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Any Bobby Wawak fans in the house?

 
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Rob T
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 1:49 pm    Post subject: Any Bobby Wawak fans in the house? Reply with quote

I found these over on another board. Great photos for some obscure decals. Here's the story from the man who lettered the car:

Here's the only actual Nascar I've ever lettered. It's Bobby Wawak's '76 Laguna. He was a local racer that went down south to the bigtime.

His crew blew back into Chicagoland in the summer of '77 on it's way back from Riverside. I got a call to see if I could letter his ride that day. Sure could! I was just starting out back then and "winged it".

This pic I believe is from Daytona later in the summer. I bought the photo at a model car swapmeet about 10 years ago. The car was destroyed at Daytona and I saw a photo of that in Stockcar Racing magazine. After lettering it, I never saw it in person again.

Those were the days...RIP Bobby!"







Rob
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Sicklajoie



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool stuff.
On most of his cars in the 80's it had the saying "All Things are Possible" on the C pillar.
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Tom M.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the board, Sick. I used to hang out on a 1:1 forum where you were a participant.
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Schumacher330



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rob, what part of the Chicagoland area was he located at?
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TruxmoreFord



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

here is bobbys old pit cart, as it sits in my garage.


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Dave Van



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How much interest in Wawak decals...this car and the Buicks???
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Rob T
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mike5 wrote:
Rob, what part of the Chicagoland area was he located at?


Mike,

I have no idea. I just copy and pasted the explanation from the man's post on another board. According to his profile, the guy that lettered the car is from Cary, IL. I just thouhgt that it was neat to not only have the detailed photos of the car from all angles, especially the back but also the story behind it.

Rob
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Rob T
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave Van wrote:
How much interest in Wawak decals...this car and the Buicks???


Dave,

If I had the heart to still build NASCAR models, I would love to have the decals to do this one. I like the story associated with it as well as the fact that Bobby expressed his faith and belief in God on the track. Who, knows? If you or someone else did the sheet, I may pick one up and do my first Graysider. I'm not very familiar with kits to do Gray or Darksiders. Is there a Laguna kit out there?

Rob
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sconnie short tracker



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave Van wrote:
How much interest in Wawak decals...this car and the Buicks???


well, there are plenty of those Laguna Kits out there right now whistling
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pulln4dejr



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:49 pm    Post subject: Bobby Wawack Reply with quote

Hey Dave, I'd be in for a set of those decals!!
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Indy



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rob T wrote:
If you or someone else did the sheet, I may pick one up and do my first Graysider. I'm not very familiar with kits to do Gray or Darksiders.
iagree Rob, here is the kit

http://mysite.verizon.net/vze23f44/mikesdecals/id273.html

Jordan
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Rob T
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indy wrote:
Rob T wrote:
If you or someone else did the sheet, I may pick one up and do my first Graysider. I'm not very familiar with kits to do Gray or Darksiders.
iagree Rob, here is the kit

http://mysite.verizon.net/vze23f44/mikesdecals/id273.html

Jordan


Thanks Jordan. I rememember seeing those now.

Rob
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Indy



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave, you entertaining doing these decals? BTW, did anyone else notice the misspelling or is it just now my nature to nit pick schemes? Laughing Thankfully, I have found benefits to that personality feature....

Jordan
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nitram22



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indy wrote:
Dave, you entertaining doing these decals? BTW, did anyone else notice the misspelling or is it just now my nature to nit pick schemes? Laughing Thankfully, I have found benefits to that personality feature....

Jordan


No YOU'RE right!!!
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jagracer68



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c7/BobbyWawak1985Pocono_.jpg/800px-BobbyWawak1985Pocono_.jpg


I'd be in for the buick decals.... Looks like that's gold foil on the door number though...
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24collector



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



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Dave Van



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ron, thanks for that TV panel I did not have it. I have a obscure car coming for you in our next round of new decals coming mid Jan....thanks
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Firefly



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wawak also had other driver race his cars. Bobby Fielded a Caprice, IIRC at the race I attended at Pocono in 1980. It was driven by Bob Riley.
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ShortTrackNews



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little brief bio a friend of mine wrote about Bobby in case anyone wanted to read it.


Bobby Wawak
By Stan Kalwasinski


A former Chicago area stock car champion, Bobby Wawak made 141 NASCAR Grand National/Winston Cup starts during his racing days.

Calling Villa Park, Ill. home during his Chicagoland career, Wawak captured the 1974 late model stock car championship at Illiana Motor Speedway in Schererville, Ind. Over a two-year period (1973-74), Wawak was a dominant force at the half-mile paved Hoosier speed plant, winning a total of 14 features during those years. Driving a 1971 Ford Torino owned by Vern Ladendorf, Wawak scored a total of 21 victories, including preliminary events, during his ’74 championship season.

Getting into drag racing during his teenage years, Wawak began racing stock cars at Mance Park Speedway in Hodgkins, Ill. around 1958. He was pretty much a regular competitor for a number of years at another old Chicagoland race track, the O’Hare Stadium in Schiller Park, competing in both the cadet (sportsman) and late model divisions there. 1965 saw Wawak compete on the old United States Auto Club (USAC) stock car circuit, making six races and chalking up a sixth place finish in one event during his rookie season. He finished 18th in the final USAC standings that year. Wawak would not return to USAC racing until 1969 and would compete on a limited basis into the early 1970’s.

Darlington, S.C. was the scene of Wawak’s first venture into NASCAR racing in 1965. Competing in the Southern 500, Wawak would start 27th and finish in 36th after engine woes sidelined him. Wawak would make 14 NASCAR starts in 1967, turning in three “top 10” performances in his 1966 Plymouth. He would make only one start in 1969 and two starts in 1971 before returning to NASCAR competition in 1976.

Driving for Jack Gwinn, Wawak made 19 starts in Gwinn’s Chevrolets in ’76 and finished in the “top 10” on 9 occasions with his best finish being a sixth place performance during the last race of the year at the Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway. Wawak would be credited with 22nd place in the final points after the 30-race season.

Wawak started and finished 18th in the ’77 season opener at the road course at Riverside, Calif. and then it was on to Daytona. Starting 17th in the 42-car field for the Daytona 500, Wawak suffered serious burns to his hands when a fuel line came apart on his Encyclopedia Britannica-sponsored Chevrolet with a fire resulting inside the cockpit on lap 3. Jumping out of the car before it came to a halt, Wawak, holding up his burnt hands, ran to the infield care center. “It was like sitting in front of a blow torch,” Wawak said later. Recovering from his burns, Wawak would make only six more starts that year.

From 1978 through 1987, Wawak, who relocated to Midland, N.C., competed in 96 NASCAR events, grabbing only two more “top 10” finishes. A wreck in the first 125-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500 in 1988 would end Wawak’s driving career. Wawak’s Chevrolet slammed the turn-four wall at Daytona with Wawak suffering a fractured vertebrae and detached retinas.

With his driving days over, Wawak, as a car owner, would have Randy LaJoie run one race later in 1988 and then Mike Potter would drive for Wawak in three races in 1990, which was the last time Wawak would enter a car in NASCAR competition. In later years, Wawak handled show car duties for Hendrick Motorsports.

At age 64, Wawak passed away on April 17, 2004. He was survived by his wife Stevi, daughters, Jaclin Wawak and Robin Wawak Pemberton and grandchildren, Lauri Trotter and River Pemberton, in addition to two brothers, Allen Wawak and Richard Wawak; three sisters, Carole Tarvash, Joyce Annanie, and Marilyn Zmich.
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Rob T
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ShortTrackNews wrote:
A little brief bio a friend of mine wrote about Bobby in case anyone wanted to read it.


Thank you for that post. I remembered his name before I posted this but really knew nothing about him. It's great to have a background to go with these names. Man, wouldn't it be nce to have atl east a little 3-4 paragraph synopsis on the drivers that built the sport? drool Are there any more where this one came from?

Rob
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David A. Bayer



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:28 am    Post subject: Wawak Reply with quote

I remember him most from a Charger I saw him race in USAC at the M Mile.
The guy tried everything and fairly competitively. And in all makes.! Such fellows went underappreciated in their day and its our job to point out the good and remarkable examples they set. Thanks for that nice story by Stan K. Here's a few pics I had laying around to go with it of his Ford days at the now defunct (honestly could tracks just STOP closing) Waukegan Speedway.
http://s411.photobucket.com/albums/pp195/dabayerada/th_BobWawak006-1.jpg
http://i411.photobucket.com/albums/pp195/dabayerada/Bobby_Wawak_1974.jpg
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PPoC



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello all,

I'd like to thank Rob T for showcasing a very exciting time in my life and all of you for the interest in a local Chicagoland racing legend, Bobby Wawak.

I signed up on this board a few weeks ago on account I'm a life long modeler and I'm easing back into it with a strong interest in '60, 70's Nascar & short track racecars.

I was gonna do a "Intro" at the time of my registering but, was pleasantly surprised by Rob T's post. Basically I'm a local Chicagoland pinstriper/signmaker raised in Chicago and currently living in Cary, Il. I striped and lettered all over Chicagoland fulltime from 1974 to 1984 and do it part time since. I currently work as a Locomotive Engineer for Amtrak the last 25 years.

I am also a founding member of the Chicago Brushmasters. A organization that puts on a automotive art auction at the Chicago World of Wheels carshow to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Oak Lawn, Il.

I'm in contact with just about anyone who has anything to do with Chicagoland racing of that last 50 years or so. We are very rich in stockcar racing history around here and I'm looking forward to sharing it here with all of you.

I would absolutly love to see someone produce decals of Bobby's Laguna and would help that person in anyway I can. I can still remember what a gorgeous summer day I had at that Shell gas station near OHare airport. When I got the call to do the car, I was told it was a stockcar. I didn't know it was a Nascar. I thought it was gonna be a Sante Fe Speedway late model. I was just getting a foot in the door at the time with that crowd. I was amazed at what was waiting for me. As a real racefan, it was a huge, big deal for me.

I'm looking at enjoying my time here on this fantastic board. Keep up the great work all of you.

Joel
Peter Pan of Chicago
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Rob T
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joel,

Welcome to the board. I was intrigued when I saw your post over on the HAMB board. It's so rare to see that type of firsthand information on the old cars that I had to share it here. I wanted to make sure that you received the credit for that post and the photos. I just didn't know exactly who you were and wasn't a member of that bord at the time.

With the history and connections to racing that you claim, you will be a great fit here. Thanks for the cool story on the Wawak car and feel free to ask any questions. This place is a smorgasboard of info on Grayside and Darkside NASCAR racing and modeling.

Rob
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Indy



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great to have you Joel Very Happy thumbsup

Jordan
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ShortTrackNews



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Wawak story was done by Stan Kalwasinski. He's been involved on the local racing scene as far as I can remember taking pictures, announcing, writing for SCR Magazine and many racing newspapers. He's based out of the Chicago area and has a website with more bios located at

http://www.chicagolandautoracing.com/

And Peter Pan, welcome to the board. I met you a few years ago at the Chicagoland Racing Memorabilia Show. I'm friends with Jimmy McDoodle and had a table next to him selling old local racing DVD's.
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86IROCZ



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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am planning to try and make my own deskjet decals of his 87 Monte Carlo, the 1987 Winston Cup Annual has great shots of the car. Nelson Contracting was the primary sponser. I saw his car and looked him up. I was taken by his story of a small shop racer. It that in pics of his Buicks they almost look like they were the real cars and he cut the wheel wells out with a reciprocating saw or something. Too bad there are not more stories like his these days. I know we say it over and over but racing was alot cooler back then, less glam and more stockcar racing.
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JMack12



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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On another note...when was the last time you saw a "top level" "Winston Cup" (Sprint Cup) car sitting at the local gas station...? ;)thumbsup
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86IROCZ



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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

iagree
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