LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (Dec 20)– Current 4th Annual Whelen Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge competitors Ted Christopher and Johnny Benson were recently named the Most Popular Driver for their respective NASCAR series during recent year-end award ceremonies.

Fans cast more than 253,000 votes for 258 drivers in the Nationwide Series, Craftsman Truck Series and each of NASCAR’s six national touring series. The voting began July 7 and closed for each series as its season ended.

Christopher, the 2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion, and Benson, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion, were the only two champions to also be named their respective series’ Most Popular Drivers. This is the second year in a row the affable Benson was named the Craftsman Truck Series Most Popular Driver.The other six drivers voted by fans as the Most Popular Drivers all finished outside of the final Top 10 standings in their respective divisions.

Christopher is making his debut appearance in the Whelen Bodine Bobsled Challenge while Benson is looking to improve his bobsledding skills as he competed last year.

The Bodine Bobsled Challenge features NASCAR and NHRA drivers piloting specially-made bobsleds down Lake Placid’s infamous track in fun races geared to raise money for the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project. In Race 1, all the drivers will be competing against the clock as they take two runs down the track. Race 2 features head-to-head racing between the NASCAR and NHRA drivers, with the winner from each division squaring off in the final heat for bragging rights.

The NASCAR field will be lead by five-time Bodine Bobsled Champion and NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Boris Said and includes: Todd Bodine, the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Champion and brother of the Bodine Challenge founder Geoff Bodine; NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie driving sensation and 2007 Bodine Challenge competitor Joey Logano; 2008 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion and 2007 Bodine Bobsled participant Philip Morris; 2008 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion Brian Loftin; Daytona Rolex pole winner Eric Curran; and19-year-old sprint car driver Tom Tolbert.

The NHRA side is comprised of: three-time Bodine Bobsled competitors and Top Fuel drivers Morgan Lucas and JR Todd; and two-time Bodine Bobsled participants Jeg Coughlin, Jr. and Bob Vandergriff. Lucas has won two silvers medals as a bobsledder. Coughlin is a four-time NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Champion, and is currently the two-time defending champion (2000, 2002, 2007, and 2008). He won the bronze medal as a bobsledding rookie in his first race. Vandergriff races Top Fuel cars on the NHRA circuit.

The Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc., was started in 1992 by NASCAR driver Geoff Bodine, and has built American-made bobsleds for United States athletes competing in the World Cup, World Championships and Olympic Winter Games. Monies raised from the Bodine Bobsled Challenge go directly to this project.

SPEED channel will again televise four hours of the Whelen Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge, on Jan. 18 at noon and Jan. 25 at 2 pm. MRN Radio has signed on to provide live coverage of the Bodine Bobsled Challenge all three days.

The Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project concept paid dividends with gold, silver and bronze medals in the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Game, the first time that the USA Bobsled Team won Olympic medals since 1956, and scored again with silver in Torino. New sled designs are being created by Bodine and sled builder Bob Cuneo of Chassis Dynamics in Connecticut. It will be tested during national and international competitions leading up to the next Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010.

Other sponsors of the Whelen Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge include Columbia Sportswear Company, MAC Tools, Racing Electronics, PPG, Lucas Oil, JEGS Automotive, Summitt Building Solutions, EXA, Lumber Liquidators, Lincoln Electric and the National Guard.

Fan packages, interactive offerings and event merchandise for the 4th Annual Whelen Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge may be purchased online at The television shows of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Bodine events are also available for purchase on DVD at .

What Daytona is to auto racing, Lake Placid is to bobsledding.


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