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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mike Skinner #3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet

    After last night's absolutely spectacular truck race @ Eldora, I decided I'd review a truck for the first time here on the blog~ I only have 2 of them at the moment, so I chose Mike Skinner's GM Goodwrench Chevrolet, mainly because I bought Bob Keselowski's truck loose without a card or stand~

    The truck series began in 1995, and many Cup series owners and drivers fielded trucks for up and coming drivers~ Richard Childress chose Mike Skinner to pilot his #3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Silverado~

    The series kicked off for the first time in Phoenix for the Skoal Bandit Cooper World Classic, with P.J. Jones capturing the pole, while Mike rolled off 16th~ Ron Hornaday Jr. passed Jones on lap one to become the first person to lead a lap in the series~ Mike passed Terry Labonte on the final lap to win the first ever truck series race, having led a total of 30 laps during the race~

    He also picked up wins @ Portland (Maxx Race Cards 200), I-70 Speedway (Western Auto 200), Louisville (Ford Credit 200), Milwaukee (Sears Auto Center 125), IRP (Action Packed Racing Cards 150), Mesa Marin (Spears Manufacturing 200), and Phoenix (GM Goodwrench/Delco Battery 200)~ He also picked up 10 poles during the season~ He finished the season with 10 poles, 8 wins, 17 top 5's, and 18 top 10's, and won the first ever Championship in the series, defeating Joe Ruttman by 126 points~

                                              Mike Skinner - 1995 Truck Series Champion~
Mike Skinner #3 Goodwrench truck 1/64 Racing Champions NASCAR diecast Champion

    The truck series added 4 more races to the 1996 schedule, and Mike picked up his first win of the season in the NAPA 200 @ Tucson~ The next stop on the circuit was the Colorado 250 @ Colorado, where again, Skinner captured the win~ The following race was in Topeka for the Lund Look 225, where Mike picked up his 3rd victory in a row, the first to do so in the truck series~ Up next was the inaugural race @ Bristol, the Coca-Cola 200, where Mike sat on the pole, and came home 4th~

    His next win came in the 13th race of the season, the Cummins 200 @ IRP~ He again won back to back races with a win in the Steven Beil/Genuine Parts 200 @ Flemington~ In the Fas Mart Truck Shootout @ Richmond, Skinner qualified 2nd, and held off Ron Hornaday Jr. for the win~ He qualified 16th in the Hanes 250 @ Martinsville, and charged to the front to take the victory over one of my favorite drivers at the time, Butch Miller~ In the Ford Dealers/Ford Credit 300 @ Mesa Marin, Skinner again held off Ron Hornaday Jr. to capture his final victory of the season~

   Although he won 3 more races than any other driver in the series that season, Skinner finished 3rd in the final points standings, behind Jack Sprague, and series Champion Ron Hornaday Jr.~ When all was said and done, he finished the season with  5 poles, 8 wins, 17 top 5's, and 20 top 10's~ In his 2 years in the #3 truck, he totaled 15 poles, 16 wins, 34 top 5's, and 38 top 10's in 44 races~

                                           Mike Skinner #3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet~
Mike Skinner #3 Goodwrench Truck Series Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Dale Earnhardt
                                                          Click pics to enlarge~
Mike Skinner #3 Goodwrench Truck Series Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Dale Earnhardt

    Racing Champions did a splendid job on this die cast~ It is a spitting image of the truck he ran during the 1995 season~ The glossiness on this truck is superb, and the logos and truck number really pop~ I only own 2 trucks, but this one is by far my favorite~ Every detail is there, and in my opinion, Racing Champions did a better job on this truck than they were doing with most of their cars at the time~

     I do however have an issue with the card, as it looks kind of bland in comparison to the truck~ But all in all, I give this truck an A- overall~ If it had a cooler looking card, it would easily be an A+, and it looks amazing on display with all the other Racing Champions memorabilia I own~

    Mike left the truck series as far as driving full time following the 1996 season, and moved up to the Cup series, also driving for Richard Childress in his #31 Lowe's Chevrolet~ He never had the same success he had in the truck series, and finished his Cup career with 6 poles, 0 wins, 10 top 5's, and 39 top 10's in 286 starts~ He also failed to qualify for 41 events~

    I remember vividly pulling for that Lowe's car, and he had several chances to win in the car, he was just never able to pull it off and seal the victory~ The closest he ever came to winning in the Cup series was a 2nd place finish in 2000 in the Diehard 500 @ Talladega, a race won by Jeff Gordon~ Below I have added some videos showing some highlights from his career~ Enjoy, and as always, thank you for stopping by the blog!~

                                          All of Skinner's Cup wins (all non-points races)

                                                        2007 Kroger 200 Skinner win~

                                                       2009 Gateway Skinner win~

                                                 Inaugural truck series race Skinner win~

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