Geoff Bodine

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Geoffrey Eli Bodine
Geoff Bodine on USS Nimitz.jpg
Bodine in 2007
Born (1949-04-18) April 18, 1949 (age 65)
Chemung, New York, United States
Achievements 1986 Daytona 500 Winner
1987 IROC Champion
1994 The Winston Winner
1992 Busch Clash Winner
Awards 1982 Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year
Named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers (1998)
Named one of NASCAR's Modified all-time Top 10 Drivers
Listed in the Guinness World Records for "Most wins in one season" (55 wins in modifieds[citation needed]
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
575 race(s) run over 27 year(s)
Best finish 3rd (1990)
First race 1979 Daytona 500 (Daytona)
Last race 2011 Ford 400 (Homestead)
First win 1984 Sovran Bank 500 (Martinsville)
Last win 1996 The Bud at the Glen (Watkins Glen)
Wins Top tens Poles
18 190 37
NASCAR Nationwide Series career
94 race(s) run over 13 year(s)
Best finish 19th (1982)
First race 1982 Goody's 300 (Daytona)
Last race 2005 Federated Auto Parts 300 (Nashville)
First win 1982 TranSouth 200 (Darlington)
Last win 1989 County Squire 200 (Darlington)
Wins Top tens Poles
6 39 13
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
22 race(s) run over 5 year(s)
Best finish 20th (1995)
First race 1995 Copper World Classic (Phoenix)
Last race 2010 E-Z-GO 200 (Atlanta)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 9 1
Statistics current as of December 20, 2012.
Bodine's Cup car in the 1983 Van Scoy Diamond Mine 500

Geoffrey Eli Bodine (born April 18, 1949) is an American motorsport driver and bobsled builder. He is the oldest of the three Bodine brothers (with Brett Bodine and Todd Bodine). Bodine currently lives in West Melbourne, Florida.

Bodine's racing career seemed to be on track right from the start as his father and grandfather, Eli Bodine Jr. and Sr. built Chemung Speedrome just a year after he was born. He began learning his racing skills at this track in the micro-midget division when he was only five years old. He had such an itch to race that he disguised himself as a lady and entered a Powderpuff Division Race when he was 15.[1] In 2011, he drove for Tommy Baldwin Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, alternating between the #35 and #36 teams, with sponsorship from Luke & Associates.

NASCAR Modified driver[edit]

Bodine was quite an accomplished driver before he hit the big-time in NASCAR's premier division, the Winston Cup series (now Sprint Cup series) with his first start in 1979. By this time, Bodine was well known as a Modified driver in the Northeast, racing against popular drivers like Richie Evans, Jerry Cook, Jimmy Spencer, Ron Bouchard, and others. Bodine had earned Modified championships at Stafford Speedway, Shangri-La Speedway, Spencer/Williamson Speedway, and Utica-Rome Speedway. He has won many of the big races in Modifieds including the Lancaster 200 (1978, 1981), Race of Champions (1972 - Trenton, 1978 - Pocono), the Stafford 200 (1978), the Trenton Dogleg 200 (1979), the Thompson 300, the Spring Sizzler (1980 - Stafford Speedway), Oswego Classic (1981), Cardinal Classic (1975 - Martinsville Speedway), Oxford 250 (1980, 1981), as well as many other modified events.

In 1978, Bodine won more races than any other Modified driver in recorded history. Driving cars owned by Dick Armstrong with Billy Taylor and Ralph Hop Harrington as crew chief, Bodine started 84 feature events and won 55 of them. Among the most prestigious of these victories were the Race of Champions at Pocono, the Spring Sizzler at Stafford, the Budweiser 200 at Oswego, both major events at Martinsville, the Thompson 300, and a sweep of the six-race Yankee All-Star League series.[2] For these fifty-five victories, Bodine is credited in the Guinness Book of World Records with "Most wins in one season".

Bodine's racing background also included wins in the Late Model division, Nationwide Series division, and others. He has six Busch Grand National wins to his credit.

1985 Levi Garrett car

NASCAR Winston Cup career[edit]

Geoff is best known for his NASCAR Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup) career. His first full season in Winston Cup came in 1982 when he earned the Rookie of the Year title. He earned his first Winston Cup pole that year on his 19th start (1982 - Firecracker 400) and scored his first Winston Cup victory two years later on his 69th start at Martinsville in 1984 (This win was also the first win for Hendrick Motorsports, which was the team Bodine was racing for at the time). Geoff's biggest win came at the 1986 Daytona 500 season opener. NASCAR's most prestigious single event. Other career highlights include the 1987 International Race of Champions championship, the 1992 Busch Clash, the 1994 Winston Select (despite a first segment spinout), and the 1994 Busch Pole Award (now Budweiser Pole Award). Geoff's final win in NASCAR's highest division came in the "Bud At The Glen" in August 1996 when fortuitous pit stop timing led to Geoff taking the lead in his QVC Thunderbird while the other drivers pitted. Bodine managed to hold off the field the rest of the way beating Terry Labonte to the line by 0.44 seconds to claim the checkers.

Cup career highlights[edit]

Bodine in 1996.

Bodine has driven for some of the best car owners in NASCAR, including Junior Johnson, Bud Moore and Rick Hendrick as well as owning his own cars, which he ran for several seasons after buying the assets of Alan Kulwicki's race team after his death in 1993. He has 565 starts, 37 poles, 18 wins, and nearly $16 million in winnings during his Winston Cup/Nextel Cup career. He was honored as one of "NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers" during NASCAR's 50th anniversary celebration. Bodine has always been a great innovator and brought many ideas to Winston Cup. He introduced power steering and full-faced helmets to Winston Cup. He was also the last driver to win a race and lap the field, in the fall 1994 race at North Wilkesboro Speedway. He holds the track record at Atlanta Motor Speedway from his polesitting run after the track was repaved in 1997, with a speed of over 197 mph.

Daytona crash[edit]

Bodine was involved in a vicious, fiery accident at Daytona International Speedway in the inaugural Daytona 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on February 18, 2000, driving the #15 Line-X Ford F-150 for Billy Ballew. Geoff was racing on the outside of two other trucks (one of which was driven by Kurt Busch, a rookie at the time) on the front stretch tri-oval during the 57th lap when Busch and Rob Morgan made contact, resulting in Morgan's truck swerving into Bodine's truck. This caused Bodine's truck to become airborne and hit the catch fencing at nearly 190 miles per hour (310 km/h),[3] completely destroying it (and rupturing the fuel cell in the process), leaving nothing but the roll cage intact. It then barrel-rolled down the track where it was hit several more times by other trucks before coming to rest on its roof. 13 other trucks were involved in the accident, making it one of the largest wrecks in NCTS (now NCWTS) history. As a result of the impact, Bodine broke his right wrist, right cheekbone, a vertebra in his back, and his right ankle, and also suffered a concussion. Nine fans were also injured in the accident.

Bodine missed more than half of the 2000 Winston Cup season recovering from his injuries, starting only 14 of 34 races and finishing 45th in points with no poles, wins, or top 10 finishes. Amazingly, Geoff returned to the track that had nearly claimed his life to finish third behind Elliott Sadler and the race winner Ward Burton in the 2002 Daytona 500. However, including that race, Geoff Bodine only made 18 starts in the NASCAR Winston/Nextel/Sprint cup Series between 2001 and 2004, with only one top five and two top 10s, both in 2002. He attempted to qualify for the Brickyard 400 in 2004 driving for Gary Trout Autosports, but did not qualify and did not attempt to qualify for any other races that year.

New team[edit]

Geoff, brother Todd, and Larry Gunselman started a race team in 2009. Geoff attempted to qualify the #64 Toyota for the 2009 Daytona 500. In 2010, Geoff returned to the Camping World Truck Series for the first time since 2004 with Team Gill Racing at Atlanta. He finished 26th with engine problems despite qualifying an impressive 8th.

Retirement[edit]

In October 2012, Bodine announced through TheRacingExperts.Com that he was retiring from NASCAR after 27 seasons. Bodine said he wanted to spend time with his family, do charitable deeds, and build up his newly-opened Honda Power Sports business.

Bo-Dyn bobsleds[edit]

Bodine's creativity and innovation are not just limited to NASCAR racing. Bodine is the co-owner of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Company. His bobsled interest while watching the 1992 Winter Olympics when the U.S. Bobsled team was having a tough time during competition. Bodine learned that the sleds being used were all imported and not built domestically. He felt that he could help the team win with better technology derived from his race car experience, engineering background, as well as the abundant design and construction resources offered to him through his NASCAR connections. With his interest captured, Bodine took a few runs in a bobsled at Lake Placid to confirm his feelings and to learn more about the sleds.

Bo-Dyn Bobsleds (Bo for Bodine, "Dyn" for Chassis Dynamics) was created in 1992 by Bodine and his good friend and chassis builder, Bob Cuneo of Chassis Dynamics. Bodine founded the USA Bobsled Project to help create a winning bobsled for the U.S. teams. The U.S. National Team first used their sleds in 1994. Ten years after Bo-Dyn's inception, the U.S. team won three medals in Bo-Dyn Bobsleds during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, American bobsledder Steven Holcomb piloted a Bo-Dyn Bobsled named "Night Train" to gold. Every January from 2006 to 2010 at the Lake Placid, New York track, a charity run is held with the US bobsled team and NASCAR drivers to raise money for the sled project. Participants have included Todd Bodine (one of Bodine's brothers) and Tony Stewart.

Personal life[edit]

Bodine now enjoys giving back to the community that supports him. He has served as a volunteer fireman and is now a board member of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Bodine was briefly mentioned in the movie Days of Thunder for coming in third when Cole Trickle won his first race at Darlington. He is friends with Tom Cruise.

Bodine cut the ribbon on his latest venture in June 2012 with the opening of a Honda Power Sports dealership in West Melbourne, Florida, where he currently resides.[4]

Career results[edit]

* Season in progress
1 Ineligible for series points

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series[edit]

Year Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Avg. Start Avg. Finish Winnings Position Team(s)
1979 3 0 0 0 0 20.0 28.7 $4,820 83rd #47 Race Hill Farm Team
1981 5 0 0 1 0 14.0 22.4 $15,000 45th #23 Bahre Racing
#01 Zervakis Enterprises
1982 25 0 4 10 2 9.8 15.2 $247,750 22nd #23 Bahre Racing
#50 Cliff Stewart Racing
1983 28 0 5 9 1 7.0 19.9 $209,611 17th #88 Cliff Stewart Racing
1984 30 3 7 14 3 10.1 14.8 $413,747 9th #5 All-Star Racing
1985 28 0 10 14 3 7.2 10.9 $565,868 5th #5 Hendrick Motorsports
1986 29 2 10 15 8 4.2 15.4 $795,111 8th #5 Hendrick Motorsports
1987 29 0 3 10 2 9.4 17.6 $449,816 13th #5 Hendrick Motorsports
1988 29 1 10 16 3 6.8 13.0 $570,643 6th #5 Hendrick Motorsports
1989 29 1 9 11 3 7.9 15.0 $619,494 9th #5 Hendrick Motorsports
1990 29 3 11 19 2 8.1 11.4 $1,131,222 3rd #11 Junior Johnson & Associates
1991 27 1 6 12 2 10.4 15.7 $625,256 14th #11 Junior Johnson & Associates
1992 29 2 7 11 0 14.7 16.2 $716,583 16th #15 Bud Moore Engineering
1993 30 1 2 9 1 13.9 18.4 $783,762 16th #15 Bud Moore Engineering
#7 Geoff Bodine Racing
1994 31 3 7 10 5 10.8 21.3 $1,276,126 17th #7 Geoff Bodine Racing
1995 31 0 1 4 0 23.5 18.6 $1,011,090 16th #7 Geoff Bodine Racing
1996 31 1 2 6 0 22.4 20.5 $1,031,762 17th #7 Geoff Bodine Racing
1997 29 0 3 10 2 15.0 20.6 $1,092,734 22nd #7 Geoff Bodine Racing
1998 32 0 1 5 0 23.0 24.9 $1,247,255 27th #7 Mattei Motorsports
1999 34 0 1 2 0 21.7 24.7 $1,257,494 27th #60 Joe Bessey Racing
2000 14 0 0 0 0 29.1 29.7 $704,981 45th #60 Joe Bessey Racing
#98 MacPherson Motorsports
#35 Andy Petree Racing
2001 2 0 0 0 0 24.0 32.0 $80,855 68th #09 Brett Bodine Racing
2002 10 0 1 2 0 29.0 27.0 $1,244,501 43rd #09 Phoenix Racing
#26/#66 Haas-Carter Motorsports
#23 Bill Davis Racing
2003 1 0 0 0 0 27.0 39.0 $78,150 70th #11 Brett Bodine Racing
2004 5 0 0 0 0 39.8 35.8 $364,460 56th #98 Mach 1 Motorsports
2010 1 0 0 0 0 40.0 41.0 $63,045 73rd #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing
2011 4 0 0 0 0 39.8 35.9 $315,722 44th #35/#36 Tommy Baldwin Racing

NASCAR Nationwide Series[edit]

Year Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Avg. Start Avg. Finish Winnings Position Team(s)
1982 10 1 4 6 2 3.0 11.5 $24,245 19th #99/#01 Plessinger Racing
1983 4 0 2 2 0 8.0 11.5 $12,895 45th #89/#50 Plessinger Racing
1984 12 1 8 9 3 5.0 9.8 $42,950 23rd #15 All-Star Racing
1985 5 1 3 3 2 2.0 10.8 $71,433 34th #5 Hendrick Motorsports
1986 3 0 2 2 1 2.0 7.7 $35,695 65th #15/#5 Hendrick Motorsports
1987 8 1 4 4 1 4.1 11.9 $50,655 37th #15 Hendrick Motorsports
1988 9 1 4 5 3 4.0 13.3 $75,600 31st #15 Hendrick Motorsports
#66 Henderson Motorsports
1989 4 1 3 4 1 3.2 5.0 $34,962 53rd #15 Hendrick Motorsports
#1 Bill Davis Racing
1990 2 0 0 0 0 34.5 26.0 $2,015 97th #01/#14 Junior Johnson & Associates
1999 11 0 0 2 0 16.6 21.7 $114,221 47th #64 Shoemaker Racing
#06 Joe Bessey Racing
#33 BACE Motorsports
2000 1 0 0 0 0 6.0 14.0 $12,475 89th #36 Cicci-Welliver Racing
2001 17 0 1 2 0 23.8 23.6 $360,580 34th #66 Cicci-Welliver Racing
2005 8 0 0 0 0 37.4 31.6 $118,635 66th #72 MacDonald Motorsports

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series[edit]

Year Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Avg. Start Avg. Finish Winnings Position Team(s)
1995 10 0 6 7 0 9.6 8.9 $90,814 20th #7 Geoff Bodine Racing
1996 4 0 0 1 1 12.5 24.2 $25,650 53rd #07 Geoff Bodine Racing
2000 1 0 0 0 0 19.0 24.0 $11,440 94th #15 Billy Ballew Motorsports
2003 1 0 0 0 0 29.0 27.0 $6,190 113th #36 Alvin Thompson Racing
2004 5 0 0 1 0 27.6 21.4 $52,310 40th #03 Team EJP
#48 Ron Rhodes Racing
2010 1 0 0 0 0 8.0 26.0 $7,985 103rd #95 Team Gill Racing


Daytona 500 results[edit]

Year Manufacturer Start Finish Team
1979 Oldsmobile 16 29 Beebe
1981 Pontiac 14 22 Bahre
1982 Buick 34 42 Bahre
1983 Pontiac 2 30 Cliff Stewart
1984 Chevrolet 9 8 Hendrick
1985 Chevrolet 17 7 Hendrick
1986 Chevrolet 2 1 Hendrick
1987 Chevrolet 8 14 Hendrick
1988 Chevrolet 15 14 Hendrick
1989 Chevrolet 10 4 Hendrick
1990 Ford 3 9 Johnson
1991 Ford 19 32 Johnson
1992 Ford 16 3 Moore
1993 Ford 6 3 Moore
1994 Ford 39 11 G.Bodine
1995 Ford 40 20 G.Bodine
1996 Ford 38 34 G.Bodine
1997 Ford 25 34 G.Bodine
1998 Ford 25 31 G.Bodine
1999 Chevrolet 30 39 Bessey
2000 Chevrolet DNQ Bessey
2002 Ford 35 3 Finch
2005 Chevrolet DNQ James Whitener
2009 Toyota DNQ Gunselman

References[edit]

  1. ^ Unofficial NASCAR Fan Guide
  2. ^ Bourcier, Bones. "Back to his Roots", Stock Car Racing (ISSN 0734-7340), Volume 24 Number 1, January 1989.
  3. ^ "Bodine, fans escape serious injury in firey crash". ESPN. Retrieved 2013-07-21. 
  4. ^ Price, Wayne T. (June 30, 2012). "NASCAR's Bodine slingshots into world of business". Florida Today. Melbourne, FL. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Al Unser, Jr.
IROC Champion
IROC XI (1987)
Succeeded by
Al Unser, Jr.