Local Driver Brought First Victory To NASCAR’s Hendrick Motorsports
Hendrick Motorsports is celebrating the 30th anniversary of their first win at Martinsville Speedway this weekend and it was a driver who used to call Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, New York his Friday night home who drove to the victory.
Geoff Bodine raced modifieds on the asphalt of the Malta speedplant in the 1970’s and went on to NASCAR’s top series in the 1980’s. It was Bodine who scored the historic first win for car owner Rick Hendrick at Martinsville Speedway on April 29, 1984. Hendrick’s team at that time was known as All Star Racing.
Hendrick has said that the win at that time was critical to the future of his team because if they had not won they would likely have folded up and shut the doors.
Bodine, who formally retired from racing in 2012, has 18 time Sprint Cup Series wins including the 1986 Daytona 500.
Hendrick Motorsports drivers racing in this Sunday’s race include Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon who are starting 4th and 5th, plus Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne who will start 26th and 27th.
Kyle Busch will start on the front row for the STP 500 along with teammate Denny Hamlin. Joey Logano broke the track record and will start 3rd and Matt Kenseth rounds out the top five starters. Here is the complete lineup.