(August 31,1999) -- Bryan Pontiac driver Todd Bodine went three-for-three in his debut for Eel River Racing last Saturday, and he'll try to steer clear of any strikeouts at tough Darlington Raceway this weekend. Bodine posted the Bryan Racing...
(August 31,1999) -- Bryan Pontiac driver Todd Bodine went three-for-three in his debut for Eel River Racing last Saturday, and he'll try to steer clear of any strikeouts at tough Darlington Raceway this weekend.
Bodine posted the Bryan Racing team's best finish of the season with a 15th-place run in the Goody's 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. But the task gets even tougher this Sunday in the Southern 500 at Darlington.
"Going to Bristol, our first goal was to qualify," Bodine said. "Our second goal was to qualify in the first round and our third goal was to qualify for a frontstretch pit. Right off the bat, we accomplished three of our goals for the weekend. Bryan had a lot of people there and we wanted to put on a good show for them."
Now, Bodine and the Bryan Racing team are up against NASCAR's oldest speedway, which is also viewed as its toughest.
"That's an understatement," Bodine said. "Darlington is tough at both ends of the track. Each corner has unique characteristics. The groove itself is so narrow that you have to be right on the mark to go fast. It's very easy to make a mistake and get into the wall because the race track is so narrow."
Bodine knows communication is critical between he and crew chief Barry Dodson in developing a setup capable of negotiating the 1.366-mile superspeedway. Although Bodine has just one start in the Bryan Pontiac, he feels the rapport he developed with the team last week will help him conquer Darlington.
Bodine has complete confidence in the car thanks to Dodson's vast experience.
"I didn't worry about the race car at all at Bristol," Bodine said. "With all his years of experience, I knew that Barry would have a good setup. Jack Birmingham just bought this team last month and I think they've turned things around in a very short period of time. Hopefully, we can prove that further in the Bryan Pontiac at Darlington. We want people to know that Bristol wasn't a fluke and we can run well again this week."