Dover: Todd Bodine preview

Bodine Set to Race Copart Tundra at Monster Mile Mooresville, N.C. (05-25-2009) The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Dover, Del., for the next stop on the 2009 racing schedule. The track is known as the "Monster Mile," and the...

Bodine Set to Race Copart Tundra at Monster Mile

Mooresville, N.C. (05-25-2009) The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Dover, Del., for the next stop on the 2009 racing schedule. The track is known as the "Monster Mile," and the driver of the No. 30 Copart Tundra, Todd Bodine, knows the monster well. Bodine, the 2006 Truck Series champion, has three NASCAR wins at Dover International Speedway. He loves the track and is anxious to get the Copart Tundra on track for Friday's racing action.

"Dover is a track where you have to stay on top of the wheel every lap, the whole race and it's kind of my style. You really have to be aggressive driving it and you can't be afraid of it. I've always enjoyed running at Dover and I'm looking forward to racing the Copart Tundra there on Friday," said Bodine, of Chemung, NY.

Bodine says balance is a big factor in truck setup at Dover.

"A good truck turns in the middle and gets up off the corner good. A bad truck just doesn't do what you need it to do in the middle or off (the corner); it's always pushing or loose. It's all about balance -- having a good balance in the Copart Tundra setup," said Bodine.

Crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. explains the way the racing surface of the Monster Mile changes throughout the race weekend.

"The toughest part of racing at Dover is that we practice on a green race track. We are the first vehicles on the track. By the time we race, there's been a lot of vehicles on the track and the track changes. You don't get a lot of practice time on your tires, so you have to make good decisions and it starts with unloading a good Copart Tundra at the start of the weekend," said Hillman.

Bodine, a three-time winner at Dover, agrees.

"Dover gains grip with more rubber to start with, then goes back the other way and loses grip. When we take the Copart Tundra out to qualify, the track will be in fairly good shape, but when we get on the track to race, the track is starting to lose grip at that point," said Bodine, who ranks fifth in the Truck Series championship standings after six of 25 races.

Copart has two locations nearby in Maryland in Baltimore and Salisbury. Bodine and Hillman hope to put on a great performance for the area's Copart associates.

Todd Bodine on Dover International Speedway

How do you feel about the Monster Mile?

"I've always liked Dover. It's one of the tracks I first got to race when I started in NASCAR and in my first race at Dover I started fourth and finished third. I've always like the track."

Is there a formula for success at Dover?

"Dover is all about having a good truck and driving hard. It's hard to get a good race truck there, and if you've got one, it makes it easy to go fast. You've gotta be a good driver to get around Dover."

How does the track change throughout the Truck Series race weekend?

"Dover gains grip with more rubber to start with, then goes back the other way and loses grip. When we take the Copart Tundra out to qualify, the track will be in fairly good shape, but when we get on the track to race, the track is starting to lose grip at that point."

Talk about what you need the Copart Tundra to do at Dover:

"A good truck turns in the middle and gets up off the corner good. A bad truck just doesn't do what you need it to do in the middle or off (the corners); it's always pushing or loose. It's all about balance -- having a good balance in the Copart Tundra setup."

When we head to Bristol later in the season, it will be compared to Dover, are they similar?

"Even though the tracks are so different, the way you drive Dover and Bristol is kind of the same in that you really gotta get on top of the wheel and drive hard every lap. We've had good runs and some bad runs at Dover but we just haven't quite hit it."

Mike Hillman Jr. on Dover International Speedway

What is the challenge of the Monster Mile?

"The toughest part of racing at Dover is you practice on a green race track. We are the first vehicles on the track. By the time we race, there's been a lot of vehicles on the track and the track changes. You don't get a lot of practice time on your tires, so you have to make good decisions and it starts with unloading a good Copart Tundra at the start of the weekend."

What is a team goal for the Copart Tundra at Dover?

"We've had decent trucks at Dover, but we've struggled to survive. It's a track where as a team, we really want more finishes that show what we are capable of doing there."

What truck are you taking to the Monster Mile?

"We're taking a different truck, with a completely different setup than we've ever run at Dover to see if we can make it work. This Copart Tundra has only raced one time before."

Is Dover like any other track as far as your setup is concerned?

"Dover is its own race track. You won't run that setup anywhere else. It's completely different. So, for a period of about a week, you just worry about Dover and then focus on different race tracks. It's unlike when you go to a place like Texas, where you can use your other mile and a half race track notes. At Dover, you can only try to make your package better just for Dover."

The Copart Tundra races on Friday night, May 29,, 2009, at 5:00 PM ET.

-credit: gr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine