Bristol II: Todd Bodine preview

Bodine favors the"bullring" at Bristol This weekend's stop on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit is the hottest ticket in racing. Known as"the bullring", Bristol Motor Speedway is the shortest track in NASCAR and boasts the highest banking of 36 ...

Bodine favors the"bullring" at Bristol

This weekend's stop on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit is the hottest ticket in racing. Known as"the bullring", Bristol Motor Speedway is the shortest track in NASCAR and boasts the highest banking of 36 degrees. Spectators are treated to door-to-door driving, and bumping and banging between competitors is a common occurrence. Despite what happens in Thunder Valley, Bristol is a favorite of Todd Bodine's.

FROM THE COCKPIT:

Todd Bodine, driver, No. 26 Discover Card Racing Taurus:

A DRIVER ONCE SUGGESTED THAT NASCAR SHOULD FILL THE TRACK UP WITH WATER AND PUT FISH IN IT. WHY DO YOU LIKE BRISTOL?

"I always found Bristol to be a really a fun place to drive especially when you have a good handling race car. Handling is always key to any place we go, but Bristol is really sensitive since it is only a half mile. No sooner do you hit the straightaway; you are already entering a turn. Handling is also the only way you are going to be able to pass the guy in front of you. A driver has to be patient and wait for the car in front to slip up the track and out of the groove. When they make that mistake, that's when you can capitalize on it with a solid pass."

YOU ARE ONCE AGAIN RACING YOUR BUSCH CAR THE NIGHT BEFORE. WILL THAT HELP YOU GET A HANDLE ON THINGS FOR YOUR CUP SET UP?

"I think so. It certainly was an asset to me last week at Michigan. It didn't show by our finish because we lacked track position. But all and all, I am one of those drivers who are able to take information from one car and apply it to another in a favorable way. Plus, I have been really successful at Bristol when it comes to the Busch series so I am looking to continue that trend in the Winston Cup Series. (Todd has posted 2 victories, 10 top-10s, 8 top-fives and two runner-up finishes in the Busch series.)

DO YOU ANTICIPATE PITTING TO BE AN ISSUE SINCE THERE ARE TWO PIT ROADS, ONE IN FRONT AND ONE IN THE BACK?

"Front and backstretch pitting isn't as much of an issue as it use to be. NASCAR has done a good job making it fair to everyone, despite where you qualified. You pretty much have a chance to win from the backstretch pits if your car is handling well. As a matter of fact, I have had to take three provisionals in the Busch series and still came out with three top- fives. Granted, you may have to use some pit strategy to get you up there, but if you are fast, you can usually get a good finish out of it."

"Another aspect, regardless of where you pit is luck. You have to be at the right place as the right time. If something bad happens in front of you, you just have to pray for the best. If you come out unscathed then you have gotten awfully lucky. Sometimes it doesn't matter how good you are, if something breaks up front, anything can happen. You can go from first to last in no time."

THIS RACE IS A NIGHT RACE.  DO YOU LIKE RACING AT BRISTOL UNDER THE
LIGHTS?  DO YOU HAVE PROBLEMS SEEING?

"Night racing is awesome for a driver. The heat element is thrown out. Bristol is a very physical place on a driver because it pulls a lot of g-forces. You are so worn out when you are done. However, it wears more on you during the day race because it is hotter. I am looking forward to weather being a relief this time."

"Sight lines are not a problem under the lights. The lighting here is so good that for the most part you cannot tell the difference from day to night. It's awesome what they have done here."

Todd and the entire Discover Card team participate in Bud Pole qualifying for the Sharpie 500 starting on Friday at 3:05 p.m., ET. Saturday night's green flag waves at 8 p.m., ET LIVE on TNT and PRN radio.

-hcr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Todd Bodine
Teams CIP