The Frontstretch: Beyond The Cockpit: Todd Bodine Defends Criticism Of Kyle Busch by Jay Pennell -- Sunday September 5, 2010

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Saturday, Frontstretch columnists Jay Pennell and Doug Turnbull met up with current Truck Series points leader Todd Bodine. They had the opportunity to get it straight from the Onion’s mouth…that he’s fed up with Kyle Busch.

Jay W. Pennell, Congratulations on your win, but obviously you caused some controversy with your comments in Victory Lane. What did Kyle say to you in Victory Lane and what did you have to say to him?

As usual, The Onion held nothing back when asked how he feels about Kyle Busch.

Todd Bodine: He was just upset I called him out on TV for the way he drives and things he did on the track. He doesn’t have to do those things. He doesn’t have to race that way. He’s a hell of a race car driver, probably one of the best the sport’s ever seen and for him to be driving like that – he doesn’t just do it in Trucks, he does it in every division he runs, so he doesn’t discriminate.

You don’t have to do those things, you don’t have to drive that way, but that’s what he chooses to do. I finally called him out on it, nobody else will and I did.

Pennell: Do you regret saying it on television?

Bodine: Absolutely not. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of – Bristol, perfect example. The kid should have been black flagged in Trucks and Nationwide and (NASCAR) didn’t do a damn thing about it, so now he just thinks he’s going to get away with it more. What he did to me, technically, was nothing wrong. That was racing, that’s part of it, but you don’t have to do it. We don’t have a gentleman’s agreement in the trucks, but we all know in the Truck Series you have to give more room alongside somebody because you’re going to get pulled around. They are way more aero-sensitive than the cars are in side-drafting and if you don’t give room you’re going to suck somebody around. We all try to give room because we all have a lot [smaller] budgets. We don’t race for the money they race for in the other two divisions. We can’t afford to be wrecking trucks and tearing stuff up. We understand that and try to give each other room.

Kyle comes in there and just doesn’t care, has no respect for anybody and I’m tired of watching it.

Doug Turnbull, To the casual race fan that might not have seen what was wrong, especially that just saw the highlights or didn’t know what lap it was, is there a certain time when you’re going for the win, five to go, 10 to go when it’s okay to push?

Bodine: Absolutely, I mean, there again, that’s part of racing. Technically, Kyle did nothing wrong, that’s what the sport is about. There again, you don’t have to race that way. He had a fast enough truck, it was the first lap after a restart. If he’s faster – which the outside groove was faster – just beat me on the outside. Don’t suck me around to do it. Don’t cause me to spin out. We’re lucky I didn’t crash and I didn’t take out two or three other trucks. That could have easily taken out four trucks and crashed the back of the field. Luckily it didn’t and we all got out of it clean.

He doesn’t care, he doesn’t care. He proved it when he spun Jennifer Jo Cobb out in the middle of the frontstretch at Bristol because he had no patience. He proved he doesn’t care about anything other than winning. Nobody likes losing. We don’t come here to finish second and that attitude of wanting to win everything…everybody thinks it’s great. It’s what you should have. Well you know what, that’s what we do it for, to win races and to run up front, but you have to have respect when you’re doing it.

You guys are going to be the first ones to hear about it, because nobody has talked about it, but the SOB didn’t come to the drivers meeting because he was pissed off he had to start last in the race. So, he just didn’t come to the drivers meeting, because he didn’t have to, he was going to start last anyway. That’s disrespectful. That’s disrespectful to NASCAR, that’s disrespectful to our sport, and I’m tired of it.

What makes it even worse and me more mad is the kid is a good kid. You get him away from this environment, away from the racetrack and away from being Kyle Busch superstar and he can be out and be Kyle—he’s a good kid. He’s a lot of fun, when he doesn’t have that attitude. Right now, he’s Mr. Superstar, Joe Cool and he thinks his sh*t doesn’t stink.

Turnbull: Weren’t you guys supposed to share a plane on your way to Atlanta after the race?

Bodine: We didn’t share a plane. He rode with my owner and I rode on another plane. There was no way in hell I was going to ride with him.

Pennell: Had you talked to Kyle before about this prior to this incident?

Bodine: I tried last year, very nonchalantly trying to tell him to chill out, but he didn’t want to hear it.

Pennell: Do you think your feelings are the consensus amongst the other drivers?

Bodine: I think it would be. If it’s not, I don’t know where their heads are at. You need to talk to some of the other drivers and find out their feelings about it. Maybe now that I came out and said the way I feel, maybe some of those guys will too.

I’m just tired of it, I’m tired of watching it on Saturday and Sunday and having to go through it on Friday. The thing is he doesn’t have to do it, he’s such a good race car driver in the best equipment you can have. Go out there and beat people, don’t run through them to pass them…(just) pass them.

Kyle Busch’s run-in with Brad Keselowski at Bristol last month was just one incident cited by Todd Bodine as an example of Busch’s disrespectful attitude towards his competitors.

It’s just like Brad Keselowski at Bristol racing for the lead. Brad did nothing wrong, absolutely. Kyle went down there and dumped him. My attitude is, okay, if you think Brad did something wrong, okay, go pass him again and shove it in his face that you can pass him clean. Don’t just bump him to get by—you didn’t accomplish anything. You accomplished the fact that you pissed off the fans because now they’re not going to see a good race. You took the points leader out of the race.

(Kyle) doesn’t care. He doesn’t care what he does or who he does it to.

That’s the one thing I’ll give him, at least he’s consistent, he doesn’t care who he’ll do it to.

Pennell: Do you think it is going to take a Carl Edwards-Brad Keselowski type of incident to make people say something?

Bodine: Hell no, hell no. He’s gotten away with it to this point. He gets away with it every week and nobody does anything about it.

Pennell: Did you talk to NASCAR? Will you bring up your concerns to them?

Bodine: It’s up to them. A little peon like me isn’t going to change their mind about how I’m going to handle it. They’re our sanctioning body, they’re our police force and it’s up to them to do what they feel is right.

Pennell: Going forward, are you going to race Kyle Busch differently?

Bodine: No, I’m not going to race somebody different. Why? Why should I?

Chicago, let’s go back to Chicago. I had him passed clean on the outside – clean, all the way up to the door – and what does he do? Runs me into the wall. If I did not lift we would have both wrecked. It would have been another Brad Keselowski deal, only worse because we would have both wrecked. I wasn’t up to his bumper, I was up to his number and he ran me up to the fence and I had to let off. Okay, well you know you want to race that way, okay. So, I go underneath him and he does the same thing, pinches me down – I’m dead even with him (and he) pinches me down getting into (Turn) 3 and gets me loose. The difference there it was going into the corner. It’s a little easier to hang on—you’re off the throttle, things are different, the dynamics of the truck are different. So, I hung on to it, saved it and went on to finish second.

(Friday) I was in front of him going into (Turn) 3 and he just stayed on my quarter panel tight and sucked me around. He said he got away from me and there were three truck lengths between us when I spun. Well, yeah, when I spun there was, but he had already sucked me around at that point. What are you going to do? Just let him get away with it or are you going to try and beat him?

Right now in the Truck Series, we’re the only ones that can run with him consistently – realistically; he’s really the only one that can run with us. I don’t want to be cocky, I’m not that way. There are a lot of great teams in the Truck Series, but there’s no reason I should have to worry about Kyle Busch and how he’s going to race. Unfortunately, you have to. You have to deal with him differently than you deal with other drivers.

A lot of the young drivers in the series come to me for advice—they talk and they learn things. They know that I shoot it straight and I’m not going to lie to them. I tell them the right things to do. Austin Dillon, Justin Lofton…even some of the kids that run in the back, we talk a lot. The one thing I tell them is when someone is underneath you, give them room. Give them a half a truck width, don’t pinch right down on them, because all you’re going to do is get them sideways and possibly take you out in a wreck.

Now, last night, should I have just worked up the track and just ran into Kyle and run him into the wall? Well, you know, a lot of people think I should have. I don’t race that way. Just because he wants to, I’m not going to lower myself to that.

Pennell: How frustrating is it being the points leader and being in the situation you are in—running in this series and having to worry about Kyle Busch?

Bodine: That’s the frustrating part. He has no respect. No respect for anybody else on that race track and that’s wrong.

What’s really wrong is he has no respect for the past. He doesn’t care about Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough and David Pearson. He knows nothing about what those guys went through to get us to this point. He disrespects the media, disrespects the fans and I’m tired of it.

Turnbull: Is it even more disrespectful that he did not wait until the whole celebration calmed down and talked to you afterwards? Instead, he came right up to you in front of the cameras and stuck the finger in your face?

Bodine: You know, yeah it is. At the time it didn’t really bother me and I didn’t think about it, but I’ve walked through (the Sprint Cup) garage area and if there wasn’t 10 there wasn’t 50 that stopped me and said, ‘That was wrong. What you said was right and finally someone called him out and what he did by going to Victory Lane was totally wrong.’ That confirms to me that this garage is sick of it, too.

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Contact Doug Turnbull

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Did You Notice? … Breaking Down A Sprint Cup Season Eight Races In
Beyond the Cockpit: Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. on Growing Up Racing and Owner Loyalties
The Frontstretch Five: Flaws Exposed In the New Chase So Far
NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Darlington
NASCAR Mailbox: Past Winners Aren’t Winning …. Yet
Open Wheel Wednesday: How Can IndyCar Stand Out?


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09/05/2010 07:48 AM

That wrecking of
brad K. done me in with Kyle. He cut Brad off – he thinks everyone should slow down and make room for him to get in front, just like the spat with Hamlin. And when he booted Cobb, at Bristol, that was arrogance. There was no room for her to pull over and let the idiot pass. And like Bodine says, Nascar does nothing.

09/05/2010 08:26 AM

Well said Todd.and,Congrats on the win!

09/05/2010 09:47 AM

Tks for “telling it like it is”, Todd. As you have indicated, Kyle has immense talent. Unfortunately, the talent and his success to date appears to have, as we say in the country, “gone to his head”. Bristol sealed the deal for me. While I still acknowledge his ability, I have lost considerable respect for him. It appears that he sees himself as the reincarnation of Dale Earnhardt who as we all know got away with some wild actions on the track and NA$CAR, as with D.E., is taking no action.
Congratulations on your win Todd and I’m rooting for you to win your 2nd Truck Series Championship

09/05/2010 11:03 AM

Ah today’s NA$CAR. Could you imagine Curtis Turner complaining about Fireball Roberts racing him too hard.

09/05/2010 12:05 PM

Really glad we got the WHOLE STORY and from Todd no less. He is the ‘CLEANEST DRIVER’ to ever strap in. Alot like Carl Edwards, if the say it you can take it the the bank as true. HA HA HA

While Kyle is no angel, neither is Todd. I remember him running over someone in Iowa on a restart.

Yes I am a Kyle fan, but he can and does things I do not care for. No one is perfect..I also remember other drivers showing lack of patience at Bristol, and no one saying much about the wrecks they caused..

09/05/2010 01:15 PM

First, a big THANK YOU to Jay Pennell for publishing this lengthy interview with Todd. Secondly, my respect for Todd Bodine has increased greatly for his willingness to honestly discuss his feelings about Kyle Buschleague well after the fact. Had Todd done this right after the race when his emotions were running high, we may have thought that he would later regret being so frank. Instead, with time to reflect and measure his words, he has become the first driver with the courage to “say it like it is.” Rather than discuss Todd’s run-in with Kyle where I have a bias, I’ll discuss another incident involving Kyle and another driver for whom I also have no respect. It was obvious that Buschleague intentionally spun Keselowski ( by not only getting into and under his rear bumper but then continuing on to hit him in the quarter panel when that didn’t do the job. Until now, I have refrained from calling Kyle the name that I use in my household —- Ratface —- but I guess if he is willing to refer to Carl Edwards’ appearance by using the name “Mr. Ed” on national TV, I guess I can use my nickname for Kyle in this forum. Yes, I know that calling people names is rather juvenile, but unlike Todd, I did not take the time to calm down and reflect on what I was going to say.

09/05/2010 02:58 PM

There is a reason they call Todd the “ONION”. He has about that much brains. I seem to remember him and his brother playing bumper tag and spinning while leading the 1st Brickyard 400. Nice.

09/05/2010 03:31 PM

The Bodine family in general has never been known to be the cleanest driving group. Brett drove thru Geoff at the 1st Brickyard while running in the Top 5.

Todd definitely has had his moments but in this instance, he is correct. Kyle knows that the 30 is running for the Championship and cannot race him as hard. However, their should be a level of respect, especially because KB owns his own stuff. However, he really could not care less and if he does not win then he becomes a petulant child.

KB is lucky Hornaday and Harvick did not whoop his a** last year after a similar incident at Michigan. Bodine does not care to do that probably because he has a championship to win and he probably has had to fight a few times in his life. Giving up a few inches in reach probably does not help either. Good on Todd for calling Kyle out though.

09/05/2010 03:34 PM

Thank you Todd Bodine. I’m sick of that snot nosed nasty creep Kyle Busch ruining my enjoyment of NASCAR. I find it really difficult to watch a complete race because of his arrogant and obnoxious comments and antics. Don’t know how his crew chief can take it. He is disrespectful of everyone and everything NASSCAR. Remember the guitar debacle? What a jerk. The last straw for me was when Dr. Jerry Punch was “TRYING” to interview him (nobody else would take the assignment??) and this smug punk Kyle, smarts off to Punch and sarcastically calls him “Jerry”. The man is a doctor AND knows more about NASCAR than that piss ant ever will. He feels he can be snotty to a man like Jerry Punch ? I can’t wait until someone TRULY puts him into an inside wall without SAFER barriers.

09/05/2010 04:48 PM

Todd is an jealous idiot and it shows. But since Todd i and the Bodine’s ARE THE Cleanest drivers in NASCAR we should all listen to him—NOT

Bob Chimento
09/05/2010 04:53 PM

Need some cheese with that wine baldy…lolol give me a break

09/05/2010 04:53 PM

Hornaday & Harvick—are you talking about the race that Harvick was RACING his driver hard, And his driver was leading in the Championship. So why don’t we make a rule that no racer is allowed to race a Championship leader hard. Damn thought this was the rough sport of racing not golf.

09/05/2010 09:51 PM

I have still never heard a Bodine say anything intelligent about anything. Onionbreath, that’s all

John Needham
09/06/2010 12:02 AM

Kyle’s a star, Todd’s a knob…

09/06/2010 01:36 AM

Looks like the only way Onion can get fans is to trash talk Kyle! He’s already been called a fool on Raceday! Someone should explain to him the difference between dirty driving and dirty air. If he can’t handle a truck when someone passes him, it’s his problem. To throw Jennifer Jo under the bus was pretty chauvinistic. Is he saying that drivers should race women different than men? If I were Jennifer I’d be PO’d at onion. You idiots probably ripped on Dale Earnhardt until the day he died for aggressive driving. You’ve got a RACER in NASCAR again. 4EVER3 should be ashamed of themselves for their comment. With a name like that you should know better. Shut up and enjoy it.

09/06/2010 08:16 AM

While not a fan of The Onion, when I first heard his comment, I thought it was like the pot calling the kettle black. Was he stupid for what he said? I’ll say yes to that. Was it called for? Well, let’s just say this: I am not a Cryle Buschleague fan in any way, but he has had it coming. As someone said, Bodine was fairly calm, but then, he has a championship that he is trying to win. Cryle is just a truckwhacker! This would be like Cryle being in position to win the Cup title (God forbid! That would be worse than Jimmie Johnson winning number 5!) and Bodine getting beside him to take the clean air away and cause Cryle to spin. Anyway, I don’t like either driver, but Bodine’s comment, although funny, was basically true! If nothing, it proved once again that Cryle can dish it out, but can’t take it!

09/06/2010 09:24 AM


09/06/2010 09:36 AM

I do agree with Todd Kyle has the best equiptment and is not patiant and trys to put the car/truck in places weree it shouldnt be put.

09/06/2010 12:37 PM

Todd was looking for you in the CUP race—Wanted to see a great CUP driver in action. Since you have never bumped anyone. Or caused a wreck. And of course you DO KNOW how to win in Cups. BUT I forgot YOU DIDN“T even QUALIFY.

09/06/2010 06:42 PM

Kyle shouldn’t be in that series PERIOD, but since NASCAR lets him race in it, then Bodine needs to learn how to drive his truck a bit better.

Does WAAAAAAAAA ring a bell, Bodine ??

blkhawks rule
09/07/2010 10:45 AM

Ann—- Kyle coulnt qualify that 64 car either. put Todd in the 18 or 20 car and he would make the chase he haas the best equiptment money can buy teamates sponsor money,owner etc.Todd still knows how to drive.

09/07/2010 11:26 AM

Sorry but I just see a jealous bitter old man-not a race car driver. Really complaining because some one passed YOU in the TRUCK Race-which is in my opinion the roughest, toughest, beating-banging racing in NASCAR. And that is why I love it, & think that it provides some of the best racing of NASCAR. So when a season Truck racer starts whining about being passed-it is time for him to call it a day.

Doug In Washington (State)
09/07/2010 01:35 PM

Onion calling the Shrub a dirty driver? Riiight. Bodine is one of the, if not THE, dirtiest drivers in the Truck Series. His history proves he has no respect for anyone on the track. Talent? Maybe, but there’s a reason he’s trying to qualify a Start-and-Park in Cup whereas Busch has one of the top cars.

connie moore
09/07/2010 02:26 PM

i am 75 yrs young been watching nascar for yrs
i have no respect or caring for bush wacker being a good race car driver does not give him a reason to be so smug i can not stand him am i a bodine fan no it is boring to watch him and jojnson every time you watgh it

09/07/2010 04:46 PM

Bodine is way off base. Every question he was asked he gave the same answer. Over and over he states “technically Kyle did nothing wrong but…” Todd is jealous of Kyle’s success.

09/07/2010 06:12 PM

I see alot of Bodine Bashing going on here..many false statements about them also…I would bet it all to say “If Todd had the quality ride that Kyle has in Sprint Cup..You’d know what a Great racer he is!”
Todd’s not a liar..If he claims that Kyle drives Dirty..You can take it to the Bank!!

09/07/2010 06:59 PM

hey bodine you are a real ass you want to call somebody out call me you are a real piece of **** also i hope he takes you out in the next truck race you are a real whiner not winner

09/07/2010 10:14 PM

I’m a huge Busch fan, he’s got the kind of talent that could make him Cup champion for a lot of years, but I wish he could show a little more respect. He’s in the 18 car because of how good he is, but an older driver like Bodine is never going to get a shot at a a ride like that, sponsors hold the pursestrings. Ward Burton was my favorite ever and it sucked to see him those last few years driving crap. I don’t want KB to slow down, but he’s good enough to race people cleaner and still beat them. Gotta admit, I love that big bow he gives while people are booing after he’s won.

09/07/2010 10:58 PM

I’d like to suggest that if every Nascar driver had the appeal of a Todd Bodine then Nascar would be bankrupt since nobody would buy a ticket. I remember one race where he wiped out 3 Childress cars. No bigtime for him, ever.

09/08/2010 07:09 AM

hey bodine you are a real ass you want to call somebody out call me you are a real piece of **** also i hope he takes you out in the next truck race you are a real whiner not winner

I’d call ya out t.bro…But then you would have to put on your pants and leave your Basement!

09/08/2010 12:36 PM

He’s an Onionhead alright,What a douchebag.The classic example of the pot calling the kettle black.

09/08/2010 02:40 PM

todd you said it all right there good call

daleups fan
09/09/2010 08:24 PM

Todd is right if you look back over the years Kyle is involved in alot of banging pushing bump drafting due to his over driving at times.they will get over it they usually do.

Robert Hall
09/10/2010 12:16 AM

I am not a fan of the Bodines but finally somebody said something. Jennifer Jo Cobb should have bitch-slapped Kyle at Bristol. He did the very thing he said was dirty driving, running someone into the fence going down the straightaway. That is just the latest in a long line of incidents and to compare him to Dale Earnhardt is blasphomy. With todays “Have at it boys” and double file restarts, Dale would have won 300 races.