Loudon II: Todd Bodine preview

Discover' Card Racing looking to make it two in a row. The Discover' Card Racing crew is looking to close out this season's visit to New Hampshire International Speedway with two-top 10 finishes in a row. Chances are good since the momentum is...

Discover' Card Racing looking to make it two in a row.

The Discover' Card Racing crew is looking to close out this season's visit to New Hampshire International Speedway with two-top 10 finishes in a row. Chances are good since the momentum is in their favor after last week's fifth place at Richmond. Nonetheless, Bodine is anxious to get behind the wheel of his No. 26 Ford to practice and qualify. He knows a good result is necessary to raise his odds since track position will be a premium on Sunday.

FROM THE COCKPIT:

Todd Bodine, driver, No. 26 Discover Card Racing Taurus:

ARE YOU ANXIOUS TO RETURN TO NEW HAMPSHIRE AFTER SCORING A TOP 10 THERE EARLIER THIS YEAR?
"Absolutely. It was a very gratifying finish for me as well as the team because we had to come from the back and I had no seat team until the race started. Geoffrey qualified and practiced the car for me since I was in St. Louis for the Busch race. I really had no idea what to expect when it came to the track. What I was hoping for was a similar track condition to what I ran earlier in the season at New Hampshire when the Busch Series visited. The track had two grooves, and a nice amount of grip. It was fun to race on. However, once the Cup race started, we found a totally different situation and I just had to adapt. You can't make a big deal out of it because everyone else was in the same situation."

"What I am looking forward to this time around is being able to get in the car from start to finish. I am hoping for a good qualifying run because track position means everything here. You can't always guarantee being able to make your way up from the back. Besides, it's a lot more risky. You have more cars in front of you and you hope none of them make any mistakes. If they do, it's one more situation you hope you are able to dodge and come out unscathed. Qualifying will mean more here than some other venues we go to because of track position is key."

"Handling too will be important especially if we still have a one groove track. The car has to be able to turn through the corners because if you slip up and get out of the groove, you will be in big trouble. We saw that happen a lot in July and it took some really good cars out of contention."

THERE WERE A LOT OF COMMENTS ON THE TRACK'S SURFACE AFTER THE LAST EVENT. DRIVERS FELT IT NEEDED TO HAVE WORK DONE BEFORE WE RETURNED. TRACK OFFICIALS DID NOT AGREE. DO YOU THINK CHANGES WERE WARRANTED?
"I'm not sure. It's hard to tell what the culprit was that caused the track to come up. Turns three and four were especially tough to get through. Summer temperatures and a ton of track activity in a short amount of time didn't help matters. Right now, we'll just have to wait and see what happens this weekend. If conditions remain the same, I'm sure changes will be made and the Bahres will not hesitate to fix it. They always have and that's why they have such a great facility."

Donnie Wingo, crew chief, No. 26 Discover Card Racing Taurus:

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST ISSUE HEADING INTO NEW HAMPSHIRE?
"As a crew chief I have got to get the car to handle through the corners the way Todd wants it too. Track position here is so important and right now we are not sure if we will be racing a one-groove track or two. If we have a one-groove deal, passing will be at a minimum, so he will need a good starting spot and a car that can maintain a fast speed and track position. When the competition slips, he will have to be able to capitalize on it."

LAST TIME, PIT STRATEGY WAS SO IMPORTANT. DO YOU THINK IT WILL ONCE AGAIN COME INTO PLAY AT NEW HAMPSHIRE?
"I'm counting on it. Gas mileage will dictate when we will target our last pit stop. From there, we will work our way backwards and determine the rest of our stops. We'll just have to watch and see how the race plays out. If we have a lot of cautions, gas mileage may not be as important, but track position will certainly be. We'll just have to gamble like the rest of the teams to see when it will be to our benefit to come down pit road. It should be interesting."

Todd and the entire Discover Card team participate in Bud Pole qualifying for the New Hampshire 300 starting on Friday at 3:05 p.m., ET. Sunday's Discover Card pre-race show begins at 12:30 p.m., ET LIVE on NBC.

-h/cm-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Todd Bodine