FROM THE NO. 54 NATIONAL GUARD COCKPIT: DRIVER TODD BODINE Earlier this year, you had a top-10 finish going until gas mileage came into effect at the end of the race. Do you think it will come into play again? "You can never rule it out.
FROM THE NO. 54 NATIONAL GUARD COCKPIT: DRIVER TODD BODINE
Earlier this year, you had a top-10 finish going until gas mileage came into effect at the end of the race. Do you think it will come into play again?
"You can never rule it out. Especially with the number of times this year a race has come down to this kind of strategy. I think it's just another element all the teams have to consider. Fuel mileage is fair game. Unfortunately for us, the caution flag and our pit window fell at the wrong time in comparison to the frontrunners. It's just part of racing. When it works to your advantage, it's great. When it doesn't, it frustrates you."
What makes NHIS one of the toughest tracks?
"It's definitely the configuration. It is flat and consists of long, sweeping corners. Passing is a premium so track position is crucial. If you've got a good car underneath you, passing can be done but it's a real challenge. It helps to have a good qualifying effort. If you don't, then you hope to have a good pitting strategy that can help you get up front. If you can get there, then the rest is up to you and the team to stay there. It's a tough place which is why I love driving here."
"I think another reason why I love driving here is it truly takes a team effort to win here. I have to be on top of the wheel. My crew chief has to make all the right calls. The car has to handle well and have the horsepower that can pull me through the corners and onto the straight-aways. Plus, the pit crew has to be on top of its game. You can't afford to lose track position whether you are on the track or in the pits."
What are your feelings about the SAFER Barriers at NHIS?
"I absolutely commend the Bahre family for addressing this issue. They always have and continue to be competitor friendly. Soft-wall technology is a safety measure we have been quite vocal about and as a driver, I am happy to see it implemented at this speedway. Something needed to be done and it's good to see the track put a possible solution into place. Safety continues and will always be at the forefront of our sport. I applaud NASCAR and the tracks for their on-going efforts to improve safety. I hope more track operators follow the example being set by the Bahre family."