Dale Earnhardt Jr. has set a new benchmark for Lionel Racing’s most purchased diecast in its 25-year history.
Lionel Racing, NASCAR’s official diecast producer, has announced that the diecast of Earnhardt’s “Last Ride” No. 88 Chevrolet in the Cup season finale last month is now its bestselling diecast in company history.
The “Last Ride” car is based on the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet that Earnhardt drove in his rookie Cup season in 2000.
The previous bestseller was another Earnhardt diecast, for his 2014 Daytona 500 win.
Lionel Racing says that QVC’s “For Race Fans Only” show that featured Earnhardt and unveiled the car helped contribute to sales. But even without QVC, sales of the “Last Ride” diecast outpaced the 2014 Daytona 500 diecast by more than 10,000 units.
“The demand for this car has been simply astounding,” Lionel Racing President Howard Hitchcock said on the company’s website. “The fan response to this diecast is a true measure of how much Earnhardt has meant to both casual NASCAR fans and serious diecast collectors.”
Lionel Racing has also revealed the top-10 selling diecasts for the year, which you can find below. Earnhardt has six cars on the list. Chase Elliott has two and Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney each have one.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. dominates in 2017 RCCA ELITE Diecast sales
Below you can see a picture of the full top-10 list.
Here’s the entire top 10.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Axalta “Last Ride” No. 88 Chevrolet – Earnhardt drove this car, based on the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet from his 2000 rookie season, in his final start at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Ryan Blaney: Motorcraft No. 21 Ford, Pocono race win diecast – Blaney drove this car to his first Cup win on June 11 at Pocono Raceway.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Nationwide No. 88 Chevrolet, Darlington throwback paint scheme – Earnhardt raced this car, based on his ACDelco paint scheme from his two Xfinity Series championship seasons (1998-99), in the Southern 500.
Kurt Busch: Haas Automation No. 41 Ford, Daytona 500 race win diecast – The confetti and grass-covered car Busch won the 59th Daytona 500 in to start the year.
Austin Dillon: Dow Salutes No. 3 Chevrolet, Coca-Cola 600 race win diecast – The car Dillon drove to his first Cup win in May, sending the No. 3 to Victory Lane for the first time since Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s last win in October 2000 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Nationwide No. 88 Chevrolet, patriotic paint scheme – Earnhardt drove this scheme in the Coke 600.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Mountain Dew/Ride With Dale No. 88 Chevrolet, race version – Earnhardt drove this car in his final start at Talladega Superspeedway in October. Fans were able to register to have their names inscribed in the scheme. Earnhardt started from his 15th and final Cup pole in this race.
Chase Elliott: Hooters No. 24 Chevrolet – Elliott drove this car in the spring Talladega race and the playoff races at Phoenix Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Nationwide “Gray Ghost” No. 88 Chevrolet – Earnhardt drove this car in his final Cup start at Martinsville Speedway. Earnhardt originally intended to run the scheme in the 2016 Southern 500, but Jeff Gordon did when Earnhardt missed the last 18 races of the season for a concussion.
For the first time since 2011, a driver not named Dale Earnhardt Jr. had the best-selling die-cast at the end of the NASCAR season.
Earnhardt was unseated by his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott.
Lionel Racing released their top 10 best-selling die-casts of the 2016 season Thursday morning with Elliott topping the list. Elliott took over the famed No. 24 this season and qualified for the Chase for the Sprint Cup on his way to earning Rookie of the Year honors.
“Chase Elliott’s arrival on the NASCAR scene has been big, and the overwhelming popularity of his first rookie NASCAR Sprint Cup Series die-cast is further proof that race fans relate to him and everything he represents,” said Lionel Racing President Howard Hitchcock in a release.
From 2012-2015, Earnhardt owned the best-selling spot, and he remains the company’s best-selling driver overall. This year, Earnhardt’s cars accounted for four of the top 10 spots.
Lionel said Earnhardt missing the final 18 races of the season had no effect on Elliott taking over the top spot. Both driver’s standard paint schemes were ordered and shipped before Earnhardt vacated the seat.
Kurt Busch with his No. 41 Monster Energy Chevrolet made the top 10 best-selling list for the first time in 2016.
The complete top 10 best-selling list for 2016:
Chase Elliott, No. 24 NAPA Chevrolet
Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 Nationwide/Batman Chevrolet