A Labor Day Tradition... The Track Too Tough To Tame While most of us will be honoring the Labor Day holiday with family and friends, NASCAR drivers will be paying homage to one of the most trying tracks on tour - Darlington Raceway. The ...
A Labor Day Tradition... The Track Too Tough To Tame
While most of us will be honoring the Labor Day holiday with family and friends, NASCAR drivers will be paying homage to one of the most trying tracks on tour - Darlington Raceway. The 1.366-mile oval is filled with tradition and tales of hard-knocks racing and to tame the lady in black is an accomplishment only a few drivers are able to boast.
After Sunday's running of the Mountain Dew Southern 500, Discover Card driver, Todd Bodine is hoping to add his name to the list of select drivers who have won at Darlington.
FROM THE COCKPIT:
Todd Bodine, driver, No. 26 Discover Card Racing Taurus:
DARLINGTON'S NICKNAME IS THE TRACK TOO TOUGH TO TAME? DO YOU THINK IT IS FITTING?
"Absolutely. It's pretty much a one-groove race track when it comes to going fast, so it's pretty unforgiving when you get out of line. Just look at the wall, a number of cars know first hand the wrath of that place. I feel pretty fortunate. Darlington is a track that has been good to me."
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE TRACK FROM A DRIVER'S STAND POINT?
"I consider it a driver's track. Every lap you make you have to be on top of the wheel. There's no coasting. You have to be on top of your game on every lap. It's similar to Bristol from that perspective. Handling is so incredibly crucial. The driver has to make sure he can communicate to the team exactly what the car needs in order to stay competitive. You cannot afford to make a mistake because it's hard to make up track position. And like I said before, in order to be competitive you've got to be able to run in the fast line, and there's only one of them. You just hope you don't slip out of the line."
TIRES ALWAYS SEEM TO BE AN ISSUE HERE, DO YOU SEE THAT CHANGING ANY TIME SOON?
"No. The track surface is really rough and abrasive. Every chance you can put on a new set of tires, you do. The tires really grip to the track for about three or four laps. That's it. >From there the tires lose grip and the car starts to slide around. You've got to have a good handling car to make up that difference. >From that point on, it's all driver."
Todd and the entire Discover Card team participate in Bud Pole qualifying for the Mountain Dew Southern 500 starting on Friday at 3:05 p.m., ET.
Sunday's race activities begin at 12:30 p.m., ET LIVE on TNT and MRN radio.