Track position in the clean air near the front of the field was key at Kentucky Speedway on Friday night for the Kentucky 201. Todd Bodine named his keys to success prior to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event on Friday evening, claiming that track position would be important in order to be in contention for the win. After qualifying in the seventh spot, an early spin due to oil on the track sent Bodine near the rear of the field. Just two laps later, two competitors stacked up in front of Bodine, creating contact that would cause terminal damage to his Toyota Care Tundra. The streak of bad luck continued for the two-time series champion as he ended the night in the garage area with a 30th place finish.
Bodine's crew worked solely on race setups during both practice sessions on Friday, fine tuning their Toyota Tundra for the long run. Without a mock qualifying run to bank on, crew chief Rick Gay used his experience and feedback from his driver to put together a setup for the Toyota Care Tundra that helped Bodine capture the seventh starting spot.
Taking the green flag within sight of the leader and the clean air he was looking for, "The Onion" held steady well within the top-10 for the first 15 laps, content with his Toyota Tundra but asking crew chief Rick Gay for some adjustments to help him through the bumps on the first pit stop. Spotter Terry Cook and Gay read off lap times and encouragement to Bodine, reporting that he was running lap times as fast as the leaders.
The opportunity for that first pit stop would unfortunately come earlier than planned on lap 17 due to their own misfortune. Heading off into turn four, Bodine reported he felt like he hit a patch of oil on the track with the Toyota Care Tundra and went for a spin, bringing out the first yellow flag on lap 16. Bodine's Red Horse Racing pit crew quickly went to work to give him four fresh tires and performed some quick, minor damage repair before sending him back out into competition.
Optimistic that the damage would have no effect on his Tundra, Bodine took the restart from the 17th position with confidence that the race was far from over and he had plenty of time to work his way back through the field. However, just two laps after taking the restart misfortune struck again for Bodine as another competitor suffered a tire failure directly in front of the No. 11 Toyota Care Tundra, leaving the two-time series champion nowhere to go. He made contact with the two trucks in front of him as they stacked up due to the flat tire, causing extensive and terminal damage to the front end of his Tundra. Bodine's Red Horse Racing team pulled his machine back into the garage on lap 22, where he would finish the evening prematurely in the 30th position.
"I wasn't sure what happened to the trucks in front of me, but they all just stopped in front of me and I ran into the back of them. I was on the brakes as hard as I could be, but there was just no time to stop. It knocked the radiator back and hurt the oil cooler, so we had to call it a night way too early," Bodine said.
"It's just a shame and it's getting really old that we keep having things like this happen this season. Our Toyota Care Tundra was fast and I was really happy with it at the beginning. I think I hit some oil to cause the first spin, and that's what ultimately put us back here in this accident. You can't be in the back; you've got to be in the front here. Track position is everything."
Red Horse Racing PR