Todd Bodine Martinsville II pole qualifying press conference

TODD BODINE: "We've been fortunate. A lot of the races we've unloaded and had real close qualifying setups and that's critical in Winston Cup racing. If you're out there trying to chase three-tenths and trying to catch up with the pack, you end...

TODD BODINE:
"We've been fortunate. A lot of the races we've unloaded and had real close qualifying setups and that's critical in Winston Cup racing. If you're out there trying to chase three-tenths and trying to catch up with the pack, you end up throwing things at the car and really getting in left field sometimes. We've been lucky that we've unloaded and just had to fine-tune the car and try to find that tenth or tenth-and-a-half and that's allowed us the luxury of knowing that we're gonna be close to the front and allowing me to drive the car a little harder and trying to get something extra out of it. The Kmart Blue Light Special has really been good in qualifying."

WILL THE MODIFIED RACE EFFECT THE CUP CARS TOMORROW? "It's definitely gonna change the race track. Their rubber that they lay down doesn't mix with ours real well, but we're gonna have happy hour after the race, so the race track will come back to what we need it to be. What's gonna be critical for us is our first practice in the morning and trying to get good balance in the car. We were really good here in the spring. We started 10th and, unfortunately, on the 10th lap we had a break in the motor and didn't get to run the race, but we had a good car in practice. Hopefully, it'll be kind of like qualifying -- we can have a good starting point and we can be able to fine-tune it from there. I'm definitely gonna stick around and watch that modified race."

USUALLY YOU AND SPENCER DO WELL TOGETHER, BUT HE STRUGGLED TODAY. "Yeah, Jimmy's car was a little out of control for him today. I haven't actually gotten to speak with him or Donnie (Wingo) today. They were struggling a little in practice. They were basically right where we were, but, evidently, they didn't get it quite right for qualifying. We've been fortunate that both teams have had pretty good qualifying efforts all year. Last week was real special for all of us to have the front row and it would have been nice today to have the front row again, but they'll get it right for the race. Jimmy and Donnie know what they're doing. They had a good car here in the spring."

IS THERE JUST ONE STEP YOUR TEAM IS MISSING AS FAR AS RACING WELL AND WINNING? "That's one thing that we've known for a few months now is that we've got to work on our race setups. That's the hard part about a start-up team. It's not really a start-up team, but we're kind of starting over. You've got a new driver and new setups and that's the hard part -- getting that thing to last through a whole race. I won't say it takes years to get that right, but it takes a lot of races and a lot of notes and really being precise in what you do. We're in the process of basically gathering data. We're trying to be the best we can, but we feel like next year we're gonna be really good. We've got good baseline setups and it's just a matter of making the car run through a whole race. It's like last week at Charlotte, we started off really fast and faded. We know why the car faded and know what we need to not do next time, so when we come back in the spring we can be a little bit better."

IS THE NEW SURFACE IN TURN FOUR GOING TO CHANGE THE WAY YOU DRIVE OR MANEUVER? "Yeah, the new concrete in turn four is extremely slick. I don't know if it's because it hasn't taken any rubber or what the deal is. I haven't actually walked out to look at the surface. It might be a little different type surface. Even though it's concrete, it could have a different finish to it. So, it's really slick. The first three or four times out today I basically just searched around in that spot to find the best grip and I think I found a good spot to run. That's gonna kind of determine how the race goes. I think you're gonna see a lot of passing on the front straightaway on Sunday for guys that maybe slip and get a little high off there, they don't get the grip they could get down low and somebody getting underneath them. It's gonna lead to an interesting race."

THE BODINES HAVE DONE WELL AT THIS TRACK IN MODIFIEDS AND CUP. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR YOU TO ADD YOUR NAME TO THIS LIST? "It's important just to get to victory lane, it doesn't matter what race track. But for myself and my family it would be a little more special here at Martinsville. I've been coming here probably since I was six or seven years old, every spring and every fall, watching my brothers race and watching my brothers sit on poles and win races. I came here changing tires for Brett on his modified as a crew member. In fact, this was the first race track I raced when I moved south in a late model stock car. It's very big just to sit on the pole here for us. It's been great for our family and to get my first victory here Sunday would be absolutely incredible. It would mean a lot to myself and my brothers to be able to do that. I don't think there has been three brothers that ever won at this race track in any division."

WHAT'S YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS FOR SUNDAY? "It's still a win mentality. We're here to win this race. If we wouldn't we would have never loaded the cars up and come to the race track. But in a realistic world, we have to understand where our team is at and be prepared that if we don't have a car to win the race, we have to get the best finish we can -- run all day and get the most information we can get for the next time here. If we've got a car that's capable of winning the race, you can bet your butt that we're gonna be up there fighting for the win. If we've got a good car, we're gonna try for the win, there's no doubt about it. I've learned a lot in the last three or four years in the Busch Grand National Series about how to run these races and how to get to the end of the race. We live and breathe the points system and right now we're way back in the points and we need to get the most points we can get on Sunday to try to get us up where we need to be for the next season."

YOU WENT FROM 19TH ON YOUR FIRST LAP TO FIRST. WHAT DID YOU FIND? "In practice we ran a .38 and we ran a .20 in qualifying. That seems like a world of time, but it's not. It's just a matter of hitting my marks, just getting a good lap and doing everything right. We did adjust the car a little bit from practice, not a whole lot, just a little, but I've said it once I've said it a hundred times -- one of the biggest keys for us qualifying is sitting underneath the hood. The Robert Yates horsepower out of Mooresville -- Mike Ege and his group just do a fantastic job. We know that when it comes time to qualify and they put the tune up in the motor that it's gonna be there and it's up to us to have the car to be able to do it. I'm not gonna say that was that extra two-tenths today from practice, but I'm telling you, it sure helps when you step in the throttle and you know it's gonna go down the straightaway. You've got to have the whole package and, in practice, we just didn't have that one super-fast lap, but we knew we had a decent car. That allowed me to go out and get a decent first lap, which I knew we did, and the second lap I kind of let her hang out and the car still stuck and did everything it was supposed to do."

-Ford Racing-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Todd Bodine , Robert Yates