LAKE PLACID - NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion Johnny Benson and NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Champion Jeg Coughlin, Jr. have signed on to compete in the fourth annual Whelen Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge, slated for Jan. 2-4 at the Olympic Sports Complex.
Benson, who competed in his first Bodine Bobsled Challenge last year, won his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Championship this year. Last year, the driver finished third in the final standings, and was runner-up to fellow Bodine bobsled competitor Todd Bodine in 2006. Benson is making his second appearance in the Challenge and is hoping to improve his bobsledding results.
Coughlin is a four-time NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Champion, and is currently the two-time defending champion (2000, 2002, 2007, and 2008). Coughlin won the bronze medal as a bobsledding rookie in his first race and is looking to dethrone fellow NHRA competitor Morgan Lucas as the top bobsled driver on the dragster circuit.
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 Boris Said. Said has dominated the bobsledding field, losing only the first-ever Bodine Bobsled race to Kevin Lepage. Said has commented in the past that maybe "bobsledding is in my genes" as his father Bob Said was an Olympic bobsled competitor.
Joining Said is NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie driving sensation Joey Logano as well as the 2008 NASCAR Whelen racing series champions Philip Morris, Brian Loftin and Ted Christopher.
"Sliced Bread" Logano competed last year in the Bodine Bobsled Challenge, finishing eighth. Morris, a 2007 Bodine Bobsled Challenge participant, is returning again this year after winning the 2008 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Championship.
Loftin clinched the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour by a mere 30 points for his first career NASCAR championship while Christopher won the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Championship to claim his place in the bobsledding field.
Rounding out the drivers is Todd Bodine, the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Champion and brother of the Bodine Challenge founder Geoff Bodine, Daytona Rolex pole winner Eric Curran and19-year-old sprint car driver Tom Tolbert out of Ohio.
SPEED channel will again televise four hours of the Whelen Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge, Jan. 18 at noon and Jan. 25 at 2 p.m. MRN Radio has signed on to provide live coverage of the Bodine Bobsled Challenge all three days.