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Rookie of the Year Collection

Building the cars that won Rookie of the year in NASCAR...Mostly Cup, but may throw in some Busch and trucks, decals providing.

I am creating the albums now with a reference photo, the build to be added later.

All photos © ElCaminoBilly unless otherwise noted
1963 Billy Wade
Nov 29, 2007

Billy Wade drove this car for Cotton Owens to the 1963 Rookie of the Year Title. Wade would become the first driver to win 4 consecutive races the following season, before being tragically killed in a tire test in January 1965.

His stats for the 1963 Season:
31 starts (of 55 possible races), 4 Top 5s, 14 Top 10s, 21 laps led of 6008 run, completing 4,988.6 miles and earning $15,204 dollars, placing 16th in the final standings.
His best finish of the year was a second, at Nashville on August 4th of 1963.

When I built this model, I didn't think to look at the Rookie of the Year Charts, and didn't notice this was his Rookie of the Year winning ride until nearly 2 months after I finished the model. As such, it's missing the Rookie stripe.

The model is a resin kit, from R&R Vacuum Craft, that I won as a door prize at the NNL Nationals in 2006. I started the model exactly 1 week before this year's NNL Nationals, and got it done in time to make the two day drive out there!

The interior is scratchbuilt, and the cage is from Plastic Performance Products. The wheels and tires are Modelhaus. Unfortunatly I didn't think to build in room for the rear tires so the chassis sticks out below the body. I may correct it someday.
The decals are by my friend Bernie from Guadeloupe.
The only plastic kit parts are the steering wheel and the seat, and the seat has been modified. All the rest is either Resin or scratchbuilt.

Really a very simple, easy and fun kit to build, it was a pure joy to do this R&R kit!

Album was created 10 years ago
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All photos © ElCaminoBilly unless otherwise noted
1985 Ken Schrader

In 1985 Ken Schrader won the Rookie of the Year award over Eddie Bierchewale and Don Hume, driving Junie Donleavy's #90 Sunny King Ford Ford Thunderbird. Kenny competed in all 28 races, posting 3 top 10s, leading 4 laps out of 7,786 run and finishing 16th in final points.

The model was built from one of many Monogram Rookie of the Year combos, box stock.

Model #2 in Rookie of the Year Collection

Album was created 11 years 5 months ago
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All photos © ElCaminoBilly unless otherwise noted
1986 Alan Kulwicki

In 1986, Alan Kulwicki drove a car he owned to the Rookie of the Year title, running a car he owned. He defeated Michael Waltrip and Chet Fillip for the title.
Alan competed in 23 of 29 races, posting 1 Top 5, 4 Top 10s, leading 14 of 7,898 run, to finish a very respectable 21st in points.

Sadly, Alan was killed in an airplane accident on April 1st, 1993, only 5 months after winning the Winston Cup Championship.

The Model was built off the other half of the Monogram Rookie of the year combo, and was built to much better standards then the Ken Schrader car it came packaged with...

Model #3 in Rookie of the Year Collection

Album was created 11 years 5 months ago
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All photos © ElCaminoBilly unless otherwise noted
1998 Kenny Irwin

Only ROY car to have album before subsection was created. Model #1 in Rookie of the Year Collection.
A tragic story, Kenny Irwin's is.
When I first heard of him in the truck series, I was Not a fan, but not a detractor either. He was just another one of the guys who I pretty much all hold in high regard.
But then, in 1997, when it was announced he was replacing Ernie Irvan in the 28, I was mad. I wrongly and unfairly held it against Kenny. I did not want him to do well in 1998. By 1999 I was pretty much in the middle again. Not someone I rooted for to win the race each week, but not someone I rooted against anymore either.
But then, in 1999, I heard the story of how he came to replace Ernie Irvan. I learned Ernie was not fired because of him, which is what I thought at the time. Ernie was fired, and when Kenny Heard that he called Robert Yates every chance he got trying to get the ride, which he did. All was forgiven on my part, and then I felt pretty stupid. So I decided to read more about him, and I found that, if I had given him the chance, I would have seen he was a nice person. And by time the 2000 season started, I was indeed a fan. Then, New Hampshire. I will never forget when I learned he had been killed. I was on vacation, in Lake George, NY, my favorite place. When RPM2Night came on, I knew instantly something was wrong. There was no music and John Kernan had that sad look on his face, and shortly we learned what had happened.
As a tribute to Kenny, and in my own way to say "I'm Sorry I misjudged you", this was the 3rd NASCAR I started when I became a NASCAR builder. It took me a while to complete it, and I pretty much ruined it when I tried to make working rear suspension (the warped parts didn't help) but if you don't touch it, it looks good.
Rest in piece, Kenny.

The Late Kenny Irwin's Rookie Car. This is actually a fairly poor build of it. Was possibly my second Slixx decal job, done in May or early June 2004, and finished on November 21st, 2004

Album was created 13 years 1 month ago and modified 12 years 11 months ago
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All photos © ElCaminoBilly unless otherwise noted
1999 Tony Stewart

This was actually my first NASCAR model of any kind. Even though I had discovered the sport years before, I didn't build NASCAR models until 2000. I was brush painting everything at that time, and most of the results were to be honest, crappy. I didn't want to do a bunch of crappy NASCAR models, so I did none. Until Revell came out with the ProFinish line, which were partially prepainted. For a beginner, they were great, and I got all that I could find- I still have one I have not built yet, saving it for when I get in a really bad slump, and still need to track down a few, just to have a complete collection.

Tony won 3 races in this car, easily beating Elliott Sadler, Buckshot Jones and Stanton Barrett for Rookie of the Year in 1999. It was the first time any rookies had won a race since Davey Allison in 1987.

Album was created 5 years 6 months ago and modified 5 years 6 months ago
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All photos © ElCaminoBilly unless otherwise noted
2005 Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch 2005 Rookie of the Year Stats:
26 Starts, 2 Wins, 9 Top 5, 13 Top 10, 1 Pole, 363 led of 9705 laps run, 20th in final points.

Model Stats: 2005 Dale Jr. Kit with JWTBM decals, the hardest I have ever used from that manufacturer. They would not work properly at all. Body was originally going to be a Jeff Gordon car, but the paint came out poorly, so I used it for Kyle Busch instead. I do not like Kyle Busch, he is actually one of my all time least favorite drivers. But, the car is cool...

Model #4 in my Rookie of the Year Collection.

Album was created 11 years 5 months ago and modified 11 years 4 months ago
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