DODSON CONFIDENT OF BODINE SUCCESS IN RUDY'S FARM PONTIAC (November 16, 1999) -- Crew chief Barry Dodson knows what it takes to get Todd Bodine around Atlanta Motor Speedway in the Rudy's Farm Pontiac, but that doesn't make the daunting task...
DODSON CONFIDENT OF BODINE SUCCESS IN RUDY'S FARM PONTIAC
(November 16, 1999) -- Crew chief Barry Dodson knows what it takes to get Todd Bodine around Atlanta Motor Speedway in the Rudy's Farm Pontiac, but that doesn't make the daunting task any easier.
Bodine will qualify Friday for Sunday's season-ending NAPA 500 at the 1.54-mile superspeedway, where top speeds crest 200 mph. The race will mark the debut for Rudy's Farm on the No. 30 Eel River Racing Pontiacs. Rudy's Farm is the fourth and final Sara Lee company to grace the hood of owner Jack Birmingham's Grand Prixs this season.
"Atlanta is just so fast, too fast," Dodson said. "It takes a lot of nerve and you've got to have a good driving race car. You have to have it well balanced with plenty of downforce. We tested two cars there recently and they were both very good. We opted to take the car we ran at the Brickyard, but Atlanta is no Indianapolis. You're getting around a mile-and-a-half track in 28.5 seconds. Compare that to Rockingham, where you go one mile in about 23 or 24 seconds. At Atlanta, you're going off the corners right around 200 mph and when you go around you don't let off. You almost have to run it wide open the whole lap if you're going to be in the show. That's tough to do. I'm glad Todd's doing it and not me."
There are plenty of reasons for optimism among Bodine, Dodson and the entire Rudy's Farm Racing team. Atlanta is one of Bodine's best tracks. He sat on the outside pole of the spring race there last year and finished 10th. He followed that up with a fifth-place run in last year's NAPA 500. The team has an Atlanta test under its belt and is driving the hot car make of late -- Pontiac.
"Todd's got an impressive record down there and Pontiac seems to be a super car at this point in the season," Dodson said. "We're looking to end the year on a high note with a good run in the Rudy's Farm Pontiac. You want to go into the winter and offseason with some momentum. Nothing does that for you like a good, solid run at Atlanta. It creates a lot of positive attitudes for the coming year. It's a pretty pivotal race for us. We're glad to have Todd in the car with record he has there."
Rudy's Farm is one of four Sara Lee companies that have sponsored the No. 30 Pontiacs this season. The others are Jimmy Dean, Bryan Foods and State Fair Brand Corn Dogs.