VIDEO: Geoff Bodine Among NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers
By SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME // January 18, 2017
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
ABOVE VIDEO: Geoff Bodine was named the Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year in 1982 and placed among NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. He is also listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for his 55 wins, the most wins for any driver in one season. His Winston Cup/Nextel Cup career boasts 565 starts, 37 poles, 18 wins and nearly $16 million in winnings.
GEOFF BODINE – 2014 INDUCTEE
• 1986 Daytona 500 Winner
• NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers
• Winston Cup Rookie of the Year
BEGAN RACING AT AGE 5
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Geoff Bodine believes in letting God do all the driving.
“God has led me to the right people at the right time,” said the celebrated motorsport driver. God certainly must have had sports car racing in Bodine’s future from the start.
“My parents built a racetrack on the family farm when I was one year old,” said Bodine. “They took a corn field and changed it into a track for the local guys.”
With Chemung Speedrome as his backyard and some uncles who raced as his mentors, the New York farm boy started honing his racing skills even before attending kindergarten.
“My dad built me a little race car when I was five,” said Bodine, who in turn would build his own car to race the night he graduated from high school.
God has led Bodine to many successes, including the Daytona 500 in 1986, the IROC Championship in 1987, and wins in the 1992 Bush Clash and the 1994 Winston.
Bodine was named the Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year in 1982 and placed among NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.
He is also listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for his 55 wins, the most wins for any driver in one season. His Winston Cup/Nextel Cup career boasts 565 starts, 37 poles, 18 wins and nearly $16 million in winnings.
Bodine believes God certainly was in command of his life when he survived a vicious crash at Daytona International Speedway in 2000.
Racing the #15 Line-X Ford F-150, Bodine was on the outside of two other trucks when one of them swerved into him, sending Bodine’s truck airborne and into the catch fencing at 190 miles per hour, rupturing the fuel cell and leaving everything destroyed but the roll cage.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the truck then barrel-rolled down the track, to be hit by other trucks.
“I should be dead,” said Bodine. “It’s not the kind of crash people can walk away from.”
Bodine broke his right wrist, right cheekbone, a vertebra and his right ankle and he suffered a concussion, but he survived to return to the track. Bodine believes God had a say on the outcome, perhaps because He wanted Bodine around for the many charitable endeavors the now retired driver supports.
ADVANCED BOBSLED DESIGN CHANGES FORTUNE OF U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM
While watching the 1992 Winter Olympics, Bodine learned of the United States’ struggling bobsled efforts.
He discovered that the team was depending on secondhand European equipment they had to buy themselves, so Bodine took the steering wheel on the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Company, using his race car experience, engineering background and his ample NASCAR connections to create a not-for-profit organization that supplies American athletes with American-made bobsleds, for free.
Bodine’s bobsleds have changed the fortunes of the U.S. team, now considered a serious contender in the international bobsled circuit.
Ten years after Bob-Dyn’s birth, the U.S. team drove Bo-Dyn Bobsleds to three medals at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Steve Holcomb piloted a Bo-Dyn Night Train 2 bobsled to two bronze medals at the Sochi games this year.
Bodine, together with Geoff Bodine Honda of Melbourne partner and friend A.J. Hiers, supports many local and national charities. The very approachable Bodine loves chatting with visitors to the Melbourne motor sports store and planning the next charitable endeavor God has in his future.
THE 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 12 with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. – and dinner and ceremony at 7 p.m.
For information about the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017, or to make a nomination, call 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com