12 September 2014

Pack of the Day 77: A Year of Futility, One Blaster Box at a Time

I really try hard to stay away from these 'Guaranteed Hit' NASCAR blasters on the retail shelves, because I know they are nothing but trouble. When I do buy them, I try to get the discounted ones that have been sitting on the shelves, but occasionally a product intrigues me enough to buy one at full price. I guess I can't escape the hope that the next blaster will contain something from one of my favorite drivers. Maybe I should just buy lottery tickets instead. What follows is the hits from about a year's worth of various racing blasters.

I guess I shouldn't have led off with arguably the coolest card in the group, a Denny Hamlin Muscle Car Memorabilia card with a big piece of colorful sheet metal embedded in it. My main problem with the card is the car's main sponsor. I worked for FedEx for a few years, and in the beginning it was a pretty nice place to work for. Then the economic downturn happened and they adjusted all the full-time dockworkers' hours to ensure that we would lose our benefits and save the company some money. They also really changed the policies on the loading dock, going from a quality-focused approach to a volume-focused approach, and that never felt right to me. A lot of stuff got damaged in the rush to move more freight with fewer hours. The experience left me feeling disenchanted with the company. It's a pretty cool card, though, and numbered # 24 / 50 to boot.

Next up is a Magnificent Materials card of Elliott Sadler, numbered # 33 / 75 and featuring a small bit of his shoe. I don't have any strong feelings about Sadler or his sponsors, so there's not much to say about it.

Next up is a Justin Allgaier card, a parallel of the Class A Uniform insert in this year's American Thunder product, if I am remembering things correctly. It is numbered # 74 / 99 and features a bit of a patch. I think I had some interest in Allgaier in the last few weeks as he one of my Tier C picks for my Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing team. I have been participating in the Official Press Pass Yahoo! league, and my team has been pretty competitive. I think I am in the Top 5 in the overall standings for the year.

Elliott Sadler makes another appearance in this post with a Magnificent Materials Auto/Relic card, numbered # 67 / 99. This one features a swatch of his glove, with a little bit of 'color' on the side. I don't know if that sickly tan shade can really be considered a value-enhancement over the straight black glove swatch. It's probably the booger-and-sweat-wiping patch on the glove, like they have on motorcycle or military gloves. I think the glove manufacturers call it something else, but 

This Kasey Kahne triple relic Prominent Pieces card is decent, but Kahne isn't one of my favorite drivers. I guess if any of these cards had featured a driver in my Top 5 or so, the tone of this post would be a lot different. But my favorite drivers apparently don't mix with the commoners down in the Retail bin. They must all hide out in the Hobby boxes. The Kahne is numbered # 44 / 99.

I got the Don 'The Snake' Prudhomme card from a discount blaster of Press Pass Legends. Apparently he is a pretty big celebrity in the world of drag racing. I am a fringe NASCAR fan, and I don't even show up on the fan radar when it comes to drag racing, so I have no idea about any of it. This relic card is numbered # 042 / 199 and has a little grayish shirt swatch in it.

And finally we get to a couple of Michael McDowell cards. He is one of those drivers who makes it onto part-time contracts and low-end teams, running in the back of the pack for the most part because the teams can't field the equipment and crew that the big-money folks at the front of the field bring to bear. For 2014 so far he is 38th in the Sprint Cup standings, with the main notable thing being that he is the only driver with a Top 10 race finish until you get up to Danica Patrick who has 3 Top-10 finishes at 28th place in the standings. No one else below Danica in the points has a Top-10 finish. So I guess he's got that going for him.

The FanFare Autographs card is numbered # 219 / 299 and the Class A Uniform relic card is not numbered. I assume there are about 6,500 of them out there in blasters at Target stores across the nation.

And that's what you get from eight blasters of premium racing cards over the course of a year. Looking at this post should be enough to keep me from buying another one, but when this year's American Thunder blasters are sitting in next year's discounted blaster bin, I will be the guy standing in the card aisle, turning to walk out, and turning back again to grab the little square box of cards. If you could listen in on my thoughts at that moment, you would hear me rationalizing, "Maybe this is the one with the Dale Jr. autograph in it."

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