From the No. 54 National Guard Cockpit: Driver Todd Bodine WHAT DO YOU NEED TO RUN WELL AT CALIFORNIA? "It takes a complete package to run well and it requires a lot from me as a driver. I mean a complete package in a sense that the car has...
From the No. 54 National Guard Cockpit: Driver Todd Bodine
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO RUN WELL AT CALIFORNIA?
"It takes a complete package to run well and it requires a lot from me as a driver. I mean a complete package in a sense that the car has to be aerodynamically sound, handle well, and have a good power plant. If you've got all those elements working for you then you should have a fast car. We are bringing a new car that has just gotten out of the wind tunnel, so we hope to have something for the competition."
"Handling as always is crucial but at California it is especially so because of its configuration. The corners and straightaways are longer than usual. It carries a lot of momentum so there's another reason why horsepower can't be lacking. I also need to be able to let the guys know how the car is handling so that they can make the right adjustments. We won't get many chances to fix the handling however, it does boast several grooves so I can move my car around to get it to handle in different ways."
WHAT ELSE COMES INTO PLAY?
"Usually this place goes caution-free so you've got to have a solid setup under you from the get-go as well as good starting position. It's easy to get behind regardless of how fast your car is because the competition gets quickly spread out. I am hoping to repeat or better my 2001 starting spot of second. If we can tackle the qualifying issue, then that's one aspect we don't have to deal with on race day. We just have to stay up there."
"Fuel mileage will also come into play because of the long green-flag runs. We fly in Wynn Chapman from Los Angeles, our fuel mileage specialist. He makes the road trips when fuel mileage is an issue. We feel real confident of his calculations. If he says we can go all the way, we don't second-guess him. Plus, Justin McKean of Robert Yates Engines fine-tunes our engines so we are hoping to have the speed along with very competitive fuel-mileage numbers. This also means the pit crew has to be on top of their game. Under green flag conditions, a pit stop can easily take us out or put us into contention for the win."