TODD BODINE --66-- Haas Carter Motorsports Taurus (Qualified 1st) "We had a great race car. That's what it takes to do something like that (set a track record). We had a good lap and everything went right. It's a little bit surprising because...
TODD BODINE --66-- Haas Carter Motorsports Taurus (Qualified 1st)
"We had a great race car. That's what it takes to do something like that (set a track record). We had a good lap and everything went right. It's a little bit surprising because we weren't quite that good in practice, but we made some educated guesses. Joe actually made a change right there at the end of practice that made his car better and Travis came over and told us about it, so we did it for qualifying and that made the car better. That's one of the advantages of having a good teammate that you can relate with and talk to and have the same feel. This is the first time that we've been actually able to help each other."
YOU TESTED OUT HERE. HOW MUCH OF A BENEFIT WAS THAT? "It's a big benefit. The race track has definitely changed -- it's lost some grip. One of the big things is the rule change. Last year we were able to run bump stops on the front of the car and we couldn't do that this year, so we had to come out and go through a whole new setup and get something that works and we did. It was really important."
WAS THERE MORE EMPHASIS HERE FOR SPONSOR REASONS? "We really didn't feel like we had something to prove by getting the pole. We've always been really good out here. We qualified sixth out here last year and I was second in the Busch race and won t he Busch race, so I've always run well here. Like I said, with the rule change and taking away the bump stops, we felt that was the most important reason for coming out. We knew this was a good track for us. A lot of guys test at their bad tracks, but we felt this was the best opportunity for us to win a race, so we wanted to come out here and test. That's the main reason we came."
DID YOU KNOW THE SPONSOR MONEY WAS GONE WHEN YOU TESTED? "Yeah, we knew when we tested the sponsorship was gone, but the money for coming out here to race was already spent. The rooms and the flights were already made, so the only thing we hadn't spent already were the tires for the race, so it wasn't like we spent extra money, it was money already spent. We knew when we came to test we didn't have a sponsor, but, there again, flights and rooms were already made so it was money already spent and it really was a no-brainer to come out here. Also, we wanted to come here without a sponsor. We wanted to be on TV without a sponsor. We want to show people that we need sponsorship and there's no better way to show that it's good a race than by getting on the pole, that's for sure."
AS MUCH EFFORT WILL GO INTO WINNING TOO, RIGHT? "Yeah, I mean that's what we're all here for is to win the race. Qualifying is one race and then you've got another race on Sunday. I think we've got a good chance and a good opportunity to show what we can do. We are entertaining some sponsors and talking with some people, but nothing that's even close to being a deal. Right now, we're gonna decide on Monday whether we're going to Atlanta. To be quite blunt, I don't think we're gonna be going to Atlanta."
HAS ANYTHING CHANGED AS FAR AS YOUR PROSPECTS? "I haven't spoken to anybody. In Winston Cup there are no rides to be had. At the start of the year everybody has a job and nobody is ready to get bounced out yet. I've been around the Busch garage and I've talked to some people and everybody knows that come Monday I'm gonna be looking for a job, but, at the same time, until Travis and Carl tell me to pack my helmet up and go home, I'm gonna stick with them. They're two super-good people and they've built a great race team. That's where I want to be, but if the door is closes, I'll have to look for a job. I told a lot of people that I can still fabricate. I still have my tools and I can go back to work fabricating if I have to."
WILL A WIN ON SUNDAY CHANGE THE PICTURE AS FAR AS GOING TO ATLANTA? "That really is Travis anc Carl's decision. I like to think it would help, but, obviously, it comes down to the dollars and that would go a long way to keeping us open for a while. Atlanta is one of those places you don't fly to, so that's not an expense. You've got motels, you've got motors, you've got tires, it's still expensive to go there so it's really up to Carl and Travis as to what we end up doing."