MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Sept. 24, 1998) Philips Ford driver Geoff Bodine admits that he doesn't really like getting caught up in a points race. But he knows that in order to win a championship, a points race is a necessary evil. Back in 1990, during...
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Sept. 24, 1998) Philips Ford driver Geoff Bodine admits that he doesn't really like getting caught up in a points race. But he knows that in order to win a championship, a points race is a necessary evil. Back in 1990, during Bodine's first year with legendary car owner Junior Johnson, the former NASCAR Modified standout took a serious run at the NASCAR Winston Cup Series title, eventually ending up third. And although he didn't win it, his charge at the coveted title is an important part of his stellar career.
In this weekend's NAPA AutoCare 500 at Martinsville Speedway , Bodine will wear a commemorative helmet highlighting his two years with Johnson in the No. 11 Budweiser Ford. The helmet is the eighth in a 10-helmet series celebrating Bodine's career in preparation for his 500th NASCAR Winston Cup Series start, which is slated for Oct. 11 in the Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
The years in Johnson's car represent a special time for the man who, earlier this year, was selected one of NASCAR's "50 Greatest Drivers of All-Time," as part of the sanctioning body's 50th Anniversary celebration.
"Running with Junior was a great opportunity," Bodine said. "Right away we started running well, and before you knew it, we started winning. We really had a good year together. We won a couple of poles and three races, including both of them that year at Martinsville."
Bodine looks back on the 1990 season fondly, but doesn't believe there is much of a comparison with the pressure that accompanies NASCAR Winston Cup racing today.
"It was different then," said Bodine. "I didn't really think much about points. We just went out, ran well, won some races and the next thing you knew, we were right there. But, we didn't think much about it. The title didn't pay the millions of dollars it does now. If I were in that situation today, I would probably think about it more. But not back then."
With Johnson, Bodine made 56 starts, or 11.3 percent of his NASCAR Winston Cup Series career total. Over two seasons, Bodine won four races in the No. 11 Bud Ford, including two races at Martinsville. He also won more than $1 million in a single season for the first time in his career, collecting $1,131,222 in 1990.
Source: NASCAR Online