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The Best New Yorkers in NASCAR History


Since the beginning of NASCAR in 1948, more than 180 New York natives have taken their wheels to the tarmac in attempts to outperform the high-octane competition. The professional drivers who have represented the Big Apple, both past and present, have left their mark on the track, so join us in celebrating the finest NASCAR drivers to stem from New York.

Jim Reed

Active years in NASCAR: 1951 to 1963

Born: Peekskill, New York

With 7 wins, 47 top-ten finishes, and 5 pole positions, Jim Reed excelled on the racetrack for over a decade, and he's one of the O.G. drivers who represented New York in NASCAR.

During his twelve years as a professional, Reed did over 16.000 laps – leading 1.472 of them – equivalent to over 14.000 miles. His career was cut short following a nasty wreckage that broke his vertebra, and he called it a day.

Reed lived a long life, passing away in his sleep aged 93-years-old.

Rest in Peace to a New York NASCAR legend.

Geoffrey Bodine

Active years in NASCAR: 1979 to 2011

Born: Chemung, New York

Perhaps the most successful New Yorker in NASCAR history, Geoffrey Bodine boasts an extensive race career that stemmed over 30 years – 27 of which took place in the NASCAR Cup Series (575 races).

Bodine was already accomplished before he reached the pinnacle of NASCAR, the Winston Cup Series. He was known as a modified driver, earning the Modified championships at Stafford Speedway, Shangri-La Speedway, and Ultica-Rome Speedway. To list all of his successes would take a while, but he won more races than any other Modified driver in recorded history.

He took 18 victories, 100 top-5, and 190 top-10 finishes in 575 NASCAR starts. He won the 1986 Daytona 500, and he won the rookie of the year away in 1982 and finished as a top-3 driver in the standings in 1990.

Placing a wager on Bodine for a top-5 finish would have been a profitable venture but also a stressful one without the niceties of the sports betting features in New York 2022.

In modern-day racing, New York sportsbooks promo codes would have been ideological to boost some odds-on Bodine and his impressive number of top-5 finishes. He could have been a viable Xfinity Series or Camping World Truck Series wager as a competitor in all three series during his career.

Bodine parked up his NASCAR tenure in 2012; after 27 seasons, it was time to focus on family and charitable deeds.

"If you race long enough, you'll hit your head, and I've been in that position several times. I've seemed to have bounced back from them with minimal side effects. People might say, 'Well, you're OK.' But the problem is that I don't know what might happen tomorrow when I wake up. I pray every night that I wake up and know who I am. All my concussions could have some effect on my life." Bodine said in an interview upon his retirement.

Steve Park

Active years in NASCAR: 1997 to 2011

Born: East Northport, New York

Steve Park didn't own the longest NASCAR career, but this New Yorker was a serious race driver winning races in NASCAR's two top Northeast touring series (Modified & K&N East) and all three divisions (Truck Busch, Cup Series).

Park took 12 top-5 finishes and 35 top-10s in 183 NASCAR Cup Series starts; these races spanned over nine years, but he also competed in Xfinity Series and Trucks for a combined 5 wins, 64 top-10s, and 5 poles.

After winning twice in NASCAR's highest division, Injuries plagued Park's career in the Cup Series as he became concerned with the neurological testing for drivers following his teammate's death and the fact that he'd been the victim of many crashes himself. One, in particular, left him with a severe brain injury and altered the trajectory of his once-promising career. He was removed from the remainder of the season, and upon his return, many noticed he was never the same again, with slurred speech and high emotions.

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