|2001 review: Brett
Bodine struggled, but survived, through another
year as a car owner/driver. He finished 30th in
points, but only posted two top-10 finishes. He
did, however, start every race.
2002 outlook: Until this team picks up serious
sponsorship to expand to a two-car operation or
joins forces with another single-car operation,
it is unlikely Bodine will crack the top-10 in
Bodine's only series win came at North Wilkesboro
One of the Northeast's top modified drivers,
Bodine followed elder brother Geoff south and
scored his only Winston Cup win in 1990 at North
Wilkesboro in a car owned by drag racer Kenny
Bernstein. He joined Junior Johnson, then bought
the team after the 1995 season and debuted as
an owner/driver in 1996. He had one top 10 was
24th in points.
Bodine recorded his first million-dollar season
in 1998, but fell to 25th in points. And in 2000,
he led all qualifiers and posted the fastest time
for a stock car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
In 2001, Brett Bodine had a best finish of eighth
at New Hampshire in the season finale, one of
nine top-20 finishes his team scored. He used
only seven provisionals and made every race.
It may be easy for some fans to overlook Brett
Bodine; but, arguably, no one in the sport works
harder. Bodine's background includes NASCAR Modifieds
and the Busch Series, where he was runner-up to
Larry Pearson for the championship in 1986. Bodine
stepped in as a relief driver for Terry Labonte
in Junior Johnson' s Budweiser Chevrolet in 1987
(Martinsville and North Wilkesboro).
He made his Winston Cup debut in the 1986 Coca-Cola
600 in a Rick Hendrick-owned car. He finished
17th. His first victory came at North Wilkesboro
in 1990 in his 80th start while driving for Kenny
Bernstein. Nineteen races later, Brett Bodine
won the first of five Bud Pole Awards in the 1990
Mello Yello 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. That
season was his best in the series, as he finished
Brett Bodine, who has an associate's degree in
mechanical engineering from the University of
New York at Alfred, started his racing career
at his hometown Chemung Speedrome in 1977.