The Bodine Brothers, Brett and Geoffrey, suffered different fates as a result of qualifying being cancelled for Sunday's EA Sports 500. Brett, driver of the No. 11 Hooters Taurus, made the field because he has attempted to qualify for every race.
The Bodine Brothers, Brett and Geoffrey, suffered different fates as a result of qualifying being cancelled for Sunday's EA Sports 500. Brett, driver of the No. 11 Hooters Taurus, made the field because he has attempted to qualify for every race. Geoffrey, driver of the No. 09 Miccosukee Resort Taurus, was forced to go home because his team has made only five qualifying attempts. Both drivers spoke about their fortunes.
GEOFFREY BODINE --09-- Miccosukee Resort Taurus
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON QUALIFYING BEING CANCELLED? "It's a joke. They have other options than doing what they're doing right now. They're treating this like it's a hobby to us. It's not a hobby. We have obligations. We tell people that we're gonna try to make a race and we should have the ability to try and do that for our sponsors and our people. We've spent a lot of money. We all spend money to get ready to come to these races and for them to just arbitrarily say, 'Oh, we're not gonna qualify and we're gonna line you up by the number of attempts you've made at qualifying,' that doesn't make any sense. They have a provisional system that doesn't go by attempts for qualifying. If they had that in their system for that, Brett wouldn't have missed his races. He's attempted to qualify every race and a guy like Morgan Shepherd, who just comes once in a while, gets in instead of Brett. That was wrong. But now they use this so-called system that says 'attempts to qualify' and that's how they're gonna line the cars up for provisionals. That's ridiculous. It absolutely doesn't make any sense. There are options to qualify tomorrow morning and then practice after the ARCA race. What's wrong with that? That sounds like it makes pretty good sense because it gives everyone an opportunity that we all come here for and that's a chance at qualifying. But they just arbitrarily took that chance away from us. Yeah, I'm really mad and I think it's a very unprofessional way to approach the situation we have here."
YOU'VE BEEN STRONG ON RESTRICTOR PLATE TRACKS ALL YEAR, SO YOU HAD TO FEEL LIKE YOU WERE GOING TO QUALIFY AND MAKE THE FIELD. "Yeah, we were gonna make the race no problem, but it wouldn't matter to me if we were here at Talladega or Martinsville. If at all possible, we should all be given the opportunity to attempt to qualify to make the race. They have that option here to be able to do that and they're not using it. They're just arbitrarily saying, 'No qualifying, we're gonna line you up this way.' That's the problem. They know we'll all come back the next time. They've got us by the throat and, yeah, I'm not very happy. It just happened and I'm really upset. I'm venting, but I'm not gonna be happy tomorrow either, or the next day. If you come to me then I'll tell you the same thing because this is just a very unprofessional way to approach what's happened here in Talladega."
BRETT BODINE --11-- Hooters Taurus
IT'S THE TALE OF TWO BROTHERS ISN'T IT. "I hate it for Geoff. He's got a great car and he's had a chance to win every restrictor plate race this year and he's gonna go home because of weather. That's the chance you take when you don't run all the races. My team was rewarded a starting position because we have supported the series all year. We've made every attempt to qualify for the shows and my sponsor has made a commitment to run all the races and, thankfully, there's a reward for that."
IT'S BEEN A TOUGH COUPLE OF WEEKS. 'Oh man, we needed to make this race but we brought a car that I didn't give out much hope of doing that. I'm not saying it can't race respectably, but I really had my doubts about making the race. This has been carried around for a backup car for two years with no testing. We missed an hour of practice because we didn't get through inspection with it. We made a couple runs and we were next-to-last on the speed sheet. We made some major changes for qualifying. I don't know if it would have run fast enough. We only needed to pick up like four or five tenths of a second, but here at Talladega that's light years."
"I don't know. All I care about is the 11 Hooters Ford is in the race. It stops the bleeding. We've got a little band-aid on it. I think we've got a great car for Charlotte. We should have made the race at Kansas. We were 22nd on the speed sheet in practice. We should have made the race, but something happened out of our control and we didn't make the show. Unfortunately, we used all our provisionals up early in the year and, hopefully, we don't have to use anymore and we can get in these shows the right way."
WERE YOU DOING A RAIN DANCE? "Oh, I couldn't believe it started raining earlier. It certainly was a blessing in disguise."
Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 ALLTEL Taurus, was the winner of the Winston No Bull Five tractor-trailer obstacle course race this afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway. The race was part of the driver/fan pairing for Sunday's EA Sports 500 in which a driver and fan would receive a million dollar bonus by winning the race. Newman will represent Jacob Homer of Gaston, S.C.
The other drivers competing for the bonus on Sunday are Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Todd Bodine and Jeff Green.
RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus
THAT'S A RATHER UNIQUE WAY TO DO THE PAIRING ISN'T IT? "Unfortunately, it doesn't have any affect on the race other than who we get paired up with, but we've got a good race car here judging from practice. If we get qualified because of the rain here, I think we'll be able to qualify pretty good. We were second in practice and I'm just looking forward to the weekend. It's a big weekend for us as a team, as well as with myself being involved in the No Bull Five challenge."
DID YOU EVER THINK YOU'D BE ASKED TO DRIVE A TRUCK LIKE THAT IN WINSTON CUP? "I've driven trucks before, not a semi-truck, but big trucks that mount trailers and it's definitely different to do something like that. It's nice we could at least win something this weekend."
DOES IT MATTER IF YOU QUALIFY TODAY OR NOT? YOU'RE SEVENTH IN POINTS AND SECOND ON THE PRACTICE CHART. YOU'LL PROBABLY HAVE A GOOD STARTING SPOT REGARDLESS. "Well, yes and no. We'd like a shot at the pole. We're more than capable of it right now and that pole award at the end of the year is something we're shooting at. That's one of our goals, so, hopefully, we can get to qualifying and have a shot. It looks like we're capable of qualifying in the top five and being seventh in points, we'd rather have that opportunity than start on points."
YOU GUYS HAVE REALLY CAUGHT FIRE THE SECOND HALF. HAVE YOU BEEN SURPRISED? "Not really. We had the runs going at the beginning of the year, but we just had some equipment failures. We punched a hole in the radiator and things like that, but, overall, all year we've been running up front with the exception of maybe one or two races. It's just a good team effort and, hopefully, we can keep the results coming."