Las Vegas: Ford - Todd Bodine interview

This Week in Ford Racing February 25, 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Todd Bodine, driver of the No. 54 Army National Guard Taurus, was the fastest among 27 NASCAR Winston Cup teams that tested at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last month. Bodine, who won...

This Week in Ford Racing
February 25, 2003

NASCAR Winston Cup

Todd Bodine, driver of the No. 54 Army National Guard Taurus, was the fastest among 27 NASCAR Winston Cup teams that tested at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last month. Bodine, who won the pole for last year's event, had a fast lap of 169.800 mph.

TODD BODINE - No. 54 Army National Guard Taurus

DOES THE FACT 27 WINSTON CUP CARS TESTED AT LAS VEGAS INDICATE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE NEW RULES PACKAGE ON TRACKS OF THIS NATURE?

"Yeah. For us it didn't because our bodies are basically the same, even though the location is a little different. But I think that's why so many teams went, for sure. It's one of the cookie-cutter tracks. There are so many tracks like it that all of the data you collect can be transferred to a lot of other race tracks. Being it is the third race of the year, it's a good place to test to gain an advantage through the year."

WILL THE RESULTS OF LAS VEGAS DICTATE WHICH CARS WILL BE GOOD ALL YEAR?

"Yeah. There are four or five tracks that are just like Las Vegas, so all that data will carry over and, consequently, whoever is good at Vegas will likely be good at those other tracks. That's why it's a good place to test."

DID YOU DRAW ANY CONCLUSIONS FROM THAT TEST?

"I didn't even look at speeds or anything, but we went there basically like we had been the last couple of years. In fact, we went with the same setup we sat on the pole with last year and the car was still fast, so that tells you from Ford to Ford it's pretty much the same that we had. There is no difference. The body location didn't make a big difference for us. We feel when we go back there we'll have a good handle on what we need to do and where we need to do."

HOW WAS YOUR TEST?

"We worked basically one day each on qualifying and race setups. We got really good in race trim making 10-lap runs, but when we went to make a 40-lap run we lost it somehow. We kind of think we know what was wrong, so I'm fairly confident going back."

THE VEGAS TRACK IS ONE OF THE MORE RACEABLE ON THE CIRCUIT ISN'T IT?

"It's very raceable. I said that from the very first time we went there. If you're hooked up on the bottom you can run fast and even though it's further around to go on the outside, if you're hooked up you can run just as fast out there as you can on the bottom. The track is wide enough, smooth enough and forgiving enough that you can drive the car differently and make it handle different. It's a really good race track to race on."

THERE USUALLY AREN'T MANY CAUTIONS IN THIS RACE SO IS IT MORE IMPERATIVE TO BE GOOD RIGHT FROM THE START?

"Yeah, exactly. That's why qualifying is important. You've got to be somewhere toward the front so you don't get back in the traffic. If you get stuck back there and things get stretched out, you'll end up getting a lap down. You might have a decent car, but that one guy is gonna be really hooked up and take off and you end up getting a lap down on the first run. That's why qualifying is important."

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Todd Bodine