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Chrysler's history in the Nascar Truck series

Discussion in 'Historical' started by Beentherebefore, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. Beentherebefore

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    I couldn't find a non-copyrighted picture of this truck so I'm posting this (pretty realistic) model of it offered on e-Bay.

    This is the truck that won the first Nascar race for Dodge in the Nascar Truck series. It was driven to victory by Tony Raines @ I-70 Speedway in Missouri on 5 -24- 97, one of only two races won by Dodges that year (Bob Keselowski won the other one at Richmond later in the year). Unfortunately, I didn't get to watch it as it was not shown on TV (at least not by my provider). I got even more aggravated when I found out how the rest of the trucks finished. Not only did Raines win it, but Jimmy Hensley finished 2nd in Richard Petty's #43 Dodge truck, and Butch Miller finished 5th in a Dodge truck owned by Walker Evans which I believe was the best finish by a truck owned by him. *

    * I've seen where it is reported that Brendan Gaughan's first Dodge truck win was in a truck owned by Walker Evans. The official results sites where I have looked list his truck owner as his father.


    [​IMG]
     
  2. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    "* I've seen where it is reported that Brendan Gaughan's first Dodge truck win was in a truck owned by Walker Evans. The official results sites where I have looked list his truck owner as his father."
    Gaughan was hired by and drove for Evans, for a few races, when the Orlean's became the sponsor (Brendan's fathers company) his father became the owner. Not certain if Evans was still involved or if the change was hostile, but Gaughans arrival to the truck series was facilitated by Evans.
    IIRC, the 43 driven by Hensley ran both the STP and Cummins logos during various races, in Red and Petty blue.
     
  3. Mike V.

    Mike V. Mopar-nac The Moderator
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    Sorry Norm, the Jimmy Hensley 43 ran Cummins. I have seen a red truck with Dodge primary sponsorship and a Petty Blue truck with Dodge Primary sponsorship used in 2000 when Steve Grissom drove that truck.

    I can not find any pics or data that shows STP as a primary sponsor.

    Mike
     
  4. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    I'll try to take a picture if my picture, when I get time.
     
  5. Mike V.

    Mike V. Mopar-nac The Moderator
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    Ok, please do! I've seen STP on the Door below the B Pillar as an associate.

    Mike
     
  6. Beentherebefore

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  7. Mike V.

    Mike V. Mopar-nac The Moderator
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    Cool, thanks for sharing
     
  8. Beentherebefore

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    I don't want to fan the flames of disagreement, but here is how the Petty Enterprises Nascar truck driven by Steve Grissom looked when Mrs BTB got his autograph on the team publicity card handout @ the Bakersfield truck race in March, 2000.

    [​IMG]
     

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  9. Mike V.

    Mike V. Mopar-nac The Moderator
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    Right that's the paint scheme I mentioned above

    There are no flames to fan, it's all good.

    Mike
     
  10. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    No flames to fan, that is just one of the paint schemes I mentioned. ;)
    I have a lot going on right now, I'll get the photo up when I can.
     
  11. md80891

    md80891 Active Member

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    I had forgot about Steve. He was in the 44 for awhile as well IIRC and was PE's test driver for awhile as well.
     
  12. Beentherebefore

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    Another autographed handout that Mrs BTB picked up at the year 2000 Bakersfield Nascar truck series race - that of (imo under- rated) Randy Tolsma, driving for the David Hodson owned team of "Impact Motorsports". Tolsma won the Nashville truck race later in the year. Notice the joint sponsorship between Dodge, Dodge Motorsports, and Mopar Performance Parts.

    [​IMG]

    Randy Tolsma's teammate @ Impact Motorsports was Stacey Compton. A year later Compton got some publicity for starting on the front row of the 2001 Daytona 500 (next to polesitter Bill Elliot's Dodge) in a Kodiak sponsored Dodge. His crew chief was a fellow named Chad Knaus.
     

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  13. Beentherebefore

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    Publicity card handout of the Petty Enterprises truck when it was driven by Jimmy Hensley.

    [​IMG]
     

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    #33 Beentherebefore, Aug 16, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
  14. DC-93

    DC-93 Active Member

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    Nascar kept manipulating the rules, like widening the front of the race Rams, until Chrysler had enough of their games.
    Of course, sales are now more than ever... Showing yet again, that Nascar is no longer relevant to selling vehicles.
     
  15. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Valued Member
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    One of the reasons the Keselowski's were let go was because of their lack of "professionalism" at the track. The pit crew showed up wearing old uniforms with their previous sponsors names on them........... they didn't look like a so called factory team that Dodge was trying to make them into. They were warned to shape up but they ignored it all.
     
  16. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Valued Member
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    Al Nickols get together 7-17-13 - 35 (640x401).jpg Here is a picture that was taken last year at a gathering of ex Chrysler race guys and racers. The guy on the far left is Ron Keselowski (father of you know who). I am third from left. Also there are Ted Spehar (Motown Missile), Larry Shepherd (Direct Connection guy), Greg Charney (drag racer), Al Adams (drag racer) Jim Robertson and Al Nichols(engineers) and others not shown in this picture.
     
  17. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Valued Member
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    Excuse my brain fade..................Ron is the Uncle of Brad and Brian Keslowski.
     
  18. Beentherebefore

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    Maybe a bit of an overreaction on the part of Dodge, seeing how close Dennis Setzer came to winning the championship in 1999 (I was there at the season ending heartbreaker @ Fontana when he crashed out early while leading in the points) in the Keselowski truck. Maybe a remedial action (such as Mopar or Dodge Motorsports providing the uniforms for the crew) would have brought Dodge a Truck series championship earlier than their first one in 2004. After Mopar pulled the Keselowski sponsorship, Dennis Setzer went over to "Brand C" and was in championship contention for several years and a regular thorn in the side of the Dodge championship contenders.
     
  19. Beentherebefore

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    I'll posit that any 3 of you together as a consulting team could achieve better racing results for Mopars in more major U.S. racing series than the company achieves these days.

    BTW, I posted a picture of one of Ron Keselowski's Mopars on page 4 of the larger Nascar historical thread, in case you haven't seen it.
     
  20. Beentherebefore

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    Rules manipulation and adjustments are nothing new in any major US racing series, and usually done to the benefit of "Brand C" which has been Nascar's house brand for almost 45 years now. The constant BofP adjustments in the TUSC series hasn't stopped Dodge from participating there. Mopar racing history is replete with how the company overcame the Pro-GM stacked deck and achieved more than their share of victories when they put in the time, effort, and $$$. Heck, that's what makes up a good part of the Mopar racing history and legend.

    As to Nascar relevance, the persistent Dodge advertising seen in most Nascar series broadcast events tells me that Dodge is very interested in appealing to the Nascar audience and that they believe that Nascar must be relevant to selling vehicles. There are usually several Dodge ads (including mention as "presenting sponsor") in a two hour Truck series race and many more in a 4 hour Cup race, not to mention (as Norm has pointed out multiple times) Dodge banners on the tracks and Dodge track vehicles. For what the company is paying for all of that, they could easily field a competitive team or two in the Truck series. Why no one in Chrysler marketing can connect the final dots in the picture to tell them that the way you make a lasting impression on Nascar fans is to run competitive entries in the races and not just show your vehicles as pace cars or track maintenance vehicles is beyond me. If they really believe that Nascar is no longer relevant to selling vehicles, then stay away from anything Nascar and ignore it completely. Spending company funds to support events that feature the capabilities of your main market competitors without participating yourself defies basic marketing principles. IMO, it is a complete marketing failure and, in fact, borders on marketing insanity.
     
    Jerry Simcik likes this.

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