BUSCH: Todd Bodine Prepares For 2000

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. --- Todd Bodine and his Phillips 66 Racing Team will take their second stab at a NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division championship in 2000 with the first stop of the campaign at Daytona International Speedway on ...

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. --- Todd Bodine and his Phillips 66 Racing Team will take their second stab at a NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division championship in 2000 with the first stop of the campaign at Daytona International Speedway on February 19 for the NAPA Auto Parts 300. The Chemung, N.Y.,-native will compete in his seventh season as a full-time competitor in the NASCAR Busch Series. Along the path of his successful career in NASCAR competition, Bodine has accrued numerous honors. The only honor lacking is a Busch Series championship. "We have come close on so many occasions," Bodine said. "We had a team capable of winning the championship last year. The only area we lacked in was luck, and that's something we don't have any control over. We did what we had to do last year and that was going to the track every weekend with a car capable of finishing in the top five. With the exception of a few races, we did that." Bodine's 1999 season consisted of 10 top-five and 21 top-10 finishes. A successful run for the championship in 2000 will require the Phillips 66 Performance Team to at least duplicate its 1999 performance and enhance a few scores. "We need to step up in every aspect of the racing program," Bodine said. "We had a pretty good season last year but we need to do even better this year. We need to turn the top 10s we scored last year into top fives in 2000. We need to turn those top-five finishes into wins. "Busch Series racing has become so competitive. Yes, we did lose Dale (Earnhardt) Jr., and Matt (Kenseth) and I wish those guys all the luck in the world in Winston Cup. But we still have a lot of talented and competitive guys in the Busch Series. Both Jeff and David Green are going to be tough to beat as well as Ron Hornaday and Kevin Harvick who come over from the truck series this year. Then we still have people like Randy LaJoie, Casey Atwood, Jason Keller and the list just keeps going. The Busch Series is still going to be just as tough as last year." The Busch Series season begins with its annual season-opener at Daytona International Speedway. During the 1999 NAPA 300 at Daytona, Bodine had qualified 17th, but had to start from the rear of the field after an accident in happy hour prior to the start of the event. Bodine used a car loaned to him by his older brother Geoffrey. Despite the setback of the accident, Bodine patiently worked his way through the field during the event and had climbed to fourth place before getting caught up in a multi-car accident about halfway through the race. "Superspeedway racing is always tough," Bodine said. "I've always been able to run well and do well in the draft, I just haven't always had a lot of luck when it comes to those events. I think 1999 is a perfect example of how important luck is to the outcome of a race. We started in the rear of the field and made our way up into the top five. We got caught up in an accident of which I had no control. In racing you have to be both good and lucky." The 2000 Phillips 66 team features no changes in its team profile from the 1999 season. The team's continuity is what Bodine considers the team's biggest asset heading into the upcoming season. "This is the same exact team we had last year," Bodine said. "We didn't lose anybody and I think that's a real plus. We can take what this team accomplished as a single working unit and make it better. This team has great chemistry and it just keeps getting better. "I think we have a team talented enough and dedicated enough to win a championship this year. The only thing we need to add to the team is a little luck. We get luck on our side and I think this could be a real good year for Phillips 66 and Cicci-Welliver Racing."

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Todd Bodine , Jason Keller , Kevin Harvick , Casey Atwood , Ron Hornaday Jr. , David Green