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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~

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