Monday, January 19, 2009

Circuit City collapse

Anyone remember this threesome from 1997-1998? Hut Stricklin in a Stavola Brothers Ford sponsored by Circuit City. Visual evidence that there was a red 8 car before Dale Jr and Budweiser.

The Stavola Brothers disappeared after 1998 after about 15 years in the sport with a handful of pretty good drivers (Bobby Allison, Jeff Burton, and Sterling Marlin) and their share of backmarkers (Rick Wilson, Bobby Hillin Jr, Hut Stricklin). Hillin shocked everyone with a "who did you say won?" victory in 1986 at Talladega. Allison posted the 3 other wins for the Stavolas - including the 1988 Daytona 500 - his final win.

Hut also somehow eked out a 15 year career finally calling it a day in 2002. I've never been quite sure how he got in or how he stayed. I still remember laughing when reading the Jacksonville FL newspaper's driver-by-driver prediction of who would fare well in the Pepsi 400. When I got to Stricklin, the writer's analysis simply said "What's a Hut?" and then moved on to the next guy.

Circuit City is now the last of this threesome to disappear. I've never been a big CC fan, although I have bought a handful of stuff there over a 20 year period. Nonetheless, its a sad day when companies lose their edge and focus, folks lose their jobs, and competitors lose...well, their competition. Best Buy, another consonant-alliterative big box electronics store is surely smiling at the thoughts of increasing market share while also increasing prices.


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