Here Are the Headlines:
Denny Delivers in Richmond
Hamlin, Busch Have Chance in Chase
Tundras Return to ‘Magic Mile’ RICHMOND RECAP: Camry driver Denny Hamlin was victorious in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Richmond International Raceway (RIR). Hamlin led six times for a race-high 251 (of 400) laps at the three-quarter-mile track en route to his series-best sixth victory of 2010 in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry. Three other Toyota drivers — Kyle Busch (second), Joey Logano (fourth) and Marcos Ambrose (fifth) — also recorded top-five finishes at RIR. Hamlin, from Chesterfield, Va., now has two wins (September 2009 and 2010) and six top-10 finishes in 10 NSCS starts at Richmond.
CHASE CHANCES: Hamlin and Busch will carry the Toyota banner in the 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Hamlin enters the 10-race, 12-driver playoff as the top seed with his six victories, holding a 10-point advantage over four-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson. This year marks Hamlin’s fifth consecutive Chase appearance since joining the series in 2006, when he finished a career-high third in the final standings. Busch starts his fourth career Chase tied for third in the standings with Kevin Harvick — each with three wins — just 30 points behind Hamlin.
LOUDON LUCK: The Chase will kick off Sunday with a 300-lap event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS). Hamlin has one win (spring 2007) and six top-10 finishes in nine starts at the one-mile oval, including a runner-up result in the first Chase race last season. Busch has five top-10 finishes in 11 NHMS starts, including a victory in the spring of 2006. Logano, from Middletown, Conn., became the youngest winner in NSCS history in the June 2009 race at NHMS, while Dave Blaney earned Toyota’s first ever NSCS pole in June 2007 at the track.
RACE REWIND: Trevor Bayne (third) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Friday evening’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at RIR. Bayne started eighth in the Diamond-Waltrip Racing No. 99 Out! Pet Care Camry and matched his career best NNS result — a third-place at Gateway International Raceway in July. Camry drivers Reed Sorenson (fifth), Hamlin (sixth) and Busch (ninth) also recorded top-10 finishes at RIR. Busch remains third in NNS points following Richmond, despite running only 22 of 27 events. Toyota drivers Bayne (seventh), Steve Wallace (eighth), Jason Leffler (ninth) and Brendan Gaughan (10th) are also in the top-10 in points with eight races remaining on the 2010 schedule.
TUNDRA TIME: The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) returns to action Saturday at NHMS. Toyota has three NCWTS victories at Loudon since joining the series in 2004 — Travis Kvapil (2004), Johnny Benson (2006) and Busch (2009). Last year, Busch led 75 (of 200) laps en route to victory lane. Todd Bodine continues to lead the series point standings after 18 of 25 races this season, holding a 261-point advantage over fellow Toyota driver Aric Almirola heading into Saturday’s race.
SPONSAFIER 2 VOTING: Toyota Racing announced the 100 national semi-finalists from the ‘Sponsafier 2’ contest on Tuesday, Sept. 14. Fans can vote from Sept. 14 through Sept. 23 for their favorite paint scheme designs at www.toyotaracing.com. The winning design will be unveiled at Phoenix International Raceway, Nov. 14.
BACK STORY: Background and images on the Toyota NASCAR program are available at www.toyotamotorsportsmedia.com.
TOYOTA 2010 NASCAR STATISTICS: Series Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led NSCS 26 337 (29) 10 30 58 5 153 2,130 NNS 27 288 (29) 13 56 113 13 136 2,655 NCWTS 18 169 (24) 11 44 89 8 80 1,532
WEEKEND RACE SCHEDULE: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series @ New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Sunday, Sept. 19 @ 1:00 PM (ET), ESPN — Race 27 of 36 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series @ New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Saturday, Sept. 18 @ 3:00 PM (ET), SPEED — Race 19 of 25