TOYOTA NASCAR NOTES & QUOTES
November 16 – 22, 2015
KYLE COMPETES FOR CUP CHAMPIONSHIP: Camry driver Kyle Busch is one of four drivers set to compete for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) championship this Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Busch finished fourth in Sunday’s race Phoenix International Raceway and earned his way into the season-finale championship field via points. With four eligible participants racing for the championship at Homestead, the first to the finish line will win the 2015 title. Toyota is looking for its first NSCS driver’s championship after winning seven combined drivers titles in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS). In 10 career starts at Homestead, Busch has three top-10 finishes and top-10 results in two of the last three seasons at the 1.5-mile Florida track.
TOYOTA TALLY: Busch has been an integral part of the Toyota’s NASCAR success since 2008, having won more races than any other driver across the three NASCAR national series. Busch is responsible for 132 of Toyota’s 330 NASCAR triumphs, having collected the most wins in each series in a Camry or Tundra race vehicle with 29 NSCS, 65 NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) and 38 NCWTS victories to his credit. He also claimed the inaugural NSCS Camry points victory when he took the checkered flag at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March 2008.
TUNDRAS CLINCH MANUFACTURER CROWN: Toyota clinched its eighth NCWTS manufacturer’s championship with Timothy Peters’ win at Phoenix International Raceway last Friday. It marked the eighth NCWTS manufacturer’s title in 12 years for Toyota and third consecutive by Tundra drivers after also securing five-straight from 2006 to 2010 and again from 2013 to 2015. Heading into Friday’s season-finale at Homestead, Tundra drivers have combined for 13 wins, 11 pole positions, 56 top-five results, 114 top-10 finishes and 2,239 laps led in NCWTS competition this season. Since joining NCWTS competition in 2004, Toyota has won 143 races and captured 111 poles in 289 races.
ROOKIE READY: Toyota driver Erik Jones heads into the NCWTS finale at Homestead with a 19-point lead in the championship point standings over second-place Tyler Reddick. The 19-year-old Michigan native would become the youngest driver in series history to win the NCWTS title. Jones is also looking to earn NCWTS Rookie of the Year honors and would become the first driver to clinch both titles in the same season. In 22 starts this season, Jones has collected three wins, five pole positions, 11 top-10 finishes and 19 top-10 results in the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 4 Tundra.
NOTES, QUOTES & NUMBERS
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS): Camry drivers have won 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races this season … Toyota needs one more victory in 2015 to tie its most wins in a single NSCS season (14 victories in 2013) … Camry driver Denny Hamlin has won twice at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2009 and 2013 … Matt Kenseth also won at Homestead in 2007 prior to driving a Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing.
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Crispy Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What has the journey been like for you this season from your injury now to the championship finale?
“It was tough to be at home and lying in bed and watching other guys race my race car first of all, but I can’t say enough about Adam Stevens (crew chief) and the teamwork and everything that went through this season of being able to keep everyone together and keep everyone focused and motivated for my return to get back in that car. Since then, to go on and win some of these races and to get ourselves Chase eligible and with the rules the way the rules are, it was fortunate for us to be in this position and I feel really good about things.”
What do you need to focus on in Homestead to win the championship?
“I think the biggest thing is just being able to go to Homestead, a place where I feel like I’ve run well at in the past, and get an opportunity to race for a championship. I think that you try to limit your distractions getting into that race and just try to do the right things in practice and qualifying and everything. I’m really going to have to lean on my teammates. They’re all really good at Homestead. So, I feel like as a whole, everybody can hopefully help me and give me everything I need to have the tools necessary to go into the race and perform to our best and hopefully race for a championship. We know we have to win that thing. There’s a slight chance that you might be able to finish second, but you better just plan on winning.”
ADAM STEVENS, crew chief, No. 18 M&M’s Crispy Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How much have the 18 team and Kyle Busch overcome this year to compete for the NSCS championship?
“It’s been a wild year, starting with Kyle’s (Busch) accident. That’s not something that any of us had planned or prepared for, and it was such a devastating crash that none of us knew if he was going to recover this year at all. Due to his perseverance and determination, he was able to get back in a timely schedule that was even not predicted by his doctors, and certainly not predicted by any of us, and get himself in a spot where he at least had the potential to score enough points to get Chase eligible. To battle back from that and all the wins that we’ve had along the way and good runs in competitive cars is remarkable at this stage.”
NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS): Camry drivers Daniel Suarez (sixth) and JJ Yeley (12th) currently rank in the top-15 in the NXS point standings … Suarez leads the NXS Rookie of the Year standings by 40 points over Darrell Wallace Jr. leading into the season-finale NXS race at Homestead … Suarez is on a current streak of five consecutive top-10 results.
DANIEL SUAREZ, No. 18 ARRIS Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Are you pleased with your rookie season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series?
“It’s hard to believe this is the final race weekend of 2015. I have learned a lot this year and I feel like I’ve learned more in 2015 than I did in the past three years combined. I’ve gotten a lot of great support from everyone at ARRIS, Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing. We have one more chance to finish the season strong and get our first checkered flag. I’ve been studying Homestead and I’m really looking forward to running there.”
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS): Tundra drivers Erik Jones (first), Matt Crafton (third), Johnny Sauter (fourth), Timothy Peters (fifth), Cameron Hayley (sixth) and Ben Kennedy (ninth) are in the top-10 in the NCWTS point standings … The Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 4 Tundra leads the NCWTS owner standings by 19 points and is looking to earn the team’s fourth owner’s title in the past six seasons.
ERIK JONES, No. 4 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
What is your strategy for Homestead with a 19-point lead in the point standings?
“It’s nice to have a cushion for sure. It’s way better than going into the race and leading by three points or five points. So it’s fortunate we are in a situation where we don’t have to win the race, we don’t have to run top-five and we don’t even really have to run top-10. I think it’s going to be somewhat conservative of an approach, but I don’t think we need to change our approach by a whole lot. Obviously, Homestead the big risk for anybody is getting up into the fence the way you get around that place, but I think most of the day we’ll just concentrate on not ever really getting up by the wall. I think as long as we don’t do that, we can probably run seventh or eighth and be pretty comfortable most of the day and close this deal out.”
What would it mean to you to become the youngest NCWTS champion?
“I think it’s definitely a pretty cool accomplishment, let alone winning the championship, but being the youngest to do it. All along our goal at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) has been for me to run for a driver’s championship and be able to get KBM its first driver’s championship, so to be able to put ourselves in this position to have a great shot to go and get it, that’s just a big accomplishment in itself. I’d be really, really happy if we can bring that back to KBM – for everything they’ve done for me and for everything Kyle (Busch) has done for me. To be the youngest to do it would be a bonus for me.”
TOYOTA DRIVER ROSTER – Homestead-Miami Speedway (NSCS, NXS and NCWTS)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Camry
Clint Bowyer, No. 15 Camry
Kyle Busch, No. 18 Camry
Carl Edwards, No. 19 Camry
Matt Kenseth, No. 20 Camry
Jeb Burton, No. 23 Camry
JJ Yeley, No. 26 Camry
David Ragan, No. 55 Camry
Matt DiBenedetto, No. 83 Camry
NASCAR XFINITY Series
Derek White, No. 13 Camry
Mike Bliss, No. 14 Camry
Daniel Suarez, No. 18 Camry
Jeff Green, No. 19 Camry
Erik Jones, No. 20 Camry
Eric McClure, No. 24 Camry
TJ Bell, No. 26 Camry
JJ Yeley, No. 28 Camry
David Starr, No. 44 Camry
Kyle Busch, No. 54 Camry
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Erik Jones, No. 4 Tundra
Ben Kennedy, No. 11 Tundra
Cameron Hayley, No. 13 Tundra
Timothy Peters, No. 17 Tundra
Daniel Suarez, No. 51 Tundra
Christopher Bell, No. 54 Tundra
Matt Crafton, No. 88 Tundra
Jesse Little, No. 97 Tundra
Johnny Sauter, No. 98 Tundra
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