Todd Bodine will head to the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday, November 16, with a new paint scheme covering his No. 11 Toyota Tundra. The two-time champion will continue his long-standing relationship with Toyota by representing the Tundra Endeavour Project, an event that showcased the power of the 2012 Tundra Crewmax pickup when it towed the space shuttle “Endeavour”. The Tundra towed the 292,000-pound shuttle and its custom tow dolly across a Los Angeles freeway bridge en route to the California Science Center, where it was placed on permanent display on October 12, 2012.
“Toyota has stood behind me for such a long time and it’s an amazing manufacturer to drive for,” Bodine explained. “I’ve been fortunate to drive fast Tundras for the past nine years and win two championships with them, and I’m proud to be a Toyota driver. When I visited the Endeavour in 1995, I was given the opportunity to sit in the cockpit of the shuttle, which is a very special and extremely rare privilege. So when we were approached with the chance to represent this project at Red Horse Racing, we gladly accepted the opportunity. It’ll be a great way to have some fun and close out this season.
“It’s really amazing that a stock Toyota Tundra was able to tow the Endeavour; it just shows how tough these trucks are. As the full-sized pickup truck with the highest North American parts content, I think the Tundra was a clear choice to pull this American icon to its final home.”
Previous Race Recap: Tackling the new surface of Phoenix International Raceway for the first time, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rolled to the 1-mile oval on Friday night, November 9, for the Lucas Oil 150. A previous winner at the Arizona track, two-time series champion Todd Bodine and his No. 11 Toyota Care Team were optimistic for a strong run with experience on their side. The new pavement created a challenge for the entire field and produced an incident between Bodine and another competitor in the early stages of the night, resulting in a 28th place finish.
Chassis History: Crew chief Rick Gay and the No. 11 Red Horse Racing team have chosen to prepare Red Horse Racing chassis 005 for the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. A new generation Toyota Tundra chassis built in-house by the Red Horse Racing organization, this particular chassis has seen competition two previous times with Bodine behind the wheel. Most recently, RHR-005 and Bodine captured an eighth place finish at Texas Motor Speedway two weeks ago.
What does it take to be successful at Homestead? “You have to have a truck with a good balance and be able to carry speed through the corners to get down the straightaway. I’ve always had a good Tundra there and that’s attributed to a lot of my past success. It’s just a fast track with a lot of momentum. I like Homestead; I’ve always liked it, even the first configuration. I’ve got a win there and always run well there for the most part. I think with the Joe Gibbs Racing engines we have and these new Red Horse Racing bodies that the guys at the shop have worked so hard on, there’s no doubt we should be fast.”
Does Homestead have any specific challenges you’ll need to overcome? “Every track has its own challenges and quirks. Homestead is a little different because it’s a true oval so the corners are a little different. Plus, it’s worn out so if you get old tires you have to search for grip and that makes the driver work a little harder. But no matter what, you have to have a fast truck because it’s a fast track.”