Said Defends Bobsled Title

LAKE PLACID, NY - When you’re good, you’re good. And let it be said, that Boris Said is real good at bobsledding.

For the third time in four years, Boris Said won the Chevy Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge, presented by Whelen Engineering, here at the Olympic Complex on Mount Vanhovenberg. He not only won the individual competition, but also the NASCAR vs NHRA elimination round to pick up two trophies in one day.

“I just can’t believe this,” Said said. “I mean; to come out and here and just take part in this event is one thing. Our Olympic Bobsled team needs all the help they can get through donations and fundraisers like this.

“But to win both events in the same day is great. I really like competing out here and just helping out our Olympic athletes is enough of a victory for me.”

In the individual elimination round, Said and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Todd Bodine went head-to-head in their finals bracket. Bodine had a great run, but Said did one better beating him by 3/10ths of a second.

On the NHRA side, Top Fuel drivers Bill Vandergriff, Jr. and Morgan Lucas squared off against each other. Last year, it was Lucas making it to the finals; which he did again this year in his Lucas Oil sled.

For the finale, Said and Lucas each drove the same sled down the three-quarter mile course to keep things even. Lucas had a great run, but Said had one just a little better saving his best run of the day for last.

“I knew coming into this deal that Said was the man to beat,” Lucas said. “I can’t complain, even though you want to win. Now that he beat me, I can come back again next year to try and knock Boris off as the King of the Hill.

“This is just great to be part of this whole ordeal and help out our Olympic Bobsled team. We go straight in our Top Fuel dragsters, so this left and right turning stuff is kind of different.”

While each driver took the steering rings in their hands, they weren’t alone in their runs. National Guardsman rode down with them as brakeman. They were also instrumental in moving the sleds off the return trucks, into position and sanding the rudders for runs.

“These young men and women are having the times of their lives,” said Major Dave Palmeri, from the Vander Fleet Arsenal in Vander Fleet, NY. “Every one of these young servicemen will tell all their friends and family this week they went bobsledding with NASCAR and NHRA drivers.

“This has been a very special weekend for us in many ways.”

While Said and Lucas are veterans down the mountain, reigning Craftsman Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday, Jr. was a rookie sledder. Like a kid with a lifetime pass to an amusement park, Hornaday returned to the top of the mountain smiling from ear-to-ear and whooping it up once he started driving the sleds.

“I was having a problem with the bottom part of the hill in the beginning,” he said. “When I thought I was getting that part figured out, another part of the track would be tricky. Heck, if I knew what I was doing up here in these sleds; it would be pretty dangerous.

“This is a blast; I love it and can’t wait to come back here again.”

Geoff Bodine served as Race Director in addition to hosting the fundraising event. While he stayed on top of the run giving out advice and reassurance to every driver, the competitive nature in his blood started to surface.

“You know something,” he said halfway through the day. “I think I want to get in a sled and compete. I mean, I haven’t even gone down once all weekend. (Laughs)

“But, to see these drag and oval drivers all come together like this and have a good time is great for me. We had a great turnout with 10 championship drivers from all kinds of different divisions. And, they all did a real good job of racing and competing.

“My only request is they spread the word about bobsledding and that we need to keep winning medals for our American teams. This has been another great event.”

For more information on how to donate to the Bo-Dyne Boblsed Project for the US teams, log on to

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