Bodine targeting Brickyard double for Haas Carter Motorsports. After coming off a successful test session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway three weeks ago, No. 26 Discover' Card driver Todd Bodine is hoping to maintain the team's bragging...
Bodine targeting Brickyard double for Haas Carter Motorsports.
After coming off a successful test session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway three weeks ago, No. 26 Discover' Card driver Todd Bodine is hoping to maintain the team's bragging rights when it comes to Bud Pole qualifying. Last year, then driver of the No. 26, Jimmy Spencer turned the quickest lap in time trials (50.093 seconds or 179.666 mph) while, Todd, driving the No. 66 HAAS CARTER Ford backed it up with the 10th best lap. This Saturday he'll be attempting to keep the pole streak alive by driving the same machine that scored last year's pole position.
Todd Bodine and Donnie Wingo have these thoughts heading to the hallowed hall of Indy:
Todd Bodine, driver, No. 26 Discover Card Racing Taurus:
WHAT DOES INDY MEAN TO YOU? "Indy carries so much tradition. Its reputation is just about equal to the Daytona 500 for NASCAR drivers. The biggest drivers in all of racing have driven on those bricks. I can't imagine the emotions I would feel if I had the privilege of winning there. It certainly would be special to me because of the tradition it carries with it and of course, winning my first Winston Cup race at the infamous Brickyard."
"Since 2000, the Bodine name has been in the track record book for fastest qualifying lap for Winston Cup. Brett holds that distinction. It would be awesome to add my name. Whether it is the pole, the win, or both. It's not out of the question. A Bodine was leading the inaugural race and almost won. This year we've got all three of us entered. If I can't win, I hope Brett or Geoffrey does."
CAN YOU MAKE IT TWO POLES IN A ROW FOR HAAS CARTER? "Absolutely we have a chance at the pole. We took two cars to testing. One was the car Jimmy put on the pole and the other was a brand new piece. Both cars performed well, however we're running Jimmy's. It was a little bit faster. Our quickest time with that car broke Brett's record." (Todd's fastest lap at testing was 181.577 miles per hour.)
WHAT DID THE TEAM WORK ON DURING THE TEST? "We really concentrated on race setup. We had a good reference from last year's notes; our goal was to refine it. I think we accomplished what we wanted. Our last setup we tried was really good. So I am optimistic. We have a great qualifying setup and race setup planned."
THE BRICKYARD IS SO SENSITIVE TO TEMPERATURE. IS IT HARD TO MONITOR SETUPS DURING AN ALL DAY TEST? "It's a little hard because the track does change so much. It's one of the most sensitive tracks we run on. Donnie and the guys really worked hard to track the changing conditions. It's amazing, Indy can literally change from one minute to the next and you just have to keep up with it. Tracking temperatures and types of setups during a particular condition are so crucial."
"For me as a driver, I really don't rely on the stopwatch to tell me how I am running. I have to go by the seat of my pants feeling."
Donnie Wingo, crew chief, No. 26 Discover Card Racing Taurus:
CAN THE No. 26 SIT ON THE POLE AGAIN? "I think we can. The draw is what is important in Indy. The earlier you draw, the better your chances. If we draw early, we have a decent shot at it."
MOST TRACKS YOU WANT TO GO LATE VERSUS EARLY. WHAT'S DIFFERENT ABOUT INDY? "It's so heat sensitive. When we were testing, the track temperature was changing anywhere from five to 10 degrees in a short period of time. That's equivalent to a tenth or two on the track. That difference is significant. Indy resembles Charlotte in that manner. At both places, when the sun beats on the surface, the track temperature goes up and the speeds go down."
WHAT IS YOUR MAIN CONCERN AS CREW CHIEF?"In both qualifying and race trim I will be concentrating on making the car turn. Todd has to feel comfortable getting in the turns because he has to get in them pretty hard. You have four individual turns there and two short straightaways in between. You can compare it with one turn from last weekend's track, Pocono. It resembles the tunnel turn. The turns are real tight so the car needs to turn with ease."
WILL THE AERO PUSH BE AN ISSUE?"Yes, definitely. It's one of the biggest challenges we face. We saw the push a little bit during testing when we got behind somebody. If we can get the car to turn off the corners to Todd's liking, we will be fine."
Todd and the entire Discover Card team participate in Bud Pole qualifying for the Brickyard 400 starting on Saturday at 10:30 a.m., ET. Sunday's green flag waves at 1:30 p.m., ET LIVE on NBC and IMS radio.