BROWNSBURG, Ind. --
With Mother Nature providing all the horsepower, this downhill momentum-building Olympic sport is an all or nothing sprint that continually gathers a maximum force speed reaching 70-mph over the 21-turn icy course. As in all competitions, the least amount of time covering the distance is the goal, and the quickest way through time and space results in gold.
Joining the youthful duo will be fellow NHRA racers, four-time and current NHRA Pro Stock champion, Jeg Coughlin and the athletic Bob Vandergriff on Mount Hoevenberg's harrowing Bobsled course.
On the stock-car side of things, Boris Said will lead the NASCAR contingent, followed by current NASCAR Camping World Truck champion, Johnny Benson, 2006 Truck Champ, Todd Bodine and rookie sensation, Joey Logano.
"It's the most fun I've ever had," said Morgan Lucas, the driver of the GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster. "You just can't imagine the rush of adrenaline you get when you start building speed and then it's just you and the sled and you're doing the best you can to maintain some sort of control as it skates around. It's just a blast and you can't keep the smile off your face when you reach the bottom."
Lucas posted silver medal finishes the last two years to perennial champion and the son of a former Bobsled racer, Boris Said. Lucas considers it an honor to compete against the NASCAR drivers and still finds plenty of incentive to beat his round-track rivals.
"Boris has set the bar for all of us every year," said Lucas. "He's so smooth and he can get little bit more out of his sled than the rest of us. That's what makes it so much fun. No matter how hard any of us try, he seems to find the edge. That just keeps us working harder trying to beat him. Overall, it's such a great weekend to see old acquaintances and make new ones."
His Lucas Oil Racing teammate, J.R. Todd had an incident in his first bobsled venture when weight became an issue and plainly had to place large rocks in his pockets to increase his weight and thus increasing his speed.
"When it comes to competiveness, hopefully this time the third time is a charm," said the five-time Top Fuel winner, Todd. "I feel fortunate being chosen one of the NHRA drivers to compete against the NASCAR guys. We can also check out the USA Bobsled team and that's what we're there for is to raise awareness for those guys and make sure they have the best equipment to compete against the rest of the world."
Despite Todd's previous lack of success on the ice, it remains one of his favorite events every year now.
"It's a crazy ride that you're pretty much out of control the entire time down the hill," said Todd. "Once you get to the end of a run and you have all your runners face down . that's an accomplishment in my book. The event brings out the people and they are a lot braver than I am because if I wasn't competing, I wouldn't be standing out there in the cold watching us. You know it's cool for the fans to experience race car drivers doing something else outside their element. We just want to thank Geoff Bodine and John Morgan for having us back up there."
The Whelen Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge is a fundraiser for his Bo-Dyn Bob Sled Project and the U.S. Bobsled Team as they prepare for the 2010 XXI Olympic Winter games in Vancouver, B.C.
SPEED Channel will broadcast the events over a two-weekend period. The first airing of the Whelen Bodine Bobsled Challenge will be on Sunday, January 20 at 12 noon and feature the combination of all the drivers going head-to-head in an Olympic-style format. The following week on Sunday, January 27, it will be NASCAR vs. NHRA with the winner takes all event at 2:00 p.m. immediately after the conclusion of the Rolex 24-Hours of Daytona.
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