After sitting through last week's rain delay in Atlanta, Todd Bodine took to the track on Monday and was caught up in an accident shortly after the race resumed. Unfortunately for Bodine, driver of the No. 54 National Guard Taurus, that has been...
After sitting through last week's rain delay in Atlanta, Todd Bodine took to the track on Monday and was caught up in an accident shortly after the race resumed. Unfortunately for Bodine, driver of the No. 54 National Guard Taurus, that has been a frequent occurrence this season. He spoke about his bad luck this season and how he plans on getting through the final three races of 2003.
TODD BODINE - No. 54 National Guard Taurus -
HAS IT GOTTEN TO THE POINT WHERE THE MAIN GOAL IS TO JUST FINISH A RACE WITH THE CAR IN ONE PIECE? "It's a definite goal, especially in our situation. We don't have a lot of cars left. We had two cars that we wanted to run the rest of the year with because they've got better bodies on them, but we lost one of them last week. Now we're down to one good car. We talked about this subject in our team meeting this week with the crew at the shop and they don't want me to just turn laps out there. They want me to go out and race every lap hard and let the chips fall where they will. They don't want me to go out and wreck and tear the fenders and sides off of it, but they don't want me to go out there with the philosophy of just finishing the race. That means a lot to me for them to feel that way and still have that kind of confidence in me."
LAST WEEK HAD TO BE FRUSTRATING. DO YOU EVER WONDER WHAT YOU DID TO DESERVE SUCH BAD LUCK? "We wonder that every week. We've been in 19 crashes this year and giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, I'll take the blame for four of them, so 15 times we were a victim of circumstance. I mean, at both Bristols we were run into from behind by the same guy both times. At Richmond, stopping for a wreck we got hit from behind and slammed into the inside wall -- both Michigans. It just goes on and on. At Michigan we had a top-five car and got wrecked at the end. At Rockingham, we had a shock mount break running fourth or fifth. It gets extremely frustrating, but I've been around this sport a long time. This may sound cold to put it this way, but it's just a race car and it's just a race. When I climb out of it and I'm in one piece, I go back to the coach and hug my daughter and kiss my wife and go home. There will be another race next week. We understand our place in the pecking order in this garage area and that's not 33rd in points. That's 15th in points. That's where we should be as a team right now if you were basing us on our performance. Unfortunately, I can't drive everybody else's car and we've been a victim of a lot of circumstances. There's nothing you can do about it but go to the next race."
HAVE MOST OF THESE WRECKS COME IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PACK - TRYING TO GET TO THE FRONT? "Some of it has been that, but there have been times when we've been in the top 10 and got caught up in somebody else's mistake. It happens through the whole pack, but it just seems like we're a magnet for it."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT TOMORROW? "This is a good race car. We kind of got a bad draw in qualifying and the weather got us. Tomorrow will just be a matter of positioning ourselves to not get in a bad situation. That's one thing that I've really tried hard to do this year is not get in bad situations, but that doesn't seem to help. That was one of the topics we discussed this week with our team, but, like I said, they don't want me to worry about it. I'm just gonna go out and race."
WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS TRACK AND THE CHANGES THAT HAVE BEEN MADE WILL DO TO THE RACE TOMORROW? "It's definitely gonna be more conducive to side-by-side racing. After watching Kevin yesterday, in three and four he ran the high line a lot so that just tells me that the outside has a lot better grip than the bottom. The bottom is just worn out. The widening of turn two will help because the tendency there is to always be tight up off that corner, but now you've got 12 more feet that you can run the car up. That will allow you to run side-by-side a lot easier off of that corner."