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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Steve Grissom #31 Big Mama Meat Snacks Oldsmobile

    Welcome back to the NASCAR Racing Champions blog~ Today's post is going to be on the #31 Big Mama Meat Snacks Oldsmobile, driven by Steve Grissom during his impressive 1990 BGN season~ This diecast was only produced in promo form, and was never part of Racing Champions' standard issues~

    I don't currently own the car, and it is pretty hard to come by~ A version of the car was "misplaced", and put into the 1990-1992 packaging, for some reason with a Bobby Allison card~ These are also pretty rare, and don't usually come up for sale that often~ A loose version of the car recently came up for bid on Ebay, but a friend of mine was bidding on it, so I didn't compete with him~ That's what got me wanting to do a post on this car, so here it is~

                                            Grissom poses with the car @ Charlotte - 1990~
Steve Grissom #31 Big Mama Oldsmobile Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1990 BGN First Win

    Grissom started the 1990 BGN season with a new sponsor, "Big Mama Meat Snacks"~ This would be the only season he ran this sponsorship, but it proved to be one of his best~ I would go as far as to say that it was his best season, even though he won the championship in 1993~ Things looked good in the season opener @ Daytona, with Grissom qualifying 8th for the event, but the good times were short lived, as he was involved in the huge pile up on lap 13, knocking him out of competition, resulting in a 33rd place finish~

    Steve's first decent run in the car came four races later, in the Mountain Dew 400 @ Hickory~ He qualified 15th, but was able to pick up his first top 10 of the season, with an 8th place finish~ His next accomplishment came a couple of races later, in the U-Can-Rent 200 @ Lanier, where he picked up his first top 5 of the season, with a 5th place run~ Chuck Bown led all 200 laps of the event, dominating on his way to the checkered flag, driving the #63 Nescafe Classic Pontiac~ This is about the time Grissom's season started building momentum~

    In the Roses Stores 200 @ South Boston, Grissom qualified 4th, and finished in 3rd place, behind Jeff Burton, and race winner, Chuck Bown~ He qualified 7th for the Pontiac 300 @ Nazareth, and strong all day, leading 99 laps on his way to a 5th place finish~ On to Hickory, for the Granger Select 200, Grissom qualified 4th, before settling for a 7th place finish in the end~ The race was won by Chuck Bown, who had won 3 of the last 4 races~

                                        Grissom on track in the #31 Big Mama Oldsmobile~
Steve Grissom #31 Big Mama Oldsmobile Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1990 BGN First Win

    Following his brief success, he was met with a stint of bad finishes in the next three events~ He finished 27th in the Champion 300 @ Charlotte, 21st in the Budweiser 200 @ Dover, and 22nd in the Roses Stores 200 @ Rougemont, and fell from 9th, to 11th in the Series points standings~ Steve then started picking up momentum again, and was well on his way to his first career BGN victory~

    After qualifying 6th for the Firecracker 200 @ Volusia County, Grissom managed to stay up front all race long, and finished in 4th place~ He finished 11th in the Carolina Pride/Budweiser 200 @ Myrtle Beach, and 8th in the True Value Oxford 250 @ Oxford, and then had a hiccup in the Budweiser 300 @ Loudon, where he qualified 29th, and finished 23rd, after battling his way to the lead, where he led for 24 laps~ 78 drivers attempted to make the field for the event, and the race was won by Tommy Ellis, in what was his final BGN victory~

    Grissom qualified 2nd for the Coors 200 @ South Boston, and Jimmy Hensley won the pole for the event, in the #25 Crown/Fast Fare Oldsmobile~ Hensley led the first 17 laps, and was passed by Grissom, who led the next 41 laps, before being passed by Chuck Bown~ Bown led the next 115 laps of the race, before he was passed by Tommy Houston, who went on to win in the #6 Rose's Stores Buick~ Grissom finished in 5th place, and was in 8th place in the Series points standings~

                                            Steve Grissom and the #31 @ Charlotte - 1990~
Steve Grissom #31 Big Mama Oldsmobile Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1990 BGN First Win

    The next race on the schedule was the Granger Select 200 @ Dublin, and Grissom made his name in the sport with style, by winning the pole, leading 150 of the 200 laps, and winning the race, picking up the first win of his BGN career~ Chuck Bown was pretty much the only competition of the night, leading 34 laps, and finishing in second place~

    The bad news for the competition was that the Grissom team was just getting started~ The next race was the Kroger 200 @ IRP, and Grissom qualified 17th for the event~ He quickly worked his way to the front, and led for 77 laps, on his way to back to back BGN series victories~ Ernie Irvan finished 2nd, driving the #75 U-Can-Rent Oldsmobile, owned by Charlie Henderson~

    Grissom started 31st for the Jay Johnson 250 @ Bristol, and was able to work his way to the lead, which he held for 6 laps, before fading away to finish in 3rd place~ The race was won by Rick Mast, in the #22 Raven Boats Buick, and this was the first of 3 BGN wins for Mast during the 1990 season~ The 1990 season also marked the final time Mast would win in the series~

                                              Steve Grissom custom Racing Champions card~
Steve Grissom #31 Big Mama Oldsmobile Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1990 BGN First Win

    In the Autolite 200 @ Richmond, Grissom started from 4th, and worked his way to the lead, where he stayed for 82 laps, before being passed by Rick Mast for the win~ Michael Waltrip also had a good race in the #30 All-Pro Auto Parts Pontiac, as he led for 78 laps, before finishing in 3rd place~ Grissom then went on to finish 7th in the Ames/Splitfire 200 @ Dover, in a race won by Harry Gant, driving Ed Whitaker's #7 Skoal Buick~

    Steve then had a string of three bad races in a row, and he would fall from 3rd, to as low as 5th in the Series points standings~ He finished 21st @ Martinsville, in the Zerex 150, 32nd in the All Pro 300 @ Charlotte, and 26th in the NE Chevy 250 @ Loudon~ With two races remaining in the season, Grissom was going to make sure to end his time with Big Mama Meat Snacks with a bang~

    He qualified 32nd for the AC-Delco 200 @ Rockingham, but like the true race he was, he blazed his way up to the lead, leading the final four laps of the race, before taking the checkered flag~ Mark Martin dominated the day in the #1 Carolina Ford Dealers Ford, but gambled on old tires following a late caution~ He was quickly gobbled up by Grissom, who had fresh tires, and ended up finishing in 4th place~ This race was also the first official BGN start by a guy named Jeff Gordon~ He crashed out~ :P

   Grissom qualified 4th for the season finale "Winston Classic" @ Martinsville, while Chuck Bown won the pole~ The race was dominated by Kenny Wallace, who was driving the #36 Cox Treated Lumber Pontiac~ He led for 107 laps, but ran out of gas with three laps to go, handing the lead over to Grissom, who led the final 3 laps (his only laps led during the race) on his way to the checkered flag~ He ended the season 3rd in points, with 1 pole, 4 wins, 11 top 5's, and 15 top 10's, having led a career high of 486 laps throughout the year~

                                  Steve Grissom #31 Big Mama Meat Snacks Oldsmobile~
Steve Grissom #31 Big Mama Oldsmobile Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1990 BGN First Win
                                                               Click pics to enlarge~
Steve Grissom #31 Big Mama Oldsmobile Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1990 BGN First Win

    Even though this diecast is usually pretty poor quality, I'm a big fan of this car~ I really don't understand why Big Mama didn't stay with the team following their success, but I'm guessing it was a financial decision~ I dolled this car up for the post, it's actually pretty ratty looking, even for the early Racing Champions days~

    I'm going to give this car a D+ on the Racing Champions quality scale, because it's flawed all to pieces, pretty much every one of them that I've seen look like rejects~ I do like the car, and would love one for my collection, but I'm going to have to find a decent version before I invest any money into it~ I'm pretty sure from pictures that I've seen that the little pig logo is just a sticker, and it tends to yellow over time, and peel up, which is why I hated cars with sticker logos~

   Another reason for the low score, is this car never came with a card~ I had to custom make the one shown, and I do love that card, I just wish it originally came with the car~ Whenever I get this car, I'm taking it out of the promo package, and getting the card printed for it, and putting it in a 1990 standard issue package~ I just think it will look so much better like that~

                             **Bonus car** DIY Food Country Matchbox Convoy custom set~
Brad Teauge #75 Food Country Matchbox Convoy 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog Custom

    No, your eyes aren't deceiving you, I just posted a Matchbox set on the Racing Champions blog~ I got bored yesterday, and just decided to Photoshop this up, just out of curiosity, and I liked it so much, I just had to share it with y'all here on the blog~ I'm now in the process of having this set custom made, but I'd say it will be a year or so before the finished product arrives~ I'll be sure to post pictures when that time comes~

    I've always loved these old Matchbox Convoy sets, and I always wondered why Bill Elliott's Convoy set came with a truck, instead of a van, or extra car~ I think this set looks amazing, although I got the color a bit off on the car.. it all started out as solid white diecasts, so I had to paint it all, and I'm not the greatest at doing that, so that's just the best I could do~ After I got done, I found the van, and added it into the picture after I was done dolling it up~

    Brad Teague and the Food Country team were a huge part of my childhood, and I'll always be dreaming up little Food Country diecasts, probably until the day I die~ They had such awesome paint schemes back in the day, though I wasn't fond of the white car years~ I love the car hauler from this set!~ It's the coolest looking Matchbox hauler I've ever seen, and I just can't wait until it's a reality~

    Thank you all for once again stopping by the blog here!~ I appreciate the emails that you send, and enjoy helping others learn more about Racing Champions diecasts, as well as finding out things that I never knew about them~ Please click the "follow" button at the top right hand side of this page, and share this post on any social media sites that you're a part of~ Below are some videos from Steve's career, enjoy them, and I'll see ya' next time, here on the NASCAR Racing Champions Blog!~ :)

                                             Finish of the 1990 Kroger 200~ Grissom win~

                                          1990 U-Can-Rent 200 - Lanier~ Grissom footage~

                                   1990 Rose's Stores 200 highlights~ Some Grissom footage~
                                             1995 Goody's 250 highlights~ Grissom win~


Friday, February 10, 2017

Todd Bodine #61 Roush Performance Products Ford

    Hello again Racing Champions fans, and welcome back to the NASCAR Racing Champions 1/64 diecast blog!~ You know, with all these new rules for the upcoming season, I sure am glad that I get to write about the good ol' days~ Don't get me wrong, I'll never turn my back on the sport, and I'll always watch every race that I can, but I'm just not a fan of the way the sport has changed over the past 15 years~

    It seems each season gets more and more ridiculous, yet all we have to do is look to the past to find some great racing~ In today's post, I'm going to be looking back to Todd Bodine's time in the #61 Roush Performance Products Ford, which he drove for five races in the inaugural season of the Truck series~ Todd did amazing in this truck, and I think if he had ran the full season, he would have given Mike Skinner a run for his money~ Let's jump right into this thing, shall we?~

                                                         Bodine @ Mesa Marin - 1995~
Todd Bodine #61 Roush Ford Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog supertrucks truck 1995

    Bodine's first truck race didn't come until the 12th race of the season, in the "Heartland Tailgate 175" @ Topeka, Kansas, which was the first road course event in series history~ Todd qualified 3rd for the event, while Ron Hornaday Jr. won the pole, driving the #16 Papa John's Pizza Chevrolet, owned by Dale Earnhardt Inc.~

    This race was also the only start in the series for legendary car owner, Rick Hendrick, who drove the #25 Budweiser Chevrolet~ During the race, he tangled with teammate Scott Lagasse, and was eventually put out of the race with transmission issues, finishing in 23rd place~ This was also the series debut of Darrell Waltrip, who was filling in for Ken Schrader in the #52 AC Delco Chevrolet~ Waltrip would start the race from the 8th position, and move up a couple spots during the race to finish in 6th~

    Kerry Teague (no relation to Brad Teague) was involved in a brutal crash on the 9th lap of the race, which effectively ended his racing career~ Bodine stayed up front all day long, and while he never led a lap, he ended up with a solid 4th place finish~ Ron Hornaday Jr. led all but two laps of the race, on his way to victory lane~ Joe Ruttman finished in 2nd, followed by Terry Labonte, Bodine, and Mike Skinner finished out the top 5~ Ruttman was able to lead the other 2 laps, picking up 5 bonus points, and giving him the points lead following the race~

                           I had to make all of these pictures, so I'm sorry for the poor quality~
Todd Bodine #61 Roush Ford Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog supertrucks truck 1995

    Todd's next race in the series came in the "Fas Mart Supertruck Shootout" @ Richmond, Va.~
He qualified 13th for the event, while Terry Labonte won the pole in the #5 Dupont Refinishes Chevrolet, which was painted up just like Jeff Gordon's "Rainbow Warrior" car~ This was Labonte's final start in the series, in which he ran 3 races during the 1995 season~

    Geoff Bodine led a large portion (97 laps) of the race, driving the #7 Exide Batteries Ford, and he looked like he had the truck to beat all day long~ Several driver made their series debut in this race including, Rodney Combs Jr., Hermie Sadler, Derrike Cope, Bugs Hairfield, and probably a couple others that I'm forgetting about~

    In the end, Terry Labonte was able to pick up the win, in what turned out to be his only truck series victory~ The race had a wild finish, with the top 4 trucks finishing just one second apart~ Todd ended up finishing in 6th place, and Derrike Cope finished a surprising 7th~ The top 5 consisted of race winner Terry Labonte, followed by Geoff Bodine, Mike Skinner, Joe Ruttman, and Ken Schrader~

                                  Bodine battles with Ernie Irvan (28) and Mike Skinner (3)~
Todd Bodine #61 Roush Ford Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog supertrucks truck 1995

    Todd next raced in the "Goody's 150" @ Martisville, Va., and qualified 26th for the event, his worst qualifying effort of the season~ Eventual series champions Mike Skinner won the pole in the #3 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet~ Ernie Irvan, who had been out of racing for some time following his crash at Michigan, was attempting a comeback starting with this race, though he failed to make the field because qualifying was rained out~

    Geoff Bodine's son, Barry Bodine made his NASCAR debut in this race, driving the #07 Tanya Tucker's Salsa Ford for his Dad~ Geoff was dating Tanya at the time, so what a convenient sponsor for his son's debut~ I'm sure the salsa has been discontinued by now, just as Tanya, Geoff, and Barry's careers~ :P

    Kenny Wallace also made his truck series debut, and he finished 4th in the Red Dog Ford~ Mike Skinner led 134 laps, and looked like the truck to beat, but ol' man Joe Ruttman had other plans, and he went on to win the race in the 1-800-COLLECT Ford~ He became the third driver in series history to win more than one race in a season, along with Hornaday, and Skinner~ Todd Bodine finished in 6th place, and the top 5 finishers consisted of race winner Ruttman, followed by Skinner, Johnny Benson, Kenny Wallace, and Hermie Sadler~

                                        Bodine and Bill Sedgwick in the pits at Mesa Marin~
Todd Bodine #61 Roush Ford Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog supertrucks truck 1995

    Bodine next competed in the "Lowe's 150" at North Wilkesboro, NC., where he qualified in the 9th spot~ Mike Skinner again won the pole in the #3 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet, and Ernie Irvan finally started his NASCAR comeback, qualifying on the outside of the front row in the #28 NAPA/United Brake Systems Ford~

    Geoff Bodine was strong early in the race, but struggled following the halfway break~ He still managed to finished in 3rd place~ Jack Sprague's truck also looked strong for a while, but he eventually faded away to finish in 4th~ This was the series debut of Mike Wallace, who had engine troubles, and finished in 29th place~

    In the end, Mike Bliss picked up his first truck series win, driving the #2 Ultra Custom Wheels Ford~ Bliss passed Jack Sprague with 21 laps to go, and led all the way to the checkered flag~ Ernie Irvan ran strong up until the halfway point, but changes made to his truck didn't work out, and he dropped out due to suspension issues, which resulted in a 30th place finish~ Todd ran a smooth race, and ended up finishing in 7th place~ The top 5 consisted of race winner Bliss, Butch Miller, Geoff Bodine, Jack Sprague, and Ron Hornaday~

                                                           Bodine on the track - 1995~
Todd Bodine #61 Roush Ford Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog supertrucks truck 1995

    Bodine's final race in the #61 truck came in the "Spears Manufacturing 200" @ Mesa Marin~ Now, I watched this race, and the announcers said that Bodine was scheduled to run the next season in the #61 truck, but he never did~ So I'm not sure what happened with that, but he didn't run another truck race until 2004 following this start~

    Bill Sedgwick won the pole in the #75 Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet, and Bodine qualified alongside of him in the second spot~ Todd led the first lap of the race, which ended up being the only lap he led all season, and although he was strong at first, he quickly fell back, and never was much of a factor in the race~ Surprisingly, this would be his worst finish of the season, and he finished in 8th place~ That's pretty impressive, to say the least~

    Ron Hornaday had the truck to beat all day it seemed, leading 108 of the 200 laps, but he faded at the end, and finished in 15th~ In the end, Mike Skinner won the race in the GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet, followed by Mike Bliss, Ernie Irvan, Jack Sprague, and Joe Ruttman~ The #61 truck never competed again following this race, as Roush fielded the #99 Exide truck following the 1995 season~ I really wish I knew why the Bodine deal fell through, but that's just one of them unsolved mysteries of racing~

                                           Todd Bodine #61 Roush Performance Products Ford~
Todd Bodine #61 Roush Ford Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog supertrucks truck 1995

Todd Bodine #61 Roush Ford Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog supertrucks truck 1995

    I think it's safe to say that Jack Roush wanted the world to know who was sponsoring this truck.. heck, his name is on it in 7 different places~ Even so, it's still not a bad looking truck~ I sort of like the simplistic paint scheme, and it reminds me of the #27 Indianapolis Colts scheme that Rick Wilson's car had during the 1997 Brickyard 400~

    I never did care much for Jack Roush~ I didn't like Mark Martin, because I felt like he was an entitled prick, and Roush would always make stupid driver changes that I didn't agree with~ I really got made when he got rid of Chad Little to make room for Kurt Busch, yet he kept Kevin Lepage, who never did anything in that #16 car~ Little had some great runs in the John Deere car, picking up 1 top 5, and 14 top 10's in 3 1/2 seasons, which is much better than Lepage did~

   Anyway, back to the truck here.. I'm going to give it a C+ on the Racing Champions quality scale~ While it is a pretty exact replica of the real truck, I'm just not a huge fan of it, and the card is absolutely horrible looking~ This truck could have had a much better looking card that this~ Todd never finished outside the top 10 in this truck, and they should have done a better job on the card~ Now, let's take a look at the bonus car~

                                                 Diggity Dave #49 Gold Bond Chevrolet~
Diggity Dave #49 Gold Bond Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog custom Photoshop

    Well, for this one, I used Stanley Smith's #49 Ameritron Batteries Chevrolet, and although they look pretty much identical, I'm gonna have to pat myself on the back, and say that I think this one looks better than the original~ While I do like the Smith car, I just think this Gold Bond car looks better than his Ameritron Batteries car~

    I'm not a fan of foot powders.. because then you've got a bunch of crusty ol' powder all in your shoes~ I do like the Gold Bond logo, though~ When I was a kid, I thought Gold Bond was some kind of magical powder, because I always saw old people with it, and I used to think old people were wizards~ :P I give this car an A- on the Racing Champions quality scale, because I'm not 100% satisfied with the deck lid logo~ It's a little off~

    I'd like to thank you all for stopping by the blog again to get another dose of NASCAR history~ I enjoyed researching this one, because I'm a big fan of the early truck series days~ I was at the very first truck series race that was ran at Bristol, and I was hooked from that day on~ If you're a fan of the blog, please click the follow button at the top right hand side of this page, and share this post on social media~ It helps out a lot, and lets new people find out about the page here~ Below are some clips of the old truck series, as well as some Todd Bodine stuff, though I couldn't find any small clips of this truck~ Have a great weekend, and I hope to see ya' next time on the NASCAR Racing Champions Blog~ :)

                                               Rick Carelli big crash @ Martinsville 1995~

                                                   Wayne Jacks flip @ Portland - 1995~

                               Finish of the Total Petroleum 200 @ Colorado Speedway - 1995~

                                                             Bodine wins Darlington~