Toyota NASCAR Notes & Quotes March 25-31, 2013

by Official Release On Wed, Mar. 27, 2013

March 25 – 31, 2013

KYLE CLAIMS CALIFORNIA SWEEP:  Camry driver Kyle Busch swept the weekend’s races at California’s Auto Club Speedway with wins in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race and Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) event.  On Sunday, Busch led 125 laps (of 200) on the two-mile oval to capture the first NSCS win at Auto Club Speedway for Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR). It marks the inaugural ‘home’ NSCS victory with Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. headquarters located in Torrance, Calif., and TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development) based in Costa Mesa, Calif.  Toyota has now earned a victory at every track on the NSCS schedule — except for Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

NINE STRAIGHT AT FONTANA:  In Saturday’s NNS race, Busch led the field for 92 circuits (of 150) to earn the ninth consecutive victory by a JGR Camry driver in the Nationwide Series at the California track, as well as the sixth first-place finish for Busch in the series at the two-mile speedway.  The Las Vegas-native has won NNS races at the track in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013, as well as picking up a pair of wins in 2010.

WINNING WAYS:  With the weekend sweep in Toyota’s backyard, Busch became just the third driver in NASCAR history to win at least 25 races in both the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series.  The 27-year-old joins fellow Camry drivers and NASCAR veterans Mark Martin and Matt Kenseth as the only drivers to accomplish the feat.  Busch has now won 21 races behind the steering wheel of a Camry in the NSCS, and has 25 total NSCS victories in his career.  In the NNS, Busch has recorded 43 wins in a Camry and a series record 54 NNS triumphs overall.

LEADING LAPS:  After the first five races of 2013, Camry drivers have led over 45 percent of the laps in NSCS competition — a total of 670 laps led of 1,483 total circuits — the most of the three manufacturers in the series.

CATWALK FOR A CAUSE:  Toyota has reached a two-year agreement to serve as the presenting sponsor for the annual ‘Catwalk for a Cause’ event, which is organized by the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation.  The event, which will take place on Wednesday May 15 at Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) in Cornelius, N.C., and benefits Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte and the ‘Martin Truex Jr. Special Needs Fund,’ which was created at the hospital in 2011.  The event is a New York-style runway show featuring the hottest designer labels for spring and the highlight of the show is watching the benefitting children walk the Catwalk to raise money for their own cause.  There will also be a silent auction and raffle that will feature designer apparel, custom-made diamond jewelry, entertainment/dining packages and hand-painted pottery created by the children at Levine Children’s Hospital.  Tickets are available at

FROM DRIVER TO DEALER:  Camry driver Clint Bowyer opened the new Clint Bowyer Autoplex last week in his hometown of Emporia, Kan.  Bowyer, whose parents still live in the area, partnered with Davis-Moore Auto Group to purchase the Toyota dealership where he once worked, formerly called Emporia Motors.  The Clint Bowyer Autoplex is located across the street from the Clint Bowyer Community Building.  Last week, Bowyer was recognized for the purchase of the dealership during the 19th annual Toyota Motorsports Day at Toyota’s headquarters in Torrance, Calif.

SOCIAL MEDIA & WEBSITE:  Background and images about the Toyota NASCAR program are available at, @ToyotaRacing, and

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS):  Following the first five races of 2013, Kyle Busch is sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) point standings, trailing leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 36 points … Denny Hamlin (10th) and Matt Kenseth (11th) also rank in the top-12 … According to Joe Gibbs Racing, Hamlin suffered a L1 Compression Fracture following a last-lap accident during Sunday’s NSCS race at Auto Club Speedway … Clint Bowyer will compete in the second annual Celebrity Softball Game along with NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick on April 24 at the Harrisburg Senators Metro Bank Park in Harrisburg, Pa. … The teams will be made up of national and local motorsports media members and special guests … The Bobby Labonte Foundation will host the third annual ‘Share the Road Memorial Ride’ on May 19 in Trinity, N.C.  … The foundation benefits the Bikes Belong Foundation, which raises awareness and funds for cycling safety and children’s bicycle programs … The NSCS will have an off-weekend before competing at Martinsville Speedway on April 7.

CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-HOUR Energy Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
How exciting is it to see your name on the Toyota dealership?
“It’s super cool.  It’s a dealership that my brother (Casey) and I — it was one of our first jobs working at the Toyota dealership and certainly really neat to have Clint Bowyer Autoplex open.  It’s going to be a lot of fun.  There’s a lot of renovation work and a lot of stuff to do, but getting the doors opened up for business was really neat and a big day for me. We just do so much with the Clint Bowyer Community Building and it is right adjacent from the dealership.  It’s fun to go back there and give back.  Now that we’re a business owner in the community, we’ll be doing even more of that so it’s just really cool.”

How closely do you follow Kansas basketball?
“I would give anything to be watching and being around — especially the tournament games.  It’s so much fun.  Everybody that works for me went to Kansas State or is a K State fan.  Casey (brother) and I are the lone wolf KU fans, so it’s been fun to follow them.  It’s neat being from Kansas having Roy Williams go back to North Carolina.  It’s always been good because we’ve been able to beat North Carolina.  It’s certainly fun to roll into North Carolina country with all of your KU stuff on after a game.”

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How much does it mean to win at Auto Club Speedway for Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing?
“To get Joe Gibbs Racing in victory lane in California, that’s special.  To get TRD and Toyota in victory lane in California, of course that’s great too.  They’re not from too far from here.  Dave (Rogers, crew chief) and I have been working really hard and everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing has been working really hard and to finally seal the deal feels good.”

What are your plans for the off-weekend?
“Vacation.  Just hanging out with the wife (Samantha).  We’re going to go to a beach town.  Just hang out and spend some time on the sand.  Just kind of relax a little bit.  We’ve been working on a bunch of stuff at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) and a bunch of stuff at our new house.  It will be good to get away.”

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Are you looking forward to your Catwalk for a Cause Charity event?
“We’re super excited about it.  It’s the fourth year we’re having it and every year it’s gotten bigger and bigger.  This year we’re having it at Michael Waltrip Racing because we ran out of room at my building.  Everybody that works it volunteers and helps.  Our sponsors — Toyota has been a huge supporter of it and NAPA has as well.  To have it at Michael Waltrip Racing is really cool for us, I think we’re going to have over 500 people there.  It’s unique — nobody else in the sport does anything like it.  Everybody that comes has such a great time and we raise a lot of money at the kids at Levine.  It’s a great cause and we’re looking forward to it and it should be bigger than ever this year.”

NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS):  After five races in 2013, Parker Kligerman is eighth in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) point standings, trailing leader Sam Hornish Jr. by 56 points … Elliott Sadler (ninth) and Alex Bowman (10th) and also rank in the top-10 … Kligerman earned a career-best fifth-place result Saturday at Auto Club Speedway in the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 77 Camry … Toyota leads the NNS manufacturer point standings by six points … With his start in California, Kyle Busch has now made the most NNS starts (141) in a Camry … The NNS will be off for two weeks and returns to action at Texas Motor Speedway on April 12.

PARKER KLIGERMAN, No. 77 Toyota Camry, Kyle Busch Motorsports
How has your team owner Kyle Busch been a mentor?
“Kyle (Busch) is a great mentor as an owner and as a driver.  I like to tell the story when we were at Phoenix and in 10 minutes I learned more with him than I have with about most drivers I’ve met.  So, he has a great feel for these Toyota Camrys, he has a great feel for these race tracks — he’s obviously very talented and also very open about how to help you out and what you should do to get better.”

Do you have any plans during the two weeks the NNS is off?
“Austin Dillon and I were just talking about our plans for the time off.  I’m actually — Toyota has granted me the nice present of being able to try out a Lexus IS F for a month, so it comes on Monday and I was thinking maybe a little road trip to try it out and go experience the Toyota motor cars way and hopefully let’s go places.”

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 … Kyle Busch Motorsports drivers Joey Coulter, Erik Jones and Darrell Wallace Jr. will visit Martinsville Speedway on Wednesday … The Tundra drivers will give media hot laps around the track in a 2013 Camry pace car and will also take part in a media Q & A session following a luncheon at the track … Jones and Wallace will make their first starts at Martinsville Speedway next weekend when the NCWTS returns to action on April 6 after an extended break.


Series         Races         Starts         Wins      Top-5s      Top-10s         Poles         Times Led         Laps Led
NSCS             5          58 (14)           2          7           12             3               37               670
NNS              5          67 (17)           3          11          16             2               41               564
NCWTS            1          12 (12)           1          2            3             0                6                37

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