Bodine turns in solid finish By Shawn A. Akers ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (Feb. 21, 1999) If ever Geoffrey Bodine needed a confidence booster, it came for him on Sunday at North Carolina Speedway. With his brand new team at Joe Bessey Racing, Bodine,...
Bodine turns in solid finish By Shawn A. Akers
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (Feb. 21, 1999) If ever Geoffrey Bodine needed a confidence booster, it came for him on Sunday at North Carolina Speedway.
With his brand new team at Joe Bessey Racing, Bodine, who has struggled to be competitive in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series for the past couple of seasons, finished 39th in the season-opening Daytona 500 after being involved in a big accident.
At Rockingham, however, Bodine managed to stay out of trouble, work his way through the field after starting 29th, and gave his new team its first top-10 finish with an eighth-place run in the Dura-Lube/Big Kmart 400 at the 1.017-mile oval known as "The Rock."
"We were competitive all day long," said Bodine, driver of the No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet. "We just couldn't get good track position and capitalize on how good this car was. Everything went really good. I can't wait to get to Las Vegas (the next race, on March 7)."
Considering the late-date formation of the Bessey/Power Team Chevrolet team (the deal was set in December), a top-10 finish this early in the season could be considered a moral victory. Couple that with the fact that Bodine finished 27th in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings a year ago and had only five top-10 finishes overall in his final season at Mattei Motorsports, consider it a huge moral victory.
Bodine gave a big part of the credit to crew chief Jim Long for Sunday's run. It's also the first year he hasn't run a Ford in quite some time.
"I love these Chevys," Bodine said. "That's all I needed. We're going to win some races. We're considering this our first race together as a team. Daytona is another kind of racing. We were running good there and just got in a wreck.
"To come here with this brand new team and run competitive all day long is great. The crew did a great job in the pits. It was a pretty exciting finish at the end. We're going to get better and better and drive that Chevrolet into victory lane before the season is out. I tested a Chevrolet for the Stavola Brothers at Atlanta last year before the race and I knew these cars were good then (Bessey Racing bought a large part of its rolling stock from the Stavolas).
"Jim Long has come a long way in this business as a crew chief. I'm glad he's my crew chief now. The whole team is really good. Jim has assembled a great team, and team is very important in this sport."
Source: NASCAR Online