BUSCH: Todd Bodine on Watkins Glen

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. --- Although road course racing is not unusual, the race at Watkins Glen International is unique to the schedule of the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division. The only road course on the schedule, Watkins Glen is the...

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. --- Although road course racing is not unusual, the race at Watkins Glen International is unique to the schedule of the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division. The only road course on the schedule, Watkins Glen is the place where the right-hand turn gets tossed into the mix. Aside from being the lone road course on the Busch Series schedule, Watkins Glen is the first race of the second half of the 2000 Busch Series schedule. Todd Bodine is in the thick of the battle for the 2000 Busch Series title and he hopes to gain some momentum in his own backyard. "The Watkins Glen race pretty much kicks off the second half of the Busch Series schedule," Bodine said. "I like that a lot because we always run well on the road course and we really need to come out swinging during the second half of the season. "We've had a top-five car just about every weekend. If you take away the superspeedway events, our average finish is fifth. That 10 car (Jeff Green) has managed to finish ahead of us by a couple of positions a few times, so he has the lead on us in the championship battle. We need to keep on getting top fives and a win here and there. Watkins Glen is a place where that can happen." The driver of the Phillips 66 Chevrolet has quite a list of accomplishments at Watkins Glen International. In six starts at the 2.45-mile road course Bodine has completed every lap and has never finished outside the top 10. During his first Busch Series race at the track Bodine finished fifth after starting 15th. In fact, Bodine's ninth-place finish scored in the 1999 Lysol 200 is the New York-native's only finish outside the top five. Bodine won the pole at Watkins Glen in Winston Cup competition in a Cicci-Welliver-owned Chevrolet in 1997. The only thing lacking from the 36-year old's resume at the Glen is a win. "I've had some of the strangest things happen that's kept us from winning at Watkins Glen," Bodine said. "I've lost my eye contacts in the middle of a race and basically drove blind, or we've been leading with just a few laps to go and been passed for the win. There's always just been something that has kept us from victory lane at that place. I've been more than ready for a win at Watkins Glen for a long time." When Bodine does achieve his first win at Watkins Glen, it will be even sweeter as his hometown of Chemung, N.Y., is just a few miles down the road. "I would love to win a race at Watkins Glen," Bodine said. "Aside from the fact that I've come so close to winning there on several occasions, it's home. A lot of friends and family will be there. I've come close to winning in both Busch and Winston Cup, it just hasn't happened yet. It would be great to win there this time around." Bodine will be competing at Watkins Glen behind the wheel of "Skippy," the same car he finished ninth with one year ago. Although "Skippy" is the same car, there have been a few changes to this member of the Phillips 66 Racing stables. "This will be a different race for us than a year ago," Bodine explained. "Of course, the bodies are different since the change to the 2000 Monte Carlo, but our motor program is different than it was last year at Watkins Glen. We're using Dennis Fischer motors this year and they have been strong for us all year long." Another difference, if things go well, will be the outcome of the Lysol 200. "Instead of finishing ninth, we're going to get back into that top-five finishing form at Watkins Glen," Bodine said. "If all goes as planned, we'll be in victory lane this year."

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Todd Bodine