Team EJP Racing update: Bodine optimistic after NCTS test at Daytona. Daytona Beach, FL: Geoffrey Bodine made his first laps behind the wheel of the Team EJP Chevrolet Silverado at the NASCAR Pre-Season Thunder test sessions at Daytona ...
Team EJP Racing update: Bodine optimistic after NCTS test at Daytona.
Daytona Beach, FL: Geoffrey Bodine made his first laps behind the wheel of the Team EJP Chevrolet Silverado at the NASCAR Pre-Season Thunder test sessions at Daytona International Speedway over the course of the past three days, and came away with a very solid feeling: optimism.
While the team refined its setups for what promises to be one of the toughest qualifying sessions in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series history, Bodine was busy acquainting himself with the team, and more importantly, reacquainting himself with the feel of a race truck on Daytona's famed high banks.
"We spent a lot of time in the draft down here this weekend, and the truck was very comfortable," Bodine said. "We were fast in the draft, which obviously is important down here in Daytona. It is very solid in the draft, which is great, but the first challenge of SpeedWeeks is going to be qualifying, and we need to be as slick as we can be in order to get thatfast lap by ourselves. We'll take it back to the shop and work some magic on it and see what we can come up with."
Bodine's fast lap in the draft was fourth-fastest, behind fellow Chevrolet pilots Jack Sprague and David Starr, as well as Ted Musgrave.
Sprague's fast lap was clocked at 187.625 miles per hour, while Bodine turned in an impressive 186.815 mile per hour lap.J
"We were with the fast group when we turned that lap," Bodine said. "Basically at Daytona, you can run as fast as the guys in front of you will pull you. Even as boxy as these trucks are compared to the cars, it is still possible to lose the draft. But what's nice about that lap is we know the truck can hang with the fast guys.
Hopefully, that will help us to be in the right place on that last lap to make that race-winning slingshot pass, just like you saw here last year.
"I think we can come down here and really compete for the win," said the 1986 Daytona 500 winner. "I am so excited after running with these guys for the past three days, I wish February was here already. This place has been pretty good to me in the past. When I came here and ran the Daytona 500 with James Finch's team, we flew under the radar and ended up third and shocked a lot of people. I think we have a real shot to do that again this year."
The tenth NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season opens with Bud Pole Qualifying on Wednesday, February 11th, and the first green flag will wave over the 36-truck field for the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 at Daytona on Friday, February 13 2004 at 6:00 pm ET. Much of the NCTS action from Daytona, including live coverage of the race, will be seen on Speed Channel. Live coverage of the race can also be heard on many Motor Racing Network affiliates nationwide, as well as on NASCAR Radio on XM Satellite Radio Channel 144.
About Team EJP Racing: Team EJP Racing is owned by Steve Prescott, and based in Gardiner, Maine. The team made its debut with a three-race schedule with Prescott behind the wheel in 2000. Since then, Steve has concentrated on building a winner as an owner. The team has run a limited schedule in 2001, 2002, and 2003 with drivers Tom Carey, Barry Bodine, Eric Jones, and 1986 Daytona 500 winner Geoffrey Bodine. The team runs the 2004 Chevrolet Silverado body style and utilizes engines built by long-time NASCAR Winston Cup, Busch Series, Truck engine builder Mark Smith's Tri-Star Motorsports. Tri-Star Engines have powered the last two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champions.