chevrolet~
Diggity Dave #46 Pizzarias Pizza Chips Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog custom

    When I was a kid, I loved Pizzarias Pizza Chips!~ They were the most awesome things ever at the time, and then one day... POOF!~ They were all gone... never to be seen again~ I wish they would bring them back, even if they give you cancer, I still loved them, and want them in my life again~ :)

                                  1994 Florida 200 & Daytona 500 highlights~ Blakley crash~

                                           Goody's Dash Series comp~ Blakley appearance~

                                             1993 Goody's Dash Dave Stacy in the Lake~

                                                                   Weird AIDS PSA~


Friday, January 20, 2017

Randy LaJoie #20 Fina / Lance Snacks Ford

    Welcome back once more to the NASCAR Racing Champions blog!~ With over 1,100 cars in my collection, and every single one of them being on display, I didn't really think I'd be making a post on Randy LaJoie any time soon~ I've got so many cars to choose from now, and I never was a fan of the guy~ However, as I sit here in my chair, I constantly see this car, as it's right behind my computer screens... and I've grown to love the look of the car, as well as the card it comes with~

    So in today's post, I'll be going over LaJoie's time in the #20 Fina/Lance Snacks Ford, owned by Dick Moroso, the father of the late Rob Moroso~ Randy first drove this car 15 races into the 1993 BGN season, in the Fram Filter 500K @ Talladega, and continued to do so until he was tabbed to drive the #22 MBNA Pontiac in the Cup series, for Bill Davis Racing~ Let's take a moment to see what the guy was up to, just a couple years away from winning back to back BGN Series championships~

                                                        Randy LaJoie hero card - 1994~
Randy LaJoie #20 Fina Lance Snacks Ford Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN Cup 1994 1993 Dick Moroso #74 age

   As I was saying, LaJoie's first ride in the car was in the Fram Filter 500K @ Talladega, as Joe Ruttman was let go from the team, after 3 races~ Randy took full advantage of the opportunity, starting the race from the third position, and finishing runner up to the man himself, Mr. Dale Earnhardt~ Though he never led a lap in the race, this sure had to be a confidence booster for LaJoie, as well as the entire team~

   The team next raced in the Food City 250 @ Bristol, and LaJoie quickly came down from cloud nine, with a 33rd place qualifying position (in a 34 car field)~ He was caught up in a 6 car accident on lap 52, and then he crashed out on his own a few laps later, ending his day in 32nd place~ Todd Bodine won the race, driving the #34 Fiddle Faddle Chevrolet~

   Up next was the Gatorade 200 @ Darlington, and LaJoie qualified 24th for the event~ As the race was coming to an end, he found himself in second place, but was no match for race winner/Busch whacker Mark Martin~ Still, two runner up finishes in your first three starts with a new team isn't too shabby~ I also forgot to mention this before, but LaJoie was driving Chevrolets and Oldsmobiles at this point~ It wasn't until 1994 that he was driving the Ford, and that was only for his Cup series starts.. the BGN car was a Chevrolet all season long~

                                                   The #20 car on pit road, ready to go~
Randy LaJoie #20 Fina Lance Snacks Ford Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN Cup1994 1993 Dick Moroso #74 age

    LaJoie qualified third for the Autolite 250 @ Richmond, but faded back during the race, and ended up with a 12th place finish~ He finished 12th in the All Pro 200 @ Charlotte, 8th in the AC-Delco 200 @ Rockingham, and ended the season with a 27th place finish in the Slick 50 300 @ Atlanta, after falling victim to ignition issues~ LaJoie would run a full season in the BGN, and 3 races in the Cup series for Moroso in 1994~

    The actual Racing Champions version of this car is from his Cup series starts~ That's the only time he ever drove this car as a Ford~ His first start of the season came in the Coca-Cola 600 @ Charlotte, where he started 27th, and finished 20th, seven laps off the pace of race winner, Jeff Gordon~ This was Gordon's first career victory, and he was memorably emotional in victory lane~

    Randy was back in the Cup series four races later, for the Slick 50 300 @ Loudon, where he qualified in 19th place~ He again wasn't much of a factor throughout the race, and again finished in 20th place~ He would attempt to qualify for the inaugural Brickyard 400, but failed to make the field~ This would be his final Cup start of the season, while driving for Moroso~ He made one final start in T.W. Taylor's #02 Children's Miracle Network Ford, in the Hooters 500 @ Atlanta, where he finished in 19th place~

                                              LaJoie would find success in the BGN series~
Randy LaJoie #20 Fina Lance Snacks Ford Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN Cup1994 1993 Dick Moroso #74 age

    I don't have the space left to write about LaJoie's full 1994 BGN season, so I'm just gonna give you the highlights~  He started 8th in the season opener @ Daytona, and even led four laps, but his engine gave way on lap 87, resulting in a 28th place finish~ He started 23rd in the Goodwrench 200 @ Rockingham, but battled his way to the front, eventually leading fourteen laps, and finishing in 4th place~

   After a 24th place starting position for the Busch Light 300 @ Atlanta, he was able to do much better in the race, where he finished in 7th place~ LaJoie couldn't seem to qualify good in the car, but he was able to find his way to the front by the end of the race~ He qualified 31st for the Miller 500 @ Martinsville, but found his way up to 4th by the drop of the checkered flag~ Moving on to the Mark III Vans 200 @ Darlington, LaJoie had an all around solid weekend, as he qualified 9th, and finished in the 3rd spot~

   Randy qualified 21st for the Sundrop 400 @ Hickory, and finished runner up to Ricky Craven, who dominated the event in his #2 Dupont Refinishes Chevrolet~ Following the conclusion of this race, LaJoie found himself leading the BGN points standings for the first time in his career~ It wouldn't last for long, and he would soon go on a downward spiral that would continue throughout the 1994 season~

                                           LaJoie drove this car in the Cup series in 1995~
Randy LaJoie Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Cup age 1995 MBNA

   When I say he started tanking, I mean.. the Hickory race was the seventh race of the season, and LaJoie would only have two more top 10's for the remainder of the entire season~ One of the few bright spots of the year was when won the pole for the Gatorade 200 @ Darlington, but he ended up finishing 27th for the event~

   He finished 6th in the Split Fire 200 @ Dover, after starting from the 17th position, in a race won by Johnny Benson Jr.~ LaJoie would later win back to back BGN series championships in the #74 car that Benson was driving~ LaJoie's final top 10 of the season came in the season finale AC-Delco 200 @ Rockingham, where he finished in 9th place~ He finished the season with 1 pole, 4 top 5's, and 7 top 10's, while finishing 16th in the final points standings, a career high at that point~

   Randy left the team at the end of the 1994 season to drive full time for Bill Davis Racing in the Cup series, driving the #22 MBNA Pontiac~ He was fired midway through the season, in favor of a trio of drivers, which consisted of Ward Burton, Wally Dallenbach Jr., and Jimmy Hensley~ He would go back to the BGN series and win back to back championships, driving the #74 Fina Chevrolet for Bill Baumgardner~

                                             Randy LaJoie #20 Fina / Lance Snacks Ford~
Randy LaJoie #20 Fina Lance Snacks Ford Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN Cup1994 1993 Dick Moroso #74 age
Click pics to enlarge~
Randy LaJoie #20 Fina Lance Snacks Ford Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN Cup1994 1993 Dick Moroso #74 age

   See what I mean about this car?~ It's pretty awesome looking~ Every little secondary sponsor is there, and this thing is fully loaded!~ In case the secondary sponsors are too small to read, they are Blue Bird Ice Cream, Bull & Hannah's Meat Snacks, Kool-Aid, and Moroso~ I can't tell what they thing is on the side post, but it is some kind of bottle, perhaps a bottle of water~

   I'm easily giving this car an A+ on the Racing Champions quality scale~ It's an awesome car, and it's also sad to think that this would have been Rob Moroso's Busch whacker machine, or would they have hired someone else to drive it, and develop into a two car Cup team eventually?~ I guess we'll never know the answer to that, since Rob and Dick are both dead now~ 

   Thanks for stopping by the blog again!~ Please share this post on social media, and click the "follow" button at the top of the page here, on the right hand side~ Below is the bonus car for this post, along with some videos of Randy LaJoie throughout his career~ Enjoy, and I'll see ya' next time, right here at the NASCAR Racing Champions Blog!~ :)

         **Bonus car** Jeff McClure #27 Showcase Racing Collectibles/Race For Life Oldsmobile~
Jeff McClure #27 Showcase Racing Collectibles Race For Life Oldsmobile Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Matchbox

McClure drove this car during his only Winston Cup start, in the 1992 Champion Spark Plug 400 @ Michigan~ He started 39th, and finished in 31st, in a race won by the legendary Harry Gant~ A Matchbox version of this car was made, and so I copied the logos from it, and put them on this Racing Champions body in Photoshop~ 

                                                   Randy Lajoie 1984 Daytona flip/crash~

                               1999 NAPA Auto Parts 300~ Lajoie win~ Filmed with a potato~

                                                     Randy LaJoie - My first 500~

                                                    Randy LaJoie flips - Talladega 1995~



Friday, January 13, 2017

Dave Ashley #2 So. Cal. Ford Dealers / Ultra Custom Wheels Ford

    Hello again, and welcome back to the ol' Racing Champions blog~ I've been really busy here lately with several different things, but I'm finally able to sit down for a bit, and get a blog post done~ This one is on Dave Ashley's #2 So. Cal. Ford Dealers/Ultra Custom Wheels Ford~ It's a very rare truck from the Series 1 set, and was one of the first trucks ever built for the series.. and I never knew it existed until just a couple days ago~

    I got this one, along with another super rare gem, P.J. Jones' #1 Trader's Sport Truck Superstore/Vessels Stallion Farm Ford~ That one also only ran during the 1994/95 winter heat races, that were put on to basically get all the bugs out of the trucks, before they started the 1995 season~ Anyway, let's get into this post, I think it will be a pretty interesting one, but sadly, the pictures aren't the best.. but it's all I could find~ I even had to resort to screen capping race footage for pictures~

             I found out after I colorized this, that the Goodrich part is actually red on his uniform~
Dave Ashley #2 So. Cal. Ford Dealers Ultra Custom Wheels Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Supertrucks Super Trucks 1994 1995 David off road

   After talking it over for a while with Jim Venable, Frank Vessels, Dick Landfield, and Jimmy Smith, Dave Ashley was actually one of the first people (along with Gary Collins) to build a truck for the upcoming NASCAR "SuperTruck" series~ He had be doing off-road racing, and desert racing for years, and was good friends with Venable, so when he was given a heads up on the series, he quickly went to work creating a truck for the series~ He was also instrumental in creating the first rule book for the series~

   Countless hours of work went into designing, and building the truck, and countless more hours went into testing, and development~ But finally they got it right, and the prototype truck was displayed at Daytona for Speedweeks, and tested by team owner, Jack Smith~ The crowd loved it, and on April 11th, 1994, NASCAR officials approved the new series, during a meeting with Venable and others, at a hotel in Burbank, California~

                                  Ashley was a regular during the 1994/95 Winter heat races~
Dave Ashley #2 So. Cal. Ford Dealers Ultra Custom Wheels Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Supertrucks Super Trucks 1994 1995 David off road

   The first ever event held for the upcoming series was held at Mesa Marin, the half mile track in Bakesfield California, and was christened the "1994 SuperTruck Mesa Marin 20"~ There were only 5 trucks in the field that day, and Ashley qualified on the outside of row number one~ Craig Huartson  (who never ran an official SuperTruck race once the inaugural season began) won the pole for the event, while Rob MacCachren qualified 3rd, P.J. Jones 4th, and Gary Collins qualified in the back of the pack~

   After leading the first lap, Huartson was passed by Ashley, who led the next 7 laps, before handing the lead over to Rob MacCachren, who led for 6 laps, before being passed for good by P.J. Jones, who won the race in the #1 Vessels Stallion Farms Ford, owned by Scoop Vessels~ Jones was awarded 900 dollars for the win, while the remaining drivers each won 800 dollars~

   The next race was held in Portland, and was dubbed the "1994 SuperTruck Portland 20"~ Ashley won the pole for the event, with Rob MacCachren starting 2nd, Craig Huartson 3rd, Mike Hurlbert made his debut start in a truck from the 4th position, Gary Collins was 5th, and P.J. Jones was at the tail end of the field~

   Ashley never led a lap in the race, as he was passed by Rob MacCachren at the start of the event~ MacCachren led the entire 20 laps on his way to victory, and was followed by Gary Collins, P.J. Jones, Craig Huartson, Ashley, and Mike Hurlbert finished last~ Don't feel too bad for him though, last in this even was still a top 10 effort~ :P

                                                Dave Ashley battles P.J. Jones for position~
Dave Ashley #2 So. Cal. Ford Dealers Ultra Custom Wheels Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Supertrucks Super Trucks 1994 1995 David off road

   Up next for the trucks was their first real test, in the form of a 200 lap event at the Tucson Raceway Park, entitled the "1994 SuperTruck Winter Heat 200 #1"~ Along with the extended race, there were 16 drivers listed to start the event~ Ashley didn't start the race however, as he crashed his truck during practice, and didn't have another one~ He was credited as finishing last for the event, though he never started~ Rick Carelli dominated, and won the event, leading 107 of the 200 laps in the #6 TOTAL Petroleum Chevrolet~ This was also the first start in the series for Dodge, as Walker Evans finished 12th in his #20 American Racing Wheels Dodge~

   Almost one month later, the teams returned to Tucson, for the "1994 SuperTruck Winter Heat 200 #2"~ Ron Hornaday won the pole for the event, driving the #75 Spears Motor Sports Chevrolet, while Ashley qualified in the 10th spot~ Johnny Benson missed the race after a practice crash destroyed his #18 Performance Friction Chevrolet~

   Mike Skinner was the fastest truck for most of the day, leading for 107 laps, but Ron Hornaday had an equally fast truck, having led 71 laps~ In the end, P.J. Jones was able to get by both of them in the #1 Vessels Stallion Farms Ford, to take the checkered flag first~ Hornaday finished 2nd, Skinner was 3rd, and Ashley finished in 8th place, three laps off the pace of the race winner~

                                Ashley made his only official truck series start in this truck~
Dave Ashley #2 So. Cal. Ford Dealers Ultra Custom Wheels Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Supertrucks Super Trucks 1994 1995 David off road

   The last event held during the 1994/95 Winter Heat races took place on January 5th, 1995 @ Tuscon for the "1995 SuperTruck Winter Heat #3"~ Butch Gilliland grabbed the pole for the event, while Ashley qualified 17th in the 18 truck field~ Gary Balough was attempting a NASCAR comeback of sorts, and qualified 9th for the event~ The race was won by Mike Skinner, who led 55 laps in the #3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet on his way to the checkered flag~ Ashley finished the race in 9th place~

   Following this race, Ashley only ran one race in the official series, the 1995 Ford Credit 125 @ Mesa Marin~ He qualified 24th in the 30 truck field, and was driving the #2 Ultra Custom Wheels Ford~ Mike Skinner won the pole for the race, and P.J. Jones was on the outside of row number one~ Drivers who failed to qualify for the event were Bob Jones, Mike Hurlbert, T.J. Clark, Steve McEachern, and Coach Jerry Glanville~

   Ron Hornaday Jr. basically dominated the event, leading 106 of the 125 laps in the #16 Action Racing Collectibles Chevrolet, owned by Dale Earnhardt Inc.~ He would go on to win the event with ease, with Bill Sedgwick finishing 2nd, Mike Bliss 3rd, followed by Mike Skinner, and Butch Miller finished in 5th~ Ashley finished the race in last place, following a blown engine, after completing 77 laps~ He never raced in the series again, but returned to off-road racing, and had a Hall of Fame career~

                             Dave Ashley #2 So. Cal. Ford Dealers/Ultra Custom Wheels Ford~
Dave Ashley #2 So. Cal. Ford Dealers Ultra Custom Wheels Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Supertrucks Super Trucks 1994 1995 David off road
                                                               Click pics to enlarge~
Dave Ashley #2 So. Cal. Ford Dealers Ultra Custom Wheels Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Supertrucks Super Trucks 1994 1995 David off road

   Well, like I said earlier, up until a couple of days ago, I never had even seen a picture of this diecast anywhere~ It's been a while since I started this post, so I may have already said this, but my guess is that Racing Champions knew that he ran all of the exhibition races, and he did win a pole in one of them, so perhaps they just thought he'd run this truck, at least once in an official SuperTrucks race once the season started, and he just didn't~ There may not be very many of these at all, maybe 5,000 or even less were made, I'd assume~

   I really enjoy this truck, and I think it looks awesome~ Even though the pictures I posted are blurry, you can still tell that it looks identical to the truck he ran during the exhibition races~ The card could have been a little more appealing, but the truck pretty much makes up for that~ Overall, I give this one an A- on the Racing Champions quality scale, only because the card could have been better, and the packaging on the Series 1 SuperTrucks is horrible.. it just falls apart, and is very flimsy, and the plastic tends to yellow on them much more than on any other Racing Champions diecast, in my opinion~

   I was super excited to get this truck today, along with the P.J. Jones truck, which I will be doing a post on in the near future~ Not only did I get an awesome piece to add to the collection, but I get to show it to y'all, so you can write it down on your "cars to track down" list~ I know I look at cars on Ebay a lot to find cars to add to my list of cars that I need, and I've never even seen this one before~ I did see a 1/24 scale version for 24.99 obo, if any of you are interested in that scale~

                                          **Bonus car** Chad Little #90 Cheerwine Ford~
Chad Little #90 Cheerwine Pugh Oil Co. Tank & Tummy Junie Donlavey debut

   I was pretty happy about this car, I actually didn't think I'd be able to make it look good~ I used Bobby Dotter's #08 TeamR Buick to make this one, so it's not technically a Ford, but oh well, that's just what I did to make it easier on me~ Chad Little drove this #90 Cheerwine/Pugh Oil Co./Tank & Tummy Ford (owned by Junie Donlavey) in the 1989 Coca-Cola 600 @ Charlotte~ He qualified 39th in the 42 car field, and ended up finishing 18th~ Pretty impressive for 600 miles in a Junie car~

   The hardest part on this car was painting the nose~ I suck at painting, even in Photoshop~ I just don't have the steadiest hands in the world these days~ I still think I did a decent job on it, and I was impressed in the end~ I'd give this one an B+ on the Racing Champions quality scale, because there are some minor flaws, but it's still really cool looking~

   Thank you all for stopping by and visiting the blog again, I hope you enjoyed this post, and learned something new~ I enjoyed learning about Dave Ashley and this truck, as I was working on this blog post~ Please share this post on any social media site you're on, and click the "Follow" button at the top of this page, on the right hand side~ :)

   Below is a picture of a car my friend is looking for, along with some random old truck videos, since there isn't much on Dave Ashley~ If you have the car posted below, and wish to sell it, please contact me at, and I can relay the message to him~ He will gladly pay a fair price for it, if you have this exact one in the photo, not the Toys R' Us one~

                                                Here she is~ Must be exactly like this one~
Jeff Glover

                                  Dave Ashley's "Off-Road Hall of Fame" acceptance speech~
                                                      Dave Ashley's off-road truck~

                                     Weird segment about the 1994 debut of the original truck~

Monday, January 2, 2017

Kyle Petty #42 Peak Antifreeze Chevrolet (white)

    Hey there!~ Welcome to 2017, and welcome back to the NASCAR Racing Champions Blog!~ Today's post was supposed to be posted hours ago, but I've been having problems with my Photoshop the past few days.. it won't let me grab and move objects like it's supposed to do~ Something is wrong with my mouse also, and my favorite coffee cup, that I've had since 2000, died today~ I dropped it, and it went into a bunch of pieces... I almost died~

   I managed to survive through it all though... and even though the mouse and Photoshop didn't want to cooperate, I was at least able to get the stuff I needed done somewhat close to New Years Day~ Today's post is going to be on the #42 Peak Antifreeze Chevrolet, driven by Kyle Petty in the 1989 Coca-Cola 600~ Why was he driving a Chevrolet that day?~ Let's have a look at the ol' NASCAR history books, shall we?~

                         The pics for the Chevy version sucked, so these are all Pontiac versions~
Kyle Petty #42 Peak Chevrolet White Rick Hendrick 1989 Coca-Cola 600 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Charlotte

    Kyle Petty drove the full 1989 season (minus two DNQ's) for former Cup owner, Felix Sabates, with the exception of the Coca-Cola 600~ For that race, Petty brought his #42, along with sponsor, Peak Antifreeze, to Rick Hendricks team~ Some have speculated that this was for the movie "Days of Thunder", but I'm not really sure of the exact reason~ I've tried to find out why, but only read speculations, and never found out for 100% what the reason was~ If you know the answer, let me know in the comment section below~

   The race was held on Sunday, May 28th, 1989, and Alan Kulwicki won the pole for the event, in his #7 Zerex Ford, and Mark Martin was on the outside of row number one, in the #6 Stroh's Light Ford~ Kyle Petty qualified 33rd in the 42 car field, and seven cars failed to make the show, including H.B. Bailey, Delma Cowart, Jim Bown, Phil Barkdoll, and Rodney Combs~

   There were several surprise faces in the race, with Butch Miller making one of his rare Cup appearances in the #51 Fruit of the Loom Chevrolet, qualifying 28th~ Two Australian drivers made the field, with Allan Grice qualifying 32nd in the Foster's Lager/Bob Jane T-Marts Pontiac in what would be his final Cup series start, and Terry Byres, who qualified 35th in the #06 Byres Racing Chevrolet~

   Ben Hess qualified 30th in the #40 Hess Racing Oldsmobile, in one of his career high nine starts in 1989~ Some 1989 Racing Champions card backs have Ben's name on them, so a Ben Hess car was at some point supposed to be made... I've often wondered if one or more of them exists?~ I'd love to have one of them~ Every time I drive by a HESS brand gas station, it always make me think of Ben Hess~ Former BGN regular Tracy Leslie also made his Cup series debut in this race, starting 29th in A.J. Foyt's #14 Copenhagen Oldsmobile~

                                  Coach Ditka uses Peak antifreeze, and Chris Farley did too~
Kyle Petty #42 Peak Chevrolet White Rick Hendrick 1989 Coca-Cola 600 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Charlotte

    Mark Martin passed Kulwicki for the lead on lap 6, and led the next 53 laps of the race~ During this time, the only driver to drop out of the race was Butch Miller, who dropped out after wheel bearing issues~ Following green flag pit stops, Harry Gant took control of the lead, driving the #33 Skoal Bandit Oldsmobile to the front, and remaining there for the next 49 laps~

   Gant lost the lead when the caution came out for Jimmy Means, when the engine of his #52 Alka-Seltzer Pontiac expired~ Rusty Wallace came out with the lead and led for the next 10 laps, before getting passed by Kulwicki, whose car was just coming into its prime~ During this time, on lap 148, there would be one huge obstacle out of the way, as Harry Gant's engine would blow up, ending his chance at victory lane~ He finished in 40th place~

   Rick Wilson, who had qualified 5th in the #4 Kodak Film Oldsmobile, finally made his way to the front of the pack on lap 165, where he remained for 15 laps, before fading away to finish 35th in the event~  Dale Earnhardt finally found his way to the lead on lap 221, but blew up while leading two laps later, resulting in a 38th place finish~ Jim Sauter, who was driving the #31 Slender You Figure Salons Pontiac, was the next casualty due to a blown engine, and he finished the race in 37th place~

                                                        Kyle being cocky in the fire suit~
Kyle Petty #42 Peak Chevrolet White Rick Hendrick 1989 Coca-Cola 600 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Charlotte

   As would be expected in a 600 mile event, several cars were dropping out with blown engines~ Australian Allan Grice was the next to catch the blown engine bug, retiring from the race on lap 294, and finishing in 34th place~ Davey Allison followed him just four laps later, and Morgan Shepherd just five laps following Davey~

   Three laps following Morgan's blow up, Rusty Wallace's motor bit the dust, and he would finish in 31st~ Greg Sacks was involved in a crash on lap 320, and his Crisco Pontiac was done for the day, finishing in 30th place~ During all of these engines being blown up, Alan Kulwicki had been leading the entire time~ But this was a long race, and only the strongest cars will survive, regardless of the strength of the driver~

   I have actually written a blog post about this race already, when I did the Dale Jarrett #29 Hardee's/Ghostbusters II Pontiac, so I hope I'm changing it up a bit, and making it fun for those who have already read that post~ If you haven't, check it out, it's an amazing looking car~ Anyway, back to the race.. Jarrett finished 28th, with you guessed it... a blown engine~ Michael Waltrip was the next to "blow" on lap 333, finishing 27th~

                                          Kyle Petty #42 Peak Antifreeze  Pontiac hero card~
Kyle Petty #42 Peak Chevrolet White Rick Hendrick 1989 Coca-Cola 600 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Charlotte

   Our good friend Alan Kulwicki, was the next one to go, blowing up with less than 30 laps remaining, resulting in a 23rd place finish~ Tracy Leslie, who was making his Cup debut, finished in 25th, after retiring from the race due to crank issues~ Ben Hess was running at the end of the race, albeit 12 laps down.. but he still finished in 20th place, which was amazing for him~

   Richard Petty finished in 19th place, followed by Chad Little, driving the #90 Cheerwine/Pugh Oil Co. Ford, owned by Junie Donlavey~ I never knew about this car, until I was doing research for that Dale Jarrett post I mentioned earlier, and it's an awesome looking car~ I may try and make a Photoshop custom of it some day~ Anyway, Kyle ended up finishing in 17th place, 8 laps off of the leader's pace~

   Some other drivers I'd like to mention are Dave Marcis, who hung on till the end to take the flag in 16th place, Derrike Cope, who brought the #10 Purolator Pontiac home in the 12th spot, Rick Mast, who finished 11th in the #66 Banquet Frozen Foods Chevrolet, Neil Bonnett, who led for 53 laps before fading back to 7th place, and Brett Bodine, who drove Bud Moore's #15 Motorcraft Ford to an 8th place finish~

  Darrell Waltrip too the lead from Kulwicki right before the #7 lost its engine, and he never looked back, leading the remaining 80 laps of competition uncontested~ This race was following the infamous 1989 Winston, where Rusty Wallace crashed Darrell hard on the last lap for the win~ The fans despised him, and started cheering for Darrell~ I'm sure this victory was Darrell's crown jewel of the 1989 season, in which he won 6 races~

                                Kyle Petty #42 Peak Antrfreeze Chevrolet - White version~
Kyle Petty #42 Peak Chevrolet White Rick Hendrick 1989 Coca-Cola 600 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Charlotte
                                                              Click pics to enlarge~
Kyle Petty #42 Peak Chevrolet White Rick Hendrick 1989 Coca-Cola 600 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Charlotte

   Well, this is considered to be one of the "Holy Grails" of Racing Champions 1/64's~ It's a kind of boring car, compared to my personal favorite from Series 1, Morgan Shepherd's #15 Motorcraft Ford.. but it's pretty classy too~ Its colors are sleek, and sharp, but all these things combined, it doesn't resemble the car he drove in the 600 as well as it could have~

   First off, the blue on the front of the car goes back way further on the real car, almost covering the entire hood~ Also, the numbers on the side of the real car were reddish orange, whereas these are white with blue trim~ The real car said "Uniden" on the side, right beside of the numbers, at the bottom corner, whereas this one simply says "Peak" in white with blue trim~

   I had been looking for this car for a while, but never really thinking I'd actually find one~ Currently, there isn't a single one of them on Ebay.. not even in the sold section~ I would have been comfortable buying one for 50 bucks, but I've seen them go for over 100 before~ That's too much for me, and luckily, I got this one for 3 bucks, new in the package, at a flea market in Sevierville, Tn.~ I about died when I saw it, and then I almost did die when the guy said it was 3 bucks~

   I seen another one at a flea market in Bristol once, it wasn't in the package, but they only wanted a dollar for it... and for some stupid reason, I didn't buy it~ I just wasn't thinking at the time, and now some kid probably bought it and threw it in some dumb river somewhere~ Well, I'm talking so much, I'm gonna add the bonus car now, then I'll grade this car below it~

                                   **Bonus car** Diggity Dave #10 Upper 10 Oldsmobile~
Diggity Dave #10 Upper 10 Oldsmobile Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog soda custom photoshop

   So, as far as the Petty car goes, I'm gonna give it a B- on the Racing Champions quality scale~ If it was just a bit more accurate, it would easily get an A~ It's a bit pricey unless you find them out in the wild, at your local flea markets, or thrift stores, but if you can get one at a decent price, it's definitely worth adding to your collection~

   I hope some of you remember Upper 10 soda~ It was so much better tasting than 7up is now, and Sierra Mist tastes like it has dirt in it... yes, I've ate dirt~ Upper 10 is supposedly still made outside of the U.S., but that doesn't help me out any~ It tasted so crisp, and clean.. I would just love to taste it again before I die~ Maybe one day I'll be in Spain or whatever weird country they sell it in now, and I'll get to drink it again.... Ha!.. No way!~

  When I first came up with the Upper 10 car, I didn't like it.. but then it started to grow on me, now I love it~ It's one of my favorite customs that I've made~ I give it an A-, because the shading on the 10 on the side could have been a little darker~ Other than that, it's an awesome car, made even more awesome by my choice of turning it into an Oldsmobile~ I loved them dang thangs~

   Thanks for stopping by the blog this year!~ I hope you all have a great New Years day, and I'm sorry I'm a day late on this post.. stuff happened~ Please share this post on any social media site you're on, and click the "follow" button at the top of the page, on the right~ You'll get an email the moment I post a new blog~ Have a suggestion for a car or driver, or did I miss anything in this post?~ Leave me a comment down below~ Below here are some videos, but there aren't any videos for this race, so probably some random Kyle Petty videos~ Thanks again for stopping by, and I'll be around soon with a new post~ :)

                             1989 Winston Cup 1~ These are about 20 minutes each, but worth it~

                                                             1989 Winston Cup 2~

                                                              1989 Winston Cup 3~

                                                             1989 Winston Cup 4~