Todd Bodine Dominates At Dover Downs International Speedway DOVER, DEL. ---- Dover Downs International Speedway is an elusive race track for a number of competitors in the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division. The high-banked, concrete...
Todd Bodine Dominates At Dover Downs International Speedway
DOVER, DEL. ---- Dover Downs International Speedway is an elusive race track for a number of competitors in the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division. The high-banked, concrete mile has proved to be one tough customer for several drivers and teams. While he does not consider himself an authority on the facility, Todd Bodine, driver of the Phillips 66 Chevrolet, is the track's winningest Busch Series driver with three career Busch Series wins at the "Monster Mile." Bodine's first win at Dover was also his first career NASCAR Busch Series win. Starting from the ninth position, Bodine picked up the first of his 10 career Busch Series wins in just his 22nd career start. The win at Dover took place during his first full season of competition in 1991. "I will never forget that first win," Bodine said. "It was like David slaying Goliath. We did not have a sponsor and were working out of a small garage using just one motor. We beat Davey Allison and Ernie Irvan. Both of them had big sponsors." Since that first win, Bodine has gone on to score wins on two other occasions at the one-mile oval in Delaware - sweeping both NASCAR Busch Series events in 1993. "That was the last year I drove in the Busch Series before I made the move to Winston Cup," Bodine explained. "Dover has been very good to me. I enjoy racing there and I really enjoyed it in 1993. We scored two of our three wins there that year." Approximately 30 Busch Series events have been run at Dover Downs, and Bodine is the only driver to have three wins at the Monster Mile. Drivers who have won at Dover twice include both Darrell and Michael Waltrip, Robert Pressley, Harry Gant and two-time Busch Series Champion Randy LaJoie. The remaining 17 Busch Series races feature 17 different race winners. In his 12 career Busch Series starts at the Monster Mile, Bodine has finished no lower than 26th and has completed all but 22 laps in those 12 races. In addition to his three wins, Bodine has posted five top-five and seven top-10 finishes.
"I love racing at Dover," Bodine said. "It's a difficult track. It's one of two concrete tracks we race on, the other being Bristol, so it's very fast. The banking at Dover generates a lot of momentum when you're entering the turns because they kind of slope down. You have a lot of speed when you go up to exit the turns so you have to really be precise when you're racing the track. It is a track where you have to be both aggressive and patient because it will bite you." In addition to being the site of his first Busch Series win, Dover is the track where Bodine scored his first top-five finish. In 1990, while making a limited number of Busch Series starts, Bodine started fourth in the fall event at Dover and finished third. It is that third-place finish which landed Bodine his first full-time ride in the Busch Series with car owners Frank Cicci and Scott and Jeff Welliver. "Shortly after that third-place finish at Dover Frank asked me if I would drive for him full-time in the Busch Series," Bodine said. "Cicci-Welliver gave me my first shot at a full-time ride in NASCAR. They took a chance on me when nobody else would. In the next three years we won seven races and came close to winning the championship a couple of times. "And no matter where your first NASCAR win happens, you always have a little more regard for that location. It's like wearing a pair of comfortable old shoes. Dover is a perfect fit for me and my driving style." When the NASCAR Busch Series visits Dover Downs on June 5, Bodine hopes he is a step closer to securing the first Busch Series championship for Cicci-Welliver Racing. "Dover is a track where I have enjoyed some pretty good success," Bodine said. "We still have several races to go before the championship is decided. Anything can happen. We're looking to swing things in our favor at Dover in the spring and the fall."