Dave Fulton

Nashville Crew - 1st Earnhardt Fan Club

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When he passed in 2001, the late Dale Earnhardt had thousands of fan club members all over the world. However, he always had a favorite group of fans he named "THE NASHVILLE CREW." This group, from the Nashville, Tennessee area, were early members of the first Earnhardt fan club dating to 1979. When we began our first full season of sponsoring Dale at Wrangler Jeans in 1981, Dale had me outfit each of these special folks with an authentic Wrangler pit crew shirt and pit crew hat. They furnished their own Wrangler jeans and cutoffs. This group ate, slept and breathed Dale Earnhardt. They had a jeep painted blue and yellow and decaled with our Wrangler insignia riding on Goodyear Wrangler tires. Dale had me get it in the parade laps at Nashville and Bristol. This photo was taken in the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway infield in 1981. There was another thing Dale loved about "The Nashville Crew." They knew how to party! A cold Budweiser was never far away if needed when "The Nashville Crew" was on the scene. Time marches on and not all of the original crew survive. However, I have it on excellent authority that a deceased member was buried with a long neck bottle of Beechwood bubbles. Here's to the days when the fans got up close and personal with the drivers of NASCAR. Here's to the days when drivers not only autographed memorabilia for fans, they also shared intimate moments with them. Here's to "The Nashville Crew." May their deeds be forever remembered.
Photo by the late Beverly Hamer, shared from the personal collection of Russ Thompson with his permission.
bill mcpeek
@bill-mcpeek   10 years ago
great shot, glad Russ allowed it to be shared...those were the days....
Tim Leeming
@tim-leeming   10 years ago
Beautiful expression of true fans and what they meant to racing and what Dale, Sr. meant to them. Thanks, Dave.
danny whitener
@danny-whitener   10 years ago
Great picture, Back in the day when racing was fun.
Dennis Andrews
@dennis-andrews   10 years ago
Dave,I can see Tony Stuart having a cold one with the fans after a race but he's about the only one of the current drivers. I can just imagine how Dale might have had a little fun with the guys wearing cut off jeans next to the girls with them on.
Leon Phillips
@leon-phillips   10 years ago
WOW Thanks Dave for posting
Doshia Wall
@doshia-wall   10 years ago
Thank you for sharing this great picture.Doshia
Dennis  Garrett
@dennis-garrett   10 years ago
DAVEIS THAT AN PINK PAINTED PONTIAC FIREBIRD CAR SITTING BEHIND THE Nashville Crew - 1st Earnhardt Fan Club?Thanks for any information or photos posted.
Dennis Garrett
Richmond,Va. USA
Dennis  Garrett
@dennis-garrett   10 years ago
Could this be Dale Earnhardt Sr.(1st) Fan Club?
Photo #1. "Join The Dale Earnhardt Fan Club & Be A - WINNE/WINNER" brochure (front side)
#2 Osterlund Racing, Inc., 8424 Old Statesville Road, Charlotte, NC 28213 brochure (back page)

Thanks for any information or photos posted.
Dennis Garrett
Richmond,Va. USA
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   10 years ago
Dennis, I'm not sure about the car behind the "Nashville Crew" - but, I'd say you are spot on about the fan club. This brochure was put together for the 1980 season by Joe Whitlock, Dale's and Osterlund's PR rep, who later went on our Wrangler payroll in 1981. The Old Statesville Road address on the brochure was also the address of the Osterlund shop where Whitlock had an office with his secretary, Judy Tucker. That first year and for a number of years thereafter, the President of the Dale Earnhardt Fan Club was Dolly Madera, who was also Dale's scorer. Dolly's retired husband, Cal Madera was Dale's "tire expert" and floated with Dale from Osterlund, to Stacy to Richard Childress to Bud Moore and back to Richard Childress. In the Wrangler / Dale Earnhardt victory lane photos you find posted, that'll always be Dolly in victory lane holding the blue & yellow clipboard. Dolly & Cal lived permanently in a motorhome that traveled from race to race with another retired couple and their motorhome who did contract work for Bullfrog Knits, Miller Beer and others. It was a wonderful big family. Those guys would help us hang Wrangler banners when needed and we'd help them in return. It was a different era.
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   10 years ago
Dennis, the lady on the right in this Talladega victory lane photo holding the scoring clipboard is Dolly Madera , Dale Earnhardt's scorer and president of the Dale Earnhardt Fan Club.
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   10 years ago
That's Dale Earnhardt scorer and fan club president, Dolly Madera in the upper left of this photo taken in Daytona victory lane in February 1982 when Dale won the first ever Busch Series race driving our Wrangler sponsored Robert Gee Pontiac Late Model Sportsman car.
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   10 years ago
Difficult to pick him out, but these are a couple of isolated shots of tire specialist Cal Madera (Dolly Madera's husband) with the gas catch can during some Pocono Bud Moore/Dale Earnhardt pit stops. Cropped from a Dennis Garrett photo:
James Trout
@james-trout   9 years ago
Excellent photo and incedible story with it, expreses so well why this site is so kool and important, thanks very much for uploading
Jay Whitley
@jay-whitley   9 years ago
Born and raised up the street, in Berry Hill, from the track. I didn't miss much of the going ons there. I walked to the track most times. I miss those days when they opened the gate after the race, or races, and let the fans mingle with crew and drivers. In the old old days there were 55 gal. drums full of ice and beer in the pits. So the truth has been spoken here with the Nashville Crew. HEAR HEAR
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   9 years ago
Cool to hear about the 55 gal. drums, Jay!
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