BUSCH: Bristol: Todd Bodine race report

Bodine continues top-10 streak BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 23, 2002) -- Todd Bodine drove the Excedrin Racing Chevrolet to an eighth-place finish in the Channellock 250 this past Saturday at the high banked, concrete Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. ...

Bodine continues top-10 streak

BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 23, 2002) -- Todd Bodine drove the Excedrin Racing Chevrolet to an eighth-place finish in the Channellock 250 this past Saturday at the high banked, concrete Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. It was the second consecutive top-10 for the team since Bodine took over the driving duties of the No. 92 Monte Carlo, and the 138th of Bodine's NASCAR Busch Series career.

"We dodged a lot of problems in front of us today and that's the name of the game at Bristol," said Bodine. "That's how you end up finishing eighth -- by being smart and staying out of trouble. The car's pretty battered, but we'll take eighth today."

Bodine ran a speed of 123.047 miles per hour around the half-mile oval during qualifying on Friday afternoon, which placed him in 22nd position on the starting grid. Thanks to that run, the team earned the last of the coveted frontstretch pit stalls.

On Saturday afternoon, the green flag waved for the start of the Channellock 250 and, not unusual for a short-track race, an early accident brought out the first yellow flag of the event on lap eight. Bodine informed the team that in those first few laps the car was tight through the middle and loose off of the corners. Though the team elected not to make a pit stop, they soon had the chance to pit when the second of the record 14 caution flags flew on lap 22. Bodine radioed to crew chief Tony Liberati that he had made contact with another car that may have caused damage to the grill of the No. 92. Liberati called for Bodine to bring the car down pit road so the crew could check the damage and make air pressure and wedge adjustments in an effort to remedy the car of its handling problems. The pit stop dropped the team back to 33rd, since most of the other competitors did not stop.

Liberati and the crew continued to adjust the handling of the No. 92 Chevrolet Monte Carlo throughout the event. Bodine diligently made his way to the front of the field and was able to break into the top 10 after the crew performed a great pit stop on lap 150. He was in ninth place when a red flag was thrown on lap 241 of the 250-lap event so NASCAR and track officials could clean up debris from an accident involving Kevin Harvick's Chevrolet. The green flag flew again on lap 246 and Bodine was able to pick up one more position in the final four laps to finish eighth. The top-10 finish moved the team up one position in the NASCAR Busch Series owner point standings to eighth.

"We struggled all day long, and I feel pretty lucky to have finished in the top 10," said Liberati. "Todd and I are still working on getting to know each other, but we get better every week, and when we come back to Bristol next time, we'll be even better."

Though the Busch Series teams packed up and went home on Saturday, Bodine's weekend of racing was not over. On Sunday, during the NASCAR Winston Cup Food City 500, Bodine served as a relief driver for Tony Stewart who was injured in an accident last week at Darlington (S.C) Raceway. Bodine took over for Stewart two-thirds of the way into the event and brought the Home Depot Pontiac home in 15th place. The NASCAR Busch Series takes next weekend off before traveling west to Texas for the O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 6. Qualifying for the race will take place on Thursday, April 4 at 4:30 p.m. CT. The O'Reilly 300 will be broadcast live on PRN Radio and FOX television at 2:00 p.m. CT. The Excedrin Racing team will spend Tuesday and Wednesday of this week testing at the Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway in an effort to prepare for the upcoming event at that venue.

For more Excedrin Racing information log onto www.excedrin.com. Excedrin is a family of non-prescription pain relievers for safe and effective pain relief for a range of headache types. Excedrin is produced by Bristol-Myers Squibb, a leading diversified worldwide health and personal care company, whose principle businesses are medications, nutritionals and medical devices.

For more information on Herzog Jackson Motorsports, Reggie Jackson and Todd Bodine please visit www.hjmotorsports.com, www.reggiejackson.com and www.todd-bodine.com.

-hjm-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Tony Stewart , Todd Bodine , Kevin Harvick