Countdown to Daytona: Geoff Bodine wins 1986 Daytona 500 for Rick Hendrick
The 59th running of the Daytona 500 is getting nearer and nearer — in fact, it’s just five days away now.
Yes, this year’s 500 is set for Feb. 26th at 2 p.m. on FOX, five days from now, which leads us to some interesting countdown race trivia.
In what is now known as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, eight drivers have won more than one race in the No. 5.
Those eight include NASCAR Hall of Fame member Terry Labonte (12 race victories), Kasey Kahne (five), Ricky Rudd (four), Neil Bonnett (tw0), Kyle Busch (four) and two more NASCAR Hall of Famers, Mark Martin (five) and Cotton Owens (three).
You know what those seven drivers have in common, besides winning races in the No. 5?
None of those seven ever won the Daytona 500 as a driver.
But one other driver did win the Daytona 500 in the No. 5 — Geoff Bodine in 1986, when he drove the Levi Garrett-sponsored No. 5 Chevrolet Monte Carlo to victory in the Great American Race.
Bodine’s win was big for the driver, and it might have been even more important for his team owner Rick Hendrick, because it was the first Daytona 500 victory for Hendrick Motorsports.
Bodine won the ’86 Daytona 500 by a whopping 11.26 seconds ahead of Labonte, with Darrell Waltrip third, followed by Bobby Hillin Jr. and Benny Parsons.
Hendrick would go on to win the Daytona 500 in 1989 with Waltrip, with Jeff Gordon in 1997, ’99 and ‘05, Jimmie Johnson in 2006 and ’13, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in ’14.
And this year, Hendrick Motorsports swept the front row in Daytona 500 qualifying, with Chase Elliott on the pole and Earnhardt on the outside of Row 1.
Can Hendrick Motorsports win a ninth Daytona 500 on Sunday? Tune into FOX and find out.