Toyota NASCAR Notes & Quotes Bristol March 2013

by Official Release On Thu, Mar. 14, 2013

March 11 – 17, 2013

MILESTONES MET:  In the first three weeks of the 2013 NASCAR season, Toyota drivers achieved a trio of milestones.  First, Johnny Sauter earned the 100th Tundra win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) when he claimed the victory at the season-opener in Daytona.  The following weekend, Kyle Busch took the checkered flag in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Phoenix International Raceway to tally the 75th victory for a Camry in the series. This past weekend, Camry newcomer Matt Kenseth was first to the checkered flag in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to secure the 50th triumph for Toyota since entering series competition in 2007.

MEMORABLE MOMENT WITH MATT:  Several milestones were reached in Sunday’s afternoon NSCS race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  When Kenseth crossed the finish line first at the 1.5-mile Nevada oval, it was the 50th victory for the Camry in the Sprint Cup Series and the first win for the Camry in 2013.  In addition, it was Kenseth’s inaugural triumph driving a Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) and his 25th career NSCS first-place finish — and all of the milestones were accomplished on Kenseth’s 41st birthday.   Kenseth became only the third NSCS driver in history to win on his birthday, joining NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough and Busch, who also won in a Camry on his birthday (May 2, 2009) at Richmond International Raceway.

TOP-FIVE TRIO:  The trio of JGR NASCAR Nationwide Series Camrys all earned top-five finishes in Saturday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway — Busch (second), Brian Vickers (third) and Elliott Sadler (fifth).  Both Busch (13 laps) and Vickers (27 laps) led during the 200 lap race, while Sadler picked up his second consecutive top-five finish in the first three races of the 2013 season.

SHORT TRACK SEASON START:  The new 2013 Camry will make its first NSCS short track appearance of the season Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway.  After competing at the superspeedway of Daytona International Speedway, the flat track of Phoenix International Raceway and the 1.5-mile intermediate Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the first short track showing of the new cars will come at the Tennessee half-mile, high-banked oval.

2012 TOYOTA TALLY:  The two NSCS races at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2012 proved successful for the Camry drivers in the field.  Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) placed all three of their Camrys in the top-five last March (2012) at Bristol — Martin Truex Jr. (third), Clint Bowyer (fourth) and Vickers (fifth).  Five Camrys finished in the top-10 in August 2012 — Hamlin (first), Vickers (fourth), Busch (sixth), Bowyer (seventh) and former Camry driver Joey Logano (eighth).

THREE FOR KB:  Busch has been victorious at three of the last five NNS races at Bristol, — winning the fall race in 2010 and sweeping both races in 2011.  Busch, the all-time leader in NNS victories with 52, was dominant at the track during his three-race streak, leading 570 laps (of 800) en route to three checkered flags for JGR.  In 2013, Busch returns to the seat of the JGR Camrys after racing for his own NNS team in 2012 — Kyle Busch Motorsports — and he hopes to reclaim his Bristol magic driving the JGR No. 54 Monster Energy Camry.

SOCIAL MEDIA & WEBSITE:  The website was recently redesigned.  Background and images about the Toyota NASCAR program are available at, @ToyotaRacing, and

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS):  Through the first three races of 2013, Denny Hamlin is fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) point standings, trailing leader Jimmie Johnson by 27 points … Mark Martin (sixth), Matt Kenseth (seventh) and Clint Bowyer (ninth) also rank in the top-10 … Camry drivers have totaled one win, four top-five finishes, seven top-10 results and led 273 laps … Camry drivers have earned victories in five of the last eight NSCS races at Bristol — Busch (four) and Hamlin (one) … Hamlin earned his first Bristol NSCS win in August 2012 … Busch became the first driver in NASCAR history to sweep all three races at one track in a single weekend at Bristol in August 2010 … Busch has a total of five NSCS victories at the short track, the most he has at one facility … Camry drivers Kenseth and Martin are the only drivers to win 25 races in both NSCS and NNS during their career … Busch’s next NSCS win will be his 25th career victory and along with his 52 NNS wins will place him among Kenseth and Martin … Brian Vickers will do ‘double duty’ at Bristol in the NSCS and NNS when he drives the Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) No. 55 Camry for the first time in 2013 in Sunday’s NSCS race and Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race in the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) No. 20 Camry … For mechanic and jack man Tony Cardamone, racing at Bristol is a trip down memory lane … Cardamone spent several years living with his family in nearby Bristol, Va., and is now part of the MWR No. 55 Camry team … JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Jodi Geschickter is from the Knoxville, Tenn. area and graduated from the University of Tennessee.

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What characteristics make you good at Bristol?
“You have to have a really good feel here at Bristol.  You have to be on top of your game anywhere, but you’ve really got to have a good feel of the entry, center and exit, and just make sure you can get your car as free as you can to withstand the back of the car sliding around a little bit.  But yet you still have to have good forward bite off the corners and you’ve got to be able to drive it hard and make up lap time when you lack.”

MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Home Depot Husky Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How did the win at Las Vegas help you reach an early season goal?
“I’m not a huge goal person, but my goal was to win and to win early.  Nobody has put any pressure on me except for myself, but I also know that Coach (Joe Gibbs) hired me to come in there and climb in that car and win races, so you certainly want to do that and you don’t want to disappoint people.  I feel like this is the beginning and have a lot of confidence.  I still do, so it’s great to get the win.  It’s always great to get a win early in the season, but you certainly don’t want to act like it stops. You want to go to the next one and start thinking about Bristol and what we’re going to try to do there.  That’s the great thing about the sport — it never stops.  You only get to enjoy it for a couple days.  ”

CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 NAPA Filters Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
How is the new car going to behave at Bristol?
“You don’t know — it’s been different everywhere we’ve went.  Daytona was different than what we had before.  Phoenix was certainly different than what we had before.  Everybody is learning as fast as they can.  We have to learn what it takes to trip this new car’s trigger.  Bristol is going to be another prime example of that.  That’s why I like the schedule the way it is — you get a really good gauge of all the race tracks so you can figure out where you stack up against the competition.”

BRIAN VICKERS, No. 55 RK Motors Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Are you looking forward to running both races this weekend in Bristol?
“Last year, we had two phenomenal runs at Bristol and it would be great to go back there and have two more — one in the Dollar General car (on Saturday) and one in the Aarons’s car on Sunday.  Hopefully, we can do that.  I’m looking forward to getting back there, especially the way we are running.  Unfortunately, we got two results that don’t show it, but we finally got one at Las Vegas that shows the performance we have.”

NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS):  After three races in 2013, Elliott Sadler is third in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) point standings, trailing leader Sam Hornish Jr. by 19 points … Brian Vickers (seventh) and Alex Bowman (10th) also rank in the top-10 …Camry drivers have totaled one win, seven top-five finishes, 10 top-10 results and led 295 laps … Sadler will make his first start at Bristol Motor Speedway behind the wheel of a Toyota Camry … Sadler is the defending spring NNS race-winner after leading 36 laps (of 300) en route to his first career Bristol NNS win in 24 starts … Kyle Busch will make his 140th start behind the wheel of a Camry in NNS competition at Bristol, matching the most series starts in a Camry with Jason Leffler … Kevin Kidd, crew chief on the No. 20 Camry driven by Vickers, is from nearby Tazewell, Va.

ELLIOTT SADLER, No. 11 OneMain Financial Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What makes racing at Bristol so special for you?
“Bristol Motor Speedway has always been special to me because I attended races there as a fan when I was a kid.  My dad would take us and I used to sit in those stands and dream about winning a race there. To be able to race there years later, winning a race early in my Nationwide Series career in 1998 and to win my first-career Sprint Cup Series race in 2001 was special.  My family has been there from the beginning and to finally have them in victory lane put the icing on the cake.  ”

ALEX BOWMAN, No. 99 St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Toyota Camry, RAB Racing
Who will you talk to in order to better prepare for Bristol?
“I don’t really know who to talk to for Bristol.  I don’t know a lot of the drivers.  Obviously, I’m new — it’s my first time going there.  I pretty much will talk to anybody that will listen.  If I could talk to Kyle Busch about some tips for Bristol — that would be really cool.  Got to figure that out.  Feel like we’re really prepared and got a great race car to go to Bristol.”

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS):  After winning the season-opening race at Daytona, Johnny Sauter leads the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS)  standings with 47 points … Matt Crafton (eighth) and Todd Bodine (10th) also rank in the top-10 …  Tundra drivers have earned one win, two top-five finishes, three top-10 results and led 37 laps following Daytona … After winning the season-opening NCWTS race at Daytona, Tundra drivers have gone on to win the following event four previous times … Tundra drivers have won at least three straight races to start the season in each instance — 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011… The NCWTS returns to action at Martinsville Speedway on April 6 after an extended break.


Series         Races         Starts         Wins      Top-5s      Top-10s         Poles         Times Led         Laps Led
NSCS             3          34 (13)           1          4            7             1               22               273
NNS              3          38 (13)           1          7           10             1               30               295
NCWTS            1          12 (12)           1          2            3             0                6                37

TOYOTA DRIVER ROSTER – Bristol Motor Speedway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Frieght Camry                            Bobby Labonte, No. 47 Bush’s Beans Camry
Clint Bowyer, No. 15 NAPA Filters Camry                             Brian Vickers, No. 55 RK Motors Camry
Kyle Busch, No. 18 M&M’s Camry                                      Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Camry
Mike Bliss, No. 19 Plinker Tactical Camry                           David Reutimann, No. 83 Burger King/Dr. Pepper Camry
Matt Kenseth, No. 20 Home Depot Husky Camry                         Joe Nemechek, No. 87 Maddie’s Place Rocks .com Camry
David Stremme, No. 30 Swan Racing Camry                             Travis Kvapil, No. 93 Burger King/Dr. Pepper Camry

NASCAR Nationwide Series
Jason White, No. 00 Headrush Camry                                  John Wes Townley, No. 25 Zaxby’s Camry
Jeff Green, No. 10 TriStar Motorsports Camry                        Michael McDowell, No. 27 Camry
Elliott Sadler, No. 11 OneMain Financial Camry                      Hal Martin, No. 44 American Custom Yachts Camry
Eric McClure, No. 14 Hefty/Reynolds Wrap Camry                      Kyle Busch, No. 54 Monster Energy Camry
Mike Bliss, No. 19 TriStar Motorsports Camry                        Parker Kligerman, No. 77 Bandit Chippers Camry
Brian Vickers, No. 20 Dollar General Camry                          Joe Nemechek, No. 87 AM/FM Energy Camry
Blake Koch, No. 24 Veterans Lodge Camry                             Alex Bowman, No. 99 St. Jude’s Research Camry

Sat., March 16 — NNS @ Bristol Motor Speedway — 2:00 PM (ET), ESPN2 — Race 4 of 33
Sun., March 17 — NSCS @ Bristol Motor Speedway — 1:00 PM (ET), FOX — Race 4 of 36

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