LAKE PLACID-Geoff Bodine was part of the group that got former NASCAR driver and current commentator Kyle Petty to bring his charity ride to the Lake Placid region.
For Bodine, a fellow NASCARdriver, it is something that he has been doing for several years.
Bodine helped form the BoDyn Bobsled Project, which has been building sleds for the American team using his connections with the NASCAR and racing world as well as the world of bobsledding.
"Now that Kyle has been up here, hopefully we can get him to come back for the Bodine Challenge," he said.
This year, the challenge, which puts NASCAR drivers into the bobsleds for racing down the Mount Van Hoevenberg track, was cancelled. However, driver Tony Stewart came to try out the bobsleds and said that he would like to take part in the next challenge.
"When you come in and go past that village sign, you get hooked," Bodine said. "When you see the venues and the sport, why wouldn't you want to be here?"
Through the BoDyn Bobsled Project, the United States Program vaulted into the international spotlight, highlighted by their victory in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
"Before the last Olympics, we came up with a plan to win the gold," Bodine said. "We worked with Whelen and with our other partners to accomplish that plan and now, we have another plan in place already for 2014."
Bodine said that they plan to improve upon their sled design, which continued to be seen as a leader in the world of bobsledding.
"When I first got involved, I was amazed that we did not have a place that was making American bobsleds for American athletes," Bodine said. "With all that we have done, I feel like, even though I am 5 feet 7 inches, that I am 7 feet tall. We stand tall behind our sleds, and, like in NASCAR, just because you have won the race doesn't mean that you do not improve on your sled and what you are doing."
Bodine said that along with bringing the USAteam to new heights, the BoDyn Project has helped the sport as a whole.
"Indirectly, we have helped programs throughout the world," Bodine said. "It's crazy because all the athletes throughout the world like us, even though we beat them. In NASCAR, when you beat someone, they don't like you."
Bodine said that while there are many exciting possibilities on the horizon, the project is still seeking funding to continue its mission.
"The catch in all of our plans is the economy," he said. "We need the support, and we have actually met with a lot of people while here for Kyle's event that have stepped up."