Legendary NASCAR Winston Cup Driver Dave Marcis recently made an announcement that was 33 years in the making: He will retire following the February 2002 running of the Daytona 500, the track where he made his Winston Cup debut in 1968.
The Marcis/Team Realtree venture which began in '98 will live on--both at the track and at deer and turkey camp. photo by team realtree
WHEN THE ENGINES STARTED
Since 1998, Realtree has been the primary sponsor on Marcis’ #71 Monte Carlo. “The relationship has been much more than business,” said Realtree Designer and President Bill Jordan. “Marcis and I have become close friends and hunting buddies. That will continue for sure. Of course, we’ll miss having Dale Earnhardt in camp with us. Anytime the three of us hunted together … those were the best days in the field I can remember … right up there with hunting with my dad or my son.”
Realtree’s relationship with Marcis and NASCAR Winston Cup racing can actually be traced back through the late Dale Earnhardt and Richard Childress, owner of Richard Childress Racing (RCR), the #29 (once Earnhardt’s #3) and #31 cars. Bill, Dale and Richard met in 1987 and were close friends and hunting buddies until Dale’s tragic accident at Daytona this year. Despite the hardship of Dale’s loss, Bill and Richard have continued their friendship and business partnership, as well as their hunting trips. In fact, the two are planning an October moose hunt in Montana, just after the inaugural Kansas Speedway race.
Skinner helped pave the way to Team Realtree racing success in Realtree's first Cup car #31. photos by team realtree
Realtree initially sponsored RCR’s #31 car for five races in 1997. As it is today, the car was driven by Mike Skinner – in preparation for his rookie Winston Cup season the following year, when Lowe’s came on as primary sponsor for the full season. At that time, Childress mentioned to Bill that Realtree should consider sponsoring Marcis, a popular driver around the garage and with the fans, as well as an avid hunter. Soon after, the deal was done.
Top shot: Bill France Sr., Dave Marcis and Bill Jordan. Bottom shot: Jordan, Marcis, and Earnhardt sharing laughs after a successful deer hunt.
photos by team realtree
THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
“These last few years with Realtree have been great for me and Marcis Auto Racing,” said Dave. “I would have like to have been more competitive, but it’s tough to keep up with the big budget teams anymore. You can’t afford to lose even 100th of a second and, believe me, that 100th will cost you plenty of dollars! I just love to race, and somehow my career has lasted almost as long as NASCAR has. I really appreciate Bill and Realtree sticking with me.”
Will Marcis Auto Racing and Realtree Stay In NASCAR?
The short answer: You bet. As for Marcis, he has plans to keep Marcis Auto Racing open. He’ll continue to get help from Richard Childress racing, and by all accounts, even more than he’s gotten in the past. Look for a hot, young driver to take the seat.
Realtree will likely continue an on-track relationship with Marcis Auto Racing. Of course, Realtree was an associate sponsor on the #3 car driven by Dale Earnhardt, and has stayed on as associate sponsor of that car, now #29, driven by the incredibly talented Kevin Harvick.
Harvick no-doubt has a tough act to follow, but to this point is really showing that he can run with the big boys!
photos by team realtree
Realtree will also continue its involvement the NASCAR Winston Cup souvenir business. Currently 10 top drivers’ signatures and car numbers are featured on a variety of products including everything from caps to t-shirts and key chains to race flags. The drivers are Dale Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Dave Marcis, Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Rusty Wallace, Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte and Terry Labonte.
Of course, Marcis, Childress and Bill will continue their hunting trips. Word is they even plan on seeing if Kevin Harvick has as much talent behind a gun or bow as he does behind the wheel! Stay tuned to “Realtree Outdoors” on TNN, look on-line at Realtree.com, or come back to the pages of Realtree Outdoors magazine for the continuing story.
Realtree racing novelty items can be found at select tracks across the nation and at select websites like Bass Pro. Click on the Bass Pro logo to see or order Team Realtree gear! Check out our friends at WhoWon.com and Action Performance by clicking the logos above.
photos by team realtree
REALTREE RACING GEAR
In addition to its continued involvement with Winston Cup racing at the track, Realtree.com is teaming up with WhoWon.com, BassPro.com and Action Performance Companies to expand our web site coverage of racing and online availability of Team Realtree racing products. Be sure to keep checking back as our soon to be expanded racing page will bring you up to date racing news and standings, along with exclusive product features. Also, if you can’t make it to the track this week, click here to get it online with BassPro.com’s all new Team Realtree Racing product page!
Marcis' storied career as a driver on the NASCAR circuit can be read in full at the website www.Nascar.com. Click the photo to the left and race on over to the site to read more about the man that the NASCAR garage will truly miss but will most definitely not be forgotten! To Dave Marcis and his racing team, Team Realtree extends a great thank you for all that you've done in the past and will most certainly accomplish in the future. Enjoy your retirement and best of luck in future endeavors! See you at the track!
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