March 1, 1941 |
Wausau, Wisconsin, United States
|Achievements||Sprint Cup Series Modern Era record for most top tens in a season without a win (24 in 1978)|
|NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career|
|883 race(s) run over 35 year(s)|
|Best finish||2nd (1975)|
|First race||1968 Daytona 500 (Daytona)|
|Last race||2002 Daytona 500 (Daytona)|
|First win||1975 Old Dominion 500 (Martinsville)|
|Last win||1982 Richmond 400 (Richmond)|
|NASCAR Nationwide Series career|
|4 race(s) run over 3 year(s)|
|Best finish||69th (1996)|
|First race||1985 Tri-City Pontiac 200 (Bristol)|
|Last race||1996 AC Delco 200 (Rockingham)|
|NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career|
|1 race(s) run over 1 year(s)|
|Best finish||71st (1995)|
|First race||1995 GM Goodwrench / Delco Battery 200 (Phoenix)|
|Last race||1995 GM Goodwrench / Delco Battery 200 (Phoenix)|
|Statistics current as of April 15, 2013.|
Dave Marcis (born March 1, 1941 in Wausau, Wisconsin) is a retired driver on the NASCAR Winston Cup (now known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup) circuit whose career spanned five decades. Marcis won five times over this tenure, twice at Richmond, including his final win in 1982, and collected 94 top 5 and 222 top 10. His best championship results were 2nd in 1975, 5th in 1978, 6th in 1974, 1976 and 1982, and 9th in 1970, 1980 and 1981.
Marcis was most famous for two things: racing for his own team and racing while wearing wingtip shoes to absorb the heat in the car. He made the Daytona 500 every year from 1968 until 1999. The 2002 Daytona 500 was the last time Marcis raced in NASCAR.
Marcis' career is notable in the history of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. While he is best known as the last of the non-factory supported independent owner drivers, he is also known as one of the top drivers of the 1970s. During his career, he drove for series championship car owners Nord Krauskopf and Rod Osterlund. Marcis retired in second place on the all time starts list with 883 behind Richard Petty. Ricky Rudd has since passed him for second on the list. Marcis often owned/drove the #71 car. He finished 8 times in the Top 10 season long driver's points.
Marcis finished as high as second in the season standing in 1975 driving Nord Krauskopf's K & K Dodge Charger in the first year for NASCAR's modern standard of calculating points. Despite driving for some of the top teams of the day, Marcis opted to field his own teams following his sudden departure from Osterland Racing after the 1978 season. Marcis was replaced by future seven time champion Dale Earnhardt, who would begin his rookie campaign the following year. Former crew Harry Hyde once said of Marcis, "he had the talent to be a champion, if only he weren't so stubborn."
Marcis experienced moderate success as an owner driver during the 1980s. The highlight of Marcis' career as an owner-driver was winning at the old Richmond Fairgrounds in 1982 driving a very un-racable looking 81 Chevy Malibu. Marcis was a lap down, but made up the lap when the race leader Joe Ruttman spun out and Marcis passed him. All three drivers that were ahead of Marcis pitted and he assumed the lead as it began to rain. The race was called complete as darkness set in, and Marcis was declared the winner. Marcis described the win, "I wasn't praying for rain, but I told the guys when I got out of the car (during the break before the race was canceled) that if the good Lord wanted to help an independent, this was his chance." "It was one of my greatest moments in racing," Marcis said. "I had even built my own engine for that race." From that point Marcis' team gradually became less competitive as more well-funded teams found their way into the series. Marcis was occasionally known to moonlight for other car owners such as Larry Hedrick (later of Hedrick Motorsports). Often Marcis would still field his own car, usually with Jim Sauter behind the wheel.
During the twilight of his career Marcis landed the first major internet sponsor in Winston Cup, Prodigy Internet. This company would sponsor Marcis as an associate and primary sponsor between 1994 and 1996. Marcis was frequently the test driver for the Richard Childress GM Goodwrench #3 of his friend Dale Earnhardt during the prime of his career. This agreement with Childress was made by Marcis to help fund his own race team, but backfired because he rarely had the time to test his own equipment. Marcis finished out his career in the 2002 Daytona 500, setting a record for most Daytona 500s run with 33.
Marcis started 16th in the 1994 Brickyard 400, but a crash during the race regulated him to a 41st place finish.
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