Life Story
Tuesday November 15 2016, 8:49 PM

What a feeling! What did being bought entail? What kind of person would buy us? Would he be nice to us? We could either live the life of a toy or a decoration. Both usually lead to happy lives for us as whoever has us enjoys our presence.

We didn’t know; we’re just cars. We just sat there stuck in plastic until that incredible day when we were taken from the shelf and got packed into a box. We stayed in there until we arrived at a house, and next thing we knew we went from being hidden in cardboard to being hidden in paper. The kind-voiced lady handed us to her husband to wrap up securely for her little boy to receive on Christmas morning. We were going to be a child’s toy!

Christmas morning came, and, oh, what a special day it was! He was so thrilled! He immediately took us out of our packaging, and, as soon as he could, he started playing with us doing what we were made to do, race! We were toy NASCARs, but, more importantly, this little boy wanted us and was grateful to have us.

Thus began a wild adventure for us. There were six of us from one package, and we had a friend who came from another. We had so much fun every single day! He especially loved to bring us out when our real counterparts were racing on TV. Who wouldn’t love this?!  And we could race anywhere we wished: Daytona, Indy, Canada, or even rally!

We became inseparable friends for the next several years. We got together almost every day, and we finally got our names!  We were Sterling Marlin, Terry Labonte, Mark Martin, Ricky Rudd, Bobby Labonte, Jeff Gordon, and Bill Elliott, and that was who we were.

The next year he suddenly told me that I was Bobby Hamilton. He said there was a “Silly Season” change. We didn’t know what it was, but we just rolled with it. Who really cared?! We had the best friend we could ever have.

Over the years we picked up new friends… LOTS of them. In fact, we picked up about 200 of them! Many of them never joined the adventures, unfortunately, but it didn’t matter.  As “Silly Season” changed things, so did we. Some of us got retired because we were a bit too loved.  We went to live in the “Shrine,” our big friend’s collection of racing memorabilia.  But I stayed on as one of the more resilient ones.

Sadly, around 2007, we retired.  A new “little brother” liked to play with us and throw us (and break us), so our friend had to protect us. But, in 2014, we got to come back into the limelight! The “little brother” had grown up into a racing fan too! We were returning to the great racetrack of the living room floor!  And we all had new names as well.  The “little brother” also had his own cars to join our party.  A bunch of us joined forces to form a big race of classic and modern racing, 47 of us in all!

There is something special about being such an important part of their lives.  The absolute joy they get out of playing with us is above and beyond incredible.

Names have changed over time, too. I’ve been Sterling Marlin, Bobby Hamilton, Jimmy Spencer, and Rex White. The big guys don’t watch NASCAR anywhere near enough to know the names who really drive our numbers, so they’ve adapted.

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