Saturday, Nov. 6, 1999. Phoenix International Raceway. Checker Auto Parts/Dura Lube 500K. Chevrolet notes and quotes. GEOFFREY BODINE (No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I felt pretty good this morning, and then I got here and felt...
Saturday, Nov. 6, 1999. Phoenix International Raceway. Checker Auto Parts/Dura Lube 500K. Chevrolet notes and quotes.
GEOFFREY BODINE (No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"I felt pretty good this morning, and then I got here and felt pretty bad. I felt pretty bad until I got some water, and now I feel pretty good. You just rest, and that's about all you can do. You can't take any powerful medicine. It could cause drowsiness. I need to be as alert as I can be. I slept last night. I feel a lot better than I did yesterday, and hopefully tomorrow I'll feel even better. I don't see a problem with the race. I don't think I'll have anybody standing by (as relief driver). I think I can make it, I really do. It's a fairly quick race. It looks like it's going to be warm. That's not an ally, but I'll probably get an IV tonight or in the morning or both. I got a couple the other night.
"We ran this car at Richmond, Loudon and Martinsville. It's been good everywhere. We were running second when the valve spring broke at Richmond. We finished third at Martinsville with it, and it was great at Loudon and I spun out early in the race. That ruined it. It was really fast there, too.
"This track has a little of Loudon, a little of Richmond. It's a short track. This is a short track car, and that's why we brought it. I don't have any jokes to tell today. My humor is pretty weak today, but deep inside it's still there. It'll come out next week.
"I haven't been sick like this in a long while. I'm not the only person sick. I'm sure thousands of people across the United States have the flu right now. I sympathize with them. It's not any fun. In this business, you keep going no matter what. We're trained to do that. We train ourselves to do that. I'm not worried about that. I've won races driving sick before. Go back to the modified and late model days, and I won plenty driving sick.
"I threw up in the car in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte a few years ago. I was really sick. It was nasty. After I threw up, I felt really good. I turned the best laps the last 30 laps of the rest. It's amazing what that will do. I went over the next morning and cleaned out the seat. It was really bad. I don't think it will come to that here Sunday."
KENNY WALLACE (No. 55 Square D-Aerosmith Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"I've always called Rusty "God." Last year in this race, when he made it rain while he was leading, I knew he was God at that point. The bad thing about it was we were running third, but he had an awfully strong car. Mark Martin was running second and we came in for that pit stop. Barry Dodson at that time was my crew chief. He told me that he'd been coming to Phoenix as long as they've been racing here and he said he'd never seen it rain for more than 10 minutes. I know that everybody in that race for 10 seconds thought about staying out. Nobody dared to do it because nobody had ever seen it rain longer than 10 minutes.
"A couple of times I thought if we'd stayed out we would have won the race, but I can honestly say I don't want to win my first race like that. Everybody's dream is to win your first race straight out so you can accept all the credit for it. Like Loudon, we almost won that thing on fuel mileage. It was real close. There was a lot of circumstances that played into our hands that day. Jimmy Elledge (crew chief) rolled the dice. Now that I looked back at it, we could have won it, but I would have had to fight the issue with everybody that I really did have a good car and I was coming to the front and da, da, da. I don't think any of these deals when you win 'em on gas mileage, nobody thinks you deserve it. I didn't get any credit at Loudon for finishing second. There's only one way to get credit in this business and that's to be great. This sport demands greatness and a lot of miserableness. You're not allowed to give yourself any happiness. If you win a race or you run in the top five, you can only be contest to Thursday. That I did learn from Rusty, and I think he's right about it. You win a race and you need to blow your horn for about three days because when you get to the pit gate the next Friday morning, it's all over.
"This is the same car we had at Loudon and Martinsville. I think our chances are good to be competitive here Sunday. I'm going into this race right now and I'm out there practicing to win the race with all the confidence in the world and no doubt in my mind. Then again, when you run a race and Mark Martin wins it and Dale Jarrett is second and Rusty Wallace is third, on that given day, Rusty Wallace thought he was great, too and he finished third. I look at those circumstances. I look at examples for me. When David Pearson won and Richard Petty was second, he probably thought he could win, too, but he was just second. That's the theory I'm going on. I'm going in to win it, but if I don't win and get myself a top five or a top 10, that's the mind set you've got to have. Like Richard Petty said on a commercial, if you get upset about one bad race, and one bad year, you can't do that.
"You've got to think about it. I've been like this little ant yelling up to the giants, 'I'm good, I'm good, I'm good. I just need a team.' I'm excited because finally I feel like I'm back to the days when I first started racing. This year is like a rebirth. It's like when I first started racing. I was the man when I first started. I was always running in the top five. The last time I ran in the Busch Series, it was 17 top 10s and 15 top fives. If I didn't go to the gas pumps, it was weird. Now you're in the big time if you go to the gas pumps, but you're not allowed to be happy. You've just got to stay around and do some interviews. It makes people mad when people are happy in this sport.
"It's so tough. It's hard work to be happy. It easier to be miserable. That's why I'm tougher than most people because I work on being happy. If you gave someone a choice between being happy and being miserable, I can guarantee you it's easier to be miserable. You don't have to smile, you don't have to say hello to people. I'm a people person. I was born like that. I like people. I don't like to hide. If I've got to be busy being famous, that's fine with me, too.
"What kid in his right mind wouldn't want to be a race car driver with America's greatest rock 'n roll band on his race car out in the Valley of the Sun. It just rocks. On the professional side, there's a lot of relief that we qualified 12th and it's all over because I was worried that we might get out here and get wrapped up in the whole rock 'n roll thing. It's worked out real well. I'm proud of the whole team. We've been looking forward to this for months.
"We're going to be very competitive. We can run with Rusty and Mark, but I can't pass them right now. We'll make some changes and get better. It looks like the 2, 6 and 20 and I'm chasing them, but I might catch them off guard like Muhammad Ali. I might catch them with an upper cut."