NASCAR WHELEN SOUTHERN MODIFIED TOUR CHAMPION
TO PARTICIPATE IN GEOFF BODINE BOBSLED CHALLENGE
L.W. Miller is quite accustomed to driving at high speeds. The 2007
NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion will trade the familiarity
of going fast on four tires and asphalt for a new experience this week
to travel along on a specially-designed sled at speeds upward of 100 mph
on a downward-winding course made up a sheet of ice.
Miller and several top NASCAR drivers will get a unique
chance to go fast in a different manner as they participate in the 3rd
Annual Chevy Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge presented by Whelen
Engineering at the Olympic Sports Complex in Lake Placid , N.Y. The
event runs Thursday-Saturday.
“I watched a little bit of it last year,” said Miller, the
driver of the No. 36 John Baker Plumbing & Utilities Pontiac. “With
Whelen Engineering sponsoring it and being involved in NASCAR, it has
given a lot of the drivers that race in the different NASCAR divisions
the chance to see what this is really all about. I’m excited to be part
of this pretty cool experience.”
Miller is one of five NASCAR champions that will take part in
the Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge. The Dushore, Pa. native will be
joined by NASCAR Whelen Modifierd Tour champion Donny Lia and NASCAR
Whelen All-American Series champion Steve Carlson. NASCAR Craftsman
Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday and NASCAR Camping World Series East
champion Joey Logano will also race.
“This year's event is a race of champions,” said Phil Kurze,
vice president of motorsports for Whelen Engineering and president of
the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project. "These short-track champions will have the
chance to show the rest of the competitors how talented they are. This
year part of the rewards of being a champion in a Whelen-sponsored
NASCAR Series is the invitation to be part of the Geoff Bodine Bobsled
Challenge. Each and every one of the champions jumped at the
The Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project was the brainchild of former
NASCAR driver and 1986 Daytona 500 winner Geoff Bodine. After watching
the 1984 United States Olympic Bobsled team finish well outside of medal
contention, Bodine examined the situation in hopes of improving the U.S.
team’s future podium chances. He learned that the program had all the
coaching and athletes they needed to be successful. The only problem,
according to Bodine, was that the sledding technology the U.S. team was
using was not up to par with that of the top programs like the Swiss and
Bodine proceeded to partner with Chassis Dynamics and Whelen
Engineering to build a bobsled for the U.S. athletes. It was an idea
that led to the creation of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project that has since
put the U.S. Bobsled team into Olympic medal contention.
The Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge was started three years
ago as an avenue for the project to raise funds, as well as awareness.
Miller admits that had it not been for Bodine, he probably
wouldn’t know a lot about the idea of racing bobsleds against one
another on an international stage.
“Geoff’s involvement in the project really brought it to the
attention to a lot of people in the NASCAR world,” Miller said. “It’s
really neat that Geoff has been involved with the bobsled project since
he got out of racing. It’s cool to have a tie with all the drivers and
fans of NASCAR. Geoff has really opened the doors now.”
Much like Bodine, Miller says that his patriotism towards the
United States is a strong motivational factor in wanting to see the
American Olympic bobsled team improve and prosper.
“I think that anybody that has followed my racing career
knows that I’m a very patriotic person and very proud to live in the
United States of America ,” Miller said. “I want to do anything I can do
to support our country – whether it’s the Olympic bobsled team, the
Armed Forces or anybody else that represents our country. That is
something that means a whole lot to me personally.
“The people on the bobsled team are representatives of our
country and they carrying our flag. To me this is something that really
hits close to home and I’m very grateful to be a part of raising some
money for the Olympic bobsled team to carry the torch for our country in
the future. I’m excited about it and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Christley/NASCAR WSMT PR
January 2, 2008