Geoff Bodine Racing

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Geoff Bodine Racing
Owner(s)Geoff Bodine, Jim Mattei, John Porter
BaseMooresville, North Carolina
SeriesWinston Cup, Craftsman Truck Series
Race driversGeoff Bodine, Tammy Jo Kirk, Dave Rezendes, Barry Bodine
SponsorsQVC, Exide Batteries
ManufacturerFord
Opened1993
Closed2000
Career
Drivers' Championships0
Race victories7

Geoff Bodine Racing (also known as GEB Racing) was a NASCAR Winston Cup and Craftsman Truck Series team. It was owned and operated by former NASCAR driver Geoffrey Bodine following his purchase of the estate of Alan Kulwicki.[1] He remained owner of the team until the 1998 season, when he sold the operation to Jim Mattei and John Porter. Through the chain of succession, the team's final owner was Robby Gordon.[2]

Winston Cup[edit]

In 1993 Bodine, who was driving for Bud Moore Engineering at the time, decided to become an owner-driver. Earlier in the season, then-defending Winston Cup Champion Alan Kulwicki, who owned and drove for AK Racing, was killed in a plane crash as the Cup Series made its spring trip to Bristol.

Bodine was able to raise enough money to purchase the assets of Kulwicki’s former team from its caretaker, Felix Sabates, who had been providing financial backing so the team could continue running. However, he immediately ran into a problem as Kulwicki’s sponsor, Hooters, pulled out of the team immediately after Bodine took ownership. Undaunted, Bodine signed The Family Channel to be the sponsor for the remainder of the season. After The Family Channel moved over to Roush Racing for the next year, Bodine got Exide Batteries to sponsor his effort in 1994. Bodine won three times that year but finished 17th in points. He improved one spot better in 1995,

In 1996, after Exide moved to Roush, Bodine ran with QVC sponsorship and scored his final win at Watkins Glen International Raceway. He struggled in 1997, failing to qualify in a couple of races, and having his brother Todd fill in for him at the Coca-Cola 600. Despite this, he won two poles in the last two months of the season, including one that broke the track record at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

In 1998, he sold part of his ownership to Mattei and Porter, and picked up sponsorship from Philips. When Bodine got an offer to drive for Joe Bessey in 1999, he sold the rest of his team and was replaced by Michael Waltrip, as the team switched to Chevrolet. Finishing 5th in the Daytona 500, Waltrip finished the year 29th in points. Getting sponsorship from NationsRent in 2000, Waltrip's only top-ten finish that year was a 3rd at Martinsville. He left at the end of the year for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. and Mike Wallace took over.[3] During the 2000 season, the team was sold to Ultra Motorsports.

Craftsman Truck Series[edit]

Bodine Racing began racing in the new Truck Series in 1995, when Bodine drove ten races in the No. 7, with Exide sponsorship. He shared the ride with Dave Rezendes, who raced eleven times that season; together, they combined for fourteen top-ten finishes. Bodine's son Barry drove the No. 07 Tanya Tucker Salsa truck at Martinsville, but he crashed out. Rezendes raced the No. 7 full-time in 1996 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with QVC sponsoring, and he responded with three victories and a sixth-place finish in points. Bodine and Barry drove the 07 in six races, but only had one pole and top-ten.

Due to a lack of sponsorship, Rezendes was let go after two races in 1997. Tammy Jo Kirk took his place with Loveable sponsorship, becoming the first full-time female driver on the circuit.[4] She had a best finish of 11th, but was let go late in the season, and Barry Bodine finished out the season. The team closed in 1998 due to a lack of sponsorship.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zeller, Bob (May 10, 1993). "Announcement Expected to Be Made Today\ Bodine Reportedly Buys Kulwicki's Racing Team". News & Record. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  2. ^ Pearce, Al (September 12, 2000). "Owner Bessey Fires Geoffrey Bodine; He'll Finish the Season As the Driver". Daily Press. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  3. ^ Rockne, Dick (May 10, 1997). "Tammy Jo Kirk Won't Dim Her Lights -- First Woman In Truck Series Breaks Ground". The Seattle Times. Retrieved June 21, 2020.

External links[edit]