Daytona 500: Ford Racing - Bodine brothers interview

For the second time in Daytona 500 history, the Bodine brothers will all be taking the green flag as Geoffrey, Brett and Todd qualified for Sunday's race. They acheived that feat previously in 1995 when Geoffrey finished 20th, Brett finished 25th...

For the second time in Daytona 500 history, the Bodine brothers will all be taking the green flag as Geoffrey, Brett and Todd qualified for Sunday's race. They acheived that feat previously in 1995 when Geoffrey finished 20th, Brett finished 25th and Todd finished 37th. All three spoke about making this year's Daytona 500.

GEOFFREY BODINE --09-- Miccosukee Indian Gaming Taurus

"This really is a feat because it's so darn hard. There are so many things that can go wrong. I thought on the very first lap of my race that things had gone wrong. We had run so good all week and it looked like I had the easier job than Brett or Todd to get in the race, but we got black-flagged right away. Later in the race we broke a valve spring and my engine wasn't running good, so I really thought our chances were nil. I thought I was gonna be watching the race. I told some people on my team to order some decals to put on Brett's car and to get the check ready so I could sign and give him some money, but things worked out to where we're all in the race. Todd told me it's been since '95 that he made the 500 and, of course, the last three years have been tough for me so we're all happy. We all went out to dinner last night and had a little victory celebration just for making the 500 and it's nice. On one hand it's nice, on the other hand it puts a lot of pressure on the three of us because our mother is watching. She loves us and wants us to do well, but she gets nervous when we're all out there together. It's gonna be a little hard on her watching the race, but now the pressure is on to have good finishes. The way Brett's running and the way Todd is running, I think I have a great car with James Finch, I think we all can have a good finish."

IS THE PRESSURE OFF IN A WAY? "It directly parallels the Olympics. The kids in the Olympics have to go through qualifying and all the pressure of just trying to get in the Games, but, still, once they make the Games, then the pressure is on again to go out there and perform. Yeah, we had a lot of pressure just to get in the race and that's great we all made it, but now there's a different kind of pressure. Now we have to perform in the Daytona 500 and we put that pressure on ourselves. We all want to do the best we can and we know a lot of things can happen, but I have confidence that with the way we're all running, we're all gonna do well."

TODD BODINE --66-- Kmart Taurus

"The struggles the three of us are going through and have gone through, to be in the Super Bowl is pretty important. If you look at the way everything happened yesterday, this was about the only way all three of us were gonna get in the race, so everything went right for us. It's a pretty big accomplishment for all of us to get in and we're gonna enjoy it."

ON ONE HAND YOU MUST BE HAPPY, BUT ON THE OTHER THERE'S KIND OF A CLOUD HANGING OVER ALL OF YOU. "It's one of those things where you know that cloud is there and you know it's gonna rain, but we're not gonna think about it right now. We want to enjoy something good for a change because we haven't had a lot of good in a long time in our family, so it was a good day to just enjoy the moment."

IS THERE MORE PRESSURE TO MAKE THE RACE OR BEING IN THE RACE? "There's pressure both ways. There's more getting in the race because once you're in the race you just do the best you can do. You can't do any more than that. Last year, I was fifth at the white flag of the 125 and Blaney did his whole deal and I ended up 18th and we didn't make the race. It wasn't because of anything this team did, so the pressure to that race is, 'who is gonna screw us out of the 500 this time?' When I saw Jeremy go on the apron I said, 'Oh man, here we go again.' I was in the wrong spot when that happened, but we got lucky and got through it. I used to let pressure get to me. I used to put pressure on myself, but I don't anymore. I just believe in going out and giving it 110 percent and whatever happens happens. You can't do anymore than your best, so there's no need to put pressure on yourself to do more than you best because you can't do it. For me, I don't feel any pressure in the race."

BRETT BODINE --11-- Wells Fargo Financial/Timberland PRO Taurus

"For our family this race is kind of special because our parents always took their vacations to come to Daytona for the 500. We always used to camp right on the corner of Lake Lloyd with some relatives who had motorhomes and we corralled them all up with some tents and had a great time. Our exposure as a family to big-time stock car racing once a year was down here for the Daytona 500 because after that we would go back home and run our race track. I have a lot of great memories and I know Jeff and Todd do as well about Daytona, especially with Geoff being a past winner. The first time I ever drove out on the race track testing was special, but I remember when we'd come down here as a family. We'd drive down from New York with our parents and it was always such an unbelievably anticipated trip, not only because you got to get out of school but because you were going to see Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough and David Pearson and Fred Lorenzen -- the guys that made this sport. For me, I always have those memories everytime I come through that tunnel for the first time when we're coming here to race. It's just a special place. It was special when the three of us were in the Brickyard 400 and we all led the race that day. That was special and, hopefully, that can happen this Sunday."

YOU ALL WENT OUT TO DINNER LAST NIGHT. "Yeah, we had a big dinner and it was a lot of fun. We're all going through a tough time in different ways, so it was nice to get together and be able to celebrate making the Daytona 500."

WAS IT BITTERSWEET KNOWING WHAT POTENTIALLY LIES AHEAD? "As a racer and as most racers, you're the eternal optimist. It's always the next race or the next day. You always think it's going to be better and we had our next good day and that was yesterday. All three of us got in the show and that's what you're here for, you're here to race in the Daytona 500. All of the preliminary stuff doesn't mean a thing. The toughest part of this whole situation is it takes all the way until Thursday to know if you're in the race, but it was really nice that we all made it."

YOUR MOM WILL WORRY? "Yeah, she was worried that we weren't gonna get in and now she's gonna be worried about the race. She's up in Greensboro and will be watching, but she's lived it for a long time. We talked to her last night and she was relieved, but now, like Geoff said, she'll be worried."

-ford-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Richard Petty , Cale Yarborough , David Pearson