Past Bodine Bobsled Challenge Jumps to News
2011 - Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge - no event scheduled
2010 - 5th Annual Lucas Oil Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge
2009 - 4th Annual Whelen Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge
2008 - 3rd Annual Chevy Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge
2007 - 2nd Annual Chevrolet Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge
2006 - 1st Annual Chevrolet Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge
Geoff Bodine working on new bobsled: Former NASCAR driver Geoff Bodine is spending more time these days at international bobsled courses than American oval tracks. Since 1992, the 18-time NASCAR Sprint Cup winner has helped transform the United States Olympic bobsled team from also-rans into contenders with his Bo-Dyn sleds. The Chemung native's Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project has helped the U.S. earn six Olympic medals, two of them gold. The American team will try to defend its gold medal in four-man competition during the 2013 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, in February. Bodine was in Europe last week to oversee the development of his latest project — an affordable and low maintenance multi-use training bobsled that was tailored for use by paralympions. Bodine, who built his first prototype Paralympic sled seven years ago, said other manufacturers build sleds to hold one person while his can accommodate two. They are being fabricated in Mooresville, N.C., and assembled in a shop in nearby Huntersville owned by NASCAR racer Joey Logano and his father, Tom. Bo-Dyn sleds, which are also assembled in the Logano shop, are built solely for American athletes at no charge. Bodine's multi-purpose sleds are built through the for-profit Geoff Bodine Bobsled Company. Besides paralympians, the sleds will also be made available for all athletes from any nation to train on. They'll cost about $20,000. See more at Elmira Star-Gazette.(11-29-2013)
The 2011 Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge in Lake Placid has been canceled. More details will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.
Bodine sleds to move to NC, no event in 2011: Geoff Bodine and current NASCAR Sprint Cup racer Joey Logano have teamed up to help one another in their own charitable causes. Bodine started the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project in 1992 as a way of helping the U.S. Olympic Bobsled team get its program up to speed. Its success culminated at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games in British Columbia, when the men's four-man team rode "Night Train" to the country's first Olympic gold medal in the sport in 62 years.
The program had been based in Bob Cuneo's Chassis Dynamics shop in Oxford, Conn., since its inception. In 2011, the building and maintenance of the Bo-Dyn sleds will move to Mooresville, N.C., where Logano and his father, Tom, are building a new shop in which they will donate some of the space to the bobsled project. Bodine, 61, said his bobsled project, a non-profit entity, doesn't have much money. It's not just a one-way deal, however, as Bodine will help the Loganos with the Paralympics hockey program they support by fabricating their equipment. Joey Logano, 20, helped fund the U.S. Paralympics Sled Hockey team, which won a gold medal in March during the Paralympics Games in Vancouver. Logano just concluded his second full season in NASCAR's top Sprint Cup division with Joe Gibbs Racing.
A three-year participant in Bodine's Bobsled Challenge in Lake Placid, Logano won for the first time last January in the fifth annual event, capturing the NHRA vs. NASCAR competition.
Bodine said the 2011 Bobsled Challenge, scheduled for Jan. 7-9, will probably not take place.
"We were trying to do it, but with the timing of the move and the economy, it looks like we'll have to postpone it for another year," he said. "We're planning something else and will make an announcement as soon as we finalize that deal. I think it will be even bigger than what we've been doing." Bodine said he's been looking for new shop space for a few years after Cuneo told him he'd like to scale back his involvement. "Bob's still our consultant and engineer, but he's giving up the fabricating and mechanical building of the sleds," Bodine said.
Cheech Gardi, a student for Cuneo when they built Modified race cars for Bodine, will head the operation in Mooresville. Gardi also worked with Bodine for Rick Hendrick Racing's Levi-Garrett team in the 1980s before establishing his own race-parts fabricating business. One of the first tasks for the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project after it moves into the new shop next spring will be to build an economic training sled available for any country to purchase for their race programs. "We're going to build one that is very affordable to buy and maintain," Bodine said. Bodine said a competitive Olympic training bobsled costs between $50,000 and $100,000. He said the hope is to market the new training sled for between $15,000 and $20,000.
"Now that the Olympics are over and things have calmed down, we have some time to move forward with this project," he said. "It will be a great sled to learn and train on. When the shop opens, we will hopefully be ready to start manufacturing them." Bodine hopes it will be a revenue generator. "Sponsorship is getting harder to find and fundraising is getting more difficult," he said. "We have to figure out a way to fund the project, and this takes us in a new direction." The training sled also will serve as the base for a new Paralympics bobsled that Bodine said they've been "given the opportunity to build" for other countries. "This is something I've wanted to do for a number of years," said Bodine, who first built a Paralympics sled four years ago. "We're not just doing it to generate money to help fund the bobsled project; we're contributing to a worthy cause."(Elmira Star Gazette)(12-8-2010)
BMW to support USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation: Still basking in the glory of a gold medal finish at the Vancouver Games, the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation recently received a serious boost in horsepower from car maker BMW that has team officials and athletes revved up about the approaching 2010-2011 World Cup season. Under a new four-year agreement, BMW Group has become the Official Mobility Partner of the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (USBSF). Aside from financial support, the BMW Group will help athletes train more effectively while assisting sled designers tweak their already lightning-fast designs. Like the USA Bobsled team, which collected its first four-man gold medal in 62 years this February, the BMW Group also is reveling in a recent win, having helped BMW Oracle Racing triumph at the illustrious America's Cup sailing competition this year. BMW's expertise in utilizing ultra-lightweight materials and advanced aerodynamics helped the BMW Oracle Racing Team design a state-of-the-art yacht that brought the coveted America's Cup trophy to the USA for the first time in more than a decade. The nine-event 2010-2011 World up schedule begins Nov. 22-28 in Whistler, Canada, and team members are hoping to take some big steps forward with BMW in the 100-plus days before the season begins.(Geiger Media)(8-10-2010)
Bodine's bobsled wins GOLD: The United States Olympic drought that lasted over several generations of bobsledders and at least one lifetime ended Sunday afternoon when driver Steve Holcomb drove his Bo-Dyn four man crew to a gold medal at the Whistler Sliding Center. It marked the first four-man gold medal since the Winter Games of 1948. Helped by track records in the opening two heats on Saturday, Holcomb, with crew members Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler and Curt Tomasevicz on the brakes came to the 16-turn track Sunday with a .4 of a second lead over Canada’s Lyndon Rush and .44 ahead of German icon Andre Lange. Holcomb, in the Bo-Dyn Night Train bobsled that captured the world championship one year ago, extended the advantage to .45 with the best third run. With no troubles on the fast and treacherous course, the Night Train safely negotiated its way to the third best final leg and wound up defeating Lange by .38 of a second. Rush, second through the first three runs, was overtaken by Lange in the finale and placed another .01 behind and in the bronze medal position.
Then, for Holcomb, it was the reality of the moment. "No, it's just like last week [during the two-man race] walking through the media zone, but it's a little different talking about gold medals," he stated afterward. "It'll take a little while to sink in. You work so hard to get somewhere and you finally get there and you're kinda like 'Now what?’ I don't know what to do, but at the same time, these guys have been training so hard and working so hard for pretty much the last four years, to finally end on a high note like this is huge." Holcomb and crew totaled three minutes, 24.46 seconds for their four heats. Lange’s silver medal time was 3:24.84, while Rush clocked in with 3:24.85.
"It’s been a long road. We’ve been building this for quite some time," sighed Darrin Steele, CEO of the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation. "The athletes have been amazing. Steve’s crew had the fastest pushes and he’s a great driver. There are lots of proud people celebrating in our little family. Steve always had a gift. He was working on his skills for a long time. He is a hell of an athlete... a hell of a driver. It’s a great day for the USA."
It was the perfect storm of great driving, outstanding coaching, team chemistry and camaraderie and the evolution of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project. "With the Bo-Dyn Project, our sleds are as good or better than the competition. But we’ve also built a pipeline of talent. No one gets complacent. They came into the season in the best shape I’ve ever seen them."(bodynbobsled.com)(2-28-2010)
Probably no event in 2011: Geoff Bodine said the 2011 Bobsled Challenge in Lake Placid, scheduled for Jan. 7-9, will probably not take place. "We were trying to do it, but with the timing of the move and the economy, it looks like we'll have to postpone it for another year," he said. "We're planning something else and will make an announcement as soon as we finalize that deal. I think it will be even bigger than what we've been doing."(Elmira Star Gazette)(12-8-2010)
Auctions thru Feb 1st: the Geoff Bodine Bobsled Project is holding eBay auctions on itesm from the 2010 Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge. The bids will help support the US Olympic team as they compete for the gold in Vancouver and beyond! Geoff Bodine has been helping the US Bobsled effort since 1992 to make sure our athletes can afford the best AMERICAN MADE equipment. These items were donated to help raise money to ensure that Team USA has the tools they need to succeed.
To see items and bid, go to eBay.com
The Fifth Annual Lucas Oil Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge presented by Whelen Engineering concluded on Sunday with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano a winner.
Logano defeated Melanie Troxel from the NHRA in Sunday’s Race 2 finals, which pitted the fastest NASCAR representative against the fastest from the NHRA. Logano’s run of 49.81 seconds edged the 50.08 of Troxel, who was the champion of Race 1 earlier in the day.
“I'm happy with my time, and it makes it a ton of fun to finally get a win,” Logano said. “This is a blast.”
A three-year participant in the Bodine Bobsled Challenge, Sunday’s Race 2 overall win was the first in a bobsled for Logano. Logano recorded the second-fastest time, just behind NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Todd Bodine, during the first round of competition against his fellow NASCAR competitors, and advanced to the semifinals in the head-to-head portion of the racing with a win against part-time driver and ESPN NASCAR analyst Boris Said. Logano then defeated Bodine in the semifinals to earn a match-up with Troxel.
“I'm still not that good, but I got lucky,” Logano said. “I just keep asking questions. Same as in my Cup car, I just ask questions. I didn't think I had a chance against her.” Troxel made it to the finals of Race 2 by recording the fastest time among her NHRA competitors in the first round, then defeated Morgan Lucas in the semifinals.
Earlier in the day the event’s 10 participants competed in Race 1, which determined an overall winner based on the combined time of two runs. Troxel took top honors with a composite time of 1:39.33 to just edge fellow NHRA representative Jeg Coughlin Jr. at 1:39.40. Said was third overall, and fastest among the NASCAR drivers at 1:39.69. Bodine was fourth at 1:39.82.
Shawn Langdon (NHRA, 1:40.12), Morgan Lucas (1:40.32), Logano (1:40.40), Philip Morris (NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, 1:40.53), George Brunnhoelzl III (NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, 1:40.97) and Carl Renezeder (Off-road racer, 1:41.16) rounded out the Race 1 results.
Said recorded the fastest single run of any competitor on Sunday, a trip of 49.21 seconds during the first round of Race 1.
The Bodine Bobsled Challenge was held on Mount Van Hovenburg in rural Lake Placid, site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, and the 2009 World Bobsled Championships. The event is geared to create awareness and greater funding for the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc., which provides made-in-America bobsleds for the United States men's and women's national teams.
Action from the Fifth Annual Lucas Oil Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge presented by Whelen Engineering will air on SPEED on Jan. 24 and Jan. 31.
NOTES: Troxel was the first female to participate in the Bodine Bobsled Challenge in the event’s five-year history … Renezeder was Saturday’s fastest qualifier … An off-road racer who is not affiliated with NASCAR or NHRA, Renezeder competed with the NHRA in Sunday’s Race 2 … Corey LaJoie, son of former NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Randy LaJoie, qualified for Bodine on Saturday.
Race 1 (winner decided by combined times of two runs)
1. Melanie Troxel – NHRA (1:39.33)
2. Jeg Coughlin Jr – NHRA (1:39.40)
3. Boris Said – NASCAR (1:39.69)
4. Todd Bodine – NASCAR (1:39.82)
5. Shawn Langdon – NHRA (1:40.12)
6. Morgan Lucas – NHRA (1:40.32)
7. Joey Logano – NASCAR (1:40.40)
8. Philip Morris – NASCAR (1:40.53)
9. George Brunnhoelzl III – NASCAR (1:40.97)
10. Carl Renezeder (1:41.16)
NASCAR Round 1:
1. Todd Bodine (50.16)
2. Joey Logano (50.31
3. Boris Said (50.32)
4. Philip Morris (50.71)
5. George Brunnhoelzl III (50.90)
NHRA Round 1:
1. Melanie Troxel (49.60)
2. Morgan Lucas (50.06)
3. Carl Renezeder (50.25)
4. Jeg Coughlin Jr. (50.26)
5. Shawn Langdon (50.32)
NASCAR Round 2:
Joey Logano (50.00) def. Boris Said (50.03)
NHRA Round 2:
Morgan Lucas (DNF) def. Carl Renezeder (DNF)
Joey Logano (49.70) def. Todd Bodine (50.12)
Melanie Troxel (50.12) def. Morgan Lucas (50.14)
NASCAR vs. NHRA Final:
Joey Logano (49.81) def. Melanie Troxel (50.08)(NASCAR)(1-11-2010)
SPEED Channel will again televise four hours of the Bobsled Challenge, scheduled dates/times.
January 24, 2010 on SPEED at 12:00pm/et and 8:00pm/et and
January 31, 2010 on SPEED at 5:00pm/et and 8:00pm/et.
Renezeder leads Bobsled Challenge qualifying: Carl Renezeder made the long trip from California pay off Saturday as the off-road racer lead all qualifiers in the Lucas Oil Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge presented by Whelen Engineering. Renezeder made the quick adjustment in speeds from yesterday's introductory practice session. When the overnight weather changed from snowy and humid to clear and cold, the three-quarters of a mile, 16 turn course on Mount Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid got noticeably faster. "It felt different than yesterday," said Renezeder, whose most recent win came last month in the Lucas Oil Off-Road Challenge in California. "I tried to feel the exit speed in each curve." Counting the best of two heats, Renezeder's top time of 50.66 seconds gave him the top seed for Sunday morning's all-in race against the clock and the afternoon NASCAR versus NHRA challenge match. "I'll sleep pretty good knowing that I can run with everybody," continued Renezeder. He blasted through the curve 14 speed trap at nearly 62 miles per hour. Like most first-timers, Renezeder was duly impressed with the sensations of the sport. "I'm definitely hooked. This is on my list of things to continue to do," he stated. "The feeling is indescribable. The sense of speed is amazing. It happens so fast. The key is to be smooth. You feel the speed in the seat of your pants. It gives you the feeling of how to react."
NASCAR Rookie of the Year was Joey Logano qualified second with a clocking of 50.79. NHRA's Morgan Lucas was third in 51.13. Jeg Coughlin, Jr., was fourth; Shawn Langdon fifth; Cory LaJoie, son of Randy LaJoie, qualified sixth; Phillip Morris seventh; Melanie Troxel, the first female in the history of the Bodine Challenge, was eighth; Boris Said, the most dominant competitor over the previous four years, drifted back to ninth; George Brunnhoelzl III was 10th. After tonight's gala dinner and auction fundraiser, race action resumes Sunday at 10:00am/et. Speed Channel is on site with top-to-bottom coverage and poised to televise the Challenge with a pair of two hour shows on Jan. 24 and Jan. 31.(Bobsled Challenge)(1-10-2010)
SPEED Channel will again televise four hours of the Bobsled Challenge, scheduled dates/times.
January 24, 2010 on SPEED at 12:00pm/et and 8:00pm/et and
January 31, 2010 on SPEED at 5:00pm/et and 8:00pm/et.
Joey Logano, driver of the #20 Home Depot Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series announced today, Wednesday, Sept. 16, that he will again compete in the 5th Annual Lucas Oil Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge presented by Whelen Engineering to be staged in Lake Placid, N.Y. January 8-10, 2010.
The Bodine Bobsled Challenge features NASCAR and NHRA drivers piloting specially-made bobsleds down Lake Placid’s infamous track in two different races geared to raise money for the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project.
Geoff Bodine, 1986 winner of the Daytona 500, teamed with Chassis Dynamics in 1992 to form The Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project which builds American-made bobsleds for United States athletes. The sleds have been a tremendous success at all levels of competition, including World Cup, World Championships and Olympic competitions, where the United States consistently finds itself on medal podiums. During the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games, the U.S. squad mined gold, silver and bronze medals and broke an Olympic podium drought that dated back 46 years. Just four years later, in Torino, Italy, Team USA won more Olympic hardware… this time silver.
Just last season, Steve Holcomb guided his 4-man team to a world championship gold medal, marking the first time a U.S. sled had won a world championship Gold medal since 1959. That finish has also placed Holcomb and his crew as one of the favorites to win an Olympic medal at the 2010 Winter Games this February in Vancouver, Canada.
Logano will compete for the third time in the Challenge. Last year he almost won Race-One, finishing second to Todd Bodine.
SPEED Channel will again televise four hours of the Bobsled Challenge, scheduled dates/times.
January 24, 2010 on SPEED at 12:00pm/et and 8:00pm/et and
January 31, 2010 on SPEED at 5:00pm/et and 8:00pm/et.
Monies raised from the Bodine Bobsled Challenge go directly to this project.
Fan packages, interactive offerings and event merchandise for the 5th Annual Lucas Oil Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge may be purchased online at www.bodynbobsled.com. Or go to www.lakeplacid.com for reservations.
Olympic bobsled builder moving to North Carolina: A non-profit company that's used NASCAR racing technology to supply the U.S. Olympic bobsled teams with faster rides is moving to the heart of stock-car country in North Carolina. Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project Inc. says it will move from Connecticut to Concord after next month's Vancouver Olympics. The corporation was founded by NASCAR legend Geoff Bodine 18 years ago to ensure U.S. sleds would be made in America with racing know-how. Bo-Dyn Bobsled says in Thursday's statement that the leader of the Colchester, Conn., company that fabricated the metal sleds is retiring and the work will be taken over by technicians who have worked with other NASCAR teams.(Associated Press)(1-26-2010)
Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project keeps Kohn's Olympic Dream alive: It was the kind of situation that in previous years might have meant the end of a world-class athlete's Olympic aspirations. Here was Mike Kohn, driving, literally, to become the third American sled in the upcoming Vancouver Winter Olympics. The affable pilot, having been a brakeman on Brian Shimer's Olympic bronze medal-winning four-man crew in Salt Lake City, was the dominant driver in Lake Placid's America's Cup events prior to Christmas with four gold medals and one silver medal in five starts. The 37-year-old was now getting the scent of another Olympic Games, this time in western Canada. But it was the Made-in-America Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project that enabled Kohn to keep hope alive in the America's Cup, a circuit akin to Triple-A baseball. During a Wednesday training run for an America's Cup four-man event on the weekend, Kohn crashed, rendering the sled inoperable without spending hours in a shop repairing the damage. Unfortunately, he didn't have hours on his side -- just one hour to get to the start -- for the mandatory second training run.
Without a back-up sled, Kohn, a sergeant in the Army National Guard, could not have started. Instead, he went to the new Whelen Bodine Bobsled Race Shop at the foot of Mount Van Hoevenberg, and pulled out a Bo-Dyn craft that not only got him the second training run, but also enabled him to step to the top rung of the podium later in the week.
The America's Cup points that he accumulated, with the Bo-Dyn Project's help, gives Kohn a chance to compete at the Whistler Sliding Center, site of the bobsled events at the Vancouver Winter Games. He'll step up to the World Cup in January and race the tracks in Koenigsee, Germany; the natural course in St. Moritz, Switzerland; and Igls, Austria having to outperform most likely Canada and Russia for the right to be named USA III behind Steve Holcomb and John Napier.(Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project)(12-30-2009)
USA Bobsledders and Bo-Dyn 'golden' once again?: Bo-Dyn bobsleds were running fast once again over the weekend in Winterberg, Germany, as Steve Holcomb took gold in his four-man "Night Train" bobsled. In a tight race, Team USA racer John Napier finished fifth in the same event. Erin Pac raced to a bronze in the ladies competition, just .01 of a second from the silver medal. Pac's medal continued the success of the Bo-Dyn sled in women's racing as it came on the heels of Shauna Rohbock's victory the previous week in Italy. The victory at the World Cup stop in Winterberg was the third straight for Holcomb with his four-man crew. It pushed the Germans back to places 2-3-4, including runner-up Andre Lange, the most decorated Olympic bobsledder in history. The USA men's team has won six of the last seven four-man World Cup races dating back to last season. The USA men are hoping Bo-Dyn technology will help them end an Olympic gold medal drought dating back 62 years to 1948 when they race in the Vancouver Winter Games two months from now. Meanwhile, American women are looking to add to their medal achievements at the upcoming Olympics. The sport was introduced in 2002 when Jill Bakken, guiding a Bo-Dyn sled, brought home a gold medal in Salt Lake City. Four years later, Rohbock tacked on the Olympic silver medal at the Torino Games in Italy. The USA men and women will continue this weekend at the demanding course in Altenberg, Germany, before the World Cup circuit takes its holiday break.(Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project)(12-16-2009)
Johnson and Troxel to compete at Bodine Bobsled Challenge: The first couple of drag racing, Tommy Johnson Jr. and his wife Melanie Troxel, will test their mettle on legendary Mount Van Hoevenberg, Jan. 8-10, during the fifth annual Lucas Oil Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge presented by Whelen. Johnson and Troxel join Morgan Lucas, Shawn Langdon, and Jeg Coughlin Jr. as members of Team NHRA. As such, they will try their best to take home bobsledding glory for the straight-liners in the annual winter match-up against Team NASCAR, led by legend Geoff Bodine and newly-crowned Rookie of the Year Joey Logano. The Lucas Oil Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge presented by Whelen raises money for the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, a collaborative effort between Bodine and Chassis Dynamics to make the best bobsleds in the world for U.S. athletes. Since the start of the project, USA Bobsledders have gone from also-rans to top contenders on the world stage that routinely wins medals at the world championships and the Olympics.(12-15-2009)
Three more drivers added to Lucas Oil Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge: Whelen Engineering, modified tour title sponsor for NASCAR and presenting sponsor of the Lucas Oil Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge in Lake Placid, N.Y., has announced its three driver entries into the Bodine field that will compete Jan. 8-10. Donny Lia, George Brunnhoelzl III and Phillip Morris, via their 2009 Whelen Engineering championships, have been invited to drive bobsleds in next month's Bodine Challenge. The event raises awareness and funding for Geoff Bodine's Made-in-America initiative that designs and builds bobsleds for the United States men's and women's teams. These drivers will join Joey Logano, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year, on the NASCAR team that will race against NHRA star Morgan Lucas, Shawn Langdon, Jeg Coughlin Jr., and others on the bobsled track in Lake Placid. The formats pit the drivers against the clock, and a NASCAR versus NHRA competition.(12-8-2009)
U.S. bobsledders test at wind tunnel in Mooresville: Mooresville NC, the town known as Race City USA for its many motorsports shops was the place to be Wednesday for America's top men and women bobsledders. They came to gain an edge on the competition, six months before the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C. The four men and two women put on suits and helmets and got into their bobsleds at A2 Wind Tunnel off Mazeppa Road. Gigantic electric fans pulled air at up to 85mph to simulate racing speeds and study how changes in the way the competitors positioned themselves could improve performance. A2's wind tunnel rises to about 30feet at one end. Its fans sound like a jet engine throttling up. A computer system analyzes whether the bobsledders gained or lost time based on such factors as how they placed themselves in the sled and even which helmet they wear. Wind tunnels are long chambers more commonly associated with stock-car testing. Gary Eaker, former aerodynamics chief at Hendrick Motorsports, opened A2 several years ago beside his larger AeroDYN Wind Tunnel. Mooresville might be the perfect setting for such world-class competitors, as U.S. bobsledding can trace a lot of its success the past two decades to NASCAR veteran Geoff Bodine, 1986 winner of the Daytona 500. Bodine created a in 1992 called the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project after he noticed U.S. Olympic bobsledders competing with European-made sleds. The U.S. team had not won a medal in the sport since the 1956 Games. Bodine started the nonprofit with Connecticut-based Chassis Dynamics, whose president, Robert Cuneo, was Bodine's engineer when Bodine owned a NASCAR team.(see more at the Charlotte Observer)(7-18-2009)
Dates: January, 2-5, 2008
DAY 2 - Bodine, Lucas wins Bobsled Challenge: Boris Said is no longer king of the mountain. Todd Bodine and Morgan Lucas have taken his place. Bodine laid down a fast first run, then held on to edge Joe Gibbs Racing phenom Joey Logano on Sunday and capture the first race at the fourth annual Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge. Lucas beat Bodine in the spectacular second race. Said, who had won all but one of the first six races since the unique event's inception, finished sixth in the first race and was eliminated in the second. Geoff Bodine started the Bobsled Challenge in an effort to raise funds for the U.S. men's and women's bobsled teams. It features NASCAR and NHRA drivers piloting specially made bobsleds, with members of the New York State Army National Guard serving as brakemen. Todd Bodine, with brakeman Patrick Furman, of nearby Plattsburgh, N.Y., was the only driver to break 50 seconds on both runs of the first race down the difficult Mount Van Hoevenberg track. That left his older brother scratching his head. Bodine and Furman finished with a combined time of 1 minute, 39.18 seconds to beat Logano by 0.40 seconds. Still, Logano again proved he's a quick study. He struggled in his inaugural appearance a year ago. NASCAR Nationwide driver Larry Gunselman's second run was the fastest of the race but left him in third, just 0.02 behind Logano. Lucas, who competes in NHRA's top fuel class, was fourth, followed by Funny Car driver Jeg Coughlin Jr., road racers Said and Eric Curran, and NASCAR Whelen series star Brian Loftin. The bottom four sleds were eliminated after the first run, which left ASA driver Danny Bagwell, top fuel drivers JR Todd and Bob Vandergriff, and Whelen racing series champion Philip Morris watching. The second race was an elimination contest featuring four drivers from NHRA and four from NASCAR. Lucas edged Todd to earn the NHRA berth in the final run against Bodine, who remained the class of the field in eliminating Geoff Bodine, Said, and Logano. For the finale, U.S. coaches Brian Shimer and Bill Tavares acted as brakemen because Lucas and Todd Bodine were piloting Bo-Dyn bobsleds used by the U.S. team. And that provided a dramatic finish.
Lucas and Tavares went first, and the speeds increased substantially in the sleeker sleds. Lucas finished nearly 2 seconds faster than in any of his previous runs, and he was lucky to finish. He nearly flipped in one of the final turns before steering hard to prevent it as Tavares' head whipped sideways, scraping the ice-covered wall. Not to be outdone, Todd Bodine continued his mastery of the tricky layout, posting even faster splits than Lucas as he rocketed toward the bottom. But after building a lead of a quarter second, Bodine wasn't as lucky entering the same turn that had nearly derailed Lucas -- his shiny red sled flipped to give Lucas the triumph.(ESPN/AP)(1-5-2009)
DAY 1 - qualifying:Camping World Truck Series veteran Todd Bodine put his experience in a bobsled to good use Saturday evening when he turned in the fastest time in qualifying for the Fourth Annual Whelen Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge at the Olympic Sports Complex. As one of two drivers that competed in each of the previous three Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenges, Todd Bodine, younger brother of the challenge’s namesake, recorded afternoon practice runs of 52.14 and 52.26 seconds. As the last driver up in the qualifying round, the younger Bodine turned in a 52.20 in time trials to just edge Larry Gunselman at the top of the board by .01 seconds. Gunselman, who made 17 starts in the Nationwide Series in 2008, posted the two fastest afternoon practice times (51.81/51.85), but his qualifying run of 52.21 was bested only by Todd Bodine. Morgan Lucas, a NHRA Top Fuel driver, was third-fastest in Saturday’s qualifying at 52.40 seconds. Also representing NASCAR in the event is five-time Bodine Bobsled Challenge winner and part-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Boris Said, 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Joey Logano, 2008 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Champion Philip Morris and 2008 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Champion Brian Loftin. Also participating this weekend is road racing specialist Eric Curran and Danny Bagwell from the ISCARS Dash Touring Series along with NHRA racers Jeg Coughlin, J.R. Todd and Bob Vandergriff. The brakemen for each of the drivers are New York State National Guardsmen. Even host Geoff Bodine, a former Sprint Cup Series driver and founder of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, participated in the practice session but did not have a run in time trials. He will compete only in the head-to-head portion of Sunday’s finals. SPEED channel is set to televise four hours of the Whelen Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge on Jan. 18 at noon and Jan. 25 at 2 pm. MRN Radio is also providing live coverage of the Bodine Bobsled Challenge all three days.(NASCAR PR)
Whelen Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge – Qualifying
Race Sunday; Qualifying Saturday
Olympic Sports Complex, Lake Placid, N.Y.
Driver, Time (Secs.)
1. Todd Bodine, 52.20
2. Larry Gunselman, 52.21
3. Morgan Lucas, 52.40
4(t). Philip Morris, 52.74
4(t). Jeg Coughlin, 52.74
6. Eric Curran, 52.76
7. Joey Logano, 52.78
8. Brian Loftin, 52.82
9. Boris Said, 52.87
10. J.R. Todd, 53.14
11. Bob Vandergriff, 53.22
12. Danny Bagwell, 53.30
Dates: January, 3-5, 2008
Said wins 3rd Annual Bobsled Challenge: Boris Said has been bobsledding longer than any of the other drivers at the 3rd Annual Chevy Bodine Bobsled Challenge presented by Whelen Engineering, but he's still learning new tricks. He utilized some of what he picked up Saturday morning to successfully defend his title. In his second championship run, Said shaved more than 1.5 seconds off his time to beat L.W. Miller and three other finalists. Said's two runs were 52.12 and 50.53 seconds, for a total time of 1:42.65. Miller, the 2007 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion, posted the fastest first run time at 52.11 and finished second overall at 1:43.37. Three-time NHRA Powerade Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin was third with an overall time of 1:43.99, followed by former NASCAR driver Larry Gunselman at 1:44.90 and 2007 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Donny Lia at 1:45.46.
"I changed my line a little bit," Said said, "and I made a lot fewer mistakes. Like in racing, I'm always learning - every turn, every lap." Each of the 15 NASCAR and NHRA drivers took one championship run. The top five times advanced to take a second championship run, and the finish was decided by the best aggregate time. "I didn't expect to win this year," said Said, who won three of the four races in the first two years. "I thought (NHRA driver) Morgan Lucas would. But he made a mistake and it cost him."
Lucas was consistently one of the fastest during Thursday and Friday, and was just .23 behind Said in Friday's qualifying. But a bobble during Saturday's first championship run left him 11th at 54.21 and out of the hunt. Ron Hornaday, the 2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion, finished sixth with an initial run of 53.06 - just .01 seconds out of qualifying for the second run. Said got a chance to faceoff against Lucas in the finals of the NASCAR-NHRA Challenge Saturday afternoon. Said recorded a time of 50.99 in the finals to best Lucas' 52.06.
In the Challenge, five NASCAR drivers (Said, Randy LaJoie, Todd Bodine, Hornaday and Johnny Benson) and NHRA drivers (Phil Burkhart, Lucas, Todd, Bob Vandergriff and Coughlin) competed against each other in elimination rounds, to determine the finalist from the two sides. Said beat Bodine in the NASCAR finals, while Lucas defeated Coughlin in the NHRA finals. Many of the drivers like Miller were experiencing bobsledding for the first time this week.
"The first couple practice runs, I learned everything not to do," said Miller, who was optimistic after running fifth quickest in the final run Friday. He was the sixth sled down the hill in Saturday morning's first championship run and posted a top time which held up through the remainder of the runs. When I got down there, it was the first run since I got here where I felt I did everything right and I just had one bobble," Miller said. "I knew I had a shot at a podium finish, but I needed Boris to really mess up to have a shot to win it."
Instead, Said put together a nearly flawless run. "I wish I knew how I did it, but I'm not the smartest guy in the world," Said joked. "To me, it's just a blast. This sport is just so awesome. It's like when you were a kid on your flexible flyer - times ten."
Notes: A special auction was held Friday night to raise money for the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project and Phil Kurze called it the most successful event to date. Kurze, the vice president of motorsports for Whelen Engineering, is the president of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project. "It's grown ever year," Kurze said. "The main thing is we're gettting exposure for the sport of bobsledding. What can be better than meeting your goals and having fun doing it?" The Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project was the brainchild of former NASCAR driver and 1986 Daytona 500 winner Geoff Bodine. After watching the 1984 United States Olympic Bobsled team finish well outside of medal contention, Bodine decided to get involved and help bring the sled technology up to par with the world's top programs. Bodine proceeded to partner with Chassis Dynamics and Whelen Engineering to build a bobsled for the U.S. athletes. It was an idea that led to the creation of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project that has since put the U.S. Bobsled team back into Olympic medal contention. The Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge was started three years ago as an avenue for the project to raise funds, as well as awareness. New York Army National Guard members served as brakemen on the two-man sleds for the entire weekend. They were also responsible for the loading, unloading and maintenance of the sleds.
The Bodine Bobsled Challenge will be aired on SPEED Jan. 20 and 27. Fans can go to www.bodynbobsled.com to learn more about the project and make contributions.
Bodine Bobsled Challenge, Championship Runs, Saturday, Lake Placid, N.Y.
Driver 1st Run 2nd Run Total Difference
1. Boris Said 52.12, 50.53, 1:42.65, --
2. L.W. Miller 52.11, 51.26, 1:43.37, .72
3. Jeg Coughlin 52.21, 51.78, 1:43.99, 1.34
4. Larry Gunselman 52.99, 51.91, 1:44.90, 2.25
5. Donny Lia 53.01, 52.45, 1:45.46, 2.81
6. Ron Hornaday Jr. 53.06
7. Todd Bodine 53.61
8. Joey Logano 53.65
9. Bob Vandergriff 53.74
10. Steve Carlson 53.90
11. J.R. Todd 53.94
12. Morgan Lucas 54.21
13. Phil Burkhart 54.29
14. Randy LaJoie 55.39
15. Johnny Benson 55.54
NASCAR vs. NHRA Challenge
NASCAR - 1. Boris Said, 51.12 seconds; 2. Todd Bodine, 51.79; 3. Ron Hornaday Jr., 51.82; 4. Randy LaJoie, 52.71; 5. Johnny Benson, 52.77. NHRA - 1. Morgan Lucas, 51.85; 2. Jeg Coughlin, 52.22; 3. Bob Vandergriff, 52.53; 4. Phil Burkhart, 52.68; 5. J.R. Todd, 53.74.
NASCAR - Bodine def. Hornaday, 51.94-52.12. NHRA - Vandergriff def. Coughlin, 52.69-52.82.
NASCAR Finals - Said def. Bodine, 51.53-51.64. NHRA - Lucas def. Coughlin, 51.76-52.03.
Said def. Lucas, 50.99-52.06.(NASCAR PR)(1-6-2008)
DAY 2: Boris Said used a borrowed sled to prove he's still the man to beat at the 3rd Annual Chevy Bodine Bobsled Challenge presented by Whelen Engineering. Said topped the time charts for the two qualifying runs, which set the lineup for Saturday's championship runs. The field of NASCAR and NHRA drivers practiced Friday morning and then took a pair of qualifying runs Friday afternoon. The combined times of those two runs ranked the drivers, with Saturday's order going from slowest to fastest. It means Said will be the last one out of the gate. He was ninth-fastest in his own sled during the first qualifying run. He borrowed the sled of NHRA driver
Morgan Lucas and posted the fastest time of the day at 53.23 seconds - beating Lucas' second-fastest time of 53.96. Said's time converts to 94.48 km/h. The friendly rivalry will continue with Saturday's afternoon session, which will match the NASCAR drivers against NHRA drivers. The Bodine Bobsled Challenge will be aired on SPEED Jan. 20 and 27.
Qualifying Runs; Friday, Lake Placid, N.Y.
Driver, 1st Run, 2nd Run, Total, Difference
1. Boris Said, 54.79, 53.23, 1:48.02,--
2. Morgan Lucas, 54.29, 53.96, 1:48.25, .23
3. Larry Gunselman, 54.37, 54.15, 1:48.52, .50
4. Johnny Benson, 54.55, 54.04, 1:48.59, .57
5. Joey Logano, 54.60, 54.66, 1:49.26, 1.24
6. J.R. Todd, 54.88, 54.54, 1:49.42, 1.40
7. Ron Hornaday Jr., 54.66, 54.79, 1:49.45, 1.43
8. Bob Vandergriff, 54.40, 55.25, 1:49.65, 1.63
9. Phil Burkhart, 54.56, 55.49, 1:50.05, 2.03
10. L.W. Miller, 55.88, 54.40, 1:50.28, 2.26
11. Donny Lia, 54.17, 56.37, 1:50.54, 2.52
12. Todd Bodine, 56.08, 55.06, 1:51.14, 3.12
13. Randy LaJoie, 57.33, 55.18, 1:52.51, 4.49
14. Jeg Coughlin, 56.34, 57.05, 1:53.39, 5.37
15. Steve Carlson, 58.11, 55.99, 1:54.10, 6.08
DAY 1: A field of NASCAR champions traded the asphalt for the ice Thursday as the 3rd Annual Chevy Bodine Bobsled Challenge presented by Whelen Engineering kicked off with an afternoon of training runs. NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion Steve Carlson was among the first ones down. Carlson is one of three NASCAR Developmental Series champions invited to participate by Whelen vice president of motorsports Phil Kurze. Carlson is joined by NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Donny Lia and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified champion L.W. Miller. Craftsman Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday is also participating, along with Craftsman Truck drivers Johnny Benson, NASCAR Camping World Series East champion Joey Logano, and Sprint Cup Series driver Boris Said. This year’s challenge also includes a full contingent of NHRA drivers. Friday, the drivers will take more practice runs and then a qualifying run. Saturday, they will take two final runs. The afternoon session will feature a face off between the NASCAR drivers and the NHRA drivers.(NASCAR)(1-4-2008)
AUCTION: The 3rd Annual Chevy Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge, presented by Whelen Engineering, is hosting a benefit auction and dinner on Friday night, January 4. Cocktails start a 7 pm, followed by dinner at 8 pm, and the auction at 9 pm at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Lake Placid. Price is $100 per person, and tickets may be purchased at the Olympic Center Box Office. Numerous items will also be auctioned on Saturday, January 5, between the two event races at the Olympic Sports Complex. Some of the items available for purchase include autographed hat,
gloves and model cars from Kevin Harvick, an autographed Jeff Gordon poster, and a framed Richard Petty print. For more information, check out www.bodynbobsled.com.(12-29-2007)
SPONSOR and TV: Chevy has become the title sponsor of the Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge in Lake Placid, N.Y. The event will take place January 3-5, 2008 and is set to take place at the Olympic Sports Complex. The 3rd Annual Chevy Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge is presented by Whelen Engineering. Columbia Sportswear has signed on as the Official Clothing Supplier for the Chevy Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge, presented by Whelen Engineering. Sled sponsors for the event include Whelen Engineering, Lumber Liquidators, Lucas Oil and Columbia Sportswear. Additional event sponsors include PPG, Racing Electronics and Yamaha. The 3rd Annual Chevy Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge, presented by Whelen Engineering, will be broadcast on the SPEED channel on January 20 from 12 pm - 2 pm and January 27 at 2 pm - 4 pm. Each show is a separate two hour program featuring a different race.(12-29-2007)
Representatives of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project and the New York Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) in Lake Placid announced Monday that the third annual Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge, presented by Whelen Engineering, will return to the two-time Winter Olympic village January 3-5, 2008 at the Olympic Sports Complex.
The event will feature NASCAR, NHRA, and celebrity drivers piloting specially-made bobsleds down Lake Placid's icy chute in fun races geared to raise money for the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project. The previous races were televised on ESPN2 in 2006 and SPEED in 2007.
This initiative, started in 1992 by NASCAR driver Geoff Bodine, has built American-made bobsleds for United States athletes competing in the World Cup, World Championships and Olympic Winter Games.
The concept paid dividends with gold, silver and bronze medals in the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games, and scored again with silver in Torino, the first time that the USA Bobsled Team won Olympic medals since 1956. Currently, a new sled design is 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.
Current U.S. bobsled athletes Steve Holcomb and Shauna Rohbock have benefited immensely from this program. Holcomb is the 2007 two-man bobsled and combined bobsled World Cup Champion and finished second overall for the four-man bobsled World Cup. Rohbock, the 2006 Olympic silver medalist, finished the 2007 World Cup season in second place.
Boris Said swept the event last year winning both races and took a gold medal in the inaugural event as well. The only other driver to win a Bodine Bobsled Challenge race is Kevin Lepage of Shelburne, Vt., as he won the second race in 2006.
When the team was training over the summer at the Olympic Training Center in San Diego, Said invited them to his go-cart track. About 15-20 bobsled and skeleton racers came and raced "in (his) my world."
Whelen Engineering has officially entered the first sled in the 2008 competition. The drivers will negotiate the demanding Lake Placid course which emphasizes the skills of the driver as sleds serpentine their way down Mount Van Hoevenberg, which can be compared to an auto racing road course.
Fan packages, interactive offerings and event merchandise will be announced at a later date. The television shows of the 2006 and 2007 Bodine events are now available for purchase on DVD at www.bodynbobsled.com.[NOTE: the site has not been updated since the last event as of 10-18-2007]
Bodine wrecks in bobsled: former NASCAR Cup driver, Geoff Bodine was at Lake Pacid, NY on Sunday testing equipment. He crashed on his first trip, but changed runners and made it the next two runs down the course. Ironically, Bodine rolled it in the famous Trickle Turn (turn 18) where Dick was upended twice at the Bodine Bobsled Challenge in 2006.(PR)(10-18-2007)
Bodine to add another venue to his Bobsled Challenge: Geoff Bodine. who last year persuaded 10 race car drivers to get behind the cowls of specially made bobsleds and race to raise money for the U.S. bobsled team, is taking his project to Utah Olympic Park. "We're going to have two," Bodine said Tuesday from Park City, Utah. "They saw our event and asked us to come out. This is going to be a good venue." The new event will be staged in December after a World Cup event at the Park City track. The Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge, which relies on Whelen Engineering for substantial sponsorship, made its debut in Lake Placid in January 2006 and was staged again the first weekend of this year. Boris Said, a road-racing expert whose father competed on two U.S. Olympic bobsled teams, has won three of the four races. He was in Park City on Tuesday to test a bobsled that was modified for the new event. Drivers who have raced on the difficult Lake Placid track drove a shortened course on the 20-turn chute and recorded speeds of just over 50 miles per hour. Said drove the entire track at Utah Olympic Park and was clocked around 73 mph, according to John Morgan, a TV commentator for the sport and co-organizer of the Bobsled Challenge. Because of hectic schedules, Bodine so far has been unable to attract a current Nextel Cup star, such as Tony Stewart or Jeff Gordon, to either of the first two runnings of his fundraiser, which will return to Lake Placid the first weekend in January. Still, the races so far have been successful at raising money for increased research and development for the U.S. bobsled team, which excelled in the 2006-07 World Cup season. Steve Holcomb, a native of Park City, won the two-man and overall titles, and Shauna Rohbock, of Orem, Utah, finished second to German women's champion Sandra Kiriasis. Over the past 15 years, Bodine has raised more than $1 million to help build American-made bobsleds through his Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project.(ESPN.com/AP)(3-28-2007)
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