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NASCAR Winston Cup Brickyard 400 Preview -- #11, Brett Bodine

24 July 1997

 #11 Brett Bodine, Close Call Phone Card Ford Thunderbird
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 Brickyard 400 Advance
 Indianapolis Motor Speedway


INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Bodine finished second in the inaugural Brickyard
400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1994. "My car was really good at
the end of the race," says Bodine. "I think if that race had been a
few laps longer I might have been able to get Jeff (Gordon)."

 - This year's Brickyard 400 will be the 300th start of Bodine's
NASCAR Winston Cup career.

 - When Bodine finished sixth in this year's Save Mart Supermarkets
300 at Sonoma, Calif., it was his best finish since his second in the
first Brickyard 400.

 - Although his second year as owner and driver of the Close Call
Phone Card team has been a roller-coaster affair, Bodine still has
high hopes for the Brickyard 400 and the rest of the season. "We are
finally getting our cars to where we feel we are going to be in pretty
good shape in that area," says Bodine. "Now we just need a little
racing luck to show it. We've got to start qualifying better. When you
start in the back, you really put yourself in a hole that is very
difficult to climb out of; you are fighting an uphill battle that
really puts you at a disadvantage as competitive as Winston Cup racing
is today."

 - As for the Brickyard 400, Bodine says, "We feel pretty good about
Indy. I always feel good when I go to Indy. I know what it takes to
run well there, and I think I drive that track pretty well."

 - Bodine was not one of the many drivers to test at Indy, but he
doesn't feel that will put him at a disadvantage. "We didn't feel
testing was a necessity since we've got four hours of practice on
Wednesday (July 30). We know that qualifying is going be a real key
since track position is so important at Indy.  So we have to go up
there Wednesday and get the car right so we can have a good qualifying
run (on Thursday, July 31)."

 - The Close Call team is taking a car to Indianapolis that Bodine
feels is the "best" one in his shop. "We have made some changes to it
to get more downforce," says Bodine. "We think the changes we have
made have helped it. We feel pretty optimistic about how it will run
at Indy."

 - Bodine knows a top-10 finish in the Brickyard 400 will be the
highlight of his young career as an owner-driver. "It has been an
up-and-down season, but we are a lot better team now than we were a
year ago," says Bodine. "We need another run like we had at Sears
Point, and what better place to do it than Indy."

By Sports Marketing Enterprises