CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 8, 2000) Geoffrey Bodine thought he might get the best medicine possible this weekend in his extended recovery from the multiple injuries he suffered in a Feb. 18 accident in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season-opening...
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 8, 2000) Geoffrey Bodine thought he might get the best medicine possible this weekend in his extended recovery from the multiple injuries he suffered in a Feb. 18 accident in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season-opening Daytona 250. Bodine started in that direction Tuesday when he made his first visit to his Bessey Motorsports shop since his release from the Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla., on Feb. 22.
The 50-year-old NASCAR Winston Cup Series veteran spent the entire day with Chassis Dynamics principal Bob Cuneo and some other long-time friends. Cuneo and his Waterbury, Conn., race shop collaborated with Bodine on the construction of the Bo-Dyn bobsled used by the United States Olympic team.
The exhausting day culminated with a visit to the Power Team Chevrolet shop.
At that point, Bodine planned to be at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend to cheer on substitute driver Ted Musgrave and his No. 60 Chevrolet crew in the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500. However, forecasts for raw temperatures and the opportunity to enjoy another weekend of "rest and relaxation" changed his mind.
Bodine now plans to return to a NASCAR Winston Cup Series track in conjunction with the March 17-19 Mall.com 400 at Darlington Raceway, a shorter drive from his Cornelius, N.C., home.
"I had really wanted to come down to Atlanta," Bodine said, "but I figured another week of rest would do me more good. Now, I'm going to try to make it to Darlington."
Bodine, who fulfilled a scheduled personal appearance in Russellville, Ark., last Saturday, continues his remarkable recovery according to personal assistant Lisa Cox. She said Bodine is now consulting with Dr. Charles Branch in Winston-Salem, N.C., regarding his fractured vertebra in his mid-back.
Branch is the same doctor who operated on seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt's neck in the off season following the 1999 campaign, a procedure that Earnhardt has credited with a remarkable improvement in his comfort and competitiveness. Cox said it is not anticipated that Bodine will need any surgery for his back fracture, for which he currently wears a back brace.
At this point, Cox said doctors anticipated a recovery period of approximately five weeks before Bodine could begin serious rehabilitation for his fractured right wrist, which needed surgery; and his back. His other injuries, which included cuts, bruises, burns and sprains, have mostly healed.
As might be expected, Cox said Bodine has watched "every race, all the qualifying and anything else that's been on television."
"Geoffrey is dying to get back to the race track," she said. "He watches qualifying and critiques every lap, and then predicts what their qualifying speed is going to be. He's pretty good at it, too.
"His spirits are great and he's doing really well, but he's definitely ready to get back to the race track."