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Todd Bodine goes for two-in-a-row at Daytona this week, but he is still looking for full-time Truck tour sponsorship

   By Mike Mulhern

So James Hylton wasn't needed after all to fill out the Daytona 500 field.
   And the 74-year-old one-time NASCAR regular has faded back into South Carolina.
   Yes, the Daytona 500 will indeed have a full field….though if these guys don't settle down and play it a little cooler in Thursday's twin 150s there might be some overtime work back in the North Carolina body shops.
   Now comes the tough question – NASCAR's Truck teams roll in here at Daytona International Speedway Monday night, and everyone is wondering just how many there will be. The Truck fields are 36-strong, and Friday night's Daytona 250 (8 p.m.) will likely be filled, but what to expect in the following weeks is iffy.
   Of course Friday here is, ah, er, Friday the 13th……
   But Todd Bodine, who has dominated the Truck tour and who is going for his fourth straight superspeedway win, says he's ready --- and ready to make enough noise that he and crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. can land a sponsor.
   Yes, things are tough all over. And Bodine, for all his success, still doesn't have a full-time Truck series sponsor.
   "We do all the technical things right, as a team, but we still have to have luck," Bodine says of the upcoming 100-lapper. "If we do it right, like we've been doing, and we're lucky enough, then we can continue to win at tracks like Daytona and Talladega."
   Bodine does have a knack here. His worst Truck finish at this track was a fifth in 2007.
   But this time things could be different, because the economic climate has made everyone just that much hungrier for attention – sponsorship attention. And Truck races tend to be slam-bang affairs anyway.
   "As a crew chief, there is pressure, because of our three-straight superspeedway wins," Hillman says. "But the hardest part about preparing a Truck for Daytona is that once the race goes green, there's very little you can do for your Truck or your driver from the pit box.
   "Fate pretty much takes over, and you get what you get."
   And fate hasn't been kind so far to some of those on the Cup side of the garage, like Dale Earnhardt Jr.
   This track is just so bumpy that it's hard to keep a car or Truck running smoothly, and the big bump in the first turn is a killer.
   And all those black tire marks down in the fourth turn aren't pretty either.
   Bodine, who won this race last year and who won the 2006 tour championship, get on the track Wednesday, qualifying is Thursday evening.

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