Geoffrey Bodine is substituting for younger brother Todd Bodine in the No. 26 Discover Card Taurus this weekend while Todd competes in today's NASCAR Busch Series race. Geoffrey, who qualified 24th for tomorrow's Pennsylvania 500, is one of four...
Geoffrey Bodine is substituting for younger brother Todd Bodine in the No. 26 Discover Card Taurus this weekend while Todd competes in today's NASCAR Busch Series race. Geoffrey, who qualified 24th for tomorrow's Pennsylvania 500, is one of four active drivers with three career NASCAR Winston Cup wins at Pocono. He spoke about his opportunity this weekend and his plans for the future.
GEOFFREY BODINE --26-- Discover Card Taurus:
YOU'VE WON THREE TIMES HERE. WHAT ABOUT THIS OPPORTUNITY FOR ANOTHER CHANCE? "I'll get deep here. Whether it's racing or life, you can't look back at what you've done. Those wins are great and, at the time, they were really great, but we're looking at now and things have changes so much in the last five or six years. People look at what you're doing now and not what you did. What you did is just for the record books, so I remember those wins and I remember the losses and near misses here, too. We've had several, so this has been a really good track for me. I've led a lot of laps, but we're looking at today and what we're doing with this team. I'm pleased with what we did yesterday. I was hoping for more, so I was disappointed. But the guys thought it was great that we qualified in the top 25. That's good in today's world, it really is. There are a lot of good cars ahead of me, but there are a lot of good cars behind me, too. It's hard to be disappointed with what we did, but now it's race time and this is what's really important -- how we do in this race. I'm anxious to get out there and work with Donnie and these fellas to get the right setup on the car. I was here the last race and watched what went on and listened to it, so we're gonna try to improve on what happened last time here. It took me a while yesterday to get the rust off of me. The car was good, but it took several laps to get used to this track again. I think we're pretty close to feeling comfortable out there as a driver -- where to go and what to do. The limits of the car on these tires change and when you're not out there every week, you have to find them before qualifying. You don't get a lot of laps out there, so it's hard sometimes to find those limits. You don't want to go over and mess the car up, so you try to ease up to it and that's what I did yesterday. Race practice is a lot easier because you can go out there with the other cars and judge off what they're doing."
THERE WAS A LOT OF TALK AFTER THE FIRST RACE HERE ABOUT MAYBE SHORTENING IT TO 400 MILES. IS THIS ONE OF THE LONGEST RACES? "Yeah, they've always been long and they've always seemed long. We've always talked about the fact they should be shorter, but I guess we're talking to deaf ears because nobody is listening. Nobody understands our reasoning behind that, but this is a hard track on your car -- your drive line parts because we're shifting and on your engine because we're turning the heck out of it. It's hard on a race fan just to sit there for that long, but, believe me, inside that car it'll wear you down. It's a lot of work out here, so, yeah, we're all in favor of shortening this race up. That would save the car owners some money and I believe the race fans would enjoy it more. If you look back through the years, you'd see a lot of different finishes if it was 100 miles shorter. But whenever adjustments are made in lengths of races or anything like that, you just can't go back and look and say, 'Well, I would have won if it had been shorter' because we all approach it differently when they set out the guidelines. Plus, it would be easier to catch the flights home. We'd get home a little earlier and wouldn't have to race our way through the traffic to get to the airport. But, yeah, let's shorten the race up. Let's make it a better and more interesting race for everybody."
WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTIONS TOMORROW? "I look to race with the guys up front and get the car up front. That's what all this race practice is about -- you put the right setup in the car so you can keep up with the front cars or even pass them and lead them around. Everything is here to do that -- the car, the engine, the team. There's a lot of pressure on the driver to get the right feel. He's the guy that transfers the information to the crew to make the adjustments to get the right feel and if you don't tell them the right things, you don't end up with the right setup. So I'm anxious to get out there and try to do that for Donnie (Wingo) and all these fellas. If we do, then we'll be up front."
YOU WANT TO RACE FULL TIME. IS THIS ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU TO SHOW EVERYBODY YOU CAN STILL GET THE JOB DONE? "It is, but that isn't what this is really all about. This is a great opportunity to get tuned up for Indy, which we're going to be in the 09 car for that race. So this is a great opportunity to get the feel for these tires and just to be in a racing mode. When you sit out weeks and weeks and then you go try to race like it did here, it takes you a little while to get warmed up. So that's how I'm looking at this. As far as I'm concerned, I don't have anything to prove to anybody. Results are proof enough. We've had some good ones this year already in the limited schedule that we've run."
WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE? "The kind of program I'm trying to put together for next year really doesn't include anyone out here. It includes the folks that are helping me put the sponsorship together, possibly with James Finch and possibly with Travis Carter's other team. I'm not trying to get any ride that's sitting out here today. I'm not trying to knock anyone out of their seat or influence any owner that's here. We have our own program that we're working on. Now, if somebody comes along and says, 'Hey, we'd like to have you drive the car,' I'd have to talk to them, but, hopefully, I won't have to do that. We'd like to put our own situation together."