Two-Time Truck Series Champ Bodine Says Trucks Must “Be Driven Harder” at Pocono than Cup Cars

The NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES moves from the dirt track at Eldora to the unique 2.5-mile “triangle” of Pocono Raceway on Saturday, July 29, with the race airing live on FOX at 1:00 PM ET.

Vince Welch calls the 12th race of the season for FOX Sports alongside Phil Parsons and Michael Waltrip with pit reporting by Hermie Sadler and Chris Neville.  John Roberts hosts network pre-race coverage from the Charlotte studio on NCWTS SETUP (12:30 PM ET) with analysis from two-time series champ Todd Bodine.

NCWTS SETUP features: a look back at last week’s race at Eldora Speedway; a flashback to William Byron’s win at Pocono last year; and a feature in which Bodine and Ron Hornaday Jr., Christopher Bell, TJ Bell, Ross Chastain, Spencer Gallagher, Kaz Grala and John Hunter Nemechek visited blind and visually impaired children at Camp H2O in Sherrills Ford, N.C.  Camp H2O is presented by A Brighter Path Programs.

Below is a Q&A with Bodine, who has competed in both the NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES and the MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES at Pocono, and says the Trucks behave much differently than Cup cars at Pocono and must be “driven harder.”

On how Trucks drive differently than Cup cars at Pocono Raceway:

“The trucks have to be driven harder at Pocono than the Cup cars.  You drive into the corner harder. Your center-of-the-corner speed is faster.  Your off-throttle time is less.  You really have to get up on the wheel, drive hard and be very aggressive in a Truck to get around Pocono.  We always hear people talking about being more than 200 mph getting into turn 1 at Pocono in a Cup car. That’s true -- they’re hauling the mail at the end of the straightaway -- but a Truck goes through the center of the corner faster than a Cup car does, but people don’t talk much about that and how difficult that is to do.”

On the addition of stage racing in the Truck Series at Pocono this weekend:

“Sixty laps is an incredibly short race, so that probably will be two pit stops now because of the stages.  It’s going to be interesting to see how the stages affect the race because in the Cup race last month and the crew chiefs had to time how far back from the leader they could be, pit under green and not lose a lap right before the stages ended in order to gain track position. It’s going to be interesting to see how the truck chiefs work on the stage racing strategies.”

On whether there is an advantage for MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES drivers to run the NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES race at Pocono:

“There is not nearly as much of an advantage for Cup drivers to run the Truck race at Pocono as they’d get at most other tracks.  Because the Trucks are so different at Pocono than the Cup cars, racing a Truck Saturday won’t help a driver on Sunday. It’s just about fun. If the tire compounds were the same, it could help drivers learn how the tires fall off, but the actual driving experience on Saturday won’t carry over much to Sunday.”

On the biggest challenges at Pocono:

“The hardest part about Pocono is the fact it has three different corners, each with its own challenges, which makes it a lot of fun.  It’s like driving three different tracks.  Turn 1 is very high-speed, and it’s incredibly challenging getting back to the throttle as quickly as possible without pushing off the corner.  The tunnel turn rewards those who can run wide-open without knocking the wall down on exit.  Turn 3 is such a long, sweeping corner that it’s about getting back to the throttle as quickly as possible. That’s what makes Pocono one of the most fun races of the year for the drivers.”

On the series regular favored for the win Saturday at Pocono:

“Pocono is a place where a rookie can step up and win, so I am picking Noah Gragson because he’s in a Kyle Busch Motorsports truck.”

FOX Sports PR

Speedway Digest Staff

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