Todd Bodine, driver of the No. 54 National Guard Taurus, had his Indianapolis test session cut short today after hitting the turn one wall Wednesday morning. Bodine, who had the fastest lap during the first day of testing at 178.879 mph,...
Todd Bodine, driver of the No. 54 National Guard Taurus, had his Indianapolis test session cut short today after hitting the turn one wall Wednesday morning. Bodine, who had the fastest lap during the first day of testing at 178.879 mph, praised the SAFER barrier system after the accident.
TODD BODINE - No. 54 National Guard Taurus:
YOU WERE HAVING A GOOD WEEK UNTIL THE ACCIDENT. "Yeah, we were. We struggled a little two days ago the first day in race trim, but went back and regrouped and figured out what we needed to do. We changed the car pretty dramatically and got a lot better. Hopefully, when we come back with another car, we'll be able to come back and have the same thing run as good as this one was."
WHAT HAPPENED? "A right-front tire blew. Just about right where you let off getting into one I felt the right-front drop. I turned the wheel and it was going straight, so it was obvious the right-front was down."
DID YOU JUST HIT THE OUTSIDE WALL? "Yeah, I just hit the outside and then coasted down to the apron trying to get it off the track."
THE SAFER BARRIER DID IT'S JOB? "Hallelujah. Man, I'm telling you, that's the first time I've experienced it - thankfully, that's the first time. What in the hell are we waiting for? Put them in. You could save lives without a doubt. It saves lives, injuries. That hit should have hurt. We don't have a G-meter in the car or anything, but we can pretty much tell what the slow-down rate was and I'm telling you it was a hard hit and look at me. I don't even have a sore spot."
WERE YOU ABLE TO HIT THE BRAKES? "Yeah, I was on the brakes, but not a whole lot is going to slow down at that point."
COULD YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE OF HITTING THE SAFER BARRIER VERSUS A REGULAR WALL OR IS IT HOW YOU FEEL AFTERWARDS THAT TELLS YOU IT WORKED? "I can now. As far as the impact, a hit is a hit - you just feel how much it's hitting. I think where the gain and benefit is that you don't have that impact G-spike that hurts you. That's what makes injuries, head injuries especially. Of course the HANS, that's a big plus. I'm a big proponent of the HANS device over all the other ones, so all the safety stuff worked."
YOUR BROTHER, BRETT, HAD A HARD CRASH AT MICHIGAN AND SUFFERED SOME INJURIES AND YOU'RE NOT SORE ANYWHERE. IS THIS FURTHER PROOF THAT THESE SAFER BARRIERS NEED TO GO UP EVERYWHERE? "Yeah, without a doubt and without even a second thought. Why we don't have them everywhere is just absolutely baffling. I just don't understand it. We've seen the IRL cars hit here and the guys walk away. In those things, you can really get hurt. We've seen a lot of crashes - Kurt Busch last year, me now, Christian (Fittipaldi) - I don't know how he is. I guess he's all right. (NOTE: Fittipaldi was involved in a separate one-car accident earlier in the session.) I mean, come on, how much more proof do you need that the system works. Do something."
LOUDON AND RICHMOND ARE PLANNING ON INSTALLING THE BARRIERS FOR THEIR FALL RACES. "At least they're trying. They might have run out of time when they figured out they needed to do it (in time for this week's race at Loudon), I don't know, but at least they're gonna do something and try to help us. These cars are going so fast now that it doesn't matter what track it is - from Martinsville to Indy - our entry speeds are so much faster and if you blow a tire or something happens, it's gonna hurt. It's gonna hurt -- even at Martinsville. If you blow a tire at Martinsville, you're basically gonna hit the wall head-on because the corner is so sharp. Loudon is the same way, so, hallelujah for them."