Posts Tagged ‘Bodine Bobsled Challange’

Monday, January 11, 2010

2010 Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge

What do racing cars, bobsledding, and Lake Placid have in common? They were all represented at this year’s Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge, held this weekend at the Olympic Sports Complex in Lake Placid.

The premise of this bobsledding race is unique; instead of bobsled athletes racing against each other, race car drivers and drag racers compete on the famous Lake Placid track. Some notable racers included Morgan Lucas (youngest professional driver on the NHRA tour), Jeg Coughlin (5 time world champion), Shawn Langdon (back-to-back world champion in 2007-2008 in the Super Comp Class), Melanie Troxel (only woman in history to win national events in Top Fuel and Funny Car, the top categories of drag racing), and Joey Logano (the youngest winner in two of NASCAR’S three top divisions).

The challenge is about more than bobsled racing; the Bodine challenge also supports Olympic bobsledding. In 1992, NASCAR veteran Geoff Bodine carried out his idea of introducing US-made sleds to the US Bobsled team. At the time, the US team was racing with European sleds and had not won a medal since the 1956 Winter Games. Bodine decided that, like racing, successful bobsledding depended on having sleds equipped with the most current technology available. The sleds were designed with NASCAR technology, and eventually the US Team broke the Olympic drought when they won silver, bronze (4 man event) and gold (women’s competition) in the 2002 games. Now they are consistent competitors on the World Cup circuit.

Started in 2005, the Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge is also a fundraiser to continue the advance in US Bobsled technology. It also gives NASCAR drivers a chance to drive a bobsled and hopefully inspire them to contribute to the project.

This year, the overall winner was Melanie Troxel, the first woman to ever compete in the event. She raced brilliantly, and noted the differences between bobsledding and racing. “It was a totally new experience and a lot to take in,” she said, “I noticed that you get beat around in the sled a lot more, and have to hold your position. I hope to be back next year.”
For more information on the Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge and the US Bobsled project, visit the Geoff Bodine challenge website.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

NHRA vs. NASCAR Bobsled Race to Air on SPEED Channel

The second race of the 4th Annual Whelen Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge airs Sunday, January 25 from 4 PM – 6 PM EST on The SPEED Channel. This bobsled race features drivers from the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) taking on the drivers from NASCAR in a charity event. The Bodine Bobsled Challenge features NASCAR and NHRA drivers piloting specially-made bobsleds down Lake Placid’s famous track in fun races geared to raise money for the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project. The New York Army National Guard has provided soldiers as brakemen for the bobsled drivers the past three years.

Race 1, which already aired this past Sunday, saw Todd Bodine snap Boris Said’s streak of five consecutive wins in the Bodine Bobsled Challenge to win his first gold in bobsledding competition. Bodine turned in a combined time of one minute, 39.18 seconds to claim victory. Joey Logano took silver with a 1:39.58. Larry Gunselman earned bronze with a 1:39.60.

In the NHRA versus NASCAR showdown, Team NHRA is comprised of Top Fuel drivers Morgan Lucas, JR Todd, Bob Vandergriff and Pro Stock driver Jeg Coughlin, Jr. This will be the third event for Lucas and Todd, with Lucas giving NASCAR driver Boris Said a run for his money in last year’s NASCAR versus NHRA showdown before losing to Said in the final round. Lucas has also won two silvers medals during this event. Todd is looking to improve upon his Top 10 finishes. Vandergriff placed ninth in his first race last year, and then lost to Lucas in the NHRA final round.

Coughlin is a four-time NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Champion, and is currently the two-time defending champion (2000, 2002, 2007, and 2008). Coughlin won the bronze medal as a bobsledding rookie in his first race last year, fifth in this year, and is looking to dethrone fellow NHRA competitor Morgan Lucas as the top bobsled driver on the dragster circuit.

The NASCAR field will be lead by five-time Bodine Bobsled Champion Boris Said. Said has commented in the past that maybe “bobsledding is in my genes” as his father Bob Said was an Olympic bobsled competitor.

Joining Said is NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie driving sensation Logano as well as the Bodine Brothers. Geoff Bodine is a co-founder of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc., and namesake for the Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge. Last year Geoff played the gracious host and didn’t compete in the races, instead giving advice and words of encouragement to the drivers. But this year Geoff climbs back into the pilot sled and is aiming to win his own event. Todd Bodine, the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Champion and brother of the Bodine Challenge founder Geoff Bodine, has participated in every Bodine Bobsled Challenge, earning his first victory in Race 1. He’s looking to upset his older brother and take home his second gold of the event. “Sliced Bread” Logano competed last year in the Bodine Bobsled Challenge, finishing eighth, and finished an impressive second to Todd Bodine in Race 1.

The Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc., was started in 1992 by NASCAR driver Geoff Bodine, and has built American-made bobsleds for United States athletes competing in the World Cup, World Championships and Olympic Winter Games. Monies raised from the Bodine Bobsled Challenge go directly to this project.

For more information on the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc., or the Bodine Bobsled Challenge, visit www.bodynbobsled.com.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Car Arrives in Lake Placid

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Army National Guard #88 car of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. arrived in Lake Placid, N.Y. last night. The car is one of 12 that Junior will use during this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The New York National Guard will display the car in front of the Olympic Center all day Friday before moving it to the Olympic Sports Complex for the 4th Annual Whelen Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge this Saturday and Sunday.

New York Army National Guard Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion 108th Infantry from the North Country and Saratoga region will team up with NASCAR and NHRA drivers as brakemen for the two-man bobsled team competition. The National Guard is an event sponsor this year and a bobsled painted in the colors of the #88 “Guard Car” will be racing.

This year’s field of drivers is comprised of the following: NASCAR drivers Boris Said, Joey Logano, Philip Morris, Brian Loftin, Todd Bodine, Eric Curran and Tom Tolbert; and NHRA drivers Jeg Coughlin, Jr., Morgan Lucas, JR Todd, and Bob Vandergriff. Previously scheduled drivers Johnny Benson and Ted Christopher withdrew from the event.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bodine Bobsled Challenge Announces Drivers

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion Johnny Benson and NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Champion Jeg Coughlin, Jr. have signed on to compete in the 4th Annual Whelen Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge, slated for January 2-4, 2009 at the Olympic Sports Complex.

Benson, who competed in his first Bodine Bobsled Challenge last year, won his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Championship this year. Last year, the driver finished third in the final standings, and was runner-up to fellow Bodine bobsled competitor Todd Bodine in 2006. Benson is making his second appearance in the Challenge and is hoping to improve his bobsledding results.

Coughlin is a four-time NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Champion, and is currently the two-time defending champion (2000, 2002, 2007, and 2008). Coughlin won the bronze medal as a bobsledding rookie in his first race and is looking to dethrone fellow NHRA competitor Morgan Lucas as the top bobsled driver on the dragster circuit.

The Bodine Bobsled Challenge features NASCAR and NHRA drivers piloting specially-made bobsleds down Lake Placid’s infamous track in fun races geared to raise money for the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project. In Race 1, all the drivers will be competing against the clock as they take two runs down the track. Race 2 features head-to-head racing between the NASCAR and NHRA drivers, with the winner from each division squaring off in the final heat for bragging rights.

The NASCAR field will be lead by five-time Bodine Bobsled Champion Boris Said. Said has dominated the bobsledding field, losing only the first-ever Bodine Bobsled race to Kevin Lepage. Said has commented in the past that maybe “bobsledding is in my genes” as his father Bob Said was an Olympic bobsled competitor.

Joining Said is NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie driving sensation Joey Logano as well as the 2008 NASCAR Whelen racing series champions Philip Morris, Brian Loftin and Ted Christopher. “Sliced Bread” Logano competed last year in the Bodine Bobsled Challenge, finishing eighth. Morris, a 2007 Bodine Bobsled Challenge participant, is returning again this year after winning the 2008 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Championship. Loftin clinched the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour by a mere 30 points for his first career NASCAR championship while Christopher won the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Championship to claim his place in the bobsledding field.

Rounding out the drivers is Todd Bodine, the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Champion and brother of the Bodine Challenge founder Geoff Bodine, Daytona Rolex pole winner Eric Curran and19-year-old sprint car driver Tom Tolbert out of Ohio. Bodine has participated in every Bodine Bobsled Challenge and has started a similar support program for the U.S. Skeleton Federation. Curran, a road course racing ace, has competed in the NASCAR Camping World Series, American Le Mans, Grand Am Rolex, Koni Challenge and World Challenge GT series. He and Tolbert will be part of this year’s bobsled rookie class.

Coughlin will be joined by NHRA Top Fuel drivers Morgan Lucas, JR Todd, and Bob Vandergriff. This will be the third event for Lucas and Todd, with Lucas giving Said a run for his money in last year’s NASCAR versus NHRA showdown before losing to Said in the final round. Lucas has bought his own sled for this competition and has Said in his sights. Lucas has also won two silvers medals during this event. Todd is looking to improve upon his Top 10 finishes. Vandergriff placed ninth in his first race last year, and then lost to Lucas in the NHRA final round.

The Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc., was started in 1992 by NASCAR driver Geoff Bodine, and has built American-made bobsleds for United States athletes competing in the World Cup, World Championships and Olympic Winter Games. Monies raised from the Bodine Bobsled Challenge go directly to this project.

SPEED channel will again televise four hours of the Whelen Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge, on Jan. 18 at noon and Jan. 25 at 2 pm. MRN Radio has signed on to provide live coverage of the Bodine Bobsled Challenge all three days.

The Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project concept paid dividends with gold, silver and bronze medals in the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Game, the first time that the USA Bobsled Team won Olympic medals since 1956, and scored again with silver in Torino. New sled designs are being created by Bodine and sled builder Bob Cuneo of Chassis Dynamics in Connecticut. It will be tested during national and international competitions leading up to the next Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010.

Other sponsors of the Whelen Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge include Columbia Sportswear Company, MAC Tools, Racing Electronics, PPG, Lucas Oil, JEGS Automotive, Summitt Building Solutions, EXA and the National Guard.