DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The last time race fans saw Danny Bohn on the track, he was safely exiting his over-turned Modified on the front stretch of the UNOH Battle At The Beach course at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
As Bohn surveyed the damage on live television, he told reporters it looked like the crash had not only ended his night but may have sidelined him for the year. A small-budget, one-chassis operation, Bohn was doubtful at the time his team could get everything lined up in time for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season.
Less than a month later, thanks to a tremendous amount of help from his boss and old Modified friends back in New Jersey, the 24-year-old from Freehold, N.J., is heading to Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C., this weekend for the first race. And the 2012 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Sunoco Rookie of the Year and championship runner-up has his sights set on a run at the title, beginning with the Charles Kepley Memorial 150 Saturday.
“We all go race competitively, but a lot of us are friends,” said Bohn. “We try to help each other as much as we can. We’re not big teams. We don’t have a lot of money. In order to keep going, everybody has to help each other out.”
Bohn said Whelen Modified Tour veteran Jamie Tomaino sent one of his guys down to North Carolina to haul the parts to Bohn, who now resides in Mooresville. Jimmy Blewett, another New Jersey native and Whelen Modified Tour mainstay, gave him a slightly used body. Fortunately for Bohn, he said the engine escaped major damage in the Daytona wreck.
He also credited his boss, former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion crew chief Ray Evernham, with helping him get rolling again. Bohn works as a mechanic and fabricator for Ray Evernham Enterprises.
Now he’ll be ready for Caraway, where he picked up his first tour win last October. Bohn also finished third in the July race at Caraway, a track crucial to the championship picture.
“We learned a lot last year, travel around to different tracks,” Bohn said. “Not only was I learning tracks, but I was learning the car, too. Toward the end of the year we figured it out a little bit.
“Because we go to Caraway so many times, you can learn something every time you go there and it makes you that much better. We won the last tour race and I’m going hoping to repeat that.”