BUSCH: Richmond II: Todd Bodine preview

Whelen Engineering/Marsh Racing Ford to Pay Tribute to Firefighters at Richmond RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 8, 2004) -- A special paint scheme honoring firefighters worldwide will adorn Todd Bodine's Whelen Engineering/Marsh Racing Ford during Friday's...

Whelen Engineering/Marsh Racing Ford to Pay Tribute to Firefighters at Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 8, 2004) -- A special paint scheme honoring firefighters worldwide will adorn Todd Bodine's Whelen Engineering/Marsh Racing Ford during Friday's NASCAR Busch Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

The tribute is the second in the series for Whelen Engineering America's Hometown Heroes Salute. At the spring Busch race in Richmond, the No. 31 Ford was dedicated to police officers.

"When we did the police car in May it was during National Police Week in Washington D.C.," said Phil Kurze, director of motorsports for Whelen Engineering. "It is only fitting to have the firefighters' car this weekend, which marks the third anniversary of 9/11."

The fire engine red car with a white roof will have a diamond plate trim along the bottom. The America's hometown heroes theme on the rear quarter panels will showcase the Maltese Cross, the firefighters' universal badge of honor.

The trunklid will also be dedicated to firefighters and the wording on the rear bumper panel will be the same that is on the back of fire trucks -- KEEP BACK 500 FEET.

Whelen Engineering, a designer and manufacturer of emergency lighting and early warning sirens, based in Chester, Conn., is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

"Firefighters have been a close member of the Whelen family for 50 years and we are proud to pay tribute to these everyday heroes," said Kurze.

Friday night's Emerson Radio 250 Busch race will be the seventh of 10 races scheduled for the Whelen Engineering/Marsh Racing Team. And it will be the fourth race for Bodine, who joined the team in June at the Dover, Del. event.

"I feel we've come a long way in a short time," said Bodine, the youngest of the three racing brothers from Chemung, N.Y. "Richmond is a track where you need to be patient and stay out of trouble. I have a good feeling that we can get the job done there. We need to open with a good practice and then lay down a strong qualifying run so we can start upfront."

Speaking of a strong starting position, Bodine knows what it takes to make a solid qualifying lap on Richmond's .75-mile short track. He is a two-time Bud Pole winner 0x2022 each coming at the fall race in 1992 and 2000.

Friday night's race will be televised on TNT, beginning at 8 p.m. EDT.

-we-

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Todd Bodine