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NASCAR Winston Cup Pennsylvania 500 Preview -- #11, Brett Bodine

16 July 1997

 #11 Brett Bodine, Close Call Phone Card Ford Thunderbird  
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 Pennsylvania 500 Advance
 Pocono Raceway

LONG POND, PA - In 10 previous starts in the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono 
Raceway, Bodine has four top-10s and one top-five.

 - After only his third DNF of the season in last Sunday's Jiffy Lube 300 at 
New Hampshire International Speedway, Bodine stands 23rd in the NASCAR 
Winston Cup point standings. He finished 42nd after being involved in the 
first-lap accident.

 - During the first half of the 1997 season, Bodine has two top-10s and seven 
top-20 finishes. In 1996, he only had one top-10 and eight top-20s. "We are a 
lot better team than we were a year ago," says Bodine, owner and driver of 
the Close Call Ford.

 - Bodine calls the first half of the year "a step forward. We are still not 
where we need to be, but we did take that first step in getting back to where 
we need to be."

 - He feels the Close Call team must take another "major step" during the 
second half of the season. "We have been a top-20 team during the first 
half," says Bodine. "Now we need to become a top 15 team on a regular basis. 
And hopefully, that will include a couple of top 10s. If we can start 
finishing in the top 15 on a regular basis and get us two or three top 10s 
during the second half, it will be a good second half."

 - However, the crash at Loudon last Sunday did put a dent in the team's 
ability to move to the next level. "We had completely rebuilt that car with 
what we thought was going to be a car that would help us take that step 
forward," says Bodine. "But now we've got to rebuild it again. And it was the 
car we were going to run this week at Pocono. Now we have to run another car 
this week."

 - In the first race this year at Pocono, Bodine finished 25th, a lap down. 
"We never got the car to handle the way we wanted," says Bodine. "But we know 
what changes we've got to make. So we feel pretty good about how we're going 
to run."

By Sports Marketing Enterprises