CHARLOTTE (AP) -- Geoffrey Bodine is 44th in the Winston Cup standings, has only 12 starts on the year, and doesn't have a single top-10 finish.
Now the 1986 Daytona 500 champion is out of a job.
Bodine, who missed the season's first 10 Winston Cup races while recovering from a fiery crash in a Craftsman Truck race at Daytona, was let go Monday as a driver for Joe Bessey Motorsports.
Bessey, an occasional driver on the Busch Grand National series, called Bodine and told him he would take over the car for the remaining nine Winston Cup races this season.
"I was flabbergasted," said Bodine, who has 18 career Winston Cup victories.
Team manager Mark Stinson said he preferred to let Bessey discuss the decision. Bessey, who previously suggested he might drive the car himself next season, was not available for comment.
Still, Bodine thought he would remain with the team through the end of this season.
"We had an agreement to run the whole year and he just not too long ago asked me if I was going to drive for him the rest of the year," Bodine said. "So I thought we had everything under control."
Bodine, 51, is not sure what he will do the rest of the year.
"I had been talking to team owners about next year, but now I am going to start looking for the rest of this year," he said. "But I don't believe there are any opportunities, so this is not a real good time for this to be happening."
Bodine, who was in his second season driving for Bessey, was nearly killed on Feb. 18 when his truck was pinched against the outside wall at Daytona, became airborne and burst into flames as it rolled.
Bodine was hospitalized with a concussion and broken wrist, ankle and vertebra, but he was able to return to racing 2 1/2 months later.
He said that accident, and Bessey's failure to land a sponsor for next year, caused the team's struggles.
"He had been looking for sponsorship and the team has been kind of in the dark about it and we lost some key people because of that," Bodine said. "Plus, the Besseys were quite upset that I drove the truck and got hurt. They blamed all their problems on me not driving and thought things would have been different if I had been driving.
"But now they say they are going to replace me, so that doesn't make a lot of sense."
Bessey has just one start in 34 Busch races this season. The 39-year-old car owner, racing on and off since 1988, has one Busch victory and two poles in his career.
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