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Monday, July 3, 2017

Dave Marcis #30 Dodge Daytona

    Welcome back to the NASCAR Racing Champions blog~ It's been quite some time since I last made a post, but I guess that'll happen from time to time~ I haven't had a chance to sit down and get a post done in so long that I failed to get a post up for the two year anniversary of the blog, which was on June 27th~ On that day, I made my first post on the 1991 Daytona 400 Support Our Troops Set, and followed that one up the same day with Stanley Smith's #49 Ameritron Batteries Chevrolet~

    In the two years since I started the blog, I've tallied up 116 total posts, and the blog has received 96,832 page views~ It makes me happy to think that I've done something that helps give these ol' racers a little respect and honor~ We saw some of the best racing in the history of the sport, and some of the biggest personalities in sports history, and I like keeping that memory alive and well for future generations of race fans, as well as us ol' Grand National/Winston Cup fans~

    When I first started the blog, I wanted my first post to be on Dave Marcis' #71 Big Apple Markets Chevrolet, but I didn't have one yet, and couldn't find one without flaws, so I moved on to other posts, and never did the Big Apple post, even after I found a semi-flawless version~ So I figured I'd do a Marcis post for this special two year anniversary post, except I chose his #30 Dodge Daytona from the 1992 Collector's Series Dodge Daytona set~

                                     Marcis grins for the camera in the #30 Dodge Daytona~
Dave Marcis #30 Dodge Daytona Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1969 1970 Superbird

    Dave's NASCAR career began in 1968, where he ran 10 races for Larry Wehrs in the #30 Chevrolet, picking up a couple of top 10 finishes along the way~ Marcis started the 1969 season with Wehrs, but the team was sold to construction tycoon Milt Lunda following the "Alabama 200" @ Montgomery, which was their first race of the season~ The team ran Chevrolets for the next two events, but made the swap to Dodge for the "Carolina 500" @ Rockingham, and remained with Dodge for the remainder of the season~

    Following the swap to Dodge, Marcis instantly started qualifying better - with a 4th place starting position for the "Cracker 200" @ Augusta Speedway~ He didn't last long in the race however, running only 27 laps before the engine gave out, resulting in a 23rd place finish in the 25 car field.. and his earnings for the race is listed as 0 dollars~ Dave improved the following week for the "Southeastern 500" @ Bristol International Raceway, qualifying and finishing in 6th place, for his first career top 10 in a Dodge~ He followed that up with another 6th place finish one race later in the "Atlanta 500"~

    Marcis qualified 3rd for the "Hickory 250", and smoothly came home in 4th place, with a perfectly intact race car~ The race was won by the legendary Bobby Isaac in the famed #71 K&K Insurance Dodge - a team Marcis would find himself driving for in just a few seasons, which would net him 4 of his 5 career Cup wins~ Dave qualified 3rd for the "Tidewater 375" @ Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va., and finished in the same spot~ The race was won by pole sitter David Pearson, and the #17 Holman-Moody Ford team~

                                                      A #30 Marcis car restored in 1978~
Dave Marcis #30 Dodge Daytona Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1969 1970 Superbird

     Throughout the next few races, Marcis would qualify well, but had two more blown engines, and an ignition problem that ruined his chances at being competitive during race conditions~ In the "Kingsport 250" @ Kingsport Tn., Marcis nearly put the car on the pole, but was beat out by Bobby Isaac, with Marcis on the outside pole~ Richard Petty went on to win the race, with independent driver Big John Sears picking up one of two career runner up finishes, a career best~ Marcis had a flywheel go bad, and finished in 14th place, with race winnings of 240 bucks~

     Marcis qualified 10th for the "Firecracker 400" @ Daytona, and brought the #30 Lunda Construction Dodge Daytona home in 6th place~ LeeRoy Yarbrough went on to win the race in Junior Johnson's #98 Torino Talladega~ Dave started 8th in the "Northern 300" @ Trenton Speedway in New Jersey, and again finished in the 6th position~ David Pearson won the race, and eventually the season points championship~
    Over the span of the next 12 races, Marcis would continuously be in the top 10 on the starting grid, but the team was plagued with engine problems, overheating, oil leaks, broken springs, rear end problems, and ignition issues, resulting mostly in mediocre finishing results~ He led 10 laps early on in the "Southern 500" @ Darlington, but steering issues relegated him to a 33rd place finish~ During this 12 race span, he had a best finish of 6th place in the "Wilkes 400" @ North Wilkesboro - a race also won by David Pearson~

                                                      The good ol' days of NASCAR~
Dave Marcis #30 Dodge Daytona Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1969 1970 Superbird

    For the remaining 6 races of the season, Marcis never qualified outside of the top 10, but 4 of the 6 races were plagued with mechanical problems or totally blown engines~ He did manage a 4th place finish in the "American 500" @ Rockingham, a race again won by LeeRoy Yarbrough - who finished the race as the only car on the lead lap~

    His last good finish of the season came in the season finale for the "Texas 500" @ College Station, where he squeaked out a 9th place finish after starting 10th~ This race would mark the final time Richard Petty would drive a Ford during his NASCAR career, finishing in 24th place following a blown clutch~ Bobby Isaac went on to win the race, followed by Donnie Allison, Benny Parsons, James Hylton, and Dick Brooks~

   Marcis finished out the 1969 season having competed in 37 of 54 events, with 3 top 5's, and 11 top 10's, 10 laps led, $32,383 in race winnings, and was 19th in the final points standings, with an average start of 10.3, and an average finish of 17.4~ Team owner Milt Lunda decided he wanted out of the racing business, and sold the team to Marcis, marking the first time he owned his own car in the top racing series~ He would continue to run the #30, and also stuck with Dodge race cars, though he would moonlight for other teams throughout the 1970 season when he could~

                                          Look how proud he is in front of that beautiful car~
Dave Marcis #30 Dodge Daytona Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1969 1970 Superbird

    Marcis' first race as a team owner came in the 1970 season opener "Motor Trend 500" @ Riverside, where he started 20th, and finished in 14th place following a crash with 30 laps remaining~ Following a water pump issue in the Daytona qualifier, Marcis ended up starting 33rd for the "Daytona 500", but fought his way up to 10th, for his first top 10 as a team owner~ He finished 6th in the "Carolina 500" @ Rockingham, and 5th in the "Savannah 200" @ Savannah, Ga., in what was the final NASCAR race at the track~

    1970 was to some the final true season in NASCAR, due to the fact that NASCAR quit racing in smaller towns and on dirt tracks following the end of the season~ Though I wasn't born back then, I can assure you that I agree with them 100%~ Who wouldn't like to see the current Cup guys running local dirt tracks and smaller local/hometown tracks?~ The crowds they have now might just fill a local track up... if NASCAR was lucky - but anyway, back to Marcis we go~

    Dave had a good run in the "Beltsville 300" @ Beltsville, Maryland, where he finished 5th after starting from the 4th spot~ Bobby Isaac won the race in what would be a championship winning season for the #71 K&K Insurance team~ Marcis also ran well the following week in the "Tidewater 300" @ Langley Speedway, where he brought the #30 Dodge home in 9th place - 19 laps off the pace of race winner, Bobby Isaac~ Bobby Allison was 2nd, followed by Neil "Soapy" Castles, James Hylton, and Benny Parsons~

                                                     The rear of the #30 Dodge Daytona~
Dave Marcis #30 Dodge Daytona Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1969 1970 Superbird

    His next good finish came in the "Maryville 200" @ the Smokey Mountain Raceway in Maryville, Tn., where he picked up a 5th place finish~ Bobby Isaac led every lap of the event on his way to another victory, and he was followed by James Hylton, Neil Castles, Dick Brooks, and Marcis~ He then had a 9th place run in the "Motor State 400" @ Michigan~ Cale Yarborough won the race, followed by Pete Hamilton, David Pearson, LeeRoy Yarbrough, and Bobby Isaac~

    Marcis qualified 6th for the "Hickory 276" @ Hickory, and though he finished the race 4 laps off of the winner's pace, he still came home with a 3rd place finish behind Dick Brooks, and race winner Bobby Isaac~ The next week the series was at Kingsport in what would be the final race at the Kingsport Speedway - and Marcis qualified 5th for the event, with Richard Petty winning the pole~ Petty went on to win the race, followed by James Hylton, Marcis, Bobby Allison, and Neil Castles~

    Dave qualified 4th for the "Albany-Saratoga 250" @ Malta, NY, with Bobby Isaac on the pole~ Richard Petty quickly took the lead and never looked back on the way to the checkered flag~ He was followed by Bobby Allison, Marcis, Neil Castles, and G.C. Spencer~ Marcis then finished 6th in both the "Thompson 200" @ Thompson, CT., and the "Schaefer 300" @ Trenton Speedway~ After qualifying 8th for the "Volunteer 500" @ Bristol, he blew an engine 83 laps into the event, and settled for a 23rd place finish which netted him 465 bucks~

                                                       Custom tribute to Dave Marcis~
Dave Marcis #30 Dodge Daytona Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1969 1970 Superbird

    By this point in the season, Marcis had crashed his good cars, and was running on fumes in the bank account, so he started moonlighting for other teams to make it through the season~ This hurt his teams development, but also - the cars he was moonlighting in were mostly junk, so he didn't run well in them either~ His best runs the rest of the season were a 5th place finish in the "West Virginia 300" @ International Raceway Park in Ona, W.V., driving for Cecil Gordon, and a 7th place run in the "Home State 200" @ the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, N.C., driving for Earle Brooks~

    In the "Old Dominion 500" @ Martinsville, Marcis was one of 14 independent drivers to "quit" the race in protest due to $10,000 of bonus money that was awarded to the top qualifiers for the event~ Those drivers who won the money were pole winner Bobby Allison, Bobby Isaac, Cale Yarborough, Richard Petty, and Dave Marcis himself~ This was just a 30 car field, so you can imagine what 14 guys just dropping out of the race by lap 40 would look like~ The independents turned the race into a ghost town one by one, and NASCAR big wigs didn't like it one little crumb~ Petty, Allison, Yarborough, and Isaac went on to finish 1,2,3,4~

   Marcis finished out the 1970 season having competed in 47 of 48 events (DNQ'ing @ the second Talladega race),  with 3 top 5's, and 15 top 10's, he led a total of 14 laps, and earned $41,111 in race winnings~ He finished 9th in the final points standings, and had an average starting position of 12.6, and an average finish of 17.5~ For the 1971 season, Marcis would swap the #30 for #2, though he kept driving Dodges~ The Daytonas were also outlawed by 1971, thus officially ending his time in the #30 Dodge Daytona forever~

                                                       Dave Marcis #30 Dodge Daytona~
Dave Marcis #30 Dodge Daytona Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1969 1970 Superbird
                                                               Click pics to enlarge~
Dave Marcis #30 Dodge Daytona Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1969 1970 Superbird

    To me, this was the coolest looking Dodge Daytona that Racing Champions made~ I mean, I like the Marty Robbins one, and I have it in my collection.. but I just prefer this one over it~ I've always loved the baby blue cars, and Marcis drove a few of them in his career~ Dave has been criticized numerous times over his career choices, and choosing to run in his own stuff when he could have ran for better teams - but I think he was just trying to do what he felt was best for his family... was he wrong sometimes?~  Probably.. but he was right enough to stay in the Cup series for 35 solid years - that's pretty dang impressive in my book~

    No matter how bad things seemed at times, drivers like Marcis, J.D. McDuffie, James Hylton and a slew of other independent teams could always find a way to make it through at least a partial season year after year~ Drivers and teams helped each other out, and Big Bill France would always make sure teams would at least have enough money to get to where they were going~ Then greed took over and ruined it all - making it impossible for the independent teams to survive in the sport~ It even got so expensive just to go to a race that many fans were turned off after their current driver at the time retired~ Most people quit going to the tracks by 2007, and it just got worse from there~

    Back to the car, I really love everything about it~ The yellow and black are a perfect color combo for the baby blue main color of the car~ I'd have to give this one an A+ on the Racing Champions quality scale, as it is my favorite car from the set~ Dave didn't run this winged version in all of the 1969 and 1970 tracks, I just gave the history of the full 69-70 season~ The car shown above that was restored in 1978 is now painted up in Winston Cup colors, or was.. not sure if it still is~ Richard Petty drove it around at some track back in the day, but I was too tired to look it up at this point.. so I'm just gonna go straight into the bonus car for this post now~ :)

                                          Jake Raudabaugh #63 SqueezIt Chevrolet Lumina~
Jake Raudabaugh #63 SqueezIt Chevrolet Action Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1997 Squeez It Squeez-It Busch North East

    The cool thing about these bonus cars is they're just a bonus, so I can make up custom cars, or use non Racing Champions cars, and it doesn't really mess with the regular post~ This car was sent to me by a fan of the blog named Rob~ Thanks, Rob~ :) It was made by Action in 1997, and although Chevrolet had switched to Monte Carlos in 1995, this car was ran in the lower tier Busch North series, and was still allowed to run as a Lumina~

    Raudabaugh drove this car for one race only, during the "Nazareth 100" @ Nazareth Pa., in the Busch North series~ He qualified 33rd in the 34 car field, and finished the race 7 laps down - in the 25th position~ The race was won by former BGN series driver Bobby Dragon, who was driving Dale Shaw's #7 Skoal Bandit Pontiac~ Though he did attempt to qualify for two races in 1998, he failed to make the field, and his sponsor isn't listed, so there's no way of knowing if SqueezIt was the sponsor for those two events or not~ Well, unless you call the guy yourself and ask him~ :P

   Though he's unknown to many, Raudabaugh still races to this day in Pennsylvania~  In 2002, he was crowned KARS Champion in the 358 Sprint series, and won a race as recently as May of this year at Selinsgrove Speedway in Pennsylvania~ He is the owner of Fine Line Auto Body in his hometown of Carlisle Pa., and is a sponsor and fundraiser for PET, Personal Energy Transportation~ 

    Thank you all for coming back to the blog for the past two years!~ I hope you enjoyed this post, and have a wonderful 4th of July!~ Happy birthday, America!~ Please share this post on social media, and click the "Follow" button at the top right hand side of this page~ Below is some footage of the classic cars from the 69-70 era~ Enjoy it, and have a great Independence day!~

                                                     NASCAR 1969 Flat Out~ 12 mins.~

                                            Daytona/Superbird/Torino/Talladega footage~

                                                     1970 Daytona 500 feature~ 7 mins.~

                                    Old footage from the final NASCAR race at Trenton, NJ~


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