Joined: Aug 2005
Sunday March 25, 2012 8:09 AM
In my other 365 Days of NASCAR cards I mentioned a Top 20 list that was created in 2010 and compiled by another long time NASCAR card collector and PSA member. I had a request to share the list and contacted the member to make sure it was OK. He gave his approval so here is the list:
TOP 20 PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator)
GRADED NASCAR RACING CARDS
The Top 20 list was compiled based on the following categories.
4. POSSIBILITY OF GRADING A PSA 10
5. VALUE IN THE COLLECTIBLE MARKET
20. 1989 Maxx Crisco Dale Earnhardt 6
The 1989 Maxx Dale Earnhardt Crisco card was #6 in a pack of
24 driver cards and 1 cover card. They were available at various
grocery stores as a promotion and were free with the purchase of a
Crisco product. After the promotion was over, many unopened
display cases containing 100 Crisco packs found their way onto the
collectible market. The 1989 Dale Earnhardt Crisco card will have
trouble holding its place in the Top 20 list because of the considerable
number of cards available and the high number of 10’s in the PSA
19. 1991 Iroc Dale Earnhardt NNO
The 1991 Iroc set was produced by Dodge and promoted the Iroc racing
series. The set included 12 driver cards that are slightly larger than the
normal 2 ½ by 3 ½ sports cards. The Iroc series cards came were only
produced as a complete set with each card having a checkered flag boarder.
The cards were illegally reprinted and can be distinguished by an inspection
of that boarder, which is missing approximately ¼ of its checkered flag.
This question concerning the authenticity of many of the 1991 Iroc cards in
the market and the fact it is not a true “nascar” collectible may restrict it from
moving much higher in any Top 20 list.
18. 1988 World of Outlaws Jeff Gordon 54
As with the 1989 Maxx Crisco and the 1991 Iroc cards, this 1988 Jeff
Gordon World of Outlaws card was only available as part of a complete
set. This card is almost impossible to be graded a PSA 10 because of the
off-centering from top to bottom. Although not considered his true rookie
card, this is one of the earliest collectible cards of Jeff Gordon and is
highly sought after by racing collectors. A general lack of knowledge
about this card by the average racing collector prevents the 1988 Jeff
Gordon World of Outlaws card from ranking higher in the Top 20 list
at this time.
17. 1988 Maxx (Charlotte & Myrtle Beach) Cover Card (10) 1
The 1988 Maxx (Charlotte & Myrtle Beach) cover cards make the Top 20
list because of the difficulty each has of grading a PSA 10. Being the top
card in each pack of 10 made the corners of these cover cards vulnerable
to bending and fraying. The borders on both cards are a dark blue creating
significant chipping alone the edges, also lowering the graded value. The
Myrtle Beach cover card will always be more desirable in the racing collectible
market because its quantity is much more limited. Because the1988 Maxx
Charlotte and Myrtle Beach versions are cover cards and not driver
or action cards, each will have a hard time moving up in the Top 20 list, even
though, as a graded PSA 10 will be highly sought after by many racing
16. 1988 Maxx Winston Cup Champ 87
Before the #99 insert card of Dale Earnhardt appeared on the collector scene,
this was the only card in the 1988 Maxx set that included Earnhardt. At the time
of the original printing Dale Earnhardt had not approved the use of his image in
the 1988 Maxx set. For some reason there seems to be a limited availability of the
1988 Maxx Winston Cup Champion #87 card. Because of centering and print
quality issues this card also has the lowest percentage of graded PSA 10’s of any
other card in the1988 Maxx set. This should help the 1988 Maxx #87 card hold its
own in the Racing Collectible Top 20 list.
15. 1988 Maxx (Myrtle Beach) Phil Parsons 26
The 1988 Maxx (Myrtle Beach) Phil Parsons card was 1 of 2 non-checklist
cards changed from the 1st printing produced by Maxx in 1988. The
2nd printing of the Phil Parsons card was changed to include his wife’s
name (Marcia), which was left out on the original printing. The shortage
of the 1st print card and low population of PSA 10’s puts this card at #15 in
Top 20 list. An increased knowledge and desirability by racing collectors
will assist any upward movement in the ranking of this card in the future.
14. 1988 Maxx (Myrtle Beach) Talladega Streaks 10
The 1988 Maxx (Myrtle Beach) Talladega card has the same story as
the Phil Parsons card ranked #15. After the 1st printing the Talladega
Streaks card was discontinued and replaced by the Darrell Waltrip
card for the 2nd printing of the 1988 Maxx set. Because this card pictures
the Talladega speedway or the fact that it was replaced by Darrell Waltrip
places this card slightly higher in the Top 20 list over the Phil Parsons card.
13. 1986 Sportstar Photographics Harry Gant NNO
Harry Gant is one of 13 cards included in this set produced by Sportstars,
Inc. These cards are extremely difficult to find especially in top graded
condition. A PSA 7 or 8 should be consider a better than average grade on
any of these 1986 cards. The Harry Gant card is 1 of 3 in this set that is
short printed (low quantity). This fact along with the difficulty of obtaining
a high PSA grade earns this card a solid place in the Top 20 list.
12. 1986 Sportstar Photographics Geoff Bodine NNO
The same reasons stated for the 1986 Sportstar Photographics Harry
Gant card ranked at #13, apply to the Geoff Bodine card is ranked at #12.
However, based on collector preference, these 2 cards could easily be reversed
in the Top 20 rankings. Each card is highly sought after by many in
the Racing Collectible market, but a general lack of knowledge about the Sportstar
Photographic set, prevents the Harry Gant and Geoff Bodine card from being
ranked higher in the Top 20 list.
11. 1987 World of Outlaws Jeff Gordon 52
This 1987 World of Outlaws card is the earliest card of Jeff Gordon
produced as part of and only available with a complete set. Like the
1988 World of Outlaw sets, there doesn’t seem to be a shortage in the
collectible market, but unlike the 1988 card, several of the 1987 World
of Outlaws Gordon cards have been graded PSA 10, keeping the value
of 1987 card relatively low. For these reasons, this card is only ranked
at #11 in the Top 20 list. Interest in this card among the general racing
collectible community could help its ranking in the future.
10. 1991 Traks Jeff Gordon 1
Even though a large number of the 1991 Traks Jeff Gordon cards are
available in the collector market, it is extremely difficult to grade
a PSA 10. The reason for this is the black border, which makes it
highly prone to flaking on the edges and fraying at the corners. There
is also a centering issue with a many of these cards which also negatively
effects the grading. As a PSA 10, the desirability of the 1991 Jeff Gordon
Traks card as a collectible, along with its value and ranking, should
continue to rise in the future.
9. 1988 Maxx (Charlotte & Myrtle Beach) Cover Card (100) 1
Both the Charlotte and Myrtle Beach versions of the 1988 Maxx Cover
Card (100) were included as card #1 with each factory set. Because there
were less factory sets produced, these cards are more rare than the
1988 Maxx Cover Card (10)’s, which were the top card of each individual
pack of a display box. Both versions of the Cover Card (100) have the same
grading problems as the Cover Card (10). They all have a centering problem,
as well as edge flaking and corner fraying because of the blue borders. Even
though the Cover Card (100)’s are extremely rare to have a grade higher than
a PSA 7, each may have a hard time holding their current ranking. Other
driver and action cards, as their popularity and collectability increases should
surpass the cover cards in the Top 20 list in the future.
8. 1972 STP Fred Lorenzen NNO
This card from the 1972 STP series consisting of 11 cards is extremely difficult
to obtain, because of its age and very limited availability. These sets were
distributed by the STP Corporation and are some of the earliest known NASCAR
cards, making them highly sought after by racing collectors. The 1972 STP cards are
almost impossible to grade a PSA 8, much less a PSA 9 or 10. The (2) Fred
Lorenzen cards, one being a portrait and the other of him standing by his car, appear
to be harder to find than others in the STP series. A gradual move toward #1, is in the
future, as collectors become more aware of the 1972 STP series as a whole and the
Fred Lorenzen cards in general.
7. 1972 STP Bobby Allison NNO
This is another card coming from the 1972 STP series consisting of 11 cards. All of
the cards in this series are difficult to find and command a very high price when they
do surface. As with the Fred Lorenzen card, a high PSA grade of 8 or better on the
Bobby Allison card is extremely difficult to come by. The Allison and Lorenzen
cards could easily reverse positions in the Top 20 list based on collector preference.
There is a low level of knowledge in the racing collectibles market with all the 1972
STP cards, but as time passes and interest increases, these cards will hold their place
or even move up in the Top 20 list.
6. 1988 Maxx Dale Earnhardt 99
Dale Earnhardt, as an individual driver card, was never included in 1988 Maxx set
because of contractual issues. Although there were rumor of the #99 cards existence,
it didn’t make its official appearance until 1994, as an insert in the Maxx Medallion
production line. Certificates were randomly placed in packs and could be redeemed
for the #99 Dale Earnhardt card which was numbered, in a series, out of 999 on a
gold seal. This would differentiate it from the other #99 cards that were released
later to the general public after the bankruptcy of Maxx. The high number of PSA
10’s, as well as the unfortunate counterfeiting of the #99 card will make it difficult
For this card to maintain its Top 10 ranking. Only time will tell.
Note: Among other things, look for the misspelling of Kannapolis on the
back of the counterfeited cards.
5. 1972 STP Richard Petty NNO
As mentioned with the Fred Lorenzen card ranked #8, and the Bobby Allison card
ranked #7, in the Top 20 list, the Richard Petty card was also include in the set of 11
cards distributed in 1972 by the STP corporation. Because it is Richard Petty, the
low quantity available, and the difficulty of receiving a high PSA grade puts
this card at #5 in the Top 20 ranking. This Richard Petty and the other STP cards
have a bright future in the Racing Collectibles Top 20 list. As there popularity
increases among the Racing Collectable population, their value, as well as
ranking, will only improve.
4. 1989 Maxx Dale Earnhardt 3
The 1989 Maxx Dale Earnhardt card is considered his true Rookie card. The
accepted definition of a rookie card is being the first card included in a set
produced by a major manufacture and widely distributed to the public. There
are other Dale Earnhardt cards that appear before 1989, but this card fits the
full definition. Because the 1989 Maxx card is Dale Earnhardt’s true rookie
card and there is a very low population of PSA 10’s, puts this card in the Top 5 and
should remain high in the Top 20 list for some time.
3. 1983 UNO Dale Earnhardt 27
Produced in 1983, these UNO cards are sort of a mystery. There is not much
information available about this set. There are 30 cards in the set with the
Earnhardt card being the most sought after. The UNO cards are slightly smaller
than the normal sports cards, measuring 2 3/16 by 3 7/16, but the official size
has been difficult to confirm. There is also some speculation that many of these
cards have been cut from un-cut sheets. At this time, because of its age and
collectability, this card takes its place at 3rd on the Top 20 list. Only time will tell if
the 1983 Dale Earnhardt UNO card can hold that position.
2. 1992 Traks Autograph Petty/Earnhardt A1
The Traks Autograph cards were found as an insert in the regular issue of the 1992
wax boxes. There are a total of 9 driver cards in this set along with a single cover
card. Because of the combined autograph of Dale Earnhardt and Richard
Petty, this is the most sought after card in the set. Many of the cards in this set
including the Petty/Earnhardt card have shown up unsigned and has lead to
some counterfeiting of the autographs. This may have a negative effect on this
cards ranking in the future. However, with the low population of PSA 10’s, along
with the desirability and collectability of the 1992 Traks Petty/Earnhardt autograph
card, puts it at #2, in the Racing Collectible Top 20 list.
1. 1986 Sportstar Photo-Graphics Dale Earnhardt NNO
This 1986 Sportstar Photo-Graphics card of Dale Earnhardt is the most desirable of
the 20 cards that make up this list. This card is also considered one of the short-print
cards along with the Harry Gant and Geoff Bodine cards. The Earnhardt Sportstar
Photographics card belongs at #1 in the Top 20 list because of its age, its very
limited availability, the desirability this card holds among racing collectors, and the
difficulty of receiving a high PSA grade. In fact, there are no PSA 10’s listed in
the PSA population report at this time. Any PSA 10 in the future will only ensure
that the 1986 Dale Earnhardt Sportstar Photo-Graphics card remains at #1 in the Top
20 list of racing collectibles.
Edited: Sunday January 13, 2013 at 8:00 PM by Nascar360