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Woody: Kyle Has Made Todd A Tad Testy

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Wednesday, September 8 2010

Not everybody in Victory Lane at Kentucky Speedway was cheering Todd Bodine's victory last weekend. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Larry Woody | Senior Writer

Todd Bodine is running away with the NASCAR Camping World Series truck championship, but despite his stellar season he has a burr under his blanket.

The burr is named Kyle Busch.

A media member got a rise out of Todd during last month’s truck race at Nashville Superspeedway when he asked if the fact that Busch is not running the full truck schedule puts a damper on Bodine’s big doings.

Todd made it clear that he resented the implication: that when Busch isn’t in the lineup he’s not racing against the best.

Given that testy background I wasn’t surprised when Bodine took a swipe at Busch following his recent victory at Kentucky Speedway.

Bodine accused Busch of  “driving dirty, sucking me down and getting me spun out,” which necessitated an impromptu pit stop that ironically may have won the race for him.

Busch heard Bodine’s “dirty driving” remark on the track PA system and charged over to confront him. They went nose-to-nose, and they weren’t discussing tire pressures.

Whether Todd likes it or not (and obviously he doesn’t) the fact is that if Busch were running the full schedule he would be giving Bodine fits for the championship. Bodine has won four times in 18 starts, Busch four times in 10 starts.

While Bodine has a virtually insurmountable 261-point lead over Aric Almirola in the standings, Busch has a higher winning percentage.

Bodine’s correct on one point: it doesn’t matter what Busch MIGHT be able to do; all that counts is what he does. And since he chooses not to run all the races it’s his choice not to be in the championship picture.

There are two things that Kyle’s harshest critics can’t deny: he’s a heckuva talented young driver, and wherever he goes he makes sparks fly.

Let’s face it: with just seven races to go, Bodine’s not going to blow the championship. He’s probably not even going to be mildly challenged. He’s a seasoned driver with a rock-solid team behind him. Almirola or nobody else is going to make a serious run at him down the stretch.

So since the truck series won’t be shivering with championship excitement, where is the late-season drama going to come from? From Kyle, that’s where, in whatever remaining races he elects to run. Whenever he’s on the track it’ll be a Todd vs. Kyle Smackdown.

Bodine doesn’t want to win the truck title tied with Busch for victories, especially since Busch has run fewer races, so he’ll be motivated to put more numbers under the W column.

And if Busch wants to pay back Bodine for his Kentucky jab, he can do so by remaining a very pesky fly in Todd’s championship ointment.

– Larry Woody can be reached at lwoody@racintoday.com

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Wednesday, September 8 2010
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