NASCAR Teleconference Transcript - David Reutimann And Todd Bodine July 27, 2010 An interview with: TODD BODINE DENISE MALOOF: Now we are joined by Todd Bodine. How are you? TODD BODINE: Good. DENISE MALOOF: We have a good group of...
NASCAR Teleconference Transcript - David Reutimann And Todd Bodine
July 27, 2010
An interview with:
DENISE MALOOF: Now we are joined by Todd Bodine. How are you?
TODD BODINE: Good.
DENISE MALOOF: We have a good group of media for you here today on the NASCAR teleconference. We'll dive in and get busy.
TODD BODINE: Okay.
DENISE MALOOF: For those of you who don't know, Todd is the 2006 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion. The series will compete Saturday for the first time at Pocono. It's a 50-lap shootout that will be preceded by a multi-truck qualifying procedure. Todd does have one pole and two top-10 finishes there in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition. He also competed in Goodyear's tire test at Pocono in May.
Todd, your assessment of what we might see this weekend?
TODD BODINE: Well, I think you're going to see a heck of a race. I know everybody is saying that. You know, the way the trucks are and the drafting that's involved, the way Pocono is, long straightaways with a little bit slower corner, drafting is going to be very large, it's going to be critical.
You know, I think a lot of the veteran drivers like myself and Skinner and Hornaday, guys that have competed there in the Cup Series, we're going to have a little advantage for a while. But I think that the guys in the Truck Series are good enough and the teams are good enough that they're going to catch up.
I don't think by race time there's going to be much of an advantage. I think it's going to be a great race, another good show for the Camping World Truck Series.
DENISE MALOOF: We're definitely looking forward to it.
Let's go directly now to some questions for Todd Bodine.
Q: Question about social networking. I was interested in finding out how much you're involved in social networking yourself and also I wanted to get some thoughts from you on how it's kind of changed the landscape of the sport.
TODD BODINE: Well, personally I don't believe in it. I don't do it at all. I don't believe in it. The idea of what it's for is very good. Its roots are meant to be in a good place. But there's too much bad that comes from it. There's too many people that say the wrong thing on there, hurt somebody's feelings, get themselves in trouble, doing the wrong thing.
I just don't believe in it and I don't do it.
Q: Justin Lofton is a rookie in the series. He's had a tough year. From racing with him, is there anything about him that stood out as positive or negative?
TODD BODINE: Well, I'm very fortunate. I've gotten to know Justin fairly well this season. First of all, he's a really good kid. That's first and foremost in my mind. I think he's a very good racecar driver. He's struggled at times. First part of the year, they struggled, their performance struggled. He caught on, the crew chief got better, and they got their heads together, got the chemistry right. They've been very competitive.
Unfortunately, they've had a lot of bad luck; some of it their own doing, some of it other people's doing, getting caught up in things. I think Justin is a very capable racecar driver.
I think for any sponsor, he's a very good marketing tool. He's a very good-looking boy, very well-spoken, knows how to handle himself. He's got everything it takes.
Tom saw something he liked and decided to take him onboard and do something. I like Justin.
Q: With the race being 50 laps, I was wondering if you have to hit the track and just be perfect or if you're going to have enough time to make adjustments?
TODD BODINE: Well, you're the first one that's asked that. That's probably one of the best questions yet. You're right, 50 laps is short, it's a sprint race. You don't have time to mess around. The guy that hits the setup perfect is the guy that's going to win the race. We're going to have one shot at adjusting the truck. It's a one-stop race. That's why it will be a green-flag stop. The one that gets the setup on the money is going to be the guy that wins the race.
Q: As intriguing as this qualifying format is, do you see any chance of guys sandbagging so they don't go fastest in practice and have to go last in the qualifying order?
TODD BODINE: Well, there's a few guys that might do that. I really don't think that's going to happen. There's a lot of chances you take by getting with a slower group. There are some benefits, no doubt about that. I think everybody's smart enough and I think NASCAR has a handle on it well enough that everybody's gonna do their best in practice.
I mean, you still got to go out and practice and try to get your best lap. You still have to see what you're going to have for qualifying. I just don't think that's going to happen.
Q: I'm sure you heard the story yesterday about NASCAR fining drivers for saying derogatory towards the sport. Has that ever happened to you? Do you feel it's okay to do this?
TODD BODINE: Well, it's never happened to me. I try to do the right things and say the right things. That's not even an issue.
Do I think it was the right thing to do for NASCAR? Well, you know, that's a fine line. The sport needs personality. You need drivers to be outspoken. At the same time those drivers have to understand who's listening. You know, we have a wide variety in our audience. It's not just adults. We have a lot of younger kids, not only teenagers, but young kids, that you have to be careful.
Whether we like it or not, we're role models to children. Not only stick-and-ball sports, they look up to the drivers. It's our responsibility to do and say the right thing.
Yeah, you have to have personality, but you have to have some boundaries in that personality. You know, I think that NASCAR probably did the right thing. There has to be a limit to it. There is law and order. Hopefully they did the right thing; some of these drivers that are a little outspoken will calm down a little bit and realize that we have a responsibility to our fans to be smart with what we're saying.
Q: Todd, over the last week or so there's been a lot of talk about schedule realignment. It has some people up here in New Hampshire nervous. As a guy familiar racing with the northeast, how badly do you want NASCAR to maintain its commitment to this market?
TODD BODINE: Well, you're right. I'm a northeast guy. I spent a lot of time in New England. I know as a New England race fan, it's strong. Loudon is obviously a sign of how strong the fan base is in New England.
I know they're thinking about going back to one race. I think that would be a shame. But at the same time I think our schedule does need realigning. I think there's better ways to go about awarding dates, when those dates are for certain areas of the country.
I really believe - I've said this for years - the schedule is so hard for drivers, but it's twice as hard for crew members. I've always said that it needs to be three on, one off every month, to let the teams have a breather, let them have a break, get caught up, let the crew members have somewhat of a home life. I really believe the realignment is way overdue.
Q: With a 177-point lead going into the second half of the season, does that change your strategy at all? Would you like to see a Chase format in the Truck Series?
TODD BODINE: Well, first, it doesn't change our strategy. Our philosophy is simple: prepare every week to win the race. You go to the racetrack to win the race. If you can't win the race, then you do the best you can. You do the best you can with what you have and get the most points you have. That's how we go about it. Every week we go to win the race.
177-point lead is large, substantial. But when you got guys like Hornaday, Peters, Aric has been having some tough luck, but he's right there with them. If we have a couple of bad races, they're going to be right on it. We can't let up. We have to keep doing what we know how to do, and that's running in the top five, and the wins will come along the way.
Personally, I don't think that we need a Chase in the Cup Series or Nationwide Series. Personally I don't like it in the Cup Series. I understand the reasoning behind it. It's really done a good job with that. If we had the regular format, right now Jimmie Johnson would be a five-time champion because two years before he won it both years they had it going away and just had problems in the Chase.
I believe in earning it through the season.
Q: Todd, I was wondering, do you miss running both schedules in the cars?
TODD BODINE: Well, actually I have found a home in the Truck Series. I love the Truck Series. It's a lot of fun. It's so much like what we all grew up doing racing, like a Saturday night race. They seem to get along. The drivers get along. It's a lot different than the other two series.
But with that said, I do miss cars. Nationwide was very good to me in the Busch beer days. I miss that series a lot. I still feel like I have something to prove in the Cup Series. I've never won a points race. I've been fortunate enough to win two of the Winston Opens. I still feel like I have something to prove.
This day and age, you have to have a boat load of dough to go over there and race and be competitive. It's just really hard to do. I don't want to say that I'm never gonna get back there, but it's going to be hard for me to do it. I think my best shot is with Germain Racing. That's what they eventually want to do, get me to the Cup Series with a great sponsor with Max Papis in a two-car team.
Q: Last week Martinsville announced that they will for the first time award the grandfather clock to the truck driver winner. That's definitely a goal for you, to be able to have one of those clocks and be able to brag to your brothers that you have one, too?
TODD BODINE: You're right. You're exactly right. I didn't realize that till I think the second race last year, somebody told me that thing about the clock. That's not fair. I want to get one. I believe the number, you'd probably have to look it up, but I believe the number is 16 clocks that Geoff had. He won there 16 times. I think Brett has won there four or five times. To keep a family tradition, that's one of my things in my bucket list before I'm done driving, is get a win at Martinsville.
I grew up there. I grew up watching Geoff and Brett, having gone to the track since I was eight years old. I've changed tires at pit road, I've been a crew chief. I've done everything you can do at that racetrack except win a race, so that's definitely in my bucket list.
Q: Todd, obviously this weekend Pocono is the biggest track that you race on that has very little banking. Are you going to be able to compare the racing to a Daytona with the drafting? Are those elements going to play a role this weekend?
TODD BODINE: Yes, certainly the draft is going to be huge, especially since it's a flatter track and the trucks, being down on horsepower with the restrictor plate we have to run, we don't have the acceleration that a Cup car has.
So being that it's flat corners, if you can get any kind of a run on a guy off a corner, catch his draft, that's just going to accelerate the truck that much faster and allow for a pass. I really think you're going to see some of the old-fashioned slingshot passing. It's going to be a great race, it really is.
DENISE MALOOF: Todd, thank you very much for joining us this afternoon. We appreciate it. I know the media appreciate your time. Best of luck this weekend. Should be a fun event.
TODD BODINE: Okay, we'll see you.
DENISE MALOOF: Thanks to all of you media who joined us this week. We will see you next week.