In the Pits- KSR
Racing anything, anytime, anywhere, but bobsleds?
Ken Schrader—considered by many to be the busiest NASCAR driver on the planet, based on his penchant for racing anything, anytime, anywhere—can add another vehicle to his driving resume: bobsled.
Schrader was scheduled to be on Mount Van Hoeven-berg in Lake Placid, NY in early January (just after our deadline) piloting a bobsled down the kind of frozen track that is normally seen every four years during the Winter Olympics. Instead of a gold medal, Schrader was aiming to raise money for the Olympic-bound U.S. men’s and women’s bobsledders.
“I’m not sure what I was thinking when I accepted,” Schrader quipped on the eve of his icy adventure. “It looks a little bit dangerous to me. We’re not going to start up at the top. That’s good. And I think the brake pedal works.”
Schrader was one of several current or former NASCAR drivers who agreed to take part in the Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge, a fund-raising event designed to keep the U.S. men’s and women’s bobsled teams at the forefront of international racing. Besides Schrader, the list of entries included Boris Said, Kenny Wallace, Dick Trickle, Steve Park and Todd Bodine, Geoff’s brother.
According to the Associated Press, Geoff Bodine created the Bo-Dyn Project Inc. after watching the 1992 Winter Olympics on television and noticing that the U.S. teams competed with European-made sleds. He wanted to help make sure U.S. sleds would be made in America.
Bodine’s efforts have since helped provide the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation with sled designs in-volving NASCAR technology. The so-called Bo-Dyn sleds finally broke through at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City when the U.S. team ended its 46-year Olym-pic drought with three medals—a gold, silver and bronze.
With NASCAR’s popularity soaring and the Winter Olympics coming up, Bodine figured the time was right for the Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge, the AP reports.
One of the NASCAR drivers, Boris Said, has a connection to bobsledding. His father drove for the U.S. bobsled team in the 1968 and 1972 Winter Games. The AP reports that Boris took a few rides down the old Lake Placid track in 1980, and he was looking forward to doing it again.