November 5, 2017
Seth and Sutton Sharp
As NASCAR spends the weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, it envokes memories of a time that a well-known Texan graced the hood of a Craftsman Truck Series truck.
As the Truck Series entered the third race of the 1999 season, Royal Crown Cola was in the midst of a multi-million dollar National contest promoting the FOX TV show King of the Hill. The promotion, called the RC Cola/King of the Hill American Dream Sweepstakes, featured many different ways to win.
The grand prize winner would recieve a $100,000 cash prize after answering a question that was to be revealed in the season finale on May 18th. Instant-win prizes on RC Cola multi-packs and bottles were also handed out. There was also an opportunity to win other prizes if fans mowed an “RC” into their lawn, as one of their promotional commercials featured Hill on a riding mower drinking a can of cola.
Enter Stacy Compton.
The 1999 season marked Compton’s third in the No. 86 truck and his second with RC Cola sponsoring his Ford.
The companies promotion with King of the Hill lined up with the start of the Truck Series season. For the third, fourth and fifth races of the season, the show’s main character Hank Hill was featured on the hood of Compton’s truck holding a can of RC Cola.
Hill was also featured on the side of the truck with two tanks of Strickland Propane. In the show, Hill worked at the Strickland Propane company. The decklid of Compton’s truck was decked out with a picture of Hill on an intertube, surrounded by cans of RC Cola floating around him.
When the partnership was announced in March, Compton was quick to talk about Hill’s passions. “Hank Hill is a race fan. He enjoys nothing better than a NASCAR Craftsman truck race and a cold RC. This will be a great weekend for fans and for the team. We are going to have fun with this King of the Hill truck here in Seattle.”
Hill had a front-row seat to Compton’s hot start, as the King of the Hill design graced Compton’s truck to a fourth at Evergreen, third at Mesa Marin and a second at Martinsville. His finish at Martinsville moved Compton to first in the points standings.
The first race that the King of the Hill design was featured on Compton’s truck marked the 100th race in Craftsman Truck Series history. At the time of the event, Ron Hornaday, Jack Sprague, Rick Carelli, Butch Miller and Joe Ruttman had been the only drivers to compete in all 99 races. Craftsman offered $100,000 to any of those drivers if they ended the race in Victory Lane.
The race and bonus money was won by Hornaday, which marked the 25th career win of his career. Sprague finished second, Carelli was sixth and Miller was 16th. Ruttman missed the race after not being able to secure a ride.