Bodine Expects 'Incredible Racing' At Talladega
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points leader Todd Bodine said he expects the series' inaugural race at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 7 to be every bit as spectacular as the season opener at Daytona, widely regarded as one of this year's most exciting races throughout motorsports.
"The draft is different in a truck than it is in a car, but it is going to be the same as Daytona in that the truck puts such a big hole in the air. That's why it is incredible racing, and I don't expect it to be any different," Bodine said. "I am looking forward to it. Fortunately, I have always been successful to do very well at superspeedway racing, and going to Talladega is a lot of fun. It can be nerve-wracking to get in a big pack, but it is just a different race and it is enjoyable."
There's no doubt Bodine will be a factor when the series competes at Talladega for the first time. Following up a third-place finish in the 2005 points standings, this year he's posted three wins, 10 top fives and 14 top 10's so far, taking the points lead with a win at Gateway in late April and not letting go since. Bodine also has considerably more experience at Talladega than most of his competitors, with eight NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series starts here. He also has nine NASCAR Busch Series starts here, of which he has three top fives and four top 10's. Furthermore, in this year's season opener for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Daytona, Bodine finished second to Mark Martin, bettering his third place finish there last year. Bodine hopes his Daytona performance is a good indicator of how the day will go in the Talladega 250, and said the similarities between the tracks is also helpful for team owners.
"We're all running the same package as we did at Daytona. Everybody told them
what a good deal it was and how well it worked, and I know they are not going to
change that," Bodine said. "It's also a good deal for the teams, because we had
these trucks that we were all racing at Daytona and they were sitting for the
rest of the year. Now we get to race them again, and it's a little easier to
amortize the cost over two races instead of one race."
Bodine said the track's new surface will only improve racing conditions at the historic track.
"It's not going to make it any faster or slower, just hopefully will take the bumps out. It will make it a little easier to drive and not make the cars get as upset quite as easily as it did. It was especially bumpy at the bottom of turn two and turn four. Anything that smooths it out is definitely going to make the racing better, because it will make it easier for the guys to handle the trucks," Bodine said.
Talladega Superspeedway will welcome fans back for the UAW-Ford 500 event weekend set for Oct. 6-8, 2006, featuring 1,000 miles of racing in 3 days. The weekend begins with the Food World 250 ARCA RE/MAX Series race on Friday, Oct. 6, followed by the track's inaugural NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Saturday, Oct. 7. Then on Sunday, Oct. 8, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams will compete in the UAW-Ford 500, race four in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. Kids age 11 and younger are admitted free of charge on Friday and Saturday of race weekends in the general admission grandstands at Talladega Superspeedway. To order tickets, call 1-877-Go2-DEGA (1-877-462-3342). For our hearing impaired guests, please call TDD 1-866-ISC-TRAK (1-866-472-8725). Tickets also are available online at www.racetickets.com, or in person by visiting the Talladega Superspeedway Ticket Office from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. CDT, Monday - Friday.