December 23 2019
In late 1988, Calder Park Thunderdome was once again the place to be for many then Winston Cup drivers.
Going up against them in the NASCAR XMAS 500 was some of Australia’s best drivers including Robin Best, Jim Richards, Fred Seery, Allan Grice, Terry Byers and Dick Johnson.
The December 1988 edition of Thunderdome told the story of the upcoming race as well as getting readers up to speed on past races and introductions to drivers.
Featured in the edition was Robin Best, the man from Tasmania who would win two Australian NASCAR championships and he done it with different manufacturers, his NASCAR journey began thanks to the late Junior Johnson who gave him a winning car and spare engines.
Bill Elliot also played a part in Robin’s rise in the sport and just a few years later Bill Elliot almost won a championship in America for Junior Johnson.
Terry Byers #26 was featured in a two page spread, he became an Australian NASCAR race winner and he also qualified for and raced in the United States at Daytona, Charlotte and Pocono in the #06 and bagged a Top 20 finish at Pocono.
There was also a story on Dick Johnson, he later tried his hand at racing in the United States too and became famous for swearing live on ESPN as his #38 Ford went up the tyre wall.
Dick Johnson raced at Pococo, Darlington (seen in Days of Thunder), Watkins Glen, Talladega and Sonoma with a best finish of 22nd at Pocono.