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Toyotas 1-2 in NASCAR Truck opener

Todd Bodine Wins NextEra Energy Resources 250
Friday, February 13, 2009

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Todd Bodine celebrates with his Toyota team
Toyota
They might have to rename the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway.

Todd Bodine drives this event like he owns it.

Bodine held off a last-lap bid by Kyle Busch to capture his second truck race in as many years Friday night.

The former series champion had to charge back through the field after being shuffled to the back of the pack for passing under the yellow line. He also had to dodge a series of multi-truck accidents that sidelined several front-running contenders before the race had reached the halfway point, including defending NASCAR Camping World Truck champion Johnny Benson.

Trailing Bodine and Busch were Terry Cook, who also suffered an early-race penalty, J. R. Fitzpatrick, a 20-year-old rookie who performed like a veteran, and another veteran and former series champion, Ron Hornaday.

Rounding out the top ten were Tim Peters in sixth, Mike Skinner seventh in a Toyota owned by NFL star Randy Moss, Matt Crafton eighth, Colin Braun ninth and Taylor Malsam 10th.

A massive pileup on Lap 47 was triggered by Bodine when he slipped into the rear bumper of James Buescher and sent Buescher sliding across the track in front of the entire field. Benson was a victim, as was motocross champion Ricky Carmichael, Johnny Sauter and Skinner, who returned to the race after repairs.

Brent Raymer brought out another caution at Lap 67 when his car slammed hard into the outside retaining wall, careened across the track before reversing its direction and bashing the outside wall again. Raymer, fortunately, was uninjured. 

Only five laps into the race, Brian Scott and Mike Bliss ran out of racing room in Turn 2 and spun off the 31-degree banking to the apron, bringing out the first caution flag of the night.

Pole-sitter Colin Braun had led every lap to that point with Todd Bodine and Mike Skinner in tow. When racing resumed on the 10th lap, Braun was still out front but Bodine passed him near the first turn for the lead. NASCAR, however, penalized Bodine, saying he went below the yellow line, which is illegal when making a pass. Bodine paid the necessary "pass through" penalty and dropped all the way back to 27th position.

While all that was taking place, the front of the field filled up with new faces, most notably Kyle Busch, who started the race 19th. Braun held on to the second spot but T. J. Bell, Jr., moved into third.

On Lap 21, Terry Cook was also penalized for passing under the yellow line as Busch and James Buescher put a little space between them and the third-place machine of Skinner.

While the leaders diced it up around the track, Bodine and Cook did a little dicing of their own, hooked together in a two-car draft way back in the field – chopping away at the lead, gaining three-quarters-of-a-second per lap.

At Lap 30 of the 100-lap race, Busch led with Buescher second but the evening's second caution slowed the field on Lap 31.

Scott was out front on the restart at Lap 37 but Braun went back to the front before they got back to the start-finish line with Hornaday on his bumper.

Quotes

TODD BODINE, No. 30 Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing
Finishing Position:  1st
How does it feel to win your second consecutive season-opener at Daytona?
"I can't believe it.  It's incredible.  I'll tell you, it's this truck right here.  This thing will fly.  The whole race I'm following guys, I'm under them, behind them and they're all fighting their trucks -- just bouncing all over.  This thing was rock solid all night.  Never pushed, never got loose -- unbelievable.  I've got to thank the fans for being in the grandstands and watching on TV.  This is a great sport, we all love it and thank you very much."

How concerned were you when you had the pass through penalty for dropping below the yellow line?
"I wasn't worried a bit, not one bit.  I knew if it went green we were going to get lapped.  There was no doubt about it.  When the 25 (Terry Cook) got up there we were actually running times faster than the leaders so I wasn't worried about it.  I knew a caution would come out eventually and it did.  It worked in our favor."

What does winning at Daytona do to get this team going with no sponsor on your truck?
"That's the thing -- it's a great deal for some corporation who wants to be in this sport.  For Germain Racing to come out and do this two years in a row, four speedway wins in a row, that's phenomenal.  That speaks volumes for this team and what they can accomplish.  It's a great opportunity for some corporation.  We're ready and able."

What happened on the final seven laps?
"I knew with Kyle (Busch) back there he's so good that I wasn't sure what he was going to do.  I kept my eye in the mirror and our Tundra was strong enough that all I had to do was run the bottom and he couldn't do nothing.  Getting into (turn) three he tried to worm me out of the way which is great racing.  That's what he should do, but I hung on and it messed them all up behind me.  It gave me a little breathing room to the line.  It's a great day for this Germain Racing team and Toyota Tundra back there in victory lane where it belongs."

What is it about drafting and superspeedway racing that suits you so well?
"First of all, it's this truck.  This truck is phenomenal.  It just drives so good and I've said it all week, Daytona is a handling track.  You've got to handle, you've got to get around the corners comfortably.  And I watched everybody all night fighting their trucks and I was just sitting in there riding and driving beautiful like I was going down the highway."

KYLE BUSCH, No. 51 Miccosukee Resorts Toyota Tundra, Billy Ballew Motorsports
Finishing Position:  2nd
Can you talk about the move you made on the final lap?
"I just screwed up trying to make a move.  I ran into the back of Todd (Bodine) in turn three and lost all of my momentum all the way back to the start-finish line.  Pretty much handed the win to him in turn three."

Was your plan to hang back until the final lap?
"That was the plan.  If I went before the last lap, then everybody was going to get overzealous and go crazy and start driving into the back of each other and probably wrecking.  I couldn't go until the last corner, and two years in a row I screwed it up."   

Did you expect to have anybody help you on the last lap?
"The plan was to knock Todd (Bodine) out of the way.  Get to turn three and get his rear tires off the ground and get him to move up the track and get him out of the way.  All that did was shoot him further ahead.  I just sat there and was gathering my stuff up, trying to figure out how to plan the attack for the run down the front straightaway.  Once we got back to the short chute over here, Terry (Cook) pulled to my outside.  If I would have had Terry push me or hit me or bump-draft me or whatever, I probably could have pulled up alongside Todd and probably gotten my nose to his nose by the start-finish line.  I still don't think I would have beat him, but I probably could have made a better finish out of it.  Instead, Terry went to the outside of me, did what he was supposed to do to try to pass me.  Just didn't work out.  Never will for me, I guess.  I'm kind of frustrated in myself just not being able to figure this out yet.  I got the cars kind of figured out, but I can't get the trucks going."

Results

FIN

ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 3 30 Todd Bodine Toyota Germain.com 195/10 100 Running
2 19 51 Kyle Busch Toyota Miccosukee Resort & Gaming 175/5 100 Running
3 7 25 Terry Cook Toyota Cajun Industries 165/0 100 Running
4 14 7 J.R. Fitzpatrick * Chevrolet Mammoet 165/5 100 Running
5 4 33 Ron Hornaday Chevrolet Longhorn Smokeless Tobacco 160/5 100 Running
6 18 17 Timothy Peters Toyota Strutmasters.com / Hayes Iron & Metal 150/0 100 Running
7 5 5 Mike Skinner Toyota Exide Batteries 151/5 100 Running
8 2 88 Matt Crafton Chevrolet Ideal Door / Menards 147/5 100 Running
9 1 6 Colin Braun Ford Con-way Freight 143/5 100 Running
10 11 81 Tayler Malsam * Toyota One Eighty 134/0 100 Running
11 17 11 T.J. Bell Toyota Home4TheHolidays.org 130/0 100 Running
12 12 16 Brian Scott Toyota Albertson's 5/0 132 Running
13 22 32 Chase Austin* Chevrolet Griffin Masonry 124/0 100 Running
14 10 60 Stacy Compton Toyota wyler.com / Melling Engine Parts 121/0 100 Running
15 16 15 Shane Sieg Toyota Phoenix Construction / Red Top Auto Auction 118/0 100 Running
16 30 148 Bryan Silas Chevrolet D.R. Horton America's Builder 120/5 100 Running
17 26 24 David Starr Toyota Zachry 112/0 100 Running
18 32 121 Dennis Setzer Dodge GunBroker.com 109/0 100 Running
19 24 07 Chad McCumbee Chevrolet ASI Limited 106/0 98 Running
20 34 74 Larry Foyt Dodge Blu Frog Energy Drink 103/0 85 Running
20 35 08 Butch Miller Chevrolet ASI Limited 73/0 13 Clutch
21 15 14 Rick Crawford Ford Circle Bar Truck Corral / International 100/0 79 Accident
22 8 23 Jason White Dodge GunBroker Racing 97/0 79 Accident
23 20 85 Brent Raymer Ford Brent Raymer Racing 99/5 67 Accident
24 6 4 Ricky Carmichael* Chevrolet Monster Energy 91/0 48 Accident
25 13 10 James Buescher * Ford International Maxx Force Diesel 88/0 47 Accident
26 21 1 Johnny Benson Toyota K&N Filters 90/5 47 Accident
27 9 13 Johnny Sauter * Chevrolet Fun Sand / Rodney Atkins / Curb Records 87/5 47 Accident
28 28 153 Justin Hobgood Chevrolet Georgia Beef Board 79/0 47 Engine
29 31 212 Mario Gosselin Chevrolet James Carter Attorney / CrashedToys.com 76/0 14 Vibration
31 25 47 Brandon Knupp Chevrolet FT-11 Multi-Purpose Degreaser 70/0 12 Power Steering
32 23 06 Johnny Chapman Toyota wyler.com 67/0 9 Overheating
33 27 40 Mike Bliss Chevrolet Oakland Metal Buildings 64/0 6 Transmission
34 36 277 J C Stout Toyota Strutmasters.com 61/0 2 Vibration
35 29 44 Lance Hooper Chevrolet Key Motorsports 58/0 2 Vibration
36 33 22 Wayne Edwards Dodge GunBroker Racing 55/0 1 Overheating

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