Race 1: DieHard 500 at Talladega - July 28, 1991
Shortly thereafter, I went to a car show with my Dad and one of his friends, where he bought me a Matchbox-sized diecast car made by a new toy company called Racing Champions. Although it was Terry Labonte’s car from 1990, it was otherwise completely identical to Rick Mast’s car that flipped in the Talladega event, beginning a collection that has continued to expand to this day. When I was younger, I used to race these cars around the upstairs of my house, calling the impromptu road course "Room Rush Speedway" as it involved pushing the cars in a race in and out of several of the upstairs rooms.
I lost my Terry Labonte car sometime after, not remembering where I left it and later forgot about it altogether. Then, just a couple of years ago as I was doing yard work with my parents, I found the car buried sideways near the surface of a dirt embankment on top of our backyard retaining wall. After clearing away the caked mud that was on the car, I noticed that the only damage sustained to it over the years was that the paint on the side buried deepest had worn off. Even the driver’s name was still legible on the roof! We are still guessing to this day how it ended up in the embankment in the first place!