Bodine set for NASCAR milestone

NASCAR Wire Service Friday, Jul 20 1409

There's something to be said for longevity. In Todd Bodine's case, being competitive counts for even more.

Bodine will make his 200th start in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition in Saturday's American Ethanol 225 (8 p.m. ET, SPEED) at Chicagoland Speedway. The milestone will make the 48-year-old veteran the first driver to make at least 200 starts in all three NASCAR national series.

"It's a great stat, a great place to be in my career," said Bodine, the 2006 and 2010 truck series champ. "When I got started, I never dreamed of getting to this point. I didn't know as a kid where it was going to go or what it was going to lead to, I just know I wanted to go fast and go in circles. I've been very fortunate to have a long, successful career in a sport that I love. And to be able to do it in three different series, it's a pretty neat deal."

Bodine -- who's mired in 11th place in the standings -- hasn't had the most stellar season thus far, but he did return to Victory Lane for the first time since September 2010 with a rain-shortened win last month at Dover International Speedway. After splitting a shaky 2011 between Germain Racing and the former Randy Moss-owned team, Bodine has found a comfortable landing place this year with Red Horse Racing's team owner Tom DeLoach and crew chief Rick Gay Jr.

"Rick and myself have been running well, but we've just had some bad luck," Bodine said, "but everything is there (for us) to do this and run up front, and I really believe we can."

Red Horse teammate Timothy Peters broke into the win column last week at Iowa Speedway, stretching his points lead and becoming the truck series' eighth different winner in nine events. Peters leads second-place Justin Lofton, the winner earlier this season at Charlotte, by 12 points and sits 14 points ahead of top rookie Ty Dillon, who ranks third.