FORT WORTH, Texas – Two-time Camping World Truck Series champion Todd Bodine came into Texas Motor Speedway with his first victory of the season with Red Horse Racing after grabbing the rain-shortened win last weekend at Dover. He sat down with Frontstretch‘s Beth Lunkenheimer Friday afternoon at TMS (June 8) to talk about his season, the future of the team and more.
Beth Lunkenheimer, Frontstretch: How did it feel to get that win so quickly with a team that you didn’t expect to be with until a couple weeks before the season started?
Todd Bodine: It’s very gratifying to be able to come to a new team and six races in get the first win. It says a lot for this team. Rick Gay has done a great job with this team for three or four years now and to finally get the first win as a team was pretty cool.
Tom (DeLoach, team owner) took a chance bringing me in without a sponsor and doing this a little bit out of his pocket. We’ve had a little bit of sponsorship, but for the most part he’s doing it out of his pocket. That takes a pretty good commitment and it’s nice to be able to reward him.
Lunkenheimer: How did the deal with Red Horse Racing come about?
Bodine: When I found out last year that Germain Racing was not going to run trucks this year, the first thing I did was march down two trailers to talk to Tom [DeLoach]. Tom and myself had talked about doing this for a number of years [that] if we ever got the chance and the opportunity we’d love to do it. There was the chance and the opportunity and I was ready to go.
Lunkenheimer: Does Tom have plans to continue regardless of whether you find sponsorship?
Bodine: You’ll have to ask Tom. I think if there wasn’t a light at the end of the tunnel, I think probably not. But my wife is working on sponsorship and she’s really having some success. We’re close to getting some things done, so I’m pretty sure if it takes two, three, four weeks to get something done, then he’s going to continue.
Lunkenheimer: What’s the secret to your mile-and-a-half success, especially with six wins here at Texas alone?
Bodine: First you have to have good trucks that are fast and we’re fortunate to have great Tundras the whole time. Some people have tracks that they like and I think mile-and-a-halfs just suit my style. You gotta be able to run as close to wide open as you can and be on the edge as close as you can without going over, and I’ve been fortunate enough to get to that point.
But you gotta have everything – you gotta have luck. One year, we had carburetor issues and almost went a lap down, got a caution, fixed the carburetor and came back to win the race (2007). You gotta have luck too.
Lunkenheimer: What’s your favorite track to race at, or do you even have a favorite?
Bodine: I don’t. Honestly, all of them. It sounds like a corny standard answer, but if I’m driving, I’m having fun.
Lunkenheimer: I was looking at your hobbies on your website and I was a little intrigued to see interior design amongst the racer-type stuff like bobsledding, motorcycle riding, etc. How did that come about?
Bodine: I have always had an artistic knack for just all kinds of things. I enjoy it. I did most of our house; Janet helped, but I did most of our house. I’ve helped friends with their stuff. It’s just something I enjoy.
Lunkenheimer: What’s the strangest request you’ve ever had from a fan?
Bodine: The most common is signing body parts. There’s intoxicated women that love to have you sign a body part and you have little kids that want you to sign their forehead or their arm. And I don’t do any of that; I refuse to sign their bodies.
Despite having a strong truck in practice Thursday night, the WinStar World Casino 400 turned into a disappointment for the driver of the No. 11 Toyota. Having completed just 31 laps, Bodine’s oil pump let go, forcing him to retire to a disappointing 30th-place finish. He dropped four spots in the points standings to 10th and sits 60 markers behind leader Justin Lofton.
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