Re-purposed Kyle Petty show car - maybe a third life?

TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
6 years ago
3,992 posts

In recent days, I stumbled across a series of photos on ebay from 1989 Speedweeks. My eyes did a double-take on a particular one from the ARCA event: #42 of Scott Lagasse.

In studying it closer, there was something familiar with the style of the 42 on the Monte Carlo. I then remembered the show car the newly-formed SABCO Racing put on display at Charlotte in the fall of 1988. Felix Sabates introduced his new driver Kyle Petty, crew chief Gary Nelson, and sponsor Peak Anti-freeze.

Some Peak decals were slapped on a white Monte Carlo for the unveiling. But by the time the team got to Speedweeks in 1989, the paint scheme was fancier and applied to a Pontiac Grand Prix. (The team missed the D500 as its debut, and Felix arranged for Kyle to drive Eddie Bierschwale's #23 instead.)

Source:Thomas K. Craig collection

So I'm wondering if the SABCO show car ended up being raced by Lagasse as an ARCA car. Furthermore, Felix had ties to Rick Hendrick and likely got plenty of advice from him about how to get into NASCAR. My bet is that show car Monte Carlo may have originally been raced by Geoff Bodine, Tim Richmond, Benny Parsons, Ken Schrader or Darrell Waltrip.




--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.

updated by @tmc-chase: 08/01/17 12:31:11PM
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
6 years ago
9,126 posts

Cool find on linking the photos. Your theory makes sense to me.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Cody Dinsmore
@cody-dinsmore
6 years ago
589 posts

Wouldn't be the first time a showcar had been in a race. Remember in 1983, when Cale flipped the Hardee's Monte Carlo. He used a back-up Pontiac Ventura and won.....when the series rolled around to Atlanta (4th or 5th race of the season).....

I don't remember the exact details on this whether Cale wrecked a car during Atlanta practice or Ranier hadn't yet prepared another speedway car. Any how, they put a race-built engine in a Hardees showcar that just the previous week had been at a Hardee's grand opening. The car was built STRICTLY for a show piece. From what I've heard, it had a stock Chevy chassis that was lowered to race spec and light-wight roll cage. Needless to say, the car wasn't the safest...but Cale drove it to victory for the Coca-Cola 500 at Atlanta that year.

-Cody

Andy DeNardi
@andy-denardi
6 years ago
365 posts

I'm not sure that you could build a functioning 1983 race car on a stock frame or get it through inspection. But Cale was a star and Bill France wouldn't let one of his big attractions miss a race. Rules can be bent if NASCAR's pocketbook is involved. There may not be such a thing as "The Call", but I think that not all of the restrictor plates that NASCAR hands out are equal.

TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
6 years ago
3,992 posts

Some days, I just love being on Twitter. Had this exchange with Gary Nelson tonight - almost 3 months after I originally raised this question here.




--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
6 years ago
3,992 posts

Found another connection between the KP and Scott Lagasse cars today. In looking for a photo of Rob Moroso at Wilkesboro, I found 2 from his first Cup start at Charlotte in the October 1988 Oakwood Homes 500. Sure enough, a Hendrick Motorsports, white, Peak-sponsored, #47 Monte Carlo. He qualified 34th and finished 14th.

I emphasize finish because I now wonder if the car was wiped down, re-decaled with 42, and rolled out the next morning for the press conference to announce the SABCO - Kyle - Gary Nelson - Peak deal for 1989. What if Moroso had wrecked? If this indeed was the same car used by SABCO at the presser, what was their fall back plan?

From Craig Bontrager collection.

From Brian Yezierski collection




--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.

updated by @tmc-chase: 08/01/17 12:32:03PM
Tim Leeming
@tim-leeming
6 years ago
3,119 posts

Man you guys are sharp.

mazdaracer153
@mazdaracer153
2 weeks ago
1 posts

I have this car. I bought it maybe 16-18 years ago. I was racing modified's at the time and thought I would race with the historic stock car group which was running with vintage groups. However life got in the way as I had a business, built a new house and started to race sports cars here in Florida. I found road racing very enjoyable and was running at mostly Daytona and Sebring.

 The car sat behind my business and the body has started to rust. I moved it last week to my house and putting it in my barn to restore. I found this site searching for info. The guy I bought it from told me they bought it to run an ARCA race at Daytona. Lagassa Sr. raced it without success. The car was then raced at Charlotte in the sportsman series once. When they got the car it was a Kyle Petty Peak car. The paint under the red on the roll cage is yellow which leads me to believe it was a Levy Garrett car at one time. The guy I bought it from also told me that it was built by Gary Nelson.

 I am now 66 years old and time to vintage race. SVRA has been growing with old stock cars and many retired cup drivers are showing up to road race these old cars. Hopefully I can give this car  a new life. if you have any info on this car please let me know. Thanks

TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
one week ago
3,992 posts

@mazdaracer153 Are you on Twitter? If so, we need to get Gary Nelson re-engaged if possible. I'm not sure how he did it, but he picked out THAT car to take to SABCO. I'm guessing he told Felix Sabates about it so Felix and Rick Hendrick could work out a sale. I'm not enough of a Hendrick Motorsports historian to know who else may have been involved in the building of it. I'd love to see some photos of the car in its current "barn" state!




--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.