Todd Bodine Knows Importance of Family

Todd Bodine Knows The Importance Of Family Todd Bodine boasts a history of nicknames and titles. Like most drivers when they first start racing he was referred to as rookie in the early 90s. "Super Sub" is a title Bodine earned by being the ...

Todd Bodine Knows Importance of Family
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Todd Bodine Knows The Importance Of Family

Todd Bodine boasts a history of nicknames and titles. Like most drivers when they first start racing he was referred to as rookie in the early 90s. "Super Sub" is a title Bodine earned by being the number one choice in the Winston Cup garage for filling in for injured drivers. Bodine currently works under the subtitle "driver of the Phillips 66/Trop Artic Chevrolet." About one year ago, Bodine was christened with yet another title, which has by far become his favorite. The title is dad. Ashlyn Marie was born to Bodine and his wife Lynn during the middle of race week at Charlotte Motor Speedway last year. Born at 11:03 a.m. at University Hospital, which is about 10 minutes away from Charlotte Motor Speedway. Ashlyn arrived after approximately four hours of labor. "Lynn started having contractions around 10 o'clock Wednesday night," Bodine recalled. "We didn't go to the hospital until 3 a.m. that morning and she started hard labor at 7 a.m. "I had just completed first round qualifying for the Cup race Wednesday night. I had practice the next day and a few radio shows I was supposed to do. Lynn was in labor for a few hours. She had Ashlyn and I made it back to the race track in time for our afternoon practice." If ever there was a silver lining in Bodine's life, it happened when Ashlyn was born. Her arrival came at a time when Bodine's career was under attack while driving the No. 35 Winston Cup car. Bodine had missed several Winston Cup races and there were a lot of unknowns in regards to the future of that organization. Despite the issues surrounding his career, Bodine had a reason to keep his chin up. "As bad as things were at that time, Todd was still able to smile," Lynn explained. "Despite all the things that we're going on with his career, he looked forward to his daughter and spending time with her. She is the reason we're both able to make it through that situation." "Ashlyn changed everything," Bodine added. "Lynn and my family has always been important to me. But having Ashlyn just gave me a different perspective about life and what was going on with my career. It made me realize what is important in life." Married for 12 years, the Bodines had been trying to have a baby for about six years before Ashlyn was born last May. Looking back, the Bodine's believe Ashlyn's arrival couldn't have been timed more perfectly. "We waited six years for her," Lynn said. "Maybe bringing her to us at that time was what God had in mind. I'm not saying we wouldn't have wanted her sooner, but when we did have her she made a huge impact on what was going on in our lives." Since that summer of racing, Bodine has found redemption. He returned to Cicci-Welliver Racing and the NASCAR Busch Series about midway through 1998. In addition, he competed in a limited number of Winston Cup races during the latter part of the 1998 season driving the No. 91 Chevrolet. Bodine's last run in that car featured a fifth-place finish during the season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Bodine returned to full-time competition in 1999 in the Busch Series flying the Phillips 66 colors on his No. 66 Cicci-Welliver-owned Chevrolet. Although he is focused on his career, Bodine has not lost sight of the importance of family. He continues to work on his career, but his focus is on his role of being a dad. "Ashlyn couldn't ask for a better dad," Lynn said. "I knew he would be a good dad because he has always loved kids. There's nothing he won't do. The days when he is home, he'll do the midnight feeding so I can get some rest. When he's home through the week, he'll take her for a day or two so I can go get caught up on things I have to finish. "And bath time is their special time. He gives her her bath and that is their time together." With the approach of her first birthday, Ashlyn is the picture of a happy baby and she is the most important person in both her parents' lives. When Ashlyn took her first steps just one month ago, both the Bodine's were in attendance for that milestone. "That was pretty neat," Bodine grinned. "Lynn and I were sitting on the floor and Ashlyn was across the room holding onto her walker. I guess she wanted to be where we were and she walked over to us. "Traveling three days a week, you tend to miss out on a lot. You hate it when you miss anything going on with your kids. It was pretty cool we were both there to see her walk for the first time." Although traveling provides some inconveniences, coming home can have its rewards. "One of the best things that's happened for him was when he came home from traveling just here recently," Lynn recalled. "I don't remember where he had been but he had just got home and went in to see Ashlyn. She said 'Da-Da' and reached for him. He was so excited because it was the first time she ever did that."

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