Texas: Ford - Todd Bodine interview

Todd Bodine, driver of the No. 54 National Guard Taurus, qualified 19th for tomorrow's NASCAR Winston Cup event and will start sixth in today's Busch race. He spoke about a couple of issues prior to Saturday's practice session. TODD BODINE -...

Todd Bodine, driver of the No. 54 National Guard Taurus, qualified 19th for tomorrow's NASCAR Winston Cup event and will start sixth in today's Busch race. He spoke about a couple of issues prior to Saturday's practice session.

TODD BODINE - No. 54 National Guard Taurus:

WITH THE TRACK AGING AS IT HAS, DO YOU FORESEE MORE SIDE-BY-SIDE RACING SUNDAY?

"I think it's gonna be better. Today's race is gonna tell a lot. When the groove starts to get slicked up with some oils being put down and when guys start leaking fluid, then we'll see what's gonna happen. The track has still got a lot of grip, so it's gonna be interesting to see. I just don't know if it's gonna happen this year, but we'll probably find out today."

THE FIRST COUPLE OF LAPS HERE ALWAYS SEEM TO BE ADVENTUREOUS. ARE YOU AWARE OF THAT HERE?

"Yeah, I'm very aware of that, especially starting today because I'm sixth and I'm on the outside. Tomorrow I'm on the inside so I'm not quite so worried about tomorrow. The thing about this place is you have to tip-toe the first little bit and not worry about racing the first five or six laps. You just want to get in line and then let things settle down. The inside is still the fast way right now, so you've got to get down there."

AFTER SIX RACES DO YOU FEEL THINGS ARE STARTING TO WORK BETTER?

"I think we're about halfway. Derrick (Finley) is still learning his position. It's a totally different role than he's ever been in, so there are different responsibilities and different things that he has to do. He's still learning, but he's getting better every week. Our communication probably isn't as good as it should be and it's definitely not as good as it can be. I thought the fact that we worked together last year was gonna help us get ahead of that curve and it has to a certain degree, but, like I said, Derrick is still learning the position and I'm trying to help him with that. We've got a lot of new crew members and we're still going through some rough waters, but, as a whole, we're fairly pleased with what we've got."

WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION WHEN YOU SAW THE 20 CAR PARKED AT THE NASCAR TRAILER?

"It's nice to see that they're sticking by their guns. When the champion's car gets impounded, that's pretty big. But where they were wrong with their race car was pretty big. It wasn't like you could say, 'Well, just fix it next week.' It was pretty blatant, so it was good to see that they stuck by their guns."

THAT OBVIOUSLY SENDS A MESSAGE TO OTHER TEAMS AS WELL.

"That's the way they've got to do it in order to keep the competition on their toes and keep everybody aware that this is serious and they're not gonna put up with it."

-ford racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Todd Bodine