FROM THE NO. 54 NATIONAL GUARD COCKPIT: DRIVER TODD BODINE WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF THE NEW RESTRICTOR PLATE AND SPOILER RULING FOR THIS EVENT? "I respect the fact that NASCAR is constantly retooling the car specs to make for better racing. I...
FROM THE NO. 54 NATIONAL GUARD COCKPIT: DRIVER TODD BODINE
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF THE NEW RESTRICTOR PLATE AND SPOILER RULING FOR THIS EVENT?
"I respect the fact that NASCAR is constantly retooling the car specs to make for better racing. I think safety and competition were held in high regard to come to this latest decision. I think we can expect to see better side-by-side racing, which is what the fans want. From a driver's perspective, I am expecting a better throttle response and acceleration with this larger plate. The spoiler will help keep the speeds down and improve the balance of the car. All and all, I think on paper, it's a good move. We'll just have to see how things pan out once we get on the race track."
HAVE YOU CHOSEN TO USE THE ESCAPE HATCH?
"I've chosen not to use it. I think it's a great idea, however I'm not having my guys install it in the car until it's mandatory. It's great from a safety standpoint but it puts you at a disadvantage competition wise. That's something I can't afford right now. With the safety hatch, your weight distribution on the roof is a big disadvantage. It's added weight and it's up high. Two things you try to avoid when putting a car together to run fast and be aerodynamically sound. I think if we had more time to prepare ... build a new car with the escape hatch in mind, I'd feel a little different about it. But for now, I won't run with it until we have more time to do research and it's mandatory."
WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO DESCRIBE THIS TYPE OF RACING?
"The best way to describe racing at Talladega is a high speed chess game. A driver has to be calculating. During the race I am constantly taking mental notes. I have to keep track of who I draft well with and what's been the best line to run ... the high groove or low. Plus, you need to able to anticipate what's about to happen in front of you. When this race is over I am pretty wiped out."