Long Pond II: Geoffrey Bodine, Haas/Carter Motorsports preview

Geoffrey Bodine to drive No. 26 Discover Card Taurus at Pocono Raceway. Geoffrey Bodine will drive the No. 26 Discover Card Ford this weekend at the Pocono Raceway. His brother Todd is committed to running the Busch Series event at Pikes Peak...

Geoffrey Bodine to drive No. 26 Discover Card Taurus at Pocono Raceway.

Geoffrey Bodine will drive the No. 26 Discover Card Ford this weekend at the Pocono Raceway. His brother Todd is committed to running the Busch Series event at Pikes Peak International Raceway on Saturday night making it impossible for him to arrive in Pennsylvania in time for Sunday's Pennsylvania 500. This is not the first time Geoffrey has helped out his younger brother this season. However, it marks his first official driving duty from start to finish for the Discover Card Racing program. Geoffrey is excited to compete this weekend since he boasts an impressive record at the 2.5 mile oval... three wins and two poles. Plus, he holds the track record for the most laps led with 810.

Here are some of Geoffrey's thoughts heading into this weekend's Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway:

POCONO HOLDS A LOT OF MEMORIES FOR YOU."Yeah, it really does. I go way back with the track. I raced there when the big track wasn't even finished. We ran on a smaller track that comprised of the front stretch. The series was called the Race of Champions. When they did finish the 2.5-mile configuration, I was the first modified driver to go around it to see if a modified could race there. Mario Andretti was there too to test an Indy car. That was pretty neat to be there with him to lend our expertise to track officials. I've had the privilege of winning there in both modified and Winston Cup cars."

YOU HAVE BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL AT POCONO. IS THERE A PARTICULAR REASON? "I have been really lucky to have driven for great teams like Junior Johnson, Rick Hendrick, and for my own self. It is really a fun place to drive. It's a real treat to go there because it is a combination of a big and short track. The front straightaway allows you to pick up a tremendous amount of speed going into turn one. You are hitting 200-miles an hour at that point on the track. The tunnel turn carries a lot of speed too. And then turn three acts like a short track. It's flat and carries a slower speed. It's a corner that requires most of us to shift into overdrive down the front stretch. It's a combination of a lot of different tracks making it so much fun to drive."

WHAT'S THE KEY TO A GOOD SET UP? "We use to compromise by setting up the car to support a particular corner. In the past, it was turn three because of the long straightaway. You needed to come off turn three fast and carry it onto the straightaway. Now, that's not the case. Today's competition prevents any type of compromising. A good handling car needs to handle well in turns one, two and three."

LATELY YOU HAVE BEEN RUNNING MOSTLY RESTRICTOR-PLATE EVENTS. ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO CHANGING IT UP AT POCONO? "I have enjoyed filling in for Todd because of that. I may be a veteran, but I still need to get reacquainted with the way the tracks have changed as well as the new tire compounds and cars themselves. It's nice to get a chance to fine tune my skills."

THE YOUNGER GENERATION IN NASCAR HAS BEEN GETTING A LOT OF ATTENTION, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS BEING AN ELDER STATESMAN SO TO SPEAK? "Age is not nearly as important as attitude. People ask me why I keep doing this especially after the crash I had at Daytona a few years back. I was pretty darn close to losing my life. There is an element of fear when being a race car driver but you have to control it. I think I can control it better now since surviving the Daytona wreck. I think I am as good of a driver now as I have ever been. I think what's challenging me right now is seat time. The sport is changing, and I need to experience it first hand. Being with a good team like HAAS CARTER significantly shortens my learning curve. I think my feel for the car and ability to work with people is the best it has ever been. My heart and my soul are still in racing, 100-percent."

"I race because I like to do it. I want to do it and I think I am good at it. When I am no longer competitive that's when I will step back and find something else to do associated with NASCAR. I feel very fortunate right now to have been given another chance."

Geoffrey Bodine and the entire Discover Card team participate in Bud Pole qualifying for the Pennsylvania 500 starting on Friday at 3:00 p.m., ET. It airs LIVE on TNT. Sunday's green flag waves at 12:30 p.m., ET LIVE on TNT and MRN radio.

-h/cm-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Geoffrey Bodine , Junior Johnson