Bodine’s Determination Delivers USA Olympic Bobsledding Gold

Charlotte, NC – (March 1, 2010) – The pudgy, balding guy in the United States Olympic Team garb had every right to be celebrating after the USA won the gold medal in the four-man bobsled competition at the Whistler Sliding Center in Vancouver Saturday.

No, it wasn’t USA team driver Steve Holcomb. It was Geoff Bodine.

Bodine, the winner of the 1986 Daytona 500, perhaps scored a bigger personal victory when his Bo-Dyn Night Train bobsled conquered the world winning America’s first gold medal in the sport since 1948.
The triumph not only ended the long victory drought for the United States, but it was also a culmination of a dream for Bodine that started when he created the Bo-Dyn project in 1992.

Back then, Bodine was living a different dream. One of the top drivers in the NASCAR Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup) Series, Bodine noticed the USA Olympic Bobsled team was competing with foreign-build sleds. Looking to provide the teams with an American made sled, Bodine dove headfirst into the project hoping to give the USA efforts a boost.

After purchasing the Winston Cup team formerly owned by Alan Kulwicki in late 1993, Bodine housed the bobsled effort in the back of Kulwicki’s old shop located in the shadow of Charlotte Motor Speedway. The project, which drew heavily from NASCAR aerodynamic and construction technologies, quickly developed as the USA sliders used the Bo-Dyn sleds in both the 1994 and 1998 Oiympics. While the teams showed improvement, they failed to break the long medal winless streak.

Then in 2002 Olympic Games, Bodine’s sleds came up big winning a silver medal and a bronze in the four-man competition and gold in the women’s competition. Since then, the sleds have been considered among the best in the world – that proof of that coming Saturday at Whistler when Holcomb, Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler and Curt Tomasevicz mastered the treacherous, high-speed 16-turn Whistler track to take the gold.
Fortunately, Bodine was there to celebrate.

Bodine’s NASCAR racing career came to a crashing halt in 2000 when he was involved in one of the worst accidents in the history of the Daytona International Speedway. Driving a Billy Ballew entry in the first-ever NASCAR Craftsman (now Camping World) Truck Series event at the track, Bodine’s vehicle disintegrated in a series of violent flips through the Daytona tri-oval. Seriously injured and fighting for his life, Bodine (shown at right in a 1989 Close Finishes photo) somehow beat the odds and survived the crash. Unfortunately, his injuries all but robbed him of his driving career as he made just 32 Cup starts over the next four seasons. His last major NASCAR start came in the 2005 Busch (now Nationwide) Series event at Nashville where his started 37the and finished 31st – still running at the checkered flag.

Since then, Bodine has concentrated his efforts on the Bo-Dyn sled and the USA bobsledding effort. Funded completely by corporate sponsorship and private donations, Bodine has worked tirelessly to secure the money necessary to continue research and development of the Bo-Dyn sled. In 2006, Bodine created the Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge, an annual event that features NASCAR drivers and other celebrities to raise money for the team.

On Saturday, the dreams of winning a gold medal in men’s bobsledding became a reality for the United States – and Bodine. Thanks in large part to his vision and determination, the same traits that took Bodine to 18 NASCAR Winston Cup wins and Victory Lane at Daytona, the USA stands at the pinnacle of the sport today with an Olympic gold medal.

It doesn’t get more special than that.

Author’s Note – For more information about or to contribute to the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, please log on to

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