Beth Lunkenheimer · Thursday June 20, 2013
When the Camping World Truck Series takes to the track at Kentucky Speedway next Thursday night, they will likely do so without longtime veteran and two-time champion Todd Bodine. He announced on his Twitter page on Tuesday, “The announcement of the week. Bodine out
KySpeedway BrettMoffitt11 in!!!” And Moffitt later confirmed on his own Twitter feed that he will, in fact, pilot the No. 13 ThorSport Toyota at Kansas. As of now, there’s no indication that it’s more than a one-race deal; however, the fact remains that Bodine is currently out of a ride.
While ThorSport Racing and Bodine have been largely quiet about the announcement, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if it was a combination of performance and sponsorship that has seen him replaced. Sadly, sponsorship woes have plagued Bodine several times in the past. Remember his 2010 championship season? Germain Racing funded it largely out of pocket and only ran ten races into the 2011 season before the organization chose to close down their Truck Series team, focusing solely on their Sprint Cup operations instead. The reason? No consistent funding to make it worth their while. Bodine then finished out the year with Randy Moss Motorsports, performing admirably but was left without a team heading into the 2012 season.
Enter Red Horse Racing. Having built a friendship with RHR team owner Tom DeLoach, Bodine quickly sought him out in the garage when he knew there wasn’t a future for him at Germain Racing, and the two agreed to work together. Though it wasn’t announced until shortly before the season opener, when I spoke to Bodine last June at Texas Motor Speedway, he indicated there were prior conversations with DeLoach about partnering, a future that formed when the opportunity presented itself. However, after a rough year that featured just one trip to Victory Lane and a slew of DNFs (eight in all, with all but one attributed to crashes), Bodine was once again released due to sponsorship issues. Despite piecing together backing for much of the season, the organization no longer had room for the veteran in their stable.
Fast forward to Daytona earlier this year, where Bodine joined ThorSport Racing in what was then supposed to be a single-race deal for the season opener. But after a pair of back-to-back 11th-place finishes at Daytona and Martinsville got this partnership extended, bad luck hit Bodine once again. He scored consecutive DNFs after being involved in crashes at Rockingham and Kansas. A few races later, Bodine and his No. 13 team visited Texas Motor Speedway, a track that has been one of his best in the series, with high hopes for turning their season around. But it wasn’t meant to be. Despite a new crew, the team struggled with their setup and speed and found themselves behind, while a late-race gamble on fuel mileage only made matters worse.
At his best track, Bodine only managed an 18th-place result, two laps down, in what has likely been the most frustrating season to date for the veteran.
I don’t claim to know the true reason Bodine has been replaced for next week’s Kentucky race, but sponsorship and performance come out as the prominent pieces in the decision-making process as they are with any driver who is ousted midseason. When it comes down to it, though there’s always still a chance Bodine fans will see their favorite driver at Kentucky Speedway. After all, the two-time champ has put together last-minute deals for rides in the series several times recently. But if he’s not on track, it’s yet another veteran lost in the series that has seen several go by the wayside in recent years.
- Though the Truck Series is off this weekend, James Buescher and Brendan Gaughan will both be running the Nationwide Series race at Road America this weekend. The pair, who will both have their Truck Series crews present for race day, hope to gain experience in preparation for the inaugural series visit to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in September.
- Brennan Newberry is taking some of his time off this weekend to gain his own road course experience. He’s planning to participate in Saturday’s K&N Pro Series West Carneros 200 at Sonoma Raceway alongside the Cup Series race on Sunday. Additionally, he plans to participate in Ron Fellows’ driving school.
- The Jennifer Jo Cobb / Mike Harmon saga continues. According to WBTV, arrest warrants were issued for Harmon and business associate David Novak on Monday afternoon, and the former turned himself in later that day before posting a $10,000 bond. Investigators say the pair stole at least seven vehicles from a competitor (Cobb). According to a report from SiriusXM’s Dave Moody, Harmon maintains his innocence and Novak remains at large.
Tweet of the Week
Photo of the Week:
Connect with Beth!
Contact Beth Lunkenheimer
©2000 - 2008 Beth Lunkenheimer and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!