Where Are They Now? Geoff Bodine

Published On July 10, 2013 » 1919 Views» By Jan Shaffer » Blogs, Where Are They Now?

Geoff Bodine had a long and storied career after coming out of Chemung, N.Y., and going on the NASCAR Cup trail.

One remembrance would be the inaugural Brickyard 400, when he fought for the lead, crashed and had a real fight – with his brother, Brett.

“I had a fast car,” Geoff Bodine said, “and the yellow came out. Everyone pitted, and I took four tires and Brett only took two, so he was leading out of the restart. I could tell he was slower. In Turn 3, I shot underneath him coming through the short chute. Of course, I had the wrong line to get through (Turn) 4.

Geoff Bodine

“We were on Hoosiers (tires), and our car handled superior than anyone else’s, including Jeff Gordon.”

Then came the crash. And the fight.

“We were just having a family spat,” he said. “We’re better brothers now than we ever were. We were on the Oprah show after that. She had an inspirational show at the time and had us on. I hope we inspired a lot of people. We turned it around.”

Bodine made seven starts in the Brickyard between 1994 and 2002, started fourth in the inaugural, had a best finish of 12th and led 24 laps through the years.

“All the drivers want to win Indy,” Bodine said. “I love the place. It’s very difficult, and that’s what drivers like. I’ve driven an Indy car – not there. NASCAR cars are real different. You have four corners, four straightaways and you go into them at 200 miles an hour.”

Midway through his career, Bodine told everyone he wanted to be called “Geoffrey.”

“That was my given name and we had Jeff Gordon and Jeff Green, and every time someone yelled, ‘Hey, Jeff,’ I turned around. You can call me Geoff now, though.”

Bodine also has a hobby – building bobsleds. The first were called Bo-Dyns.

“I learned about it at the ’92 Olympics.” He said. “The reason the Americans had a tough time was they had second-rate sleds. Through the years, we’ve built 18 bobsleds for our team to use for free. Other countries want to buy them, but of course, we don’t sell to them.

“We just finished a new four-man sled. We tested it at Lake Placid, and it’s very, very fast. We got a lot of sponsorships out of racing. It’s a business, but we all wanted to do something for our team. Joey Logano has teamed up with us now, and it’s Bodine-Logano.”

Bodine, 64, resides in Melbourne, Fla., where he has three car dealerships. The bobsled operation is located near Charlotte, N.C.

“I still do a lot of charity work,” he said.

He suffered multiple injuries in a catastrophic accident in a NASCAR truck race in 2000 at Daytona.

“I’ve been very fortunate,” Bodine said. “The truck accident at Daytona…the Good Lord protected me.”


About The Author

I have seen 50 Indianapolis 500’s live, as a fan and in the media and motorsports PR business, plus two with Tom Carnegie’s son on closed-circuit TV in Kansas City when in college during the 1960s. I started my career as a sportswriter in Danville, Ill., Rochester, N.Y., and Pontiac, Mich., before moving into public relations in 1980. My PR stints took me from Michigan International Speedway to CART. I started Shaffer Communications in 1985 to handle media relations in auto racing and air shows and have worked with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in various capacities, including Daily Trackside Report editor and News Bureau editor, since 1986. My work travels also have taken me to the Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Alaska, Infineon Raceway in California and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, among other places. I’ve also survived working for A.J. Foyt at the Hoosier Hundred! I’ve flown an airplane (straight and level) and driven a sprint car on dirt and a midget on pavement (slowly, with few other people around).

You were doing well, until near the end. He lives in West Melbourne, not Melbourne. He owns one dealership, not three. Geoff Bodine's Honda of Melbourne - not a car dealer.