Dover Todd Bodine Preview

BODINE HAS STUFF TO CONQUER 'MONSTER MILE' (Sept. 21, 1999) -- Dover Downs "Monster Mile" is a treacherous, high-banked, unforgiving concrete track that leaves many drivers with a defeated attitude before they even take to the...

BODINE HAS STUFF TO CONQUER 'MONSTER MILE'

(Sept. 21, 1999) -- Dover Downs "Monster Mile" is a treacherous, high-banked, unforgiving concrete track that leaves many drivers with a defeated attitude before they even take to the superspeedway.

Not Jimmy Dean Pontiac driver Todd Bodine. He's the all-time NASCAR Busch Series victory leader at the track in the modern era (since 1972) with three wins. That gives him a superb level of confidence as he heads into his fourth race with Team Jimmy Dean.

"It's even more of an advantage to go to a track that I like that a lot of other drivers don't like," Bodine said. "Mentally, those guys take themselves right out of the race when they talk that way. If you go to Dover with the attitude that you just don't like it, you don't care for it, you just want to race and get it over with and go home, you're not going to run well."

Bodine has impressed in his three races with the newly formed Eel River Racing outfit. In his first two starts he logged top-20 finishes. Sunday at New Hampshire, he was running 14th midway through the race when contact from another car crashed him out of the race.

Clearly, crew chief Barry Dodson has placed the team on a competitive foothold after Boston businessman Jack Birmingham purchased the operation from Chuck Rider two months ago.

"For me never having worked with Barry on a regular basis, I think we've done a great job," Bodine said. "It shows the potential of what this team is capable of on a regular basis."

Dover's reputation among drivers isn't enhanced by the fact it's difficult to pass. Many drivers describe it as a one-groove race track, but Bodine says that is changing.

"The low groove is still the fastest way with fresh tires and a perfect handling race car, but the groove is actually getting worn out," Bodine said. "The surface is getting smoothed and glazed. If you get moved around, you can still go fast. You can move up."

That's something Bodine has done ever since he landed in the seat of the Jimmy Dean Pontiac.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Todd Bodine