Daytona Preseason Thunder - Toyota morning notes 2009-01-12

TOYOTA NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Test Day 2 AM Daytona International Speedway January 12, 2008 *** TODD BODINE, No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing How was your off-season? "My excitement for the winter was getting ...

TOYOTA NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Test
Day 2 AM
Daytona International Speedway
January 12, 2008

***

TODD BODINE, No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing

How was your off-season? "My excitement for the winter was getting to drive the bobsleds again. My brother Geoff has the bobsled project and we go up every year to Lake Placid to raise funds to help support the project. This year, we had a great time again. I really didn't do a lot this winter -- just looking forward to getting back to racing. As a racer you get to the end of the season and after a couple weeks off you say -- 'that's good now lets go smell some fumes and go back to racing.' We're ready to go."

Are you looking forward to working with your new teammate, rookie Justin Marks? "I'm looking forward to working with Justin. We had Teddy (Musgrave) for two years and Teddy was a great teammate. I'm kind of unique. I've always been one of the guys that rookies seem to gravitate to when they needed help. I was always there and they knew I would shoot them straight. I've always enjoyed that role. Now, having Justin as a teammate I get to do it in a one-on-one situation, and help further our team and our efforts. I get to help make him better at this and get him acclimated to the race tracks quicker. He has shown that he has talent enough to drive, so now he just has to learn the trucks and learn the tracks. We expect good things from Justin."

***

JUSTIN MARKS, No. 9 Crocs/Construct Corps. Tundra, Germain Racing

As a rookie in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series -- What is your racing background? "I think I'm part of this influx of road racers coming into NASCAR. I raced for BMW for four years and Porsche for two years. I've raced in the SPEED World Challenge, the Rolex sports car series, the Koni Challenge and the American LeMans Series in the GT2 class for BMW. At the end of 2006, I made the move to stock car racing and went ARCA racing all last year. From there, I got an opportunity to be a part of Germain Racing. I'm in about as good a position as any rookie in the series this year because I have a championship-winning teammate and someone who has had a long career with a lot of success in stock car racing. He's someone I can really learn a lot from. I'm really lucky to be in a position like that, and to also have Mike Wallace, who is driving a Camry (in the Nationwide Series) for Germain Racing, as a teammate. That gives me two teammates I can really feed off of and learn from and shorten that learning curve."

How was your first day testing a truck at Daytona? "Yesterday went fine. I have a lot of experience running this race track, but this is only my second time running the oval. So, I knew what the race track was like coming in -- but my only experience here was running in an ARCA car on Hoosier tires with a very different aerodynamic profile. I think it was a matter of just getting used to how the trucks go fast around Daytona -- it's different than the cars have been. We have a few days to learn and I'm just trying to work up slow and learn as much as I can."

***

JOHNNY BENSON, No. 23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota Tundra, Bill Davis Racing

What is your mindset heading into the Daytona test and the new season? "It's always good to get back at the race track and get things underway. We're excited. Trip Bruce and the guys are working pretty hard. We've made a few changes and made some gains. We feel like we need to be a little better, but we're not horrible. We're decent in single-truck runs, but we need to be a little better in the draft."

What do you think your chances of a championship are this season? "Hopefully, pretty good. The last two years have been pretty good. We've won quite a few races and finished second and third in the points. We want to win a championship for Bill Davis Racing. Two years ago, we had a pretty good shot at it, and last year Mike Skinner had a good shot at it last year, so hopefully one of us can get it done this year."

Why do you think the trucks produce such good finishes here at Daytona? "It's one of those deals where when you come down here with the trucks and you can be wherever you want. You can run in the middle or the back. You just need to find out what your truck likes and doesn't like. You need to find out what you need for the end. The last 15 laps is where it's at. It gets pretty wild and it gets pretty fun. The last couple years it has been side-by-side, three-wide across the finish line and we were glad to be a part of it last year."

-credit: toyota motorsports

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Skinner , Mike Wallace , Justin Marks
Teams Germain Racing , Bill Davis Racing