Toyota NCWTS Texas Notes & Quotes – Bodine, Peters, Starr

[media-credit name=”texasmotorspeedway.com” align=”alignright” width=”199″][/media-credit]TOYOTA NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS)

Todd Bodine, Timothy Peters & David Starr — Notes & Quotes Texas Motor Speedway – June 7, 2012

TODD BODINE, No. 11 Toyota Care Toyota Tundra, Red Horse  Racing How much do you enjoy racing at Texas? “I love Texas.  From the very first time I came here, very first race they had here, I enjoyed it.  Every driver seems to get a track, for whatever reason they run good, they have a knack or it suits there style or whatever and I think Texas is probably my track.  I’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of very good race trucks here, a lot of great Toyota Tundras along the way. You have to have luck to go along with all that.  I had one race here where we had a piece of trash get in the carburetor and about ready to get lapped and a caution comes out, we fix the carburetor, come back and win the race.  That’s just lucky, so you have to have everything.  I’ve been very fortunate to do it.  I enjoy coming here and have all those cowboy hats and looking forward to getting another one.”

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What did the Dover race win mean to your team from a sponsorship standpoint? “We didn’t have a sponsor last week.  We had Toyota Care on the quarter panels and that was kind of a thank you for Toyota. They didn’t actually pay for the race, but Toyota is so good to us and they did support us for four races, but we went there without a sponsor and Tom (DeLoach, owner) made that commitment to do that knowing that we could go up there and have a chance to win.  It’s kind of the same deal here, we don’t have a sponsor for this race, Tom is doing it out of the goodness of his heart and his pocket.  We’ve got a lot of really good things happening.  My wife Janet is working really hard on getting us sponsorship and she’s actually having some success.  Some things are happening.  We’ve got some major corporations that are interested in doing things, unfortunately they’re time frame doesn’t work the same as it does in our world.  We need it yesterday and they’re okay getting it five months from now.  Things are happening.  The win definitely helped.  It’s not a case of winning the race and they say they’re going to sponsor us.  It solidifies in their minds that yes, it is a good race team and it’s a good driver, it’s a good crew chief and they have all the wherewithal to be able to do it.  There’s three different deals, three different corporations we’re talking to and they all three called up and said they wish they were on last week. That’s a good thing.  I can’t speak for Tom saying that we’re going to continue without sponsorship.  But, I think Tom sees the light at the end of the tunnel and knows this is a great opportunity for his race team.  Not only for right now, but for the future and when you see that kind of opportunity, there’s times when you have to dig deep and keep going.  I think that’s where we’re at.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t take John (King) to the race track last week.  He’s a great kid and he was doing a decent job and he’s learning — you know he won Daytona for us.  That really hurt Tom to not be able to do that, but the reality is, you have to go with your strongest guns and if you’re going to pay for it, then that’s what you have to do.  That’s what he did.  All I can say is stay tuned, we have a lot of great things happening at Red Horse Racing.”

Are you monitoring what’s going on at Pocono this weekend with the repave? “I’m getting consistent updates on my text messaging.  It’s really fast, really fast.  I think what’s going to be interesting about the trucks when we go there, the only place we’re going to lift (off the throttle), is going into one.  We’ll run the rest of the track wide open and it’s going to be really interesting.”

Have you used Twitter to attract any new sponsors? “It’s not so much attracting and contacting sponsors through Twitter, but what we’ve found, when we start talking to a major corporation, they have people internally who follow Twitter.  Who will actually go on and follow us and see what we’re saying and how we’re reacting and the things that we say and how we say them.  I think that’s to kind of find out what kind of person they might be talking to or how they react in the public forum.  Social media is big — you have to be a part of it now.”

What are your thoughts on the sport losing Hall of Fame inductee Cotton Owens? “That’s tough because time marches on.  The one thing that I try to embrace about our sport is our history and our past and the pioneers like Cotton (Owens) that brought it to the forefront and made NASCAR what it is.  To lose someone of his stature, it’s hard — it’s hard on everybody because we understand what he did for our sport.  If it wasn’t for guys like Cotton and what he did, Justin (Lofton) and myself wouldn’t be up here talking to you, we’d be in a whole different place.  We’re very fortunate.  He was a great pioneer and a great man for our sport that will be sorely missed.”

Are you concerned about the possibility of racing at Texas without any practice time if the weather continues? “That’s tough, there’s no doubt about it.  The anxiety, I don’t think is so much a question of driver, me worried about other drivers or anything about that, it’s just anxiety of you don’t know what you’re sitting in.  You don’t know if the crew chief got the front springs right and you’re going to hit the splitter and drag it off or not or if you’re going to be dead sideways loose or pushing the right front tire off and blow a tire and hit the wall.  You just don’t know what you have.  That’s the anxiety that you face.  If we could get half an hour of practice or 15 minutes — just something where we could all go around the track 10 or 12 times, we’d all feel fine about it.  That’s the hard part, I think.”

TIMOTHY PETERS, No. 17 Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing What kind of race track is Texas Motor Speedway? “I feel really good about tomorrow night’s race.  I know we haven’t gotten on the race track yet, but our team — Butch Hylton (crew chief), everyone at Red Horse Racing came here the second race last year and our Toyota Tundra was really strong. We kind of built that notebook up and went to work over the off-season.  If the rain does wash out everything and tomorrow we go cold turkey, I feel confident in the setup and what we’ve learned with the truck that we’ve brought that it will race really well without any practice.”

Do you feel like this season is your best chance to date to contend for the championship? “I think so.  Last year, Butch Hylton (crew chief) and I, we started off the year strong and then it seemed like our summer stretch, we couldn’t do anything right.  With that said, towards the end of the year we gained a lot of momentum and the momentum that we ended on was very positive and we took that in the off-season.  And, not only did Butch, Rick Gay (No. 11 Tundra crew chief) has implemented during the off-season, but Chad Kendrick (RHR crew chief) coming on board and everybody at Red Horse Racing, all the employees in the fab shop, suspension, assembly — just everybody together has really made a great quality product in our truck.  It’s shown this year since we’ve come out of the box.  Red Horse Racing truck has finished in the top-five all six races this year, that’s a true testament to what we have going on.  I do feel like this is my best shot, personally to try to get a championship.  If I can’t do it, I feel confident Todd (Bodine) will be in there, too.  We hope when it comes time for walking on the stage that we’re at that head table.”

Have you ever raced before without any time on the track due to weather? “Probably cold turkey on anything would be back in my Late Model days at South Boston (Va.), but the bright side about that was during the week there’s a chance that they had an open test or we rented the track.  I feel confident that if that does happen, that we’re pretty close with our setup.  If we do get that little window, before I came in here I was talking with Butch (Hylton, crew chief) and that was the main thing that he said there was a small window if we do get it in, he wants to be the first one out to make sure the springs are right and the splitter’s down on the ground like it should be.  If we don’t, we’re not really worried about it because we feel confident about it because of our fall race here and plus the seven-post testing that we did before we came, we’ll have it just right.”

DAVID STARR, No. 81 Build Your Future/Zachry Toyota Tundra, Arrington Racing What does it mean to race in your home state of Texas twice a year? “It’s always fun — they do a great job here at Texas Motor Speedway. It’s always exciting.  In Texas, everybody drives pickup trucks on the road, when you bring the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series here, we practice during the day and we pick up about a second-and-a-half and you go off into turn one after about three or four laps at 185 MPH, sparks are flying and sometimes your splitter hits the race track.  It’s exciting, Ron (Hornaday) won the race last year and we all talk about how the economy has gone soft the last three or four years, one thing about the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, when they drop that green flag, you can’t see it.  There’s about 20 trucks that can win any given race and we watch everything under a microscope these days.  The competition and the side-by-side and how competitive our sport is — it’s at an all-time high — it’s still there.  It’s always fun for me, personally, to come back and race here at Texas Motor Speedway.  When you live in the area, and travel all over the country, it’s always nice to sleep in your own bed.  Pretty cool.  Lots of great fans and a lot of people that have gotten you here to a professional level that helped support you financially and sponsor-wise are here, too. It’s just a lot of fun.  All the competitors, teams and crew chiefs, they always love coming to Texas, there’s so much to do. They really lay out the red carpet for all us guys and make us feel special.  It’s a great place to race.”

What do you think of NASCAR suspending Kurt Busch? “You guys make us the stars that we are.  We’re out there racing at the level we’re racing at.  Without the media coverage, the reporters — without the media, you don’t really have a sport. There are reporters out there that ask some pretty off the wall questions, I understand that.  They are just here to give the public a story.  Without our sponsors and without you guys talking about us, we wouldn’t have those sponsors.  Some of the stuff the Busch brothers do, where I’m from we kind of self- police that, we take care of it, you know.  I think if a little bit of the people that he’s having these altercations with, if they were from where I was from, we’d handle it right then and there and I don’t think you’d have any more problems, if you can understand what I’m saying.  I was raised, if you have a problem with somebody, go ahead and handle and get it over with and let’s move on.  I don’t know where he’s from.”

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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