Winless Streak Done, Bodine Readies For Favorite TrackThere is no such thing as a lock in NASCAR competition. But Todd Bodine as a winner comes pretty close at Texas Motor Speedway, which hosts Friday night’s WinStar World Casino 400.
Bodine, who broke a 38-race winless drought last week at Dover International Speedway, has won six times at the 1.5-mile Ft. Worth track – more than any other NASCAR national series driver. Last year was only the second since joining the series fulltime in 2004 that Bodine failed to win in the Lone Star State.
Friday’s race will be the first for Bodine at Texas in anything but a Germain Racing-prepared truck. What began as a one-race deal for Daytona has Bodine likely seeking a third title with Red Horse Racing. He’s sixth in the points standings, 37 behind leader Justin Lofton.
Five of Bodine’s Texas wins have come in the spring, the track’s longest race (167 laps, 250.5 miles). "I think we are able to wear everyone else out on the long runs. That's where I excel," Bodine said.
Tough Odds Beating This Three Of A KindThree drivers – Bodine, Brendan Gaughan and Ron Hornaday Jr. – are the best of the best at Texas Motor Speedway. The trio has won 13 of the last 20 races held at the Fort Worth track.
Bodine and Hornaday have combined for five victories in the track’s most recent eight races. Gaughan won a then-unprecedented four consecutive races at the Texas track in 2002-03. Hornaday initially experienced frustration in Texas, requiring 11 starts to get to Victory Lane in June 2008. He won that year’s fall race, as well, and is the defending winner of the WinStar World Casino 400. Bodine won four of six starts from 2004-07 and is the last driver to win from the pole (2007). Gaughan is the only one of the three with a Texas-winning team. He’ll drive the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet that carried Kevin Harvick to victory last November.
The winner of the Texas spring race has gone on to become the series champion four times. Bodine did it most recently in 2010.
Rookie Winner Wouldn’t Be Unprecedented In TexasThis could be the week that Ty Dillon puts an exclamation point on what became a record-setting consistency streak June 1 at Dover.
The 20-year-old Dillon, sixth at Dover, has opened the 2012 season with six consecutive top-10 finishes. He’d shared the previous record with the late Ricky Hendrick set in 2001.
Dillon may be a freshman – and racing at Texas Motor Speedway for the first time – but he’ll benefit by following in the footsteps of older brother Austin Dillon. The elder Dillon finished second to Harvick last November as he rolled to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship.
Austin Dillon finished third in his 2008 Texas debut that also featured his first of a rookie record seven poles. He led three of his four starts for 67 laps.
Rookie Kenny Irwin Jr. won the WinStar World Casino 400 debut in 1997 followed by first-year contenders Boris Said and Rick Crawford. Travis Kvapil won the 2001 spring race as a rookie and Gaughan swept both races the following season in his debut as a full-time series competitor.