TOYOTA NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Todd Bodine — Notes & Quotes Nashville Superspeedway

TODD BODINE, No. 30 Germain.com Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing How has your season been this year? “The season hasn’t gone as well as we’d like. We haven’t gotten the finishes that we would have liked, but we’ve run well and that’s the bright spot. Even though we’ve had some bad luck and had crashes, the performance on the track has been good. Junior (Mike Hillman Jr., crew chief) and the guys have really stepped it up and done a great job with four teams this year. It’s a lot of work to keep the trucks running and they’ve done a great job. We’ve got a really good Tundra tonight. I think, knock on wood, we have a really good shot — this thing is fast. We’ll just try to stay out of trouble and get there at the end and give a shot at it.”

What have you done with the guitar trophy you won last year? “The first thing is I didn’t smash it. That’s the first thing. I actually, the trophy that we got at the speedway that night, we’ve got in the trophy case at the shop. I think something that special, I want the fans that come to our race shop to see it. I want the guys that work there to be proud of it and be able to see it. That one is there at the shop, but my wife got me one for Christmas, the same thing — Sam did another one, a replica and that one we have at home. I’m pretty proud of that. It was a lot of years getting that. I came close at the fairgrounds a couple of times and came close here a couple times, didn’t get it. It was pretty exciting to get one finally.”

How has the new points system affected racing in the NCWTS? “If you look at the points system, number of points that you gain per position, it’s really no different than the old system. Instead of three points for position, it’s one point per position. The difference comes in the top three where you were getting five before, so you have those two extra points. That’s really the biggest difference. To make up positions and lose positions, to me it’s all the same. I don’t worry about points. We go every race to win, get the best finish we can and let the points fall where they will. If you do that at the end of the year you’ll have no regrets — you’ve done the best you can all year and that’s all you can ask for.”

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How has it been at Germain Racing expanding to four teams this year? “The biggest challenge has been getting trucks prepared. The off-season is so short, and we didn’t know until basically the season was over that Justin (Lofton) was coming and Brendan (Gaughan) was coming. We knew Max (Papis) was coming, so we didn’t get a big jump on getting trucks built and getting prepared. The guys at the shop have absolutely worked their tails off all winter long, all spring and the drivers haven’t helped the situation because every week we bring them back with dents and needing sides so they have to repair the ones we’ve raced and build new ones at the same time. If we didn’t have such good help at the race shop, we would have never been able to pull this off, but it’s incredible how well prepared the trucks are. You’d think with four trucks and not having a lot of trucks, that we’d come to the race track unprepared to a certain degree — and that has not been the case at all. Every truck comes every week 110 percent the way that the Germain Racing team does things and does it right. I’m really proud of the guys at the shop for how hard they’ve worked and the job they’ve done. Junior (Mike Hillman Jr., crew chief) has really been the back bone of it, of organizing it and making sure the guys are doing the right things and the right trucks are getting built. He has had a lot on his shoulders all winter to get this thing going and they’ve done a great job.”

Has the competition stepped up in the NCWTS since last season? “The competition as a whole in the Truck Series is not way better than last year, but it is a lot better than last year. We’ve got a lot of great race teams with really good race drivers. Right now the competition level in trucks is probably better across the board than the other two divisions. You have more teams that are capable of running up front every week.”

Is Texas going to be a battle between you and your teammate Brendan Gaughan? “Me and Brendan (Gaughan) have been friends for a long time and we joke about Texas quite often. His claim to fame is he won four in a row. We can say we’ve won six total. I think, you might have to look this up, but between the two of us we’ve won half the truck races at Texas (10 wins in 26 total NCWTS races). Obviously we’re going to Texas with high hopes.”

Are you enjoying having Brendan Gaughan back in the NCWTS? “Yeah, you cannot help but like Brendan (Gaughan). He’s a blast, he’s a great person. He’s a hell of a race car driver and he kind of got tired of not running at the front, which he was used to doing in the Truck Series before. I’ve been on him and his father about coming with Germain Racing for three years. They finally said let’s do this and run up front and win some races again. We’re glad to have them — they’re great people and Brendan is a great friend.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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