NASCAR ROTY RANKINGS 1986: Ranking the Rookie of the Year Classes Through the Years



Alan Kulwicki
Join me as we take a look at every NASCAR Cup Rookie of the Year class from 1972 (the start of the modern era) through 2021, going from the worst to the first in terms of overall careers of each year’s rookie class.

1986

Winner: Alan Kulwicki (AK/Terry).  Runners Up: Michael Waltrip (Bahari), Chet Fillip (Circle Bar).  Aborted Attempts: Davey Allison, Jerry Cranmer, Rick Baldwin, Jonathan Lee Edwards, Wayne Kramer

How their careers turned out: Alan Kulwicki faced long odds, running his own equipment often with limited funding, but beat them all to win the 1992 Cup championship—only for his career to tragically be cut short the following year.  Michael Waltrip, meanwhile, had a lengthly career going from a driver famous for NOT winning to winning the biggest races of them all.  Chet Fillip is probably better known for his CART/IndyCar career, only making seven Cup attempts after his rookie season (and the less said about Circle Bar’s other driver, the better).

“Fun” “Fact” about the winner: No snark here—AK was one of the greats for what he did, and I just wish we got to see more of him.

Ranking: #15 out of 50



www.spaderacing.com updated four times weekly


www.facebook.com/spaderacing


www.twitter.com/spaderacing


Visit the store https://www.cafepress.com/spaderacing


Buy the book 100 Stock Car Racing What Ifs Unauthorized


Does this track have lights?


A MOXOC Media production

www.moxoc.com

Spade Racing presents The Hero Card Project (Part 2)



CLICK HERE FOR PART 1


On March 15th, I mailed out to every major, mid-major, and minor Nascar team in the three touring series for Hero Cards, the free glossy card-stock giveaways provided by race teams.  Last week I posted my first responses, but I got so many this past week I wanted to post what else I’ve received!  See what came in below, and click here to learn more about collecting Hero Cards


Two AUTOGRAPHED cards from RackleyWAR

Two identical cards from Big Machine

Five matching hero cards from Truck Series mainstay TRICON

Four cards (and an air freshener!) from Rick Ware Racing

A card form part-time Cup team Beard Motorsports




www.spaderacing.com updated four times weekly


www.facebook.com/spaderacing


www.twitter.com/spaderacing


Visit the store https://www.cafepress.com/spaderacing


Buy the book 100 Stock Car Racing What Ifs Unauthorized


Does this track have lights?


A MOXOC Media production

www.moxoc.com

Texas Race Picks: Uncle Max vs. 13th Place



As nice as it was getting another (Xfinity) race pick right last weekend, these double and tripleheader weekends are kinda nutty.  I mean, it’s not like baseball where the first month of the season has about 2-3 off days a week.  Or like football where no one else dares compete with the NFL.  You have all three Nascar national touring series competing on the same weekend, pretty much every weekend.

And I guess that’s one of the reasons why I’ve become so defensive about people bashing drivers as “non-athletes”.  I mean, yeah, I’m still a bit of a novice Nascar fan, but still—you mean to tell me an average Joe could run up to 500 miles a week in the sweltering heat of a stock car 36 times a year with only two weeks off all season?  Come onnnnnnnn…


Friday Night TRUCK SERIES (1 win) Speedy Cash 250: KYLE BUSCH—“and put your little hand in miiiiiine, there ain’t no river or moun—“ *bashes alarm clock*.


Saturday Night XFINITY SERIES (2 wins) Andy’s 300: RYAN TRUEX—You can call him Ryan, and you can call him Truex, but don’t call him Junior.


Sunday CUP SERIES Autotrader 400: 13th Place Picks TODD GILLILAND.  FAVORITE (1 win): WILLIAM BYRON—continuing his regular season dominance.  NEXT FAVORITE: ROSS CHASTAIN—“FOR SALE: 2024 Chevrolet Camaro, some melon damage”.  DARK HORSE: JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK—maybe those sponsors all know something we don’t.



www.spaderacing.com updated four times weekly


www.facebook.com/spaderacing


www.twitter.com/spaderacing


Visit the store https://www.cafepress.com/spaderacing


Buy the book 100 Stock Car Racing What Ifs Unauthorized


Does this track have lights?


A MOXOC Media production

www.moxoc.com

Spade Racing Opens a Box of 2023 Panini Chronicles Cards, Pack 7 of 12


PACK 7: An Autograph, A Lengthy Path, and Fuzzy Math


FIRST LOOK: And we start out with an autograph from developmental driver Lawless Alan.  Yes, that’s his real, legal name (although I don’t know if anyone has ever had an illegal name).


TO THE BACK: Here we see the issue with printing lead times—we have a story about a race that happened over a year ago.  Not to mention that it’s a 16th place finish.  It would be like a baseball card about a 1-for-5 day twelve months prior.


SAY WHAT?: “Sure you’re missing a card in this pack, but hey—you get twice as much of me!


RATING: 2 missed lug nuts out of 10.



www.spaderacing.com updated four times weekly


www.facebook.com/spaderacing


www.twitter.com/spaderacing


Visit the store https://www.cafepress.com/spaderacing


Buy the book 100 Stock Car Racing What Ifs Unauthorized


Does this track have lights?


A MOXOC Media production

www.moxoc.com


NASCAR ROTY RANKINGS 1985: Ranking the Rookie of the Year Classes Through the Years



Ken Schrader
Join me as we take a look at every NASCAR Cup Rookie of the Year class from 1972 (the start of the modern era) through 2021, going from the worst to the first in terms of overall careers of each year’s rookie class.

1985

Winner: Ken Schrader (Donlavey).  Runner Up: Eddie Bierschwale (US).  Aborted Attempt: Don Hume

How their careers turned out: Ken Schrader’s reputation as a jovial racer of anything with four wheels belies his success in Cup, winning four races and finishing as high as fourth in points.  Eddie Bierschwale, meanwhile, never got to attempt a full-season again after his rookie year, instead running for various low-budget teams with a name nobody felt confident pronouncing.

“Fun” “Fact” about the winner: Ken Schrader’s American flag car at Dover after 9/11 remains, unquestionably, the greatest special paint scheme ever run.

Ranking: #37 out of 50



www.spaderacing.com updated four times weekly


www.facebook.com/spaderacing


www.twitter.com/spaderacing


Visit the store https://www.cafepress.com/spaderacing


Buy the book 100 Stock Car Racing What Ifs Unauthorized


Does this track have lights?


A MOXOC Media production

www.moxoc.com

Spade Racing presents The Hero Card Project (Part 1)



On March 15th, I mailed out to every major, mid-major, and minor Nascar team in the three touring series for Hero Cards, the free glossy card-stock giveaways provided by race teams.  And in less than a month, I’ve already received responses from 12 different teams!  See what came in below, and click here to learn more about collecting Hero Cards: https://spaderacing.blogspot.com/2023/04/how-to-collect-hero-cards.html

The first response was from LiveFast Motorsports

Two autographed mini-cards from Halmar-Friesen

Four cards from Kaulig Racing

A HUGE selection of cards from Team Penske

Two cards from the Xfinity Series' SS-Greenlight team

Half a dozen cards from MHR

JTG-D's 2024 card

A bunch of cards from a bunch of racers
 at SHR (and a Cole Custer autograph)

An autographed card form Bret Holmes

Three mini-cards from Sam Hunt Racing

Two signed cards from Legacy MC

A pair of autographed cards from Cory Roper


www.spaderacing.com updated four times weekly


www.facebook.com/spaderacing


www.twitter.com/spaderacing


Visit the store https://www.cafepress.com/spaderacing


Buy the book 100 Stock Car Racing What Ifs Unauthorized


Does this track have lights?


A MOXOC Media production

www.moxoc.com

Martinsville Race Picks: Uncle Max vs. 13th Place



Last weekend was a doubleheader—and I picked both races right!  It’s great to get back on the winning track this year (AND have wins across all three seasons), and I just hope I can continue it THIS weekend as well (and beyond!)

The only downside was that I missed both races.  I closed at work on Saturday night so no Xfinity race for me, then I came right back in on Sunday to work from open to close.  By the time I got home, the race was starting with rain tires (?!?) but I was too exhausted to watch.  Oh well—maybe NOT watching is my new good-luck charm, although I wish someone would’ve told me that before I made my March Madness picks.  Heck, maybe even skipping the whole tournament couldn’t have helped me this year.


Friday Night TRUCK SERIES (1 win) Long John Silver’s 200: COREY HEIM—will the winner have a bucket of tartar sauce dumped over their heads?


Saturday Night XFINITY SERIES (1 win) Dude Wipes 250: ARIC ALMIROLA—*Denny Hamlin prepares to sneak into victory lane to take the trophy*


Sunday CUP SERIES Cook Out 400: 13th Place Picks BUBBA WALLACE.  FAVORITE (1 win): KYLE LARSON—breaking out of a funk with a dominating run on a short track (or a tire gamble, who knows).  NEXT FAVORITE: DENNY HAMLIN—seems like this year is going to be JGR, HMS, “…and the rest”.  DARK HORSE: TY GIBBS—kind of like Bobby Hillin Jr., minus the terrible novelty song (so far).



www.spaderacing.com updated four times weekly


www.facebook.com/spaderacing


www.twitter.com/spaderacing


Visit the store https://www.cafepress.com/spaderacing


Buy the book 100 Stock Car Racing What Ifs Unauthorized


Does this track have lights?


A MOXOC Media production

www.moxoc.com

NASCAR ROTY RANKINGS 1984: Ranking the Rookie of the Year Classes Through the Years



Join me as we take a look at every NASCAR Cup Rookie of the Year class from 1972 (the start of the modern era) through 2021, going from the worst to the first in terms of overall careers of each year’s rookie class.

1984

Rusty Wallace's rookie car

Winner: Rusty Wallace (Cliff Stewart).  Runners Up: Greg Sacks (Sacks), Phil Parsons (Johnny Hayes), Clark Dwyer (Irv Sanderson).  Aborted Attempts: none

How their careers turned out: Rusty’s off-track exploits (water bottles, “hot rod”s, etc.) have overshadowed an incredibly impressive career, not only winning the 1989 Cup championship but also having one of the greatest mullets in the sport’s history.  Both Greg Sacks and Phil Parsons posted upset wins in Cup, but never really got a decent shot in truly top-flight equipment.  Clark Dwyer, meanwhile, was out of the sport shortly after his rookie season.

“Fun” “Fact” about the winner: Though he’d never admit to it, sometimes them cats out there AREN’T flat out flyin’.

Ranking: #14 out of 50



www.spaderacing.com updated four times weekly


www.facebook.com/spaderacing


www.twitter.com/spaderacing


Visit the store https://www.cafepress.com/spaderacing


Buy the book 100 Stock Car Racing What Ifs Unauthorized


Does this track have lights?


A MOXOC Media production

www.moxoc.com