BUSCH: Todd Bodine Looks To Win at Bristol

BRISTOL, TENN. --- The night race at Bristol Motor Speedway is one where anything that could happen usually does happen. Aside from being one of the largest attended events on the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division schedule, the Food...

BRISTOL, TENN. --- The night race at Bristol Motor Speedway is one where anything that could happen usually does happen. Aside from being one of the largest attended events on the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division schedule, the Food City 250 generally stages one of the most exciting events during the race season. Todd Bodine, driver of the Phillips 66 Chevrolet, has competed in 12 Busch Series events at Bristol Motor Speedway since his first race there in April of 1991. Bodine has two wins at Bristol, winning back-to-back Food City 250 events in 1992 and 1993. Bodine hopes to bring home his third Food City 250 trophy when the Busch Series visits Bristol on August 27. Bodine has posted an impressive record in his 12 career Busch Series starts at Bristol. Although he has performed well in both the day and night events at the half-mile oval, his record seems to shine just a little brighter during the night events. In his 12 starts, Bodine has two wins, five top-five and six top-10 finishes. Bodine earned his two wins and four of the top-10 finishes during the fall event at Bristol. "I love racing under the lights at Bristol," Bodine said. "I wish we raced during the night all the time. Unfortunately, that isn't possible. Anytime we race under the lights it really gets the adrenaline pumping. You can really feel the electricity in the air at Bristol. It's that intense and that exciting. "I have always run well at Bristol, I just haven't always had the luck on my side. But it's always a survival of the fittest. We managed to be the fittest on a couple occasions." Bodine's most recent performance at Bristol scored him the fifth top-five Busch Series finish at Bristol in his career. Bodine finished fifth after starting 38th during the Moore's Snacks 250 in April. "We had a car that could have won that race," Bodine said. "We really hurt ourselves when we qualified 38th and Bristol is definitely not a place where you want to be starting in the back. Plus, when you qualify that far back, you have to pit on the backstretch, which doesn't do a whole lot to help you out." "We had a lot of ground to make up and this Phillips 66 team worked real hard in the pits. We made up quite a few positions in the pits that day. The only thing that hurt us is we overadjusted on one of our pit stops, but that was my call. But, we hung in there and got a top-five out of it. Considering where we started and where we finished it was a good day for us." Although the event had a happy ending, Bodine and the Performance Team are eager for more. Through the race at Indianapolis, the summer stretch of races resulted with a compilation of three top-five and seven top-10 finishes. The team believes Bristol is a place where they could visit victory lane. To achieve those desired results, Bodine and the Phillips 66 team prepared by testing at Bristol earlier this month. "We're pulling out all the stops," Bodine said. "It's been a while since I've been to victory lane and even longer since I've won a race at Bristol. It would definitely be a good place to get back to victory lane. With a little luck, we just might make it happen." Bodine attributes his success at Bristol to a few key elements, with the first one being patience. "You have to be patient at Bristol," he explained. "I can't emphasize that enough. One of the biggest mistakes drivers make is thinking that they have to hurry up and get to the front. If a driver panics like that, then an accident will happen. That's a hard lesson to learn. "It also helps if you have a good spotter, a good-handling race car, good team work and a little bit of racing luck," he added. "Just about every weekend this year we've had four of the five ingredients necessary for success. If there's one thing we've been lacking a little it's in the luck category." With or without lady luck, Bodine says he and the Phillips 66 team are prepared for what may come at the 1999 Food City 250. "We had a good test there and we're taking back the same car we raced there in the spring," Bodine said. "We have done our part to have a successful night at Bristol. Hopefully, our racing luck is just as ready."

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Todd Bodine