Texas Motor Speedway ace Todd Bodine and the No. 11 Toyota Care Tundra team traveled to the Fort Worth, Texas track on Friday night with the two-time champion's experience and a fast Red Horse Racing chassis in their corner for the WinStar World Casino 350. Bodine used the knowledge from his six NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victories at the 1.5-mile track to find the balance and speed he needed in his Tundra throughout the weekend to contend for another win. Solid work on pit road by his Red Horse crew and timely adjustments throughout the night helped Bodine secure an eighth place finish.
Reporting to crew chief Rick Gay just a handful of laps into the 147-lap competition that his Toyota Care Tundra was loose, Bodine remained patient and was able to gain two spots from his 19th starting position prior to the first round of pit stops. Gay would get his first shot at the handling under a caution on lap 32, bringing Bodine down pit road for his first round of adjustments and four fresh Goodyear Wranglers. Though the first set of changes seemed to push the No. 11 Tundra in the right direction, the two-time champion driver asked his crew for some additional help during the next green flag run.
Receiving their second chance for changes under the lap 62 caution, Gay decided to take a big swing at the handling for his driver, calling for some major adjustments during the four tire stop. Despite the extensive change, the Toyota Care pit crew didn't lose any positions and performed a very timely stop to get Bodine back out to the track in 17th. "The Onion" vocalized his appreciation for the pit crew and reported the changes made his Tundra much better after resuming green flag competition.
Over the next green flag run, Bodine fell quiet over the radio as he went to work with his Toyota Care Tundra. Picking off positions one by one, Bodine moved up to the 11th spot prior to the last round of pit stops and relayed to Gay that the last changes had helped, but he needed just a little more to make that final push to the front. Coming down pit road on lap 108, Bodine received four fresh tires and one last round of adjustments from his speedy pit crew that gained him another spot under the green flag stop to move him up to 10th.
Going to work in the closing 39 laps, Bodine began to click off lap times as fast as, if not quicker, than the leaders as he picked off two more positions. The long green flag run for the final 78 laps of the race had put distance between competitors that Bodine pushed hard to make up, but needed the help of a caution to bunch the field back together to be able to have a shot at the leaders. As the checkered flag dropped, Bodine crossed the line in the eighth position.
"We started off the day really loose with our Toyota Care Tundra, but Rick Gay made some great changes during the pit stops and our pit crew did a phenomenal job tonight to get us off of pit road fast no matter what changes they had to make. I'm proud of the effort today by this Red Horse Racing team and how much we improved throughout the night. We haven't had many finishes this year that show how good this team and these Tundras are, so when we can come home with a top-10 and in one piece, I'm happy with that. If we could have had a caution at the end to get back all of that lost track position, I know we would've had something for the leaders," Bodine concluded.