Charlotte: Todd Bodine race notes

Charlotte: Todd Bodine race notes
May 23, 2004, 6:10 AM

Todd Bodine; Fiddle Back Racing Rallies To 20th At Lowes Charlotte, NC - - After a nine-year hiatus, Todd Bodine returned to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Friday night under the Fiddle Back Racing banner. The NASCAR veteran overcame a series ...

Todd Bodine; Fiddle Back Racing Rallies To 20th At Lowes

Charlotte, NC - - After a nine-year hiatus, Todd Bodine returned to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Friday night under the Fiddle Back Racing banner. The NASCAR veteran overcame a series of problems to score a 20th place finish in the Infineon 200.

In the first practice session, the No. 67 clocked the 26th fastest lap time. Bodine, who last completed on the tour in 1995, maneuvered his automobile to a time of 31.322 seconds, or 172.403 MPH. The team opted to make some severe changes to the truck, with hopes of finding more speed for time trials.

38 NCTS machines eyed just 36 starting positions Saturday, at the 1.5 mile Superspeedway. Bodine, flying The Fiddle Back Racing colors, navigated his Ford F-150 around the facility in 30.810 seconds, equaling a speed of 175.268 MPH. The lap handed Bodine the 16th starting position for the event.

"We struggled just a little bit in practice. Gary (Showalter) made a couple of changes for qualifying and it worked. It was really good," stated Bodine. "It would have been a little faster, but the truck just got a little loose off of four and I had to pedal a little bit. All in all, everybody is happy and we're ready to go racing," he added.

With a solid qualifying effort behind them, the team shifted gears and zeroed in on race setup during happy hour. He turned the 25th fastest lap in the session, posting a time of 31.692 seconds, amounting to a speed of 170.390 MPH.

The fifth event of the season took the green flag shortly after 8:30pm EST, with Bodine quickly motoring around other competitors to gain position. On a march towards the top-ten, the team nearly avoided disaster, as on lap three, rookie Robert Huffman got loose underneath Bodine, which turned his No. 12 Toyota Tundra around, spinning harmlessly to the inside.

"That was a close one," said Bodine to the crew.

Returning to green flag racing, Bodine had positioned himself in the top-15, with hopes of scoring his sixth consecutive top-ten finish in the series. However, a tight Ford truck had him slipping back and being overtaken by some of the better handling machines.

The first round of pit stops saw the team make adjustments to the sponsorless No. 67, attempting to correct a tight condition, and quickly sending the Chemung, New York native back on the track.

While the Nextel driver was fighting his hardest to return his Tom Eldredge owned truck to the front, he continued to battle an ill-handling truck. Despite the woes, he maintained a comfortable position within the top-twenty on the lead lap.

A late caution allowed the teams to make their final pit stop of the night, with the FBR (Fiddle Back Racing) crew looking to make a big enough adjustment that would allow Bodine to rocket his way back toward the lead pack. However, with positive intentions, the team caught an unlucky break as Todd was entering his pit stall.

Ted Musgrave, in the No. 1 Mopar Dodge, rolled away from his pit stall making contact with Bodine. Both trucks received some damage that would affect them aerodynamically. The crew bolted on four new Goodyear eagles, added Sunoco racing fuel, another chassis adjustment to loosen it up and fixed the fender.

Bodine returned to the track gunning for every position possible. Under another caution, NASCAR informed the team that they had a flat left rear tire, which forced the No. 67 back to pit road to change the tire. Upon observation, the crew noticed a puncture, which was caused from running over a piece of debris on the track.

During the last span of green flag racing, Bodine battled his way from the top-25 to finish a respectable 20th.

"We were tight all night," said Bodine who completed all 134 markers. "The crew made some adjustments. We got better, but we chased the truck all night."

Even though he didn't score another top ten in his truck career, Todd was still pleased with the night. "I'm pretty happy with the night. We had to work our way toward the front a couple of times. We had a couple close calls, but all in all it was a good night."

Fiddle Back Racing marketing director Brian Jones was also ecstatic with the run. "We had a good run tonight, Todd had kept his nose clean, we overcame a few obstacles and we scored our second best finish of the season, we're happy."

Also, for the first time in his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career, Todd raced against his older brother Geoffrey. Geoffrey, a winning car owner in the NCTS, finished 27th after starting 26th in the No. 03 Team EJP Racing Chevrolet.

Todd Bodine will return to Lowes Motor Speedway next weekend, as he will attempt to make the 43-car starting field for next Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Coca-Cola 600. He'll return to the driving duties of the No. 98 Lucas Oil Ford Taurus for Mach 1 Racing.

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will take a week off before heading to Dover International Speedway on June 4th for the running of the MBNA America 200. Fiddle Back Racing rookie Kevin Love is expected to return to the driving duties.


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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine , Ted Musgrave , Robert Huffman , Kevin Love , Brian Jones
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