Following a week away from the track, Todd Bodine travels to Iowa Speedway this weekend with his No. 11 Toyota Care team in the midst of a battle to turn his season around. Since pulling into victory lane at Dover in June, Bodine has fallen victim to a streak of bad luck and slipped from sixth to 14th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver point standings. Though many situations have been out of his control, the two-time series champion believes there’s a big advantage to racing in front of a large crowd of passionate fans. Fortunately for Bodine, the enthusiastic fan base that Iowa provides may be just the ticket to help him get fired up and back on track.
“From the first time any of us made the trip out to Iowa the fans have been so receptive and appreciative of us to coming to put a show on for them. Every autograph session has been packed and the stands are always full. It’s something that we really pay attention to because it gets you pumped up knowing that you’ve got a crowd to perform for. It just makes it that much better for us to come out there knowing that we’re appreciated,” Bodine explained.
Visiting Prairie Meadows: In town for the Iowa Speedway festivities? Come meet “The Onion” during a special appearance at Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino on Tuesday evening, September 11, from 7 to 8:30 pm. He will be signing autographs and greeting fans in the Finish Line Lounge, and also randomly selecting the names of fans who have signed up to win tickets to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series American Ethanol 200 presented by Hy-Vee on Saturday night.
Fan Friendly Garage: Catering to the exceptional NASCAR fan base in the Midwest, Iowa Speedway and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will provide an “open garage” this weekend, giving the fans a chance to get up close to their favorite teams and drivers. The series drivers’ meeting will be held under the grandstands, accessible to the fans.
Previous Race Recap: Admittedly a fan of the fast, slick 1.5-mile oval, Bodine entered the Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a solid record and a chance to reverse his bad luck. After racing his way inside the top-10 early in the evening, Bodine began to slide back through the field while dealing with handling woes in his Tundra. A long green flag run put the No. 11 Toyota Care machine one lap down to the leaders, and unable to get his lap back, Bodine finished the night in 21st.
Chassis History: Bodine will return to Iowa Speedway this weekend with chassis number 002 that crew chief Rick Gay and the No. 11 Toyota Care Tundra team have prepared. This Tundra is one of the newest in the Red Horse Racing fleet and has only seen on-track action one previous time in 2012.
Racing for Awareness: Toyota Racing kicked off ‘Racing For Awareness’ last Friday, a friendly competition among women affiliated with the Toyota NASCAR program to design t-shirts that will support breast cancer awareness. Among the participants are two members of the Red Horse Racing family, Sara Peters, wife of driver Timothy Peters, and Janet Bodine, wife of driver Todd Bodine. The winning design will be selected from fan votes and produced during the Charlotte race weekend in October, and Toyota will donate $500 in the name of each participant to Carolina Breast Friends in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Vote at www.toyotaracing.com/RacingForAwareness now through Oct. 4, 2012.
What are the biggest challenges for you at Iowa? Iowa is one of the tracks where you really need everything to go right. You have to have good track position, a truck that’ll handle well with big horsepower and good braking to get it to stop in the corner. The whole package like that is hard to get, that’s why every aspect of the game makes a difference.
If you had a choice, would you pick more intermediate tracks or short tracks? I don’t know that I would pick one or the other, but I really like tracks with challenges. Whether it be a speedway, intermediate or short track, they all have their own set of challenges and characteristics. I enjoy tracks that are not easy to drive because it separates the good teams and good drivers from the bad.