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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Stevie Reeves #7 Clabber Girl Baking Powder Chevrolet

    Hello again, and welcome back to the blog!~ I've been dreading this post for a while, but I've finally decided to do it.. Stevie Reeves' #7 Clabber Girl Baking Powder Chevrolet~ The main reason I've been putting it off is because Reeves was horrible at NASCAR~ He was a two time USAC champion, but that doesn't always relate to success in NASCAR, and poor ol' Reeves never even managed a top 5 finish in 8 years of NASCAR competition~

    Although Reeves never amounted to anything in NASCAR, he was good enough to catch the eye of legendary Grand National team owner, and Bristol's own, Ed Whitaker~ That's right.. Reeves was picked to take over for Harry Gant's old BGN ride~ Gant used to tear it up in this car in the early 90's, and won a lot of races in it, so Reeves should have done the same... right?~ Not even close~ He only lasted one season in the car before being let go of his driving duties~

    I've always assumed that Reeves' father must have been part owner in the Clabber Girl Baking Powder company, because that's the only way I can explain them sponsoring him for as long as they did.. however, I've never found any proof to back up that assumption~ Reeves was born in Indiana, and the company is based in Indiana, and the company also owns the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, so who knows~ At any rate, let's bust into this post on Mr. Reeves' time in the #7 Clabber Girl Baking Powder Chevrolet~

                                                  Custom Stevie Reeves card that I made~
Stevie Reeves #7 Clabber Girl Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1995 Ed Whitaker BGN Busch

    His first race in the car came in the season opening "Goody's 300" @ Daytona, where he started 34th, and was involved in a lap 8 crash that ended his day, and relegated him to a 43rd place finish~ Things didn't go much better the following week at Rockingham, for the "Goodwrench 200"~ After starting from 22nd, Reeves was only able to move up two spots in the race, to finish in 20th~

    It looked like it was gonna be a lot more of the same for the "Hardee's 250" @ Richmond, with Stevie qualifying 29th.. but he caught some nice breaks during the race, and was able to hang on to a 6th place finish~ Surprisingly, this was the best finish of his entire career... not just for the season, but for all 8 years in the sport, this was his best finish of them all~ He then sadly followed it up with a 33rd place finish in the "Busch Light 300" @ Atlanta, following a blown engine~

   Stevie followed up the blown engine @ Atlanta with a lap 175 crash in the "Opryland USA 320" @ Nashville~ The accident knocked him out of the race, resulting in a 34th place finish~ As if things couldn't get any worse, he blew an engine in the "Mark III Vans 200" @ Darlington, where he finished 35th, and blew another one the following week, in the "Goody's 250" @ Bristol, resulting in a 33rd place finish~

                                   Stevie on track in the original Clabber Girl paint scheme~ 
Stevie Reeves #7 Clabber Girl Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1995 Ed Whitaker BGN Busch

    Following the blown engine @ Bristol, Reeves then failed to qualify for the "Red Dog 300" @ Charlotte~ He rolled off 19th in the "GM Goodwrench/Delco 200" @ Dover, but finished the race four laps down, in the 21st position~ At this time, Reeves found himself 30th in the BGN points standings~

    By the way this season went, it's no wonder Ed Whitaker was out of the sport only 25 races after his dealings with Reeves~ With Stevie in the car, the team brought in 21,000 dollars less than they did the season before, with Harry Gant at the wheel~ That kind of hit on a small, part time team will really do some damage, and the Whitaker race team was never the same after the season with Reeves~

    Stevie qualified 32nd in the "Sears Auto Center 250" @ the Milwaukee Mile, but was only able to move up six positions during the race, to finish in 26th~ He then qualified 38th for the "Hummingbird Fishfinder 500K" @ Talladega, but was involved in the "big one" only nine laps into the race, ending his day prematurely with a 41st place finish~

                                              Reeves chats with Jeff Gordon at PIR - 1992~
Stevie Reeves #7 Clabber Girl Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1995 Ed Whitaker BGN Busch

    One of the highlights of the season (if you can call it that) was when Reeves finished 12th in the "Kroger 200" @ IRP, after starting from 29th~ Besides his 6th place run @ Richmond earlier in the year, this is as close as Stevie would come to another top 10 during the 1995 campaign~ Jason Keller won the race in the #57 Budget Gourmet Chevrolet, followed by Elton Sawyer, Mike McLaughlin, Tracy Leslie, and Tommy Houston~

    After finishing 31st in the "Detroit Gasket 200" @ Michigan, Reeves shocked the NASCAR world when he won the pole for the "Food City 250" @ Bristol, in what would be his only career pole~ He led the first 60 laps before getting passed by Johnny Benson Jr., and wound up finishing in 14th place~ Steve Grissom went on to win the race in the #29 Chennellock Chevrolet, followed by Jeff Green, Tim Fedewa, Chad Little, and Terry Labonte~

    Reeves qualified 6th for the Gatorade 200" @ Darlington, and it was beginning to look like he knew what he was doing~ He lasted 28 laps before retiring for "handling" issues~ Mark Martin and the #60 Winn-Dixie Ford went on to win the race, followed by Johnny Benson, Ward Burton, Phil Parsons, and Joe Nemechek~ Larry Pearson, who won the pole for the event, finished in 17th place in the #92 Stanley Tools Chevrolet~

                                                  Stevie and Bobby Dotter on track~ 1995~
Stevie Reeves #7 Clabber Girl Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1995 Ed Whitaker BGN Busch

    After qualifying 36th for the "Autolite 250" @ Richmond, Reeves again failed to finish the race, going out with 26 laps remaining, due to "rear end" problems~ Let's just hope those rear end problems were with the car, and not the driver~ He would follow this race up with a 35th place finish in the "MBNA 200" @ Dover, following a 12th place qualifying effort~

    Stevie and the team then failed to qualify for the "All Pro Bumper To Bumper 300" @ Charlotte, the same track the dnq'd at earlier in the season~ At least 64 drivers attempted to make the 44 car field, and among some of the other dnq'ers were Rick Wilson, Michael Waltrip, Patty Moise, Derrike Cope, Todd Bodine, and Mike Wallace~ Stevie finished 19th in the "AC-Delco 200" @ Rockingham, and 20th in his final race for Ed Whitaker, in the "Jiffy Lube Miami 300" @ Homestead~

    Reeves finished the 1995 BGN campaign having ran 18 of the 26 events, while dnq'ing for another two, amassing 1 pole, and 1 top 10, while finishing 29th in the final points standings, with an average start of 24.3, and an average finish of 27.5~ For his career, he ran 85 BGN races, finishing on the lead lap in only seven of those races, and he also ran 3 Truck Series races in 2000 to finish out his driving career, where he had a best finish of 24th in the "Michigan 200"~

    Following his driving career, Reeves got work as a spotter for Dale Earnhardt Jr., and later spotted for Jimmie Johnson during a championship season~ He currently is the spotter for Paul Menard in the Cup Series, and also does some BGN (I'm not calling it whatever it is now.. it's forever Busch Grand National to me) spotter work~ So even though he didn't amount to a hill of beans in the NASCAR world, he wound up still being a part of it anyway by transforming into a master spotter~ Sometimes crappy stories have a happy ending after all~ Awww~ :P

                                   Stevie Reeves #7 Clabber Girl Baking Powder Chevrolet~
Stevie Reeves #7 Clabber Girl Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1995 Ed Whitaker BGN Busch
                                                               Click pics to enlarge~
Stevie Reeves #7 Clabber Girl Chevrolet Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1995 Ed Whitaker BGN Busch

    Even though I talked a little smack about his racing career, I always was fond of his Clabber Girl cars~ They were always one of the sharpest looking cars out there at the time, and even to this day the paint scheme still holds its own~ His Ed Whitaker car was my favorite of them all, as I preferred the #7 to the #96~

    There was also a #7 Clabber Girl car produced for the 1996 Preview Edition, but Reeves was booted before the season started, and instead drove the #96 Clabber Girl Ford for Donald Laird~ His best finish that season was 15th in the "Goodwrench Service 200" @ Rockingham, and he drove a total of fifteen races that season, so it was pretty bad~ Along with his best finish being dismal, he also failed to qualify for six more races~

    Back to the car here.. I think this car is a true beauty~ That slanted red #7, combined with the white and sky blue Clabber Girl colors really made this car stand out on the race track, as well as in your diecast collection~ It's a truly beautiful car, and if it was only based on the car, I would give it an A+.. but since the card counts as part of the score, I have to give it a B+.. yeah, to me the card is that bad~ The blue paint on this one tends to crack on some cars, so you have to look carefully before you buy one, unless you don't care about cracks~ Anyway.. let's move onto the bonus car for this post~

                                           Shawna Robinson #99 Tombstone Pizza Ford~
Shawna Robinson #99 Tombstone Pizza Ford Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1995 Winston Cup Daytona

    This was the first car Shawna Robinson ever attempted to make a Winston Cup race in~ It was for the 1995 running of the Daytona 500, where 64 drivers were attempting to make the 42 car field~ Robinson wound up 52nd, and didn't make the field~ Among others who dnq'd that day were Bobby Hillin Jr., Greg Sacks, Doug Heveron, Kenny Wallace, Jim Sauter, Jimmy Spencer, James Hylton, and Ritchie Petty, the son of Maurice Petty~

    Robinson being Tombstoned out of the Daytona 500 wasn't the end of her being Tombstoned in the Tombstone car however, as she also attempted to field a Tombstone car for the "Hardee's 250" @ Richmond in the BGN series, and again failed to qualify~ It was to be her final tombstone~

    I guess I'd give this car a C- on the Racing Champions quality scale~ I was kind of rushing it along when I was working on it, and it's a little sloppy in areas that I could have did better on~ I used the 1989 body for it because I already had a blank black old body Ford sitting around, so that's what I used~ It's still a pretty neat looking car, and looks close enough to the real thing she drove back then~

    Thank you all for stopping by and reading this post!~ Please share this post on social media sites to help get some more people reading these posts~ The blog is growing bigger everyday, and it's all because of people like you, who enjoy the posts, and share them around to others who'll enjoy them~ Below are some random videos, because they're aren't any good Reeves videos~ Enjoy them, and goodnight Mrs. Calabash.. wherever you are!~

                                                1991 Martinsville trophy model builder~

                                                 Steve Byrnes and Ned Jarrett bloopers~

                                                  Cale, Ned, and Benny tell rain stories~

                                                J.D. McDuffie 1985 Daytona 500 profile~

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