Mooresville, NC (05-03-2010) – Germain Racing’s No. 30 Germain.com Tundra team stepped out of its comfort zone and unloaded at Kansas Speedway with a dramatically different chassis setup than the formula which had worked for the team’s 13 previous wins on speedways. The result was a long first practice session and a confirmation that sometimes tried and true just can’t be ignored. After three days in Kansas, two practice sessions and 167 laps of racing including two mid-race setbacks, the No. 30 Germain.com Tundra finished third and driver Todd Bodine pulled back to second in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship standings.
“We unloaded with a chassis setup that was a lot different than we normally would run at a 1.5-mile track. We struggled and learned a lot in our first practice session and for the second practice, we went back to our baseline, speedway setup,” explained crew chief Mike Hillman Jr.
The No. 30 Germain.com Tundra started sixth for Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 250. Hillman says they needed a bit more grip in their qualifying setup.
“The truck was too loose in qualifying, but we felt the changes we’d made for the race were going to make our Germain.com Tundra a lot better than it had been in practice,” said Hillman of chassis TRD-131 which ranked 15th after first practice and tenth after final practice.
When racing began on Sunday afternoon, the truck was still too loose but the handling condition took a backseat to a few other mid-race setbacks.
“We started the race with the Germain.com Tundra too loose. It got better throughout the day. Our team battled to overcome a speeding penalty from the first pit stop and a flat right rear tire which had to be changed under the green flag. Bringing the truck home with a top-three finish shows how this team never gives up,” said Hillman. “I couldn’t be more proud of all our team for their hard work all weekend, through practice and the great pit stops during the race. This is how a championship-caliber team takes a day full of adversity and comes home with a top-three finish.”
Driver Todd Bodine echoed the sentiment that strong pit stops and a never-failing commitment to finding a way to succeed helped the Germain.com Tundra end a challenging race day into a third-place finish.
“That’s one thing, all the Germain guys are strong in the pits. Every week they beat guys out and that’s what keeps us up front. We were free all day and right there at the end we got a little tight off. I couldn’t quite run with Ron (Hornaday Jr.) and Johnny (Sauter), they were a little fast with a little too much horsepower, but this Toyota was awesome. To overcome what we did today with getting a speeding penalty and then a flat tire under green putting us a lap down and to come back and finish third, that’s what this team is all about. We just never give up,” said Bodine.
The No. 30 Germain.com Tundra ranks fourth in Truck Series owner’s standings and Bodine ranks second in the driver’s standings. The next race on the Truck Series schedule is at “The Monster Mile,” the high-speed, concrete oval also known as Dover International Speedway. Watch the action on SPEED, May 14th, tape-delayed at 8:00 PM ET or tune into your local MRN affiliate.
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