Geoffrey Bodine, fans not seriously hurt in truck accident

Bodine not seriously hurt in wild truck accident By Dave Rodman DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 18, 2000) NASCAR Winston Cup Series veteran and former Daytona 500 winner Geoffrey Bodine escaped serious injury Friday afternoon in a wild...

Bodine not seriously hurt in wild truck accident By Dave Rodman

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 18, 2000) NASCAR Winston Cup Series veteran and former Daytona 500 winner Geoffrey Bodine escaped serious injury Friday afternoon in a wild multi-truck accident on the frontstretch at Daytona International Speedway just after the halfway point of the inaugural NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Daytona 250 event.

Bodine's No. 15 Line-X Ford was struck no less than twice by other trucks as it caromed down the frontstretch. The truck apparently was knocked up into the catch fence in front of the main grandstand and showed flashes of flame as it acted like a pinball gone berserk.

After a short period Bodine, who was running ninth in the 36-truck field at the time, was removed from the hulk of his truck, which came to rest upside down in the middle of the short chute between the Start/Finish Line and Turn 1. He was transported by ambulance directly to Halifax Medical Center, which is only about a five-minute drive from the speedway.

"Geoffrey was transported directly to Halifax, and he was alert and conversing with the staff at the hospital," said Glyn Johnston, director of communications for Daytona International Speedway, at about 1:10 p.m. ET. "His initial examination indicated he had possible ankle injuries and a possible wrist injury. He is being evaluated at this time."

Bodine's younger brothers Brett and Todd, who race in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division, respectively, were watching the race on television in an infield motorhome lot and immediately left the track to visit their brother, who will be 51 in April. Todd Bodine returned to the track and went to the infield media center and gave an update to the media at about 1:40 p.m. ET.

"It was a pretty scary moment -- I was scared stiff," said Todd, 35, who was scheduled to run in the final practice for Saturday's NAPA Auto Parts 300 later Friday afternoon. "The main thing in an accident like that is his head and (Dr.) Bruce Kennedy came out at Halifax and told us he was fine."

The youngest Bodine brother said his brother's physical conditioning and NASCAR's regulations had a lot to do with his condition following the crash.

"Geoffrey's been on a strict workout schedule for about a year-and-a-half," Todd said. "He's in incredible shape and I'm sure that helped him come through this so well. All of the safety things NASCAR makes us do all worked and thank God they make us do 'em."

Todd Bodine said his brother hit his head on the truck's roll cage and "broke his cheek bone. I think he has a broken elbow and a broken toe. He was visibly shaken when he addressed the media.

"I've seen and been in some pretty violent accidents," he said. "But that was one of the most violent you'll ever see. To see the roll cage just sitting there, knowing there's a person inside it, and that it's your brother . . . it was one of the most terrifying things I've ever experienced and I hope everyone doesn't ever have to go through it."

DIS Manager of Publicity Kathy Catron at 1:45 p.m. ET confirmed that Bodine had injuries to his right wrist, right elbow and right ankle but had no specific information. She also reported that Jimmy Kitchens had been transported to Halifax but had no update other than the driver from Hueytown, Ala., was "alert and awake."

Catron also reported that five spectators were taken to Halifax with a variety of injuries ranging from a bruised lip to an undisclosed head injury and a fractured left upper arm. No information was available on the fans' identities.

The race was red-flagged in order to make repairs to the catch fencing on the frontstretch.

No less than 10 trucks were involved in the crash, which involved at least four trucks that were running in the top-10 at the time, including sixth-place Lyndon Amick, seventh man Rob Morgan, Bodine and 10th-place Lonnie Rush.

The accident occurred as the tightly packed field of trucks passed the start/finish line to complete the 56th of 100 laps. Few of those involved knew exactly what had occurred.

"Somebody got into the 46 car and turned him up into the fence," Rush said briefly after exiting the infield care center.

"I got a good run there, I was on the inside and I got hit in the right rear and got turned around," said Amick, who earlier had led the race. "I saw Bodine rolling over and I got hit again before I turned around again and came to a stop. I just want to thank (team owner) Ken Schrader for giving me the opportunity and the good Lord for keeping me safe."

Morgan had remained on the track under a previous yellow flag and also briefly led the race. He said he was not too sure what had happened, either.

"I think we were three-wide, and then I got hit in the left rear and got turned to the outside wall," he said. "It happened so quick I don't even know what happened. I just got tapped and it took off."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine , Geoffrey Bodine , Ken Schrader , Lyndon Amick , Rob Morgan , Jimmy Kitchens