Todd Bodine knew he was on his last legs with Germain Racing a year ago. Actually, Germain Racing was on its last legs.
The team folded its NASCAR Camping World Truck Series operation at the end of the season, finishing the year without a win. For Bodine, it was his first winless season in seven full-time years as a driver in the series.
He was a two-time series champion, with no momentum, needing a ride.
Until truck owner Tom DeLoach, who had waited for him for years, scooped him up to drive for Red Horse Racing.
DeLoach had the driver he always wanted -- and the driver is delivering results.
Bodine won last week at Dover and is sixth in the driver standings as the truck series heads to Texas Motor Speedway, where he has won six times, for the WinStar World Casino 400 on Friday night.
"I've been after him for years and always appreciated his talent," DeLoach said. "He's an incredibly loyal guy. He was going to stay with Germain until Germain shut down. I was able to bring him over to Red Horse, not only to give him a place to run and build a program around him, but to use his insight to get better at Red Horse.
"He's Mr. Mile and a Half. If you're going to bet on somebody on a mile-and-a-half in the truck series, you're going to bet on Todd Bodine."
Bodine had gone 38 starts since his last win, at Kentucky in 2010. He had only 11 top-10s a year ago, about half the number he's used to.
But in the past three races, he driving like the Todd Bodine who won 19 times in six years, a stretch that includes his championship seasons of 2006 and 2010. And he's won on the TMS oval more than anywhere else in the trucks series.
"It's an established team," Bodine said last week before the race at Dover. "There's no reason we can't go out and win races and win the championship. It's why I wanted to come to this team. Tom has committed everything he's got to making this team successful. He's done that."
Bodine has delivered on the other end DeLoach had hoped for. He has built a good relationship with Red Horse's other driver, Timothy Peters, 31, who is second in the points standings.
It is what DeLoach knew he was getting when he hired Bodine, 48.
"He's a quality guy, and the more I've seen him on the race side, the more I'm impressed with him," DeLoach said. "He is kind of that throwback racer that's always got time for the fan, always got time for the sponsor.... What's really neat is the relationship between Todd and Timothy and Rick Gay, his crew chief, and Butch Hylton, Timothy's crew chief. They've formed a really good, excellent working relationship, built on respect for each other, so that they really share."
Bodine said it helped to know a lot of the people he would be working with in his new job.
"There was no learning curve, no getting to know each other," he said. "I didn't know my new crew, but I knew the individuals a bit. Rick and I have been friends a long time. Rick worked for my brother Brett on his race team. Rick is from upstate New York like I am, so we have some ties there."
Germain Racing is still going, fielding a car in the Sprint Cup series. Bodine said the breakup of the truck team, where he had won two championships, was tough.
"We had been together for seven years, had a lot of success," he said. "It was a family. It hurts when you have to break up. We all knew some day we would. Nothing good lasts forever. We've all gone our separate ways. Everybody has found jobs."
Bodine is doing his new job a lot like his old job.
Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7760