Here Are the Headlines: Busch Best Camry at Charlotte Martinsville Memories for Toyota Camrys Competing in St. Louis
RACE REVIEW: Camry driver Kyle Busch crossed the finish line second in Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS). Busch started sixth in the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry and led six times for a race-high 217 (of 334) laps, looking poised to win his first NSCS race at CMS. However, a debris caution with 24 laps to go bunched the field and Busch was passed by eventual race-winner Jamie McMurray on the ensuing restart. He held off a charging Jimmie Johnson to earn a second-place finish. Camry drivers Denny Hamlin (fourth), Joey Logano (seventh) and David Reutimann (ninth) also earned top-10 results at Charlotte.
CHASE CAMRYS: Hamlin’s fourth-place finish, coupled with Johnson’s third-place result, extended Johnson’s lead in the unofficial NSCS Chase standings to 41 points over Hamlin (second in points) after five of 10 races in the Chase. Busch climbed four spots to fifth in the standings, putting him 177 points behind the leader.
DENNY TO DEFEND: Hamlin has been victorious the last two times the NSCS visited Martinsville Speedway — in March 2010 and October 2009. The Chesterfield, Va.-native led a race-high 206 (of 501) laps last fall, and another race-high 172 (of 508) laps earlier this year, to capture both checkered flags. Hamlin has earned a total of three NSCS wins at Martinsville. He scored his first win driving a Toyota in March 2008.
MARTINSVILLE MAGIC: The half-mile Martinsville Speedway is one of the most successful tracks for Toyota racers in both the NSCS and NCWTS. In NSCS competition, Martinsville (three wins) is second only to its fellow Virginia track Richmond International Raceway (four wins) for the total number of NSCS victories by Camry drivers since 2007. The track has been just as successful for Tundra drivers who have earned six wins since Toyota entered the NCWTS in 2004, which is second only to the eight victories that have been earned by Tundra racers at Texas Motor Speedway. Tundra drivers who have visited victory lane at Martinsville include David Starr (March 2006), Jack Sprague (Oct. 2006), Mike S kinner (March and Oct. 2007), Johnny Benson (Oct. 2008) and Timothy Peters (Oct . 2009).
ST. LOUIS SUCCESS: This October’s race marks the third year Toyota Camrys have competed at Gateway International Raceway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS). Last July, Busch won the race from the pole position, and two years ago Logano led 42 laps in the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) No. 20 entry en route to a runner-up finish in his first start at the 1.25-mile paved track located near St. Louis. Braun Racing’s Jason Leffler earned back-to-back fourth-place finishes at Gateway in 2007 and 2008. Earlier this year, Toyota drivers combined for four top-10 finishes in July — Reed Sorenson (second), Trevor Bayne (third), Steve Wallace (fifth) and Brian Scott (sixth). Bayne also started from the pole position and led 19 laps.
TIMOTHY’S TURF: Tundra driver Peters scored his first career NCWTS victory last October at Martinsville Speedway. The Danville, Va.-resident led the final 84 laps en route to victory lane at his ‘home’ track. Before joining Red Horse Racing midway through the 2009 season, Peters ran his NCWTS operation out of his home 30 miles from Martinsville. This season, Peters is teamed with veteran crew chief Jeff Hensley, a Ridgeway, Va.-native and former NNS driver. The duo saw immediate results, winning the season-opening race at Daytona.
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 31 396 (30) 10 34 70 5 170 2,412 NNS 31 331 (33) 16 66 130 16 165 3,110 NCWTS 20 190 (26) 12 46 97 9 91 1,696
WEEKEND RACE SCHEDULE: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series @ Martinsville Speedway, Sunday, Oct. 24 @ 1:00 PM (ET), ESPN — Race 32 of 36
NASCAR Nationwide Series @ Gateway International Raceway, Saturday, Oct. 23 @ 3:30 PM (ET), ESPN2 — Race 32 of 35
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series @ Martinsville Speedway, Saturday, Oct. 23 @ 1:00 PM (ET), SPEED – Race 20 of 25