Truck races are exciting affairs, with the possibility always there that some hotshot up-and-comer is going to take out half the field. But you'll have to excuse Geoff Bodine if he's not quite as charged up right now as his fellow possible drivers in Atlanta.
This time last week, you see, Bodine was winning an Olympic gold medal.
OK, not by himself. But it was a Bodine-designed four-man bobsled that won Olympic gold in Vancouver, the first time the U-S-A! had taken top honors in that event since 1948. That's Bodine there in the ballcap celebrating with the victorious men's team. (Aside: what is the function of the two middle guys in a four-man bobsled? The same function as the pit crew of a start-and-parker, I'm thinking. Somebody convince me differently.)
Now Bodine, 60 and a former Daytona 500 winner, is leaving the bobsled groove of Vancouver for the fast track of Atlanta; he's on the entry list to drive the No. 95 Team Gill Racing truck in Saturday night's Atlanta 500. Johnny Benson drove the truck in the season-opening race at Daytona in February.
As Scene Daily notes, the truck race will feature 36 drivers, and there are 39 entrants. Because of new truck series rules, 17 drivers will be going for 14 spots, with only 22 cars guaranteed entry. And only two full-time Sprint Cup-level drivers are entered, but they're good ones: Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick. Happy is already guaranteed entry, but Kyle will have to race his way in.
So here's hoping that Bodine gets in the race. He'll have the names of the gold medalists on his truck. He ought to dangle a gold medal from his rear-view mirror, just for that extra intimidation factor.