BINGHAMTON, NY…Two-time Sunoco Race of Champions winner Geoff Bodine will be returning to the place he grew up as the Grand Marshall of the 65th Sunoco Race of Champions 200 this Sunday, October 4th. For the first time the Chemung Speedrome will host the storied event, a race track originally built by the Bodine family and later re-built and opened by Bob Stapleton.
Bodine, a two time winner of the Sunoco Race of Champions will be returning to his roots for the 65th edition of the RoC. His victories in the 1972 RoC at Trenton Speedway and the 1978 edition at Pocono solidified his standing as one of the greatest open wheel Modified drivers of all time. His victory in the 1986 Daytona 500 came as no surprise to the northern race fans that saw him in action behind the wheel. Bodine also had three International Race of Champions victories which pitted the best names in the world auto racing scene during the 1980’s and 1990’s.
“I’m looking forward to returning home for the RoC weekend,” said Bodine. He added, “It will be great to be part of the first ever RoC 200 being hosted at Chemung.” Race of Champions Director Andrew Harpell commented, “Geoff has provided our race fans with some amazing drives during his career and we are thrilled to have him returning for the weekend.” He added, “This clearly has special meaning to him and his family with their connection and contributions to Modified racing.”
In July Race of Champions Director Andrew Harpell announced the change of venue from the long time host Oswego Speedway to the Chemung Speedrome. After 20 plus years Harpell will conclude his involvement with the event this October as western, New York auto racing industry leader Joe Skotnicki has purchased the rights to the event. The sale will become official in January. Harpell commented on the venue change, “We wanted to bring the event to the loyal fans of the southern tier region of New York and the Chemung Speedrome was a great fit. We cannot wait to put on the 65th RoC this Sunday.” He added, “So many great teams and fans have come out of our region to support the race over the years. This is my personal way of saying thanks by hosting the event in this area.
The Sunoco Race of Champions Weekend will take place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Chemung Speedrome in Chemung, New York. On Friday there will be no racing activities but there will be a Chicken BBQ presented by Phil’s Chicken House famous BBQ. Driver registration and pre-event ticket sales will continue on Friday at the Chemung Speedrome offices.
On Saturday the Race of Champions Sportsman 125 lap feature event will take center stage highlighting many of the weekly Chemung stars in competition. Teams from all over the northeast will be on hand for that event. The biggest INEX Legends Car event in the northeast will also be on the Saturday evening card. Their 30 lap event will see one of the richest purse payouts in the entire northeast for the teams in competition. Chris Zacharias has posted bonus money for the “Shirley Shootout” B-Main event that will see every non-qualifying Legend Car driver receiving some cash for their attempt to make the show. Teams from six different states have shown interest in the Legend Showdown at the Drome presented by PA Notary Services.
Also on Saturday the Bandolero division will be in competition along with a Four Cylinder Open. Area businessman Jerry Sinsabugh has raised over $700 in bonus money and gift certificates for all of the young competitor’s in the Bandolero division. This will be an outstanding event for both of those classes as well. Racing on Saturday will get underway at 6 p.m.
On Sunday the Chemung Speedrome will become the focus of all eyes in northeast auto racing as the 65th running of the Sunoco Race of Champions Modified 200 will take center stage. The 200 lap event will pay a minimum of $10,000 to win with a driver able to walk away with well over $15,000 with additional posted bonus lap money. The Race of Champions is the second longest consecutively run auto racing event in the United States. Second only to the Indy 500. The Super Stocks and Front Wheel Drive Four Cylinders will be part of the Sunday action with racing set to begin at 2:15 p.m.
The Race of Champions offices can be contacted at 607-775-5555 or by emailing the office at [email protected] Tickets can be purchased by phoning the speedway offices and using your major credit card. A full weekend schedule and pricing can be found at www.raceofchampionsweekend.com. Kids 5 and younger will be admitted FREE of charge both days!
-Chemung Speedrome Press Release. Photo credit: NASCAR Media