Off-season versus an off-week
Photo by Dominic Aragon/TheRacingExperts.com
Geoff Bodine overlooks an ARCA Series qualifying session at Kansas Speedway in October 2015.
By Geoff Bodine
January 11, 2015
DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
The race season is very long. At the
beginning and towards the end, there's no off-weeks, there's not that much time
off. Well, there's not much down time, in general, during the season.
During off-weeks, time is spent with the family as much as possible, but when that doesn't happen, we might be testing somewhere, racing in another division or adhering to our sponsor commitments.
The off-season sounds deceiving, because it brings the opportunity to do anything but sit around.
Drivers are very busy during this "down time" with more sponsor commitments, appearances, working with the team in the shop, and even more racing, like the Chili Bowl.
One thing we get to do during the off-season that we don't get to during off-weeks is get to go to football games. I know many in the NASCAR community that enjoy going to Panther games, and I'm assuming even more so this season.
Racing is truly a 24/7 occupation, but you have the ability to allocate time exclusively for the family. I know that when I raced, I would make sure to make my family time priority and then let people know what my schedule was around that.
We would make the time and effort to visit with the extended family, because just like people who aren't involved in racing, we all enjoying visiting with our relatives.
The off-season also provides the time to get acquainted with new partners and sponsors that may be coming on board with the team for the following year.
It's a great time to schedule meetings, meet the folks and maybe shoot a commercial or two.
I can only speak for myself, but in conversations throughout my career with other drivers, it seems like most of us were ready to head back to the racetrack after two or three weekends not being trackside.
For me, I missed it that badly. I would miss being behind-the-wheel, being around the racing community.
My kids were grown up through most of my Cup career, so I wasn't missing football games or milestones along the way. But when they were growing up, I couldn't stress the importance of family enough; I was the first driver to have a motor home at the racetrack.
I wanted to take the family with me, especially when the kids weren't in school, so we could have somewhat of a normal life.
It worked; it gave our family more time together. You have to embrace family time as much as possible because you never get it back.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Do you have any questions about the NASCAR industry that doesn’t have a thorough answer? Ask below, and we may have Geoff answer your question in a future installment of Geoff’s Journal.)