Phoenix: Todd Bodine preview

Bodine searching for a happy medium at PIR. Phoenix International Raceway will no doubt have a lot of team's scratching their heads when it comes to a race set up that works. That's because PIR has a unique configuration that boasts two very ...

Bodine searching for a happy medium at PIR.

Phoenix International Raceway will no doubt have a lot of team's scratching their heads when it comes to a race set up that works. That's because PIR has a unique configuration that boasts two very different ends -- turns one and two are nothing close to turns three and four. According to Discover' Card driver Todd Bodine, the winner of this weekend's Checker Auto Parts 500 will have to find a "happy medium" in the race set up to conquer the Desert Rose.

FROM THE COCKPIT:

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

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE SET UP NEEDED FOR PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY?
"The set ups I like for Phoenix are a lot like New Hampshire International Speedway. Both ends of the track are totally different so you have to find a happy medium to get the car to react the way you want it to in order to make a fast lap. That means you are always thinking of ways to get around better. The same applies to deciding when it's the right time to make a pass."

"This is another track I like because it demands more from me. Phoenix is a fun place to run because turn one is a real, real sharp corner that requires a lot of grip. You have to be able to turn on a dime and not be too loose. When it comes to turn three, it is a real long sweeping corner so that's why it has two totally different ends. Every lap seems so different. It really challenges you, lap after lap."

LAST WEEK A BLOWN TIRE ENDED YOUR CHANCE FOR A TOP 5 FINISH, DO YOU FEEL TIRES COULD ONCE AGAIN BE AN ISSUE?
"First of all, I think last week pretty much summed up our season as a whole. We have run so competitively despite our sponsorship troubles. I am so proud of what we have been able to do this season. This team has handled adversity with such class. However luck has not been on our side. It's so unbelievable what we have been through. We have lost nine engines this season, and last week we were running so well. We were one of the fastest, if not the fastest car on the long runs and we couldn't make it to the finish due to the blown tire. I wish I knew what we could do to get luck on our side. It's so frustrating but we're not throwing in the towel. I just hope we can follow in Johnny Benson's footsteps this weekend."

"Getting back to tires, I think what we will be watching is what works best, two tires or four. I think Donnie and I will be putting our heads together to come up with a plan and do what we think will give us somewhat of an advantage. Hopefully, it will pay off."

On tap this weekend for the entire Discover Card team, Bud Pole qualifying starting on Friday at 5:05 p.m., ET. Sunday's Discover Card pre-race show begins at 1:30 p.m., ET LIVE followed by the Checker Auto Parts 500 race on NBC.

-hcm-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Todd Bodine , Johnny Benson