TODD BODINE, No.30 Tire Kingdom Toyota Camry, Germain Racing
What is your outlook for the 2011 season? "I'm excited about the series and for the series because we've got a lot of new teams coming in with really good drivers. I feel like this is probably going to be the most competitive year in the Truck Series ever. When the series first started, they had a lot of good guys, but there was only five or six teams that really could step up anytime and win a race. If you look at the list of teams we've got and drivers, I think this year there's an honest 12 or 15 teams that could win on any given week. To have that kind of level of competition is incredible. I believe that's one reason that fans are drawn to the Truck Series. We've got a lot of good teams that are on level playing fields. We don't have four or five that are going to run away with the show every week. When they show up to watch, you never know who is going to win."
Who is your biggest rival in the Truck Series? "The competition level is so steep in the trucks that I can't just worry about Ron (Hornaday Jr.). There's so many good teams that you have to focus on what you're doing. To say that you can create a rivalry, I think if there's anything close to that, it would be me and Kyle (Busch) because we've raced each other pretty hard. I've got a lot of respect for Kyle and his abilities. It makes it fun when you have someone like that on the track with you."
What has it been like to have Brendan Gaughan as a teammate? "I've been on Brendan (Gaughan) and his dad for a couple years now to get him to come over and race with us. Brendan and Mr. Gaughan finally decided it was time for another change and to do something where Brendan can run upfront again and win races. Brendan felt coming to the team, Germain Racing always had good race trucks and obviously we've run upfront every year and won races. Now that he's here he's amazed to see how good of a job this team really does on a daily basis preparing the trucks and getting them ready to go. The one thing that Brendan stressed is that he wanted the same trucks and the same setups as I had. We've done that and we've made that our goal and our task. Not only Brendan, but having Max as a teammate and Justin Lofton. For a team to come out with four trucks, it shows how strong they are and how committed they are to the series."
Why is it so hard to repeat as a champion in this series? "You have to have everything go right every race. Your bad luck has to turn around and become good luck and we had that last year. The spin and win at Kentucky, and we had a few other races like that where bad things would happen and we'd turn it around and get a good run out of it. It's hard to do that on a consistent basis. I'd rather be lucky than good. It does hold true sometimes."
What kind of dimension does Travis Kvapil bring to the 2011 championship run? "Travis (Kvapil) is another one of those guys that you know when he gets in a truck, that he's going to be competitive. He's going to be a guy that you're going to have to deal with week in and week out to win races. Travis' personality and his persona among the fans -- they love him. They love watching him race and he brings a whole other dimension and a great competitor to the series. It's going to be -- like I said -- 15 of us that can get it done and he's just another one that we've got to deal with."
What kind of comfort level is there for you having a sponsor for all three series at Daytona? "That's pretty neat. I don't know that it's ever been done where one sponsor sponsored all three series at Daytona -- the same driver, same team. Tire Kingdom has been in racing -- they do a lot of other things in NHRA and drag racing, and they partnered with Valvoline to come up with this program for Speed Weeks. We're really proud to be able to bring them into NASCAR and kind of show them the ropes so to speak and hopefully we can grow the program and make it bigger and better down the line."
What is it like to race the Trucks in Daytona? "It's a different animal. They punch such a big hole in the air that you get four or five trucks back and you're moving around a lot -- a lot more than a car. That was the one thing when Mark Martin ran a few years ago with us, he was surprised how much they moved around. To go fast, you have to hang `em out and put em' right on the edge of being too loose. There was one point that Mark said that it was the hardest he's ever raced at Daytona was when he drove the trucks. That tells you right there that they're night easy, but they're a lot of fun."
-source: toyota motorsports