Throwback Thursday

Formerjackman

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Burt Reynolds and Hal Needham, a couple of celebrities from a long line that continues today that lost their everlovin asses in the racing business.

I've never heard their involvement in NASCAR described that way. Can you expand on that? The first five years, they had a LOT of success, probably totally over achieved. The last couple of year WERE a struggle though, and I've never really known why. It seemed like their luck turned to total crap in 1986 and they never recovered. Few people remember it now, but they were a blown engine in the fall Atlanta race away from winning the 1984 title. The last time I looked at Google Street View, their old race shop up in Denver NC was still there. The pole that used to have one of the race cars perched on it was still there too.
 

StandOnIt

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I've never heard their involvement in NASCAR described that way. Can you expand on that? The first five years, they had a LOT of success, probably totally over achieved. The last couple of year WERE a struggle though, and I've never really known why. It seemed like their luck turned to total crap in 1986 and they never recovered. Few people remember it now, but they were a blown engine in the fall Atlanta race away from winning the 1984 title. The last time I looked at Google Street View, their old race shop up in Denver NC was still there. The pole that used to have one of the race cars perched on it was still there too.

If you can somehow call this success and not losing your ass more power to ya.
From Wiki:

Mach 1 Racing was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series team. It was owned by Hollywood stuntman Hal Needham and actor Burt Reynolds.

The team made its debut in 1981, fielding the No. 22 Skoal Pontiac driven by Stan Barrett. Barrett ran ten races for the team that season, his best finish coming at Talladega Superspeedway, where he finished 9th. Midseason, Mach 1 created a second car, the No. 33, driven by Harry Gant. Gant did not win that season, but he won three poles and had thirteen top-tens, finishing third in points.

In 1982, Gant drove the No. 33 Buick full-time with sponsorship from 7-Eleven/Skoal. He won at Martinsville and Charlotte and finished fourth in points. After just one win the following season, the team switched to Chevrolet, and Gant won three races, finishing a career best second in points. He followed that season up with another three wins in 1985.

For the next three years, Gant and Mach 1 failed to visit victory lane. Midway into the 1988 season, Gant suffered injuries at the Coca-Cola 600. Morgan Shepherd filled in for him, and had one top-five and two top-tens. After Gant finished 27th in the final standings, he left the team for Jackson Bros. Motorsports, taking Skoal and No. 33 with him.

In 1989, Mach 1 switched to the No. 66 and signed rookie driver Rick Mast. In their first race together, the Daytona 500, Mast drove the unsponsored car to a sixth-place finish, an accomplishment he later said was the one he was the most proud of. Mast and Mach 1 ran twelve more races together that season, they were unable to duplicate that effort. Needham closed the team and sold it to their crew chief, Travis Carter. Travis Carter Motorsports entered NASCAR competition in the 1990 Daytona 500.
 

Formerjackman

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Well, Gant and Mach One won nine races together, Gant went 3rd, 4th, 7th (after leading the points early in the season), 2nd and 3rd in their first five years together, not too damn bad for a startup team and a driver who was not yet an established Cup star. The had a boatload of 2nd place finishes, including a stretch of four in a row, and two consecutive races at Rockingham where Gant lost by a total of about 10 feet. It is my understanding that the Skoal sponsorship was on par with major sponsorships of the day, and it was never a big operation. I don't think they ever had more than about 10-12 people on the team, so unless Needham was a total idiot with the money, they shouldn't have been too bad off. I am led to believe that if they could have found a sponsor for Mast, the team would have went on much longer. With the amount of money Needham made from 1977, forward, (I was never clear on much money Burt was actually putting in) he should have been able to weather any shortfalls. I certainly WOULDN'T characterize it as losing their ass, at least not by auto racing standards. If somebody has more knowledge of the situation, I would be willing to reconsider my position.
 

StandOnIt

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Well, Gant and Mach One won nine races together, Gant went 3rd, 4th, 7th (after leading the points early in the season), 2nd and 3rd in their first five years together, not too damn bad for a startup team and a driver who was not yet an established Cup star. The had a boatload of 2nd place finishes, including a stretch of four in a row, and two consecutive races at Rockingham where Gant lost by a total of about 10 feet. It is my understanding that the Skoal sponsorship was on par with major sponsorships of the day, and it was never a big operation. I don't think they ever had more than about 10-12 people on the team, so unless Needham was a total idiot with the money, they shouldn't have been too bad off. I am led to believe that if they could have found a sponsor for Mast, the team would have went on much longer. With the amount of money Needham made from 1977, forward, (I was never clear on much money Burt was actually putting in) he should have been able to weather any shortfalls. I certainly WOULDN'T characterize it as losing their ass, at least not by auto racing standards. If somebody has more knowledge of the situation, I would be willing to reconsider my position.
sold what was left to a crew chief. I WOULD
 

Formerjackman

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sold what was left to a crew chief. I WOULD
I would suggest he did that so he WOULDN'T lose his ass. In the miles long list of people who truly HAVE lost their ass trying to field a NASCAR team, I just can't see this one as being anywhere near the top of the list.
 

StandOnIt

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I would suggest he did that so he WOULDN'T lose his ass. In the miles long list of people who truly HAVE lost their ass trying to field a NASCAR team, I just can't see this one as being anywhere near the top of the list.
he had already lost his ass when he sold it. He meaning Needham, Burt was already long gone. Nobody has yet to rank to list you seem to be taking exception to. It was a true statement I made about a celebrity owner team that is no longer in the series, but was for a very short while. I didn't intend to junk up the thread and I am done with this as all of the flavor has been chewed out of it.
 

2 Sweet

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he had already lost his ass when he sold it. He meaning Needham, Burt was already long gone. Nobody has yet to rank to list you seem to be taking exception to. It was a true statement I made about a celebrity owner team that is no longer in the series, but was for a very short while. I didn't intend to junk up the thread and I am done with this as all of the flavor has been chewed out of it.

Jeez, it's just an opinion, and it's an interesting discussion regardless. Don't take it personal man, I don't think he meant any offense
 

aunty dive

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Yer winner ... Richie Evans

Pre-transponder / Commodore 64. Look at the names on that sheet. And the carnage.

 

Spotter22

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Yer winner ... Richie Evans

Pre-transponder / Commodore 64. Look at the names on that sheet. And the carnage.

Thats why we didnt need stages and mysterious debris cautions back then. Thats an amazing stat sheet
 

Formerjackman

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That race was on January 17th, and by many accounts, it nearly killed him, (some say he had to be revived, Foyt says he doesn't know). But, if I recall the story correctly, on April 11th, he relief drove for Marvin Panch at Atlanta after his car dropped out and won the race. If you look up tough in the dictionary, you may well see a photo of Anthony Joseph Foyt Jr.
 

DRS3

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