Long Pond: Brett Bodine race report

The Discover® Card team took the green flag for Sunday's Pocono 500 in 39th place after qualifying was cancelled due to water draining onto the race track. That's because heavy rains swept through the area earlier in the week. Nonetheless, the...

The Discover® Card team took the green flag for Sunday's Pocono 500 in 39th place after qualifying was cancelled due to water draining onto the race track. That's because heavy rains swept through the area earlier in the week. Nonetheless, the starting line up was set on the current Winston Cup point standings.

The first chance the No. 26 machine hit the super speedway was on Saturday morning for the first of two practices. In the early morning session, Bodine posted the seventh fastest time out of 43 cars. The time turned in was 54.271 seconds or 165.834 miles per hour. During the final practice, the Discover Card Ford recorded the 13th fastest time of 54.627 seconds or 164.754 miles per hour.

On Sunday, the Discover Card team worked diligently on the car's handling to contend for a top 10 finish, however, with just four laps to go, the No. 26 ran into mechanical problems.

"All in all, I'm pretty happy with our finish," said Bodine after the Pocono 500. "We started out pretty tight, then it got too loose. But on our last pit stop, we got the car running really well. The Discover Card Ford really took off and we were looking like we might get a top ten out of it. I was racing with the leaders when we developed a mechanical problem. All I could do was nurse the Discover Card Ford to the finish."

In the early stages of the Pocono 500, the No. 26 was difficult to turn in the corners. The pit crew went to work on lap 32 after the first caution of the day came out after Joe Nemechek crashed. Crew chief Donnie Wingo called for four tires, fuel and spring rubber adjustments.

A fast service saw Bodine pick up two track positions to run in 33rd place. Despite the first stop, the car still needed more adjustments.

So on lap 69 under green flag conditions, the crew changed the track bar and air pressure, plus bolted on four new Goodyears and added gas. The Discover Card machine went back out in 20th place.

Two more opportunities to make changes to the car took place on laps 86 and 116. Both times, the adjustments enabled Bodine to gain significant track position. By lap 120, the Discover Card team was running in 16th spot. During this particular sequence, the HAAS CARTER Motorsports machine was handling loose through the corners. Bodine drove a smart race and waited for another chance to fix the car. That opportunity happened on lap 154 when the Discover Card Ford came down pit road for an air pressure change, four new tires and gas.

With less than forty laps to go, the final caution of the day came out for debris on the track. The yellow flag condition proved to be advantageous. In 16.22 seconds, the pit crew changed four tires, added gas, and made a track bar adjustment. The No. 26 went back out in 18th and started to quickly pick off track positions. By lap 196, Bodine was in hot pursuit of a top 10 finish when a mechanical problem developed slowing the car down to an 18th place finish. Dale Jarrett took the checkered flag. Mark Martin, Jimmie Johnson, Sterling Marlin and Jeff Gordon round out the top five finishing positions.

Next week the No. 26 Discover Card team travels to Brooklyn, Michigan for the Michigan 400 on June 16th. Catch all the action starting at 12:30 p.m. on FOX.

-bbr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Brett Bodine , Dale Jarrett , Joe Nemechek , Sterling Marlin , Jimmie Johnson , Mark Martin