Todd Bodine prepares for Xfinity race
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Todd Bodine set to make 800th national series start Saturday: ‘It’s pretty special’

Saturday at Pocono Raceway will mark a significant milestone in the racing career of Todd Bodine.

The two-time Camping World Truck Series champion is scheduled to make his 800th and final NASCAR national series start this weekend at the ‘Tricky Triangle.’ Bodine will join a list of only a handful of drivers to accomplish the feat.

RELATED: All-time national series starts | All-time Truck series winners

“There hasn’t been a lot of guys who’ve done it,” Bodine said. “To be able to accomplish something like that, it’s nice to know that I’ve had longevity and been able to do it in all three series at a competitive level. It’s pretty special.”

A winner of 22 Truck Series races and 15 Xfinity Series races, Bodine’s last full-time season was in 2012, but he ran limited schedules in both series from 2013-2017.

After racing full-time, Bodine joined FOX Sports in 2015 as an analyst for NASCAR RaceDay – becoming a prominent voice on the NCWTS while sitting in the broadcast booth as a color commentator on occasion.

This season, Bodine returned to on-track action for one final tour — a six-race schedule for Halmar Friesen Racing backed by Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis. Bodine reminisced on his time racing and said not being at a race track was difficult.

“I’ve grown up at a race track and have been going to races since I was born,” Bodine said. “I’ve been doing it at a professional level since I graduated high school in 1982. I’ve worked on cars, building cars and modifieds, raced in modifieds but then moved south, continued working on them and was a crew chief for them.”

In four decades of racing at NASCAR’s highest levels, Bodine noticed a significant shift in the Truck Series.

“The biggest change, and it had already started when I quit full-time, is the age of the driver,” Bodine said. “Owners went from wanting the 40-year-old guy who had a lot of experience that could go out and win races to wanting that 20-year-old who’s going to push it to the limit every lap and get in trouble a little bit, but still give them the opportunity to win. These kids today have a whole different thought process.”

He added that the way the trucks drive and feel is pretty much the same as they were when he stopped racing full-time, and it showed at Darlington Raceway in May as Bodine collected his lone top-10 finish so far.

Bodine has finished inside the top 20 in three starts this season with two finishes outside the top 20 that came at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Nashville Superspeedway.

When looking at younger drivers he has competed against, there were two that stood out to him.

“I’ve given advice to a few of the younger guys,” Bodine said. “If you look at the successful ones, like Zane Smith and Ben Rhodes, they went through the balls-to-the-wall, crash them up stage and they came out on the other side being seasoned, young men who understand that to be a good racer isn’t going fast every lap.”

Rhodes is the defending Truck Series champion while Zane Smith currently holds a 58-point advantage over John Hunter Nemechek and Chandler Smith heading into Saturday’s regular-season finale.

RELATED: Truck standings | Pocono weekend schedule

With Pocono playing host to Bodine’s final start, he discussed the elements that rightfully give the 2.5-mile speedway its ‘Tricky Triangle’ moniker.

“Pocono is a blast as a driver. It’s just a lot of fun because you’ve got three different straightaways and three different corners but that’s also what makes it challenging,” Bodine said. “You cannot get the vehicle to be perfect in all three corners so the driver has to adjust and make it the best it can be in two out of the three and hopefully you can get it right in the other.”

In four starts at Pocono, Bodine has finished 12th or better three times with one DNF that came in 2012.

Viewers can tune in to Bodine’s final start Saturday at 12 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

“I’ve done every facet you could do and that’s been every weekend of my life so going to a race track is like going home. It’s where our friends are at, where our families are at. It’s our life.”