From the Marbles - NASCAR

Generally, there's not a whole lot of crossover between NASCAR and winter sports, certain Coors Light commercials notwithstanding. But Geoff Bodine is out to change all that.

Bodine, best known as the 1986 Daytona 500 winner, has become an integral part of the U.S. bobsledding effort by bringing design smarts and mindset from the track to the snow. Back in 1992, he discovered that the U.S. bobsledding team was trying -- and failing -- to beat the vastly superior European teams in Euro-made sleds that those sneaky cross-ponders dumped on America. Darn those Europeans!

NBC analyst John Morgan told the AP the story of how he used to acquire his sleds -- by paying European sliders in cash on the spot after races for their sleds. Ugly scene, that, and one that a good old American like Bodine couldn't abide.

And you don't try to out-engineer a NASCAR guy, so Bodine established the Bo-Dyn Project in connection with designer Bob Cuneo. Since then, Bodine and Bo-Dyn have been the lead design firm in helping the U.S. rise from obscurity and irrelevance to championship status.  

To defray costs -- even used sleds can cost $100,000 -- Bodine hosts an annual bobsledding competition in which various NASCAR drivers throw themselves down the ol' ice chute; this year's champion was Joey Logano. Proceeds raised from the competition help support Bo-Dyn's efforts.

The four-man bobsled -- sorry, "bobsleigh" -- competition runs Friday and Saturday. And with any luck, the U.S. will do a burnout on the medal stand.

By the way, Olympics fans, make sure you keep an eye on Fourth-Place Medal, Yahoo! Sports' Olympic blog. The rest of the planet's reading it; make sure you are, too.

For Geoff Bodine, no one-track mind [AP via Washington Post]

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