Bodine Joins RD Staff

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The newest member of NASCAR's Research & Development team knows his sport well from behind the wheel. Now, he gets the opportunity to contribute behind the scenes.

NASCAR president Mike Helton announced today that veteran driver Brett Bodine has joined NASCAR's R&D staff as special project engineer. Bodine, who holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the State University of New York at Alfred, will tackle several assignments. One project with priority is the "Car of the Future," where Bodine will work on costsaving initiatives.

Operating out of NASCAR's Concord, N.C.-based R&D Center, Bodine will work with Gary Nelson, NASCAR's managing director of research and development.

A native of Chemung, N.Y., Bodine, 45, competed at NASCAR's highest level for nearly 20 years. He has one win (1990 at North Wilkesboro) and five poles in 480 career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series starts. His career-high finish of 12th in the point standings also came in 1990.

Bodine was a driver/owner from 1996-2003. He became an owner in 1996, buying the renowned No. 11 team from Junior Johnson prior to that season. His last on-track action came in June, 2003, when he qualified for the June 15 event at Michigan.

Prior to 2003, Bodine had been a fulltime NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competitor for 15 consecutive seasons (1988-2003). During his career, he drove for some of NASCAR’s most successful owners, including Bud Moore (1988-89), Kenny Bernstein (1990-1994) and Junior Johnson (1995). Bodine’s first race in NASCAR’s premier series came in 1986 for owner Rick Hendrick (his only start that year). He drove 14 races for Hoss Ellington in 1987 before beginning his fulltime career in 1988.

"We're delighted to have Brett on board," Helton said. "He's been such a steadfast member of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series garage over the years, and he’s done it all - he's built race cars, he's worked on race cars and he's driven race cars. He brings a new perspective that we're glad to tap into."

Bodine's experience also extends back to the NASCAR Busch Series, where he was the series runner-up in 1986. Before that, he enjoyed success in northeastern modified circles, finishing second in the 1984 track championship at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway, and winning the 1985 Modified Race of Champions at Pocono Raceway. Overall, he has three career victories in the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series. In 1998, he was named one of the Top-50 Modified drivers of all time.

Bodine hails from a racing family; older brother Geoffrey (54) and younger brother Todd (40) also are veteran NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers. Brett Bodine resides in Davidson, N.C.

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