News & Media

Six Pack: Strap in for a pace-car lap with Bodine

August 15, 2012, Joe Menzer,

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Brett Bodine, pace-car driver in the Sprint Cup Series, answers this week's six questions while delivering a pace-car ride at Watkins Glen International.

1. Are you ready to give us a ride?

"I don't know if I'm a superstar, but I do know a lot of people, and I enjoy giving out pace-car rides."


Bodine: Do you want to putt-putt around or go fast?

2. Fast, of course. But just how fast are you talking?

Bodine: Don't you worry about a thing. Just get strapped into that seatbelt, if you can figure it out.

3. But it's twisted or something, and it's not like the seatbelt on my 2001 Ford Windstar minivan. Plus, I normally ride in the back on these pace-car rides. I figure it's safer. What's the secret to this thing?

Bodine (reaching over to help out): Geez, we lost a lap already. (And after assisting with the seatbelt, away we go). Pit-road speed is 40 [mph] ... This pit-road exit dumps you out on the track between Turns 1 and 2.

Heading over to Turn 2, it's a really cool part of the race track. You take a left-hander and work it through there because you want to run wide open on the back straightaway, the fastest part of the race track.

4. How fast are we going here and how fast will the Cup cars go on this straightaway?

Bodine: We're going just 100 [mph] right now. The Cup cars can get up to 180 here. Then it's a hard brake, a couple of down shifts, over the rumble strips and over to Turn 5. You're trying to get your speed down, and then you're wide open again, using all of the track. Down to Turn 6 and another left-hander, the sharpest left-hander on the track because there really are only two. Hard brake, a couple of down shifts and then the short chute over to [Turn] 7, and back down to pit road.

5. That was quick, and fun. Is this your favorite track to give out pace-car rides?

Bodine: This place and Sonoma. The road courses are like nothing else. Plus, this is home for me. I'm from Chemung, N.Y., so I love coming here anyway, and getting to do this is just a bonus.

6. I know. You're like a superstar here, aren't you?

Bodine (smiling broadly): I don't know if I'm a superstar, but I do know a lot of people, and I enjoy giving out pace-car rides. Now, can you get yourself out of that seatbelt as easily as you got in it?

Video: Take a lap around Watkins Glen with Joe Menzer and Brett Bodine