Bodine Approaches 500th Start

Bodine begins countdown to 500 WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 9, 1998) When the green flag flew over The Bud at The Glen Sunday at Watkins Glen International, it marked the 491st time that Geoff Bodine had started a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race.

Bodine begins countdown to 500

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 9, 1998) When the green flag flew over The Bud at The Glen Sunday at Watkins Glen International, it marked the 491st time that Geoff Bodine had started a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race. To begin the celebration that will culminate with his 500th start -- Oct. 11 in the Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway if he makes every race between now and then -- Bodine will wear commemorative helmets in each of the next 10 races, starting this week at his home track. The helmet series will cover each step in the Chemung, N.Y., native's NASCAR Winston Cup Series career, which dates back to the 1979 running of the Daytona 500. Ten different helmets, provided by Bell Auto Racing, will be featured covering every car and paint scheme Bodine has appeared in during that span. "Winston Cup racing has been my life for a long time and that is what I wanted when I moved south in the late '70's," Bodine said. "As busy as we are nowadays, you don't have many opportunities to reflect on your accomplishments. I'm really going to savor the next several races." This week's featured helmet represents the first car Bodine drove in the series -- Jack Beebe's No. 47 Race Hill Farm Oldsmobile. The car debuted in the 1979 Daytona 500, and Bodine placed it among the leaders before exiting after 99 laps. The helmet captures the bright yellow, white and royal blue that defined the car, which Bodine drove in his first three starts at Daytona, Rockingham and Atlanta. "That car is real special to me," Bodine said. "It was my first ride, and my first appearance in the Daytona 500. With that car, I proved that my dreams of running in this series were real." In subsequent weeks, Bodine will wear helmets covering cars in which he won his first Bud Pole, his first race, rookie of the year, the Daytona 500, the Coca-Cola 600 and the Bud at The Glen. In all, Bodine has driven to 18 victories, 37 Bud Poles and 98 top-fives since that first start in 1979. The tentative schedule for Bodine's future commemorative helmets is as follows:

Race No. 492 at Michigan Speedway: he will wear a helmet depicting the No. 23 Oxford 250 Pontiac owned by Dick Bahre

No. 493 at Bristol Motor Speedway: the No. 01 Zervakis Race Cars and Parts Pontiac owned by Emanuel Zervakis

No. 494 at New Hampshire International Speedway: the No. 50 Spectrum Furniture Pontiac owned by Cliff Stewart

No. 495 at Darlington Raceway: the No. 88 Gatorade Pontiac owned by Stewart

No. 496 at Richmond International Raceway: the No. 5 Northwest Security Life Chevrolet and No. 5 Levi Garrett Chevrolet owned by Rick Hendrick

No. 497 at Dover Downs International Speedway: the No. 11 Budweiser Ford owned by Junior Johnson

No. 498 at Martinsville Speedway: the No. 15 Motorcraft Ford owned by Bud Moore

No. 499 at Charlotte Motor Speedway: the No. 7 Exide Ford and No. 7 QVC Ford, both of which were owned by Bodine

No. 500 at Talladega Superspeedway: the No. 7 Philips Ford owned by Mattei Motorsports.

Source: NASCAR Online

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Junior Johnson