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(Left): Geoff Bodine with Priscilla and Bella. (Below): Geoff and his wife Linda, holding Priscilla, the dog they adopted from Florida Yorkie Rescue.


Have A Little Faith. Story by Anna Cooke. Photography by Tina VaLant.


Ask racecar driver Geoff Bodine to recall the best day of his racing career, and the answer will not be about a win. For Bodine, it was the day he didn’t die.


speed of nearly 190 mph, Bodine’s truck was thrust into the catch fencing, tearing the vehicle into pieces, rupturing the fuel cell and leaving only the roll cage intact. As the truck continued to fall apart, it barrel-rolled down the front stretch, was hit several more times by other trucks and came to a stop on its roof. No one thought Bodine could have possibly survived. “I should be dead but the Lord protected me that day,”


I


Bodine said. “There’s no way I should have survived that crash. I remember seeing my dad for a moment and he told me I wasn’t done with life yet.” Bodine suffered a broken vertebra and other fractures. He soon recovered and returned to racing in May, that same year. “I’ve enjoyed some big wins, like the Daytona 500, but that


day will always be the best day for me,” said Bodine. “That acci- dent changed my life forever and the fact that I survived, made it the greatest day I ever had at a race track.” Bodine is retired now and hasn’t slowed down a bit. “I’m still


as busy as ever and I hate to use the term retire because I’m still around racing. I just don’t drive anymore in NASCAR,” said


38 THE NEW BARKER


t was February 18, 2000 during the inaugural Daytona 250 Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Bodine was involved in a fiery crash on the 57th lap, forever remembered in the highlight reels of racing. At a


Bodine, who finished his NASCAR career with more than 200 wins in modifieds, 18 wins in Cup and six Xfinity Series wins. He remains connected to racing by helping a friend keep up


a late model stock car, which is raced at New Smyrna Speedway. He especially enjoys being a chauffer for his wife Lori, a success- ful South Florida real estate agent, driving her to her next appointment or open house. Thanks to Lori, Geoff also loves volunteering for Florida Yorkie Rescue, a 501c3 founded by Kit DeRoche 11 years ago. “It’s just an amazing organization,” said Bodine. “Lori and I


have always loved Yorkies. She was following Florida Yorkie Rescue through social media and telling me about all of the work the organization was doing. Then, she fell in love with one of the dogs available for adoption,” said Bodine. They adopted Priscilla a little more than three years ago as a companion for Bella, their other Yorkie, and have been involved with the group ever since. “A lot of people think that men only like big dogs. Well, I’m


here to tell you that’s not necessarily true, although I grew up on a farm in upstate New York and we always had big dogs running around. I loved them. But, there’s something about the Yorkie breed. They’re little dogs with really big dog personalities. Priscilla and Bella love people. Their favorite thing is riding around our neighborhood in the golf cart.”


www.TheNewBarker.com


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