June 23, 1963 |
|NASCAR Xfinity Series career|
|8 races run over 3 years|
|Best finish||73rd (2002)|
|First race||2001 MBNA Platinum 200 (Dover)|
|Last race||2003 Winn-Dixie 200 (Darlington)|
|NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career|
|70 races run over 6 years|
|Best finish||20th (2003)|
|First race||1999 NAPACARD 200 (Evergreen)|
|Last race||2004 Line-X Spray-On Truck Bedliners 200 (Michigan)|
|Statistics current as of November 29, 2012.|
Bonifield began his racing career in 1973, when he began competing with BMX bicycles. Racing across the United States, he won several championships from 1979 to 1983. In 1987, he moved to go-karts, where he raced against Kevin Harvick and Casey Mears, before competing part-time in the NASCAR Elite Division Featherlite Southwest Series in 1991.
Bonifield became a driving instructor at the Buck Baker Racing School in 1993, after he moved to the Southeast from California. Around the same time, he opened his own fabrication shop, and worked for various Winston Cup teams. In 1998, Bonifield closed his fabrication shop and began fielding entries in the Truck series. His first race as owner in a points-paying event came that season at Walt Disney World Speedway in the No. 11 Red Line Oil Chevrolet, driven by Brett Bodine, who qualified 13th but finished 32nd after an engine failure. Bodine ran two more races for Bonifield that season, both races resulting in DNFs.
In 1999, he decided to pull double duty as an owner and driver, with Tom Mazucchi coming aboard as a partner in the No. 23 Red Line Oil truck. He made his Craftsman Truck Series debut at Evergreen Speedway, finishing 30th. Bonifield would compete 13 more times that year, and finished 31st in points, and 7th in Rookie of the Year standings. In 2000, he ran just eight races, and did not finish a single race.
In 2001, Bonifield posted a career-best 24th twice, at California and Las Vegas. That same season, he began running races part-time for Impact Motorsports, and purchased Impact's owner's points and equipment after it shut down, renaming his operation Team Racing. He also made his Busch debut at the MBNA Platinum 200 for Jay Robinson Racing, starting 34th but finishing 36th after engine problems plagued the team.
In 2002, mechanical problems continued to plague Bonifield and his team, as he failed to finish any of his eleven starts that season. Despite this, he finished 31st in points. He also ran six Busch races, two for his own team, one for Danny Bost, and the rest for Means Racing. His best finish was a 30th at Fontana, the only race he finished that year. 2003 marked Bonifield's best Truck Series season, as he ran 21 of 25 races, and finished 20th in points. His best finish was 23rd at Memphis Motorsports Park.
Unfortunately, his success was not carried over into 2004. Neither Bonifield nor his team ran many races that season. Bonifield only qualified for events, and was twice parked for driving too slow. During the season, Bonifield sold the trucks to Bill Davis Racing and shut down the team. He and spent 2005 and 2006 developing ARCA and NASCAR Grand National Division, AutoZone West Series driver Andrew Myers. He returned to the Truck Series in 2006, fielding the No. 86 Chevrolet.
- Official Website
- Bonifield on NASCAR.com
- Phil Bonifield driver statistics at Racing-Reference
- Racing One
- West Series Winner Considering Truck Series Future