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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

1991 Heinz Southern 500 Pontiac event car

    Welcome back to the NASCAR Racing Champions diecast blog~ As Labor day approaches each year, I know it's getting time for two things... my family reunion, and the Southern 500 at Darlington~ Eat a bunch of food, and watch an awesome race... it doesn't get much better than that for me~ I had other plans for this Darlington throwback weekend post, but I didn't get enough time to finish those plans.. so maybe next year~ :P

    Though I wasn't able to proceed with my original plans, I did have one more Southern 500 car that I hadn't did a post on as of yet~ Heinz sponsored the Southern 500 from 1988-1991, and as far as I know, this was the first track/event car ever produced by Racing Champions, as I don't have any older than this one, and have never seen any examples of any older ones~ If anyone knows of an older one, let me know in the comment section below, and for now, let's just get into this special "throwback" edition of the 1991 Heinz Southern 500 post~

                                     1990 winner Earnhardt on the cover of the 1991 program~
1991 Heinz Southern 500 Pontiac event car Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog track Darlington throwback 2017 2018

     Before I get started, I just want to point out how happy Dale looks up there on the cover of the program for this event~ That smile wouldn't get to be there very much at all the following season, as he would win only one race, and finished 12th in points~ Can't blame that all on Dale however... 1992 was just the year of the Fords, and everyone else was just out there racing for a top 5 or 10.. getting beat out by Bobby Hamilton in a Tri-Star car~ :P No disrespect to Bobby, but Tri-Star was a miserable heap of a team, and continues to be the same~

    Blah, blah, blah.. Tri-Star sucks... anyway, back to this '91 Southern 500~ Well.. in my opinion, probably the saddest thing about this particular Southern 500, was that H.B. Bailey failed to make the field~ The Southern 500 at Darlington was always his favorite event of the year, and he was already pretty low on funding, so not making the race was a huge hit to his small independent team~ Not only did he not make the race, but he was the only driver who failed to make the show~ Davey Allison put the #28 Texaco Havoline Ford on the pole for the event~

    A couple of slow heads did however manage to make the field, as the #48 of James Hylton, and the #82 of Mark Stahl were both black flagged for being severely off the pace of the field~ The first casualty of the event was Chad Little, driving the #19 Bull's Eye Barbecue Sauce Ford~ Chad brought out the first caution of the event when he spun out in turn 3, and later lost the engine completely, and finished 36th~

                                                        Chad's motor goes up in smoke~
1991 Heinz Southern 500 Pontiac event car Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog track Darlington throwback 2017 2018

    Shortly after Little's engine expired, Alan Kulwicki's #7 Hooters Ford blew up, quickly followed by Lake Speed's #66 TropArtic Pontiac, as well as the #71 Big Apple Markets Chevrolet, driven by  Dave Marcis~ It was around this point where Dale "Boring" Jarrett did something entirely boring... spinning around and stalling his car in turn 4~ His father, Ned Boring was in the booth being extremely boring, talking about Dale Boring constantly the entire event, as usual~

    They talked about Dale Boring for a long time, and showed his car being worked on behind the wall, and Ned Boring said they were done for the day~ To Mr. Boring's surprise, his son Dale Boring's car returned to the track in less than 15 laps, and resumed racing to the joy and amazement of the elder Boring~ By this point, Rusty Wallace had also lost an engine in the #2 Miller Genuine Draft Pontiac~

    As Ned Boring continued to give minute by minute updates on his son Dale McSnoremaster Boring, Jimmy Spencer's car died out with valve issues, followed by more blown engines, this time from the #41 Kellogg's Chevrolet, driven by Larry Pearson, the #6 Folger's Ford of Mark Martin, and the #52 Alka-Seltzer Pontiac of fan favorite, Jimmy Means~ Also during this time, Michael Waltrip pulled a Michael Waltrip and wrecked all over the place, causing two caution periods less than 70 laps apart~

                             The Boring's doing what they do best.. thinking about themselves~
1991 Heinz Southern 500 Pontiac event car Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog track Darlington throwback 2017 2018

    In the early parts of the race, and deep into the latter half, it looked like Davey Allison was easily on his way to victory lane from the pole position~ His #28 Texaco Ford was leaps and bounds better than any other car on the track~ I'm bouncing all over the place in this post, but I forgot to mention that Buddy Baker's son, Randy was also in this race~ He qualified 35th in the #87 Armour Classics Chevrolet, owned by his grandfather, Buck Baker~

   Baker's car spun out early in the race, and never was up to speed with the rest of the field~ He settled near the back of the pack, and finished in 26th place, mainly due to all the engine fatalities~ He was able to beat out Michael "The Human Pinball" Waltrip, who bounced his way to a 27th place finish~ Waltrip was the lowest finishing car still on the track, and I'm sure he was happy when the race was over~

    That moves us up to 25th place, and wouldn't Ned Boring just love to be the one to say it... Dale Boring limped his way to a 25th place finishing position~ I'm sure Ned mentioned how great Dale's car was before the problem, and how he would have won the race if not for mechanical issues~ I swear.. just the other day I heard Dale Boring comparing the Jarrett's to the Earnhardt's and the Petty's~ Now, I'm no big fan of Dale Jr., but to compare Dale and Ned Boring to Ralph and Dale Earnhardt, or Lee and Richard Petty... that's just pure donkey doo~ I wanted to crawl through the tv screen and punch him right in that big fat nose of his~ Ok, I promise I'm done talking about the Boring's for the rest of this post~ :P

                                           I swear this Coors Light car was cursed for Bill~
1991 Heinz Southern 500 Pontiac event car Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog track Darlington throwback 2017 2018

    Early on in the race, something happened to Bill Elliott's #9 Coors Light Ford.. I'm not sure what it was, but he was able to continue, though several laps down~ He would go on to finish 18th in the event~ That Coors Light car was one of my favorite Elliott schemes, but he sure did have bad luck in that car.. especially during the 1991 season~ I'm hoping this is going to be Chase Elliott's throwback scheme for the 2018 Darlington throwback race, and hopefully he can even get the Coors Light sponsorship for that race~

    Darrell Waltrip started the event from the outside of row #6, but quickly tanked his way to a 24th place finish~ Darrell wasn't ever the same following his 1990 crash, and he spent the remainder of his career second guessing himself, instead of just going out there and racing~ Dick Trickle had a little spin during the race, but still brought the #24 Team III Racing Pontiac home in 23rd place, driving for conman Sam McMahon, who only lasted one season in the sport~

    Kyle Petty returned from injuries sustained 11 races earlier at Talladega, and was running fairly well until his engine gave out on lap 357, demoting him to a 22nd place finish~ Former Pepsi 400 winner Greg Sacks brought the #47 Kanawha Insurance Oldsmobile home in 21st place after qualifying in 33rd, and Ted Musgrave picked up a top 20 finish in the #55 Jasper Engines Pontiac, finishing 20th in the D.K. Ulrich owned machine~

                                               Davey and Gant battled throughout the event~
1991 Heinz Southern 500 Pontiac event car Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog track Darlington throwback 2017 2018

    Morgan Shepherd had an up and down race before settling in to finish 19th in the #15 Motorcraft Ford~ It was announced during the event that Geoff Bodine would be in that car for the 1992 season, while Shepherd drove for the Wood Brothers~ Hut Stricklin finished 17th in the #12 Raybestos Brakes Buick, owned by Bobby Allison~

    In 16th place, in what was his next to last Southern 500, was the King, Richard Petty, driving the famed #43 STP Pontiac~ He would go on to finish 20th in his final Southern 500 the following year~ Darlington wasn't very kind to Richard during his career, as he won only three races at the historic track in his 35 year career~

    Ricky Rudd started the day in 18th, and crawled his way up to finish in 15th place in the #5 Tide Chevrolet, owned by Rick Hendrick~ Rudd would form his own team following the end of the 1993 season, and took the Tide sponsorship with him~ In my mind, that was the worst decision he ever made in his NASCAR career, as he wasn't very fast in his own cars~

                                      Gant's car gets adjustments midway through the race~
1991 Heinz Southern 500 Pontiac event car Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog track Darlington throwback 2017 2018

    Following some adjustments made during pit stops, Gant's car started hooking up, and battling harder with Allison for the lead~ Allison had him covered for the most part, but didn't know if the wily veteran was holding back for a late race charge, so he was a bit addled~ This caused Allison to try that much harder to stay ahead of Gant in the later stages of the race~

    Brett Bodine brought the #26 Quaker Cheat Ford home in 14th place for car owner Kenny Bernstein~ I call it the Quaker Cheat Ford because I'll never forgive him for taking Darrell Waltrip's win away at North Wilkesboro~ That still makes me angry to this very day, and in my eyes, Waltrip has 86 career wins, not 84~

    Rick Wilson (one of my childhood heroes) brought the #8 Snickers Ford home in 13th place, in a nice run for the Stavola Brothers team~ Wilson at one point was knocked out of the way by the leaders, but maintained and picked up a decent finish~ I loved that Snickers car, but I still wish Wilson would have stayed with Morgan-McClure~ I just know he would have had at least a couple wins with the team had he stayed with them~

                                                       Davey blows a tire, and the race~
1991 Heinz Southern 500 Pontiac event car Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog track Darlington throwback 2017 2018

    Rick Mast actually led 8 laps in the #1 Skoal Classic Oldsmobile before fading later in the race, and finishing in 11th place~ Mast was another one of my favorites from back then, and easily one of the top drivers to have never won a Cup race~ The main problem Mast had was he was too nice of a driver, and wouldn't block or crash someone for a win like Earnhardt would do, which isn't really a bad thing, but when you're a NASCAR driver, sometimes you've gotta get a little dirty if you wanna be in victory lane~

    Bobby Hamilton also led for 5 laps in Mark Smith's #68 Country Time Oldsmobile~ If you're not familiar with Smith, he was the owner of the horrible Tri-Star team, until his untimely death earlier this year~ Hamilton was able to pick up the second of four top 10's on the season, and later went on to win Rookie of the Year honors, after a season long battle with Ted Musgrave~

    Joe Ruttman had a fine 9th place finish, driving the #75 Dinner Bell Foods Chevrolet for RahMoc Enterprises~ I always had a disdain for RahMoc following the 1989 season, because Rick Wilson jumped ship from the Kodak car to drive for them~ They canned him following an unsuccessful 1990 campaign, in favor of Ruttman~ I always liked the Dinner Bell car though.. I wish they would have made a Racing Champions version of it, but that just never happened~

                                                         Gant takes control of the race~
1991 Heinz Southern 500 Pontiac event car Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog track Darlington throwback 2017 2018

    As Davey was leading the race, a pop rivet came loose and cut his tire down, allowing Gant to take full control of the race, and knocking Allison out of contention for the win~ Davey would go on to finish in 12th place following the incident, after leading a total of 151 laps, in yet another race he "should have won, but didn't" for the hard luck Allison~

    Dale Earnhardt was the crowd favorite at the start of the race, and led a total of 22 laps early on, but wasn't able to stay with the leaders for the majority of the event~ He managed to salvage an 8th place finish out of it anyway, and later went on to win the 1991 Winston Cup Championship, his fifth at the time, and second back to back championship~ He would also win his 6th, and 7th championships back to back in 1993 and '94~

    Geoff Bodine's helmet had to be cut off of him after the race, due to his head being so swollen by the fact that he beat Dale Earnhardt with his 7th place finish~ Ok... so I lied about that part... but it sounded cool, and was probably close to the truth, knowing Bodine's hatred for Earnhardt throughout his career~ Bodine qualified 4th for the event in the #11 Budweiser Ford, owned by Junior Johnson~ Bill Elliott would take over the reigns of that ride the following season, winning five races, and finishing second in the Winston Cup points championship~

                                      Gant cruises to victory in the #33 Skoal Bandit Olds~
1991 Heinz Southern 500 Pontiac event car Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog track Darlington throwback 2017 2018

    Sterling Marlin finished 6th in the #22 Maxwell House Coffee Ford, also owned by Junior Johnson~ Junior had to be at least a little bit happy about having both of his cars in the top 10.. but I'm sure he was probably just bitter and mad looking, just like he always was/is~ Junior wasn't very happy unless he was winning, but that's how all of the older guys were, for the most part~ Well, not really.. but some of them were like that.. not just Junior~ Gosh.. this sure is a scatterbrained post~ :P

   In a season of never ending doom, despair, and agony.. Terry Labonte finally got a top 5 in the #94 Sunoco Oldsmobile, owned by Billy Hagan~ It was to be his only top 5 of the 1991 campaign, but he would go on to regain his championship stature five years later, when he won the 1996 Winston Cup championship~

  Good ol' Derrike Cope finished 4th (freakin' 4th!!) driving Bob Whitcomb's #10 Purolator Chevrolet~ Cope won his only two Winston Cup races in the previous season, and some people just talk a bunch of junk about him, but I'm gonna tell ya' somethin'... if you can get a top 5 finish at Darlington.. in the 500... you're a danged wheel man~ No doubt about that at all~ Cope's win at Dover was probably more awesome than his win at Daytona, because that's a wheel man's track as well~ So heck yeah for you, Derrike Cope!~ He also has the coolest throwback car for the upcoming 2017 Bojangles Southern 500~ :)

                                    Gant wins $100,000 from the Winston Million program~
1991 Heinz Southern 500 Pontiac event car Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog track Darlington throwback 2017 2018

    Ken Schrader had a quiet, but prosperous race, finishing 3rd in the #25 Kodiak Chevrolet~ Schrader is another driver that I felt should have had a few more wins that he ended up with~  The guy's an outstanding racer, so to only get four wins in some pretty decent equipment is just all on him~ I feel like he held back when he shouldn't have at time, like Rick Mast~ Mark Martin was that way a lot too~ He would have won a lot more if he would have drove more like Earnhardt and early Waltrip did~

    Ernie Irvan finished runner up in the #4 Kodak Film Chevrolet, and I feel like this finish right here shows that this team was a well ran, quality, front running threat at any track~ They won on road courses, speedways, superspeedways, short tracks.. they could win at any given track, just like the top dog teams of the sport~ That was impressive to me, because I lived maybe two minutes away from their race shop, which was located in Abingdon, Virginia~ I really wish Wilson would have stayed with them.. I know I've already said that, but gosh.. I keep thinking about it~ It just haunts my NASCAR memories forever.. that and Bill Elliott stealing Wilson's Pepsi 400 win away~ :(

    Ernie used to drive for the Food Country team too, and their shop was right beside of the Morgan-McClure shop~ They had been there longer than Morgan-McClure had, and I used to go over there a lot with my Dad and watch them work on the cars~ Ernie was there a lot, and he was a funny guy~ He was always playing pranks on people, or mooning the crew guys~ Food Country had never had a driver act like that before, and I thought it was funny, but I missed Brad Teague~

                                                          Gant celebrates in victory lane~
1991 Heinz Southern 500 Pontiac event car Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog track Darlington throwback 2017 2018

    Harry Gant led a race high 152 laps on his way to the checkered flag in the #33 Skoal Bandit Oldsmobile, owned by Leo Jackson~ His winnings on the day, including the $100,000 in Winston Million bonus money were $179,450~

    This win would be the start of a month Harry Gant, and NASCAR fans everywhere will never forget, as he went on to win every race in the month of September, thus garnering the nickname "Mr. September"~ The coolest part about all of this is that Gant was doing it all at the age of 51, and he wasn't even done yet~

    Harry went on to win two more Winston Cup races at the age of 52, as well as winning in the Busch Grand Nations series until the age of 54~ He returned to run a limited schedule in the Craftsman Truck series at age 56, where he picked up 4 top 10's in 11 starts~ I still feel like Gant could run well in the Busch series, and he's 77 now~ He's a tough guy, and a hard worker... something NASCAR doesn't have much of anymore~ I do like Ryan Blaney, though~

                                                     Front of the Racing Champions card~
1991 Heinz Southern 500 Pontiac event car Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog track Darlington throwback 2017 2018
                                                                    Rear of the card~
1991 Heinz Southern 500 Pontiac event car Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog track Darlington throwback 2017 2018
                                                1991 Heinz Southern 500 Pontiac event car~  
1991 Heinz Southern 500 Pontiac event car Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog track Darlington throwback 2017 2018
                                                                 Click pics to enlarge~
1991 Heinz Southern 500 Pontiac event car Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog track Darlington throwback 2017 2018

    Well, here it finally is.. the first (known to me) Racing Champions track car ever produced~ And now I'm going to give you my theory on it's arrival~ The second track car Racing Champions ever produced was the 1991 Mello Yello 500 Charlotte car, and it was produced for RCCA, and packaged with a set of ear plugs with the RCCA logo on the box~

    So my theory is that when Racing Champions got the call from RCCA for a track/event car, they decided that was a good idea, and wanted to put one out before the RCCA Charlotte car came out~ The Southern 500 is a NASCAR legend, so what better race to make an track/event car for than Darlington~ After that, I'd imagine that Racing Champions told RCCA that they were going to make their own Racing Champions line of track/event cars, so that was the end of that little friendship~

    This car is a little rough, being an earlier model Pontiac, that's to be expected.. but for the most part, it's a nice car, and a pretty decent design~ The front of the car is lacking the Racing Champions logo, though not all track/event cars had the logo on them~ The image on the card is very grainy, and just not a very good photo, but other than that, I like the design of the card front~ The back of the card gives a brief rundown of the track and some of its history.. Geoff Bodine is even mentioned, and they spelled his name right.. haha~

    All in all, I give this car a C+ on the Racing Champions quality scale~ It's a cool car to have, but the quality is shoddy, and the photo is grainy, and not the best~ As a collector of NASCAR Racing Champions stuff, it's a must have for the track/event car sets~ There's only 1 first, and this one is the first, as far as I know~ Anyway.. here's a special two part bonus post, as my tribute to the 2017 Bojangles Southern 500 Darlington weekend~

                                               Kyle Busch #18 M&M's fantasy throwback~
Kyle Busch #18 M&M's Darlington Throwback Toyota 2017 2018 Racing Champions diecast blog Greg Sacks Slim Fast

    I was working at BMS when Kyle Busch swept the weekend, and while I was there.. I came up with an idea to make a fantasy throwback Kyle Busch M&M's Racing Champions car~ The day after the race, I Photoshopped this one up, using the #18 Slim Fast Chevrolet of Greg Sacks as my "donor" car~

    I think it would be cool if Kyle honored the memory of the #18 Slim Fast car next year in the Southern 500~ It was a nice looking car, and it already goes well with the M&M's theme, being yellow and all~ It wouldn't have to use these specific logos.. that's just what I could find at the time, and I was in a hurry~ So it would look better than this, but still using the Slim Fast car theme~

   A lot of current fans aren't fans of Kyle Busch, but he's the closest thing on the track to the driving style Dale Earnhardt had, or the early days Darrell Waltrip~ He's got a junky temper/attitude sometimes, but he's pretty funny the way he trolls the anti-Kyle Busch people~ He may not have a good personality, but he's got plenty of personality, and that's a good thing no matter how you look at it in these times~ I like Kyle Busch, and I hope he has many more successful years in the sport~

                                       Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Beer Ford fantasy throwback~
Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Darlington throwback 2017 2018 Racing Champions diecast blog fantasy Joe Ruttman Fina Lube

    Well, I'm real glad I made that Kyle Busch car, because after I got done, I was like.. "I can make a better one than that"... and so this car happened~ I have to pat myself on the back a little bit on this one, because I think this is my favorite fantasy custom I've ever made~ Everything about it is pretty great, and it's even on a Ford body, unlike the Busch car which was on a Chevy body instead of Toyota~

    The "donor" for this one was Joe Ruttman's #20 Fina Lube Ford, which came originally in a promo packaging, with no stand~ The red band around the bottom of the car really makes this car sizzle~ That's exactly how the Ruttman car looked, minus the Fina Lube logos, and I added those contingencies on there, the Ruttman car only had the Goodyear paint above the tire~ Now I want Harvick to drive this car next year in the Southern 500 too~ hahaha~

    I give this car an A+ all the way around~ I may not have been perfect, but it's darn close, and pretty good for a novice~ I love to look at this car.. I had it on my other computer monitor for days just staring at it~ I'm not a big Harvick fan, but this car is awesome looking~ Well, I'm finally out of words for this post~ I hope you've all enjoyed it, and I hope we're all around to enjoy the upcoming Bojangles Southern 500 this weekend!~ I have added some old Darlington videos below for your enjoyment, and please click the follow button above to subscribe to the blog~ :)

                                                         1991 Heinz Southern 500 Finish~

                                            1980 Southern 500 finish - recorded on a taco~
                                         1978 Southern 500 finish - recorded on broken taco~

                                            1990 Heinz Southern 500 Winston Cup Replay~



Saturday, August 12, 2017

Joe Bessey #9 Auto Palace / AC-Delco Pontiac

    Hello, and welcome once more to the NASCAR Racing Champions blog!~ In today's post, I'm going to be taking us back to the 1992 BGN season, where we'll relive Joe Bessey's time in the #9 Auto Palace/AC-Delco Pontiac~ This was a beautiful car, and one of my personal favorites of the time period~

    Bessey competed in nine events during the 1992 BGN campaign, as well as having one DNQ for the "All Pro 300" @ Charlotte~ He entered six races driving his own car, two for Dennis Shoemaker in the #64 Pontiac, and one for (I'm assuming) Ed Whitaker in the #7 Pontiac~ I say assuming because that's the number Ed ran back then, and I could never find who the owner of that car was when Bessey drove it~ Now before I tell the whole story in the intro, let's get this show on the road~

                                                     Bessey heading towards pit road~
Joe Bessey #9 Auto Palace AC Delco Pontiac Oldsmobile Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1992 BGN Busch Grand National

    Joe's first start in the Auto Palace/AC-Delco Pontiac came in the 1992 BGN season opening "Goody's 300" @ Daytona~ The Busch North regular qualified 14th for the event, which is pretty danged impressive, considering 10 drivers failed to make the 44 car field, including Harry Gant, Tommy Ellis, and Terry Labonte~

    Michael Waltrip put Chuck Rider's #30 Pennzoil Pontiac on the pole, with "Front Row" Joe Nemechek on the outside of row number one, driving the #87 Texas Pete/Lozito's Chevrolet~ From the start of the race, down to the checkered flag, this race was cram packed full of action, as well as bad crashes~ Canadian driver Randy MacDonald's #01 GM Auto Parts Pro Shop Pontiac was involved in a crash early on, and his car caught on fire~ Later in the race, the same would happen to Joe Nemechek, who nearly lost his life due to the severity of his fiery crash~

    As the race was nearing its conclusion, Butch Miller's #75 Food Country USA Oldsmobile lost an engine, sending Miller spinning into the grass, and bringing out the final caution of the day~ As the race got back underway, it was a six car battle for the victory, with Dale Earnhardt coming out victorious, followed by Ernie Irvan, Ward Burton (his first Daytona start!~), Jimmy Spencer, Robert Pressley, and Rick Mast, who finished 6th in the #0 Skoal Classic Oldsmobile~ Bessey was involved in a crash on lap 66, which also involved Shawna Robinson, and the damage was too much to repair, knocking him out of the race, with a 35th place finish~   

                                      Bessey seemed to be around Shawna a lot back in '92~
Joe Bessey #9 Auto Palace AC Delco Pontiac Oldsmobile Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1992 BGN Busch Grand National

    Bessey was back for the next race on the schedule, the "Goodwrench 200" @ Rockingham, and this is the race where he ran the #7 Pontiac~ Clifford Allison was in the #9 car, and since he qualified higher than Bessey, who was a Busch North driver, he was awarded the #9 for the race, but I don't understand why Bessey then went with the #7~

    In other races where this was the case, he ran the #91 car, and #91 wasn't entered in this race.. so I'm confused as heck about his number choice for this event~ When I started writing this post, I thought maybe for some reason he was in an Ed Whitaker car for this one, but now I'm thinking that wasn't the case.. for the simple reason that Whitaker didn't run Pontiacs.. he mainly ran Buicks around this time~ So I've come to the conclusion that this #7 car was owned by Quint Boisvert, who owned a #7 car during the 1992 season, with Curtis Markham making at least two starts in the #7 Skoal Bandit Pontiac~

    The pole was won by Jeff Gordon, driving the #1 Baby Ruth Ford (his second career BGN pole), and there were no DNQ's for this event~ Bessey qualified 28th, but ran well, led for 25 laps, and avoided accidents throughout the night, narrowly missing his first career top 10, with an 11th place finish~ Ward Burton fought off Mark Martin to win the event in the #27 Gwaltney's Big 8's Buick~ A 1/64 diecast was produced by "Trackside Collection" of Ward's winning car, with a production run of 20,000 pieces~ Davey Allison finished third, followed by Dale Earnhardt, and Kenny Wallace~

                                                      Bessey getting serviced in the pits~
Joe Bessey #9 Auto Palace AC Delco Pontiac Oldsmobile Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1992 BGN Busch Grand National

    It must have bothered the heck out of Bessey that he didn't get that top 10 finish at Rockingham, because he was back the following week for the "Hardee's 200" @ Richmond, where he qualified 26th~ Jeff Gordon won the pole again, and Chuck Bown started alongside him on the front row~ As the race got underway, Bown passed Gordon before he could lead a lap~ He would lead the first 47 laps, before Bobby Labonte took over in the #44 Slim Jim Chevrolet~

    Labonte led the next 61 laps, before being passed by Harry Gant in the #7 Mac Tools Buick~ Gant led the remaining 92 laps of the event on his way to victory~ Kenny Wallace was second in the Rusty Wallace owned #36 Dirt Devil Pontiac, followed by Bobby Labonte, Darrell Waltrip, and Joe Nemechek, who never missed a race following his fiery crash at Daytona~ Nemechek would go on to win the 1992 BGN championship by season's end~

    Bessey (who was driving the #91 car due to qualifying lower than Clifford Allison) ran a strong race all day long, and it paid off in the long run, as he would score his first BGN career top 10 with a 10th place finish~ This would also be his season best finish during the 1992 BGN season~ Following the race, Bessey found himself 11th in the BGN point standings~

                                                       Bessey battles at New Hampshire~
Joe Bessey #9 Auto Palace AC Delco Pontiac Oldsmobile Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1992 BGN Busch Grand National

    Bessey and team then followed the series to Atlanta, for the "Atlanta 300", where he was back in the #9 car thanks to beating Clifford Allison out in his qualifying session, where he qualified 33rd, while Allison rolled off from the 36th position, driving the #91 Holiday Inn Atlanta Oldsmobile~ Jeff Gordon won his third pole in a row, and Tracy Leslie turned some heads as well, putting the #72 Detroit Gasket Oldsmobile on the outside of row number one~

    The race had only gotten underway when a large twelve car pileup happened, putting several big name drivers out of the event, including Ernie Irvan, Tom Peck, Ward Burton, Darrell Waltrip, Chuck Bown, Clifford Allison, and Shawna Robinson~ Bessey was also involved in the accident, but was able to continue on, though he was several laps down due to repairs~ He ended up finishing 23rd, thanks in part to so many cars being crashed out of the event~ This was also the only time during the season that Bessey drove an Oldsmobile~ I would imagine this is because he crashed his car during practice, and leased a car from someone else before the start of the race~

    Jeff Gordon had the dominant car pretty much all day long, and easily went on to win his first career BGN race~ Rick Hendrick was there watching in the suites that day, and Gordon's win caught the eye of the famed owner, who went on to sign Gordon at the dismay of the Ford Motor Company~ Harry Gant came home in second place, followed by Hut Stricklin, Davey Allison, and Morgan Shepherd~ Dave Mader III also had a great run, finishing 6th in what would be his final career top 10, as well as the final race of his NASCAR career~ (He attempted to qualify for the Charlotte race in 1995, but DNQ'd)~

                                                        Promo shot of Bessy's #9 Pontiac~
Joe Bessey #9 Auto Palace AC Delco Pontiac Oldsmobile Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1992 BGN Busch Grand National

    I don't know this for sure, but after Bessey crashed the Oldsmobile that I figured was leased to him because he totaled perhaps the only car he had, he started driving the #64 Pontiac for Dennis Shoemaker, and I think it was just because he didn't have a car, but still had his sponsorship, which was transferred over to the Shoemaker cars~

   Bessey ran two races for Shoemaker in the #64 Auto Palace/AC-Delco Pontiac ("Pontiac 200" - Nazareth, "Goodwrench 200" - Dover~), with a best finish of 24th in the Nazareth race~ He blew an engine in both events, but was able to save up enough money to purchase another car for his own team, and returned to driving his own cars for the remainder of the season~

    Following the Atlanta race, Bessey found himself 12th in the BGN point standings, but following his seven race absence, he dropped all the way down to 30th~ By the time he had finished his two race stint with Shoemaker, he fell two more spots to 32nd~ He would run three more events during the 1992 BGN season, two of those three were at Loudon, N.H., in what was considered his "home track", even though he was from Maine~
                                                    Bessey gets spun out by Jeff Gordon~

    Back in his own #9 Pontiac, Bessey qualified 10th for the "Budweiser 300" @ Loudon, with Kenny Wallace winning the pole in the #36 Dirt Devil Pontiac~ Bobby Labonte was alongside Wallace on the outside of row number one, and 46 drivers started the race, with no known DNQ's~

    Jimmy Spencer had a heck of a car, driving the #20 Daily's 1st Ade Oldsmobile, but he was involved in a crash with Clifford Allison which ended his day less that 100 laps into the event~ Hut Stricklin also had a fast machine, leading 71 laps in the #92 Stanley Tools Oldsmobile before ignition problems ended his day prematurely~

    Todd Bodine looked like the car to beat nearing the checkered flag, but he ran out of gas with five laps remaining, and wound up finishing in 6th place~ The lead was then passed to Jeff Burton, who led the remaining five laps to win the event~ Robert Pressley was second, followed by Bobby Labonte, Tom Peck, and Curtis Markham, who earned his best career finish with his 5th place run~ Bessey's car was damaged throughout the race, resulting in a 21st place finish~

                                                          Bessey's #9 at New Hampshire~
Joe Bessey #9 Auto Palace AC Delco Pontiac Oldsmobile Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1992 BGN Busch Grand National

    Five races later, the BGN series was back at Loudon for round two, and Bessey made his first start since the last Loudon race~ He qualified 16th for the event, while Ernie Irvan claimed the pole position in the #4 Kodak Oldsmobile, with Chuck Bown on the outside of row number one in the #63 Nescafe/Nestea Pontiac~

   Ernie was in a league of his own until his engine gave out, then it was a battle between Dale Earnhardt, and Jeff Burton~ Burton finally faded away, but Joe Nemechek came up and started battling with Earnhardt, finally taking the lead with 43 laps remaining~ Nemechek and Earnhardt put on one heck of a show, in what was easily one of the top 3 greatest finishes ever at Loudon, but in the end, it was Nemechek who came out victorious, after battling side by side with Earnhardt on the final lap to take the win~

   Bessey was involved in a spin that also involved Mike Stefanik, who had the same sponsor as Bessey, though I doubt they were teammates~ The spin dropped Bessey to a 17th place finish, while Stefanik finished 15th~ Todd Bodine finished third, and was followed by Jeff Gordon, and Ken Schrader~ Dick McCabe had a nice 12th place finish in the #0 Fisher Snow Plows Buick~

                                                       More battlin' at New Hampshire~
Joe Bessey #9 Auto Palace AC Delco Pontiac Oldsmobile Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1992 BGN Busch Grand National

    Bessey ran his final face of the 1992 BGN season in the "AC-Delco 200" @ Rockingham, where he rolled off from the 15th position~ Jeff Gordon won the pole, and Ward Burton was on the outside of the front row~ For some reason, Bessey drove the #93 for this event~ Mike Wallace drove the #9 car, but he qualified below Bessey, so Bessey should have had the #9.. and why he didn't use the #91 is beyond me~

   Mark Martin crushed the field all day long, leading 140 of 197 laps on his way to the checkered flag~ He beat out pole winner Jeff Gordon, who was followed by Todd Bodine, Darrell Waltrip (this was Darrell's final BGN top 5), and Harry Gant~ Bessey finished where he rolled off, in 15th place, three laps off the pace of the race winner~

   Bessey ended his 1992 BGN season with 9 starts, with 1 top 10, 50 laps led, with an average start of 19.0, and an average finish of 20.2~ He earned a total of $32,618 on the season, and finished 42nd in the final point standings~ Bessey would go on to earn one career win in the BGN series when he won the 1997 "MBNA 200" @ Dover~ He ran basically the entire 1993 BGN series schedule driving the #97 Auto Palace/ AC Delco Pontiac/Chevrolet/Oldsmobile, and a few races with "Delco Battery" in 1994, before losing the Delco sponsorship~

                                           Joe Bessey #9 Auto Palace/AC-Delco Pontiac~
Joe Bessey #9 Auto Palace AC Delco Pontiac Oldsmobile Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1992 BGN Busch Grand National
                                               What's with all of this extra information?~
Joe Bessey #9 Auto Palace AC Delco Pontiac Oldsmobile Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1992 BGN Busch Grand National
                                                                Click pics to enlarge~
Joe Bessey #9 Auto Palace AC Delco Pontiac Oldsmobile Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1992 BGN Busch Grand National

    I don't usually add a photo of the back of the cards, because they're usually all the same.. the driver's name, date of birth, and residence, as well as their signature, and that's about it~ But just look at Bessey's card!~ I'm surprised it doesn't list his favorite color, and favorite food~ They listed so many details that there was no more room to put his signature at the bottom of the card~ I don't know of another Racing Champions card that has this much information on the back, especially from the 1992 set or before~

   The car itself is a real beauty, and one of my favorites~ I've also got his #97 Delco car in 1/43 scale, and I think I like it better than this one~ The blue rims are just an added bonus, though his car did have them in real life~ It's nice to see them on a Racing Champions car~ With the exception of a few minor details, this car is the spitting image of his 1992 BGN car, and I'd give it a B- on the Racing Champions quality scale, mostly due to the dumb picture they used for the card~ What an awful card this thing is!~ I'm sure even Bessey himself would agree with me on that~

   Though the card sucks, I really enjoy having this car in my collection~ It's a very noticeable car when displayed along with the rest of the 1991-92 set, and it's easily one of the top 10 best looking cars from those sets~ Once I can get a little bit of extra money saved up, I'm gonna get someone to make me some custom Racing Champions cards for the drivers who had dumb cards~ It's just not fair to have an awesome car, and some boring looking card~ Let's move on now and take a look at the bonus car for this post~

                                                     Rick Mast #2 Alka-Seltzer Pontiac~
Rick Mast #2 Alka Seltzer Ponitac 1990 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog custom D.K. Ulrich Charlotte Coca-Cola 600 Jimmy Means

    Here we have the Rick Mast #2 Alka-Seltzer Pontiac, driven by Mast in the 1990 "Coca-Cola 600" @ Charlotte~ Mast only drove this Alka-Seltzer sponsored Pontiac once, due to the fact that it wasn't his sponsorship to begin with~ Jimmy Means' #52 Alka-Seltzer Pontiac failed to make the field for the event, so he passed his sponsorship over to the Ulrich team, which was sponsorless at the time~

    Mast qualified 36th for the event, and blew up a little past the halfway point, resulting in a 31st place finish~ Rusty Wallace totally destroyed the field all night, leading 306 of the 400 lap endurance race, on his way to victory lane~ Bill Elliott finished second, followed by Mark Martin, Michael Waltrip, and Ernie Irvan, who drove the #2 Ulrich Ponitac during the 1989 season, with sponsorship from Kroger~ 

    This is a pretty awesome car, and to tell you the truth, I was unaware of it until the other day~ Whenever someone finds my blog through Google search, etc., the blogger site shows me what the keywords were in their searches~ The other day I noticed someone found my blog by typing "Rick Mast #2 Alka-Seltzer Pontiac".. and it intrigued me~ So I found a picture of the car, and got to work on making a Racing Champions car featuring Rick in the Alka-Seltzer car~ So it's all thanks to some unknown race fan that this one was made~ It would be cool if that person eventually sees this picture, and realizes it was made because of their search~

    Thank you all for visiting the blog once more~ Please share this post on social media, and click the "Follow" button at the top right hand side of this page~ Below are some videos featuring Bessey throughout his career, and some other stuff since there isn't much on the guy.. enjoy them, and until my next post, please... stay alive, don't drink and drive!~

                                               Top 5 Joe Bessey crashes~ *FriskyNixon*

                                                      Bessey's only BGN career victory~

                                               Rick Mast hard crash~ 1994 Watkins Glen~

                                                 The Revs - Go or Blow~ Old racing song~





Friday, August 4, 2017

Neil Bonnett #31 Mom 'n' Pops Chevrolet

    Welcome back to the NASCAR Racing Champions blog~ In today's post, I'm going to be looking back on the final two Cup starts of Neil Bonnett's career, specifically his next to last race, where he drove the #31 Mom 'n' Pops/Goodwrench Chevrolet~  I've been thinking about Neil a lot here lately, and yes, I've already did a post on him in the past.. but I just felt like it was time to bring him up again for some reason~

   When I look at this car, I'm filled with lots of different emotions.. some are happy, while others are sad.. and others times I just wonder what it would have been like had he not got back in the drivers seat.. all the great commentary we lost, and all the great family time the Bonnett family lost~ We all lost Neil together, and together we can help keep his memory alive for years to come~

                                               Neil was thrilled to be back in a Cup car~
Neil Bonnett #31 Mom n Pops Goorwrench Western Steer Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1993 Talladega Atlanta

    Neil Bonnett had been out of racing since his crash in the 1990 "TranSouth 500" @ Darlington~ In 1992, he started doing some testing for Richard Childress, which fueled Bonnett's fiery passion for racing~ He started talking to Earnhardt about how he was wanting to get back to driving again, and Earnhardt convinced Richard Childress to give Bonnett the car Dale won the Pepsi 400 in, and let him drive it at Talladega~

    When word got out that Bonnett was gonna be racing at Talladega, fans snatched up tickets, and millions tuned  in to see the return of the man from Alabama make his return to the highest form of NASCAR~ I remember the first time I saw Bonnett's car on television, how I thought it looked even cooler than Earnhardt's car did~ That big red Mom 'n' Pops logo just popped on tv~ Bonnett's son David attempted to make the field for the BGN race, but his engine blew in qualifying, and he failed to make the field~

                                                  Bonnett awaits his qualifying session~
Neil Bonnett #31 Mom n Pops Goorwrench Western Steer Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1993 Talladega Atlanta
    The 1993 "Die Hard 500" was just completely filled with NASCAR history before it even started~ Buddy Baker was attempting a one off deal with Rick Hendrick in the developmental #46 DuPont Chevrolet, and as the story goes, certain drivers didn't feel comfortable racing around Buddy, due to recent blood clots in his brain at the time~

    It has been said that Baker was then blackballed by NASCAR officials when his car was impounded, and adjustments were made to the cowl~ These adjustments made the car two seconds slower than he was in practice, thus assuring Baker wouldn't make the field for the event~ The other drivers who failed to make the race were Rich Bickle, Bobby Hamilton, Clay Young, and Kerry Teague (no relation to Brad Teague)~

   When qualifying was over, Bonnett found himself rolling off from the 20th position, while his ol' buddy Dale Earnhardt qualified in 11th~ The pole position was awarded to "Awesome" Bill Elliott, and the #11 Budweiser Ford, with Ernie Irvan and the #4 Kodak Film Chevrolet on the outside of row number one~   

                                          Neil awaits the start of the 1993 "Die Hard 500"~
Neil Bonnett #31 Mom n Pops Goorwrench Western Steer Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1993 Talladega Atlanta

    This was the first race at Talladega since the death of Davey Allison, and for some weird reason, Robert Yates put Robby Gordon in the #28 Havoline/Our Teammate Forever Ford~ As fate would have it, Gordon would bring out the first caution of the day, putting him out of the race with a last place finish~ I feel like Davey was smiling that day~ Robby Gordon doesn't deserve to drive Davey's car at Talladega, and it was like Davey put a stop to it himself~

    The next caution happened on lap 70, and it was a massive, vicious crash that sent Johnny Horton and the #32 Active Chevrolet over the wall, and out of the race track in tremendous fashion~ Rick Mast, Loy Allen, Kenny Wallace, Stanley Smith, and Ritchie Petty were also caught up in the incident, with Smith getting the worst of it~

    As track workers were checking on Horton, it appeared obvious that something was wrong with Smith~ He appeared on raw footage of the race completely soaked in blood, as a tire from one of the other cars came through and hit him in the face, while it was still attached to the car~ Smith had sustained a basilar skull fracture in the accident, and spent many months in recovery~ This is the same kind of skull fracture that would later kill Bonnett, as well as Earnhardt, Adam Petty, Kenny Irwin, and several others before safety measures were improved~

                                                   Ted Musgrave ruined it for everyone~
Neil Bonnett #31 Mom n Pops Goorwrench Western Steer Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1993 Talladega Atlanta

    Bonnett was battling with Ted Musgrave, and Jimmy Hensley on lap 132 when Musgrave gave Bonnett a tap coming out of the turn, sending him slamming into the wall and catch fence~ Hensley was caught up in the accident, as well as Loy Allen, who was making his second career Cup start~ Bonnett's car was totaled, and he finished what would be the last full race of his Cup career in 34th place~

    After a lengthy delay to repair the catch fence, racing resumed.. and man, what a battle it was!~ I've probably watched this race over 100 times in my life, and it's just a wild race from the start, and all the way down to the finish~ It ended up being a six car battle for the win, and eventually a five car battle when Bobby Labonte's #22 Maxwell House Ford ran out of gas~

    In the end, Dale Earnhardt prevailed over Ernie Irvan by just a couple of inches~ They ran the remaining 49 laps under green, and battled like maniacs the entire way to the checkered flag~ No need for "green white checkered" overtime crap.. these guys knew how to race, and they proved it in this wild race at Talladega~ Mark Martin finished third, followed by Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett~

                                                     Neil's final race~ Atlanta - 1993~
Neil Bonnett #31 Mom n Pops Goorwrench Western Steer Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1993 Talladega Atlanta
    Neil's final Cup race was ran as a favor to his ol' buddy Dale Earnhardt, to help him secure his sixth Winston Cup championship~ Ten drivers would fail to qualify for the 42 car field, but Neil wouldn't be one of them, as he had secured a 35th place starting spot with his qualifying run~ A few notable drivers who failed to make the show include Jeremy Mayfield, Jimmy Means, Bob Schacht, John Andretti, Norm Benning, and P.J. Jones~

    Earnhardt qualified 19th, and had to finish 34th or better to win the championship, and Rusty Wallace pretty much had to win the race to have a chance~ When the race went green, Bonnett did as he had been told, and pulled in after three laps  with "engine" issues~ Earnhardt held on for a 10th place finish, and even though Rusty Wallace won the race, still had enough points to secure his sixth Winston Cup Championship~

    Rusty was followed to the checkered flag by Ricky Rudd, Darrell Waltrip, Bill Elliott, and Dick Trickle~ Neil's three lap run was good enough for last place, in what would be the final race of his career~ But not before he gave it another go at the start of the 1994 season, driving the #51 Country Time Chevrolet~

                                                   Neil with Donnie and Bobby Allison~
Neil Bonnett #31 Mom n Pops Goorwrench Western Steer Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1993 Talladega Atlanta

    Neil never got to make a start in the #51 Country Time Chevrolet, as he passed away after being involved in a practice crash just nine days before the start of the 1994 "Daytona 500"~ I could have written quite a bit more about Bonnett, and the 1993 "DieHard 500", but it's all been written about much better than I could do.. and I just wanted to go over the basics with everyone again with this post~

    Bonnett's career was full of highs and lows, just the same as all the other drivers, but he had a unique personality.. a very likeable personality that current drivers lack~ I miss that the most about Neil, and drivers like him~ They were genuinely nice guys... smart guys, who had wonderful personalities~ I could sit and listen to Neil talk for hours about racing, and never get tired of it~ He just had a way of talking that regular guys like me admired, and could relate to~

   I find myself watching old episodes of "Winners" all the time~ That show can't be replicated because Neil made it what it was... he was that show~ You could duplicate the show, but you just can't duplicate Neil Bonnett's personality that we all admired and enjoyed over the years~ Neil's memory will live on as long as I'm alive, and hopefully for many years after that~

                                                 Neil Bonnett #31 Mom 'n' Pops Chevrolet~
Neil Bonnett #31 Mom n Pops Goorwrench Western Steer Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1993 Talladega Atlanta
                                                               Click pics to enlarge~
Neil Bonnett #31 Mom n Pops Goorwrench Western Steer Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1993 Talladega Atlanta

    This car was released in the 1993 Premier set, and had a limited release of 10,000 pieces~ As with all Premier cars, I'm not a fan of the gold stand, and gold trim on the card~ I'm also not a fan of the fat tires the Premiers had, or the clear windows~ Some people prefer the clear windows to the standard black ones, but they started out with the blacked windows, so that's what I prefer~

    Other than that, Racing Champions captured the beauty of Neil's real car pretty flawlessly~ Every little detail is there in 1/64 scale form, just the way his car was back in 1993 @ Talladega~ The card features Neil grinning from ear to ear in front of the car, and you sure can tell how happy he was to be back at the track as a driver~

    I give this car a B+ on the Racing Champions quality scale, with points taken off for being a Premier car instead of a standard issue~ The current price of this one isn't much cheaper than its 1/24 scale counterpart, with the cheapest 1/64 version currently on Ebay going for 33 bucks, whereas the 1/24 version can be found for $39.00 after shipping~ The main problem with these Bonnett #31 cars is that people aren't offering them for sale, thus the high price point when they do~

   I'm not saying that's an issue all the time.. I lucked up and found mine at the flea market for a couple bucks, but that's not normal.. so be happy if it happens to you~ Usually you find a bunch of commons, but moments like finding a Bonnett Mom 'n' Pops car for a couple bucks are what the hunt is all about!~ I have nearly 1,400 diecasts now, and I'd guess that less than 50 of them were bought on Ebay~

  Ebay takes the fun out of going and finding them on your own, and I personally only use it for cars that I know I don't have a chance of finding locally, or whenever I see one going for so cheap that I just can't pass it up~ I recently bought a Sterling Marlin #40 Prilosec OTC Dodge Action 1/64 from Ebay, but only because I got it for $1.75 free shipping~ I would never have found such an odd promo for that price, so I picked it up~ You can overspend on these little hunks of metal and memories... and that doesn't have to be the case~ Before I ramble your eyes out of your head.. let's just move on to the bonus car for this post~

                                                    Diggity Dave #14 Dekalb Corn Ford~
Diggity Dave #14 Dekalb Corn Ford Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog trucker hat fantasy car custom

    Well, here's this ol' thang~ I've got a hat that has the Dekalb corn logo on it, and so I made this car out of boredom one day~ As with the previous post, I have other cars that I'd like to post now, but I've got several requested cars I've still got to post, and a lot of these "Diggity Dave" fantasy cars that I've got done up already... so I'm trying to get that stuff out of the way a little bit first~

    Obviously I never raced this car, but if I did... I don't think I would have won any races~ Dekalb Corn sounds like a sponsorship Derrike Cope would have, and I don't think his sponsorship deals are worth too much, so best case scenario.. let's just say for pretend that I got a danged top 5 somehow at Bristol, let's just blame it on Danica crashing a bunch of people, knocking them out of the race.. and I survived through it to finish 3rd, behind Morgan Shepherd in the #21 Citgo Ford, and Derrike Cope in the #12 Mane n' Tail Shampoo Ford~ See.. in fantasy world, anything is possible~ So congratulations on your 3rd Winston Cup victory, Derrike!~ :)

    Ok, back into reality world... as of this post, the blog now has over 100,000 views, so I want to thank everyone that has visited during these past couple of years for that accomplishment~ I've enjoyed doing these posts, and hope you've enjoyed reading them~ Please share this post on social media, and click the follow button at the top of the page here~ Below I've included some clips from throughout Bonnett's career, and until next time, always remember... You can't roller skate in a buffalo herd!~ :P

                                                               1983 Daytona 125 win~

                                            Neil wins the 1980 Talladega 500~ Amazing!~

                                                           1993 Die Hard 400 crash~

                                               Inside Winston Cup Racing tribute to Neil~