In the end, the Red Man passed away quietly.
So did his buddies, Joe Camel, the Marlboro Man and the Skoal Bandit.
They all crossed the finish line together at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 29 when Greg Biffle's red, white and black racecar took the checkered flag in that Saturday afternoon's poorly attended NASCAR Nationwide Series event.
The box score will simply show that a second-tier car led four laps and finished an unlucky 13th. But the story that the mere stats can't tell us is that an indomitable motorsports force took its last breath of carbon monoxide and stumbled to its death.
You see, Biffle's No. 27 Red Man Moist Snuff Ford Fusion was likely the last car in a major American motorsports series to carry the colors, cash and stain of Big Tobacco.
"I dunno," Biffle said as he posed for photos with the car and crew on the grid before the race, "Seems like we should be making a bigger deal out of this, no?"
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