TODD BODINE FEELS AT HOME IN MARTINSVILLE Growing up in Chemung, New York, it isn't a far stretch for Discover' Card driver Todd Bodine to tab Watkins Glen International as his home track. But what if he told you he considered ...
TODD BODINE FEELS AT HOME IN MARTINSVILLE
Growing up in Chemung, New York, it isn't a far stretch for Discover' Card driver Todd Bodine to tab Watkins Glen International as his home track. But what if he told you he considered Martinsville Speedway his home track too? It's true. The youngest of the Bodine brother-racing trio, Todd grew up watching Geoffrey and Brett dominate the .526-mile oval on the Modified racing circuit. Those experiences have proved invaluable for a driver who captured the pole for last year's Old Dominion 500.
FROM THE COCKPIT:
Todd Bodine, driver, No. 26 Discover Card Racing Taurus:
WHY DO YOU CONSIDER MARTINSVILLE A "HOME" TRACK FOR YOU? "I literally grew up watching Brett and Geoffrey race Modifieds at Martinsville early in their careers. We would go there so often in the spring and fall that it made a huge impression on me. I would watch closely what Brett and Geoffrey were doing. They understood that place, and when it was my turn to race, I didn't have much of a learning curve. I always have run well at Martinsville thanks to that experience and I feel I understand what the track is about and how to drive it. It's like going home when we race there in the Cup series."
YOUR CAR OWNER, TRAVIS CARTER WAS THERE WITH THE 66 CAR. HE MENTIONED THE SURFACE HAS BEEN SMOOTHED OUT. DO YOU ANTICIPATE ANY CHANGES? "Just about every where we go we have to adapt a little bit from the last time we raced. I'm not too concerned. I think the same scenario still exists. You've got to know how to pass and that's being able to out brake your competitors. Martinsville's corners are unique. You've got to be fast on the straightaway, brake hard to slow down quickly, and then rotate through the corner well enough to be able to accelerate off as fast as you can."
"Just about everything comes into play at Martinsville. The car has to handle well through the corners. You've got to have the right brakes that can hold up for 500 miles. Plus, you have to have plenty of horsepower for the straightaways. I think it's really a fun place to drive because of all those elements. Fans will certainly like the kind of racing we'll put on this weekend.
WHAT'S YOUR PITTING PREFERENCE? "I try to avoid having to pit in the turns. Some drivers feel they can gain an advantage by trying to beat NASCAR's stopwatch by pitting in the turns. For example, if you pit up front, you can mash the gas and get off pit road faster than someone who's on the straightaway. I think pitting in the corners puts your team more at risk of either making a mistake or getting caught up in someone else's."
Todd and the entire Discover Card team participate in Bud Pole qualifying at Martinsville Speedway for the Old Dominion 500 starting on Thursday at 3:05 p.m., ET. Sunday's Discover Card pre-race show begins at noon, ET LIVE on NBC followed by the race.