TOYOTA NASCAR NOTES & QUOTES Week of October 3 – 9, 2011 TOYOTA TIDBITS
MONSTER MILE REWIND: Two Camry drivers earned top-10 finishes in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Dover International Speedway. Kasey Kahne was the highest finishing Toyota driver with a fourth-place result and Chase for the Sprint Cup contender Kyle Busch finished in sixth-place. Mayetta, N.J.-native Martin Truex Jr. earned the pole for the NSCS race at his ‘home track.’ On Saturday, Martin’s brother, Ryan Truex, was the top Toyota finisher in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Dover with an eighth-place result in the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) No. 20 Camry. Brian Scott (11th), Michael Annett (12th) and Joey Logano (13th) also earned top-15 results.
CHASE RACE THREE: Sunday’s NSCS race at Dover marked the third of 10 playoff races in the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Camry drivers Busch and Hamlin are both competing in this year’s Chase. Busch’s sixth-place result at Dover moved him to just 15 points behind current leader Kevin Harvick, but he fell to eighth-place in the standings. Hamlin currently sits 12th in the point standings and 69 points behind the leaders with seven races remaining.
CHECKING ON KENTUCKY: In Saturday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Kentucky Speedway, Brian Ickler was the highest finishing Tundra driver with a fifth-place result — his second top-five in three series starts this year. Tundra drivers Todd Bodine (seventh) and David Starr (10th) also earned top-10 finishes in Kentucky.
RETURN TO KANSAS: The NSCS will return to Kansas Speedway this weekend for the second time this year — a first for the Kansas race track. In the June NSCS race, Hamlin was the highest finishing Camry driver when he crossed the finish line third. Hamlin led the field three times for 34 laps (of 267) in the JGR No. 11 FedEx Camry. Busch (12th), Kahne (14th), Brian Vickers (16th) and Truex Jr. (20th) also earned top-20 results in June at the 1.5-mile track. Overall, Hamlin has two top-five finishes in seven starts at Kansas, including a fifth-place result in the 2009 event while Busch has recorded one top-10 in eight starts with a seventh-place finish in 2006.
THREE IN A ROW: Toyota drivers have earned three consecutive NNS wins in the JGR No. 20 Camry at Kansas Speedway. Logano notched back-to-back victories in 2009 and 2010, while Hamlin earned a win in the No. 20 in 2008 — where he clinched Toyota’s first manufacturer’s championship in the series. Logano won from the pole position last year with Camry drivers Busch (third) and Truex Jr. (fifth) also finishing in the top-five.
CAMRY CHAMPION: The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) ended the 2011 season last Friday at Dover with Camry driver Darrell Wallace Jr. earning his third victory this year. A third-place result by Toyota driver Max Gresham secured the 2011 NKNPSE championship — his first NASCAR championship. Gresham, a JGR development driver, had two wins and 11 top-10 finishes in 12 races this season. The 18-year-old Griffin, Ga.-native’s title marks the second owner’s championship for JGR in the series and the third straight series title for a Toyota driver — Ryan Truex won in 2009 and 2010.
NOTES, QUOTES & NUMBERS NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS): Since the start of the 2011 season, Toyota drivers have combined for five victories, 31 top-five results, 60 top-10 finishes and have led 2,138 laps . While a Toyota Camry has captured the checkered flag at 19 of 23 active tracks on the NSCS schedule since entering series competition in 2007, Kansas Speedway marks one of four tracks where the Camry is still seeking its first NSCS win . John Royer, the front tire changer on the No. 20 NSCS Camry, is from Otis, Kan., located approximately 250 miles from Kansas Speedway . Hamlin will join FedEx and American Red Cross at Mark Twain Elementary in Kansas City, Kan., Thurs. afternoon to teach children how to prepare for emergencies . FedEx will also donate $10,000 to the Red Cross, Kansas City Region, and a portion of the donation will be used to build emergency kits at the event to send to areas and families in need as part of the FedEx ‘Race to Prepare’ program.
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing How do you feel about heading back to Kansas? “I’m looking forward to it. We ran really strong in the Kansas race in the spring and really 1.5-mile tracks in general have been good to us here lately as far as our performance. We look forward to going back to them. It’s the normal type races of what we have during the season Tracks like Dover and New Hampshire these past two weeks have kind of been one off race tracks where you really can’t get a good feel for where your program is at.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing (continued) What are your thoughts on the Kansas repaving next spring? “I like the track the way it is. I like old surfaces, personally. I think that lends itself to two and three-wide racing better than what new-paved race tracks do. But, if the track is torn up to where they can’t have a race and be safe there than they’ve got to do what they’ve got to do. You look around the race track and they’re building a lot of stuff around there. It’s a great venue and obviously we get a lot of fan support when we go out there.”
Are you looking forward to the ‘Race to Prepare’ event you’re doing with FedEx in Kansas? “What we’ve been doing with those events is going into different places where kids go for recreation and while we have some fun with them, we try to teach them how to prepare for whatever disasters really strike that area the most, whether that’s floods, hurricanes, tornados and things like that. Obviously, we’ve seen what natural disasters have happened over these last six months or so that anything is possible. We’re just trying to inform these kids of what they can teach their parents as far as getting prepared for what unforeseeable might happen.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing What changes have you seen over the years at Kansas Speedway? “Kansas is a typical cookie-cutter-type race track that we always call a mile-and-a-halfs that have that layout. It’s got older asphalt now, but that’s going to change for next year. The surface has matured a little bit over the years. It’s a race track where you can move all over the place. You can go from the bottom all the way to the top. Typically, when we repave these places you’re always stuck to the bottom. It’s the fastest way around. The shortest way around. Sometimes there’s not a lot of grip. It’s got good age to it. It’s got some character. There are definitely some things about it that are different than other race tracks that we go to and that’s what the drivers like. We don’t want to see a Charlotte, a Texas and Atlanta all the same. They’re all so different. But, yet from the naked eye looking above, they’re all laid out the same. So, you would think that they drive the same, but they’re completely different.”
Are you looking forward to returning to Kansas Speedway for the second time this season? “I think we need to be better than I have run there before. Dave (Rogers, crew chief) and all the guys in the shop have worked really hard to be as prepared as possible for Kansas. We were much better at Chicago this year, even though our results didn’t show it, and the guys went to work to bring an even better car to Kansas this weekend and it’s a very similar layout to Chicago. The banking is just a little bit different but, other than that, it’s really similar. I’ve had some success with JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) and Hendrick (Motorsports) in the Nationwide Series there, and I’m hoping, with a little more experience and knowledge, I can do that in the Cup car at Kansas, as well. This weekend would be a great time to get it figured out and, hopefully, have a good solid top-five day with our M&M’s Camry.”
NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS): During the 2011 season, Toyota drivers have combined for 10 wins, 33 top-five results, 74 top-10 finishes and have led 1,578 laps . Kenny Wallace (seventh) is the top Toyota driver in the NNS point standings . Steve Wallace (eighth), Brian Scott (ninth) and Michael Annett (10th) are also in the top-10 . Ryan Truex will drive his fifth race in the JGR No. 20 Camry this weekend at Kansas after finishing eighth last weekend at Dover.
BRIAN SCOTT, No. 11 Shore Lodge Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Are you looking forward to the rest of the 2011 season? “I’m excited to continue on with the rest of the season because lately we’ve been a lot stronger than our finishes have represented and now we’re getting the finishes that our performance dictates. That’s good. I feel like this team’s really starting to click and hit on it and it gets me excited for the end of this year and really for next year.”
RYAN TRUEX, No. 20 Schick Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Are you looking forward to racing at Kansas after your strong run at Dover last weekend? “I’ve got confidence we can run strong. We’ve proved every weekend — we’re up there every weekend. I just need some luck to go my way. It’s frustrating when you have cars as good as at Dover and stupid things take you out. Eighth at Dover isn’t bad, but we should have been at least third. We’ll head to Kansas and try again. Two months ago if I finished eighth I would have been ecstatic and now I’m disappointed about that, so I’ve got to be grateful for where I’m at and the opportunities I’ve got.”
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS): Since the start of the 2011 NCWTS season, Tundra drivers have registered nine wins, 31 top-five results, 60 top-10 finishes and have led 1,026 laps . After 20 races, Timothy Peters (fourth) is the top Toyota driver in the NCWTS points standings . Tundra drivers Todd Bodine (ninth), David Starr (12th), Brendan Gaughan (13th) and Miguel Paludo (15th) are also in the top-15 in the points . With his start last Saturday at Kentucky Speedway, Bodine has now registered the most starts in a Tundra, racing in 177 events since Toyota began competing in the NCWTS in 2004 . The NCWTS has a weekend off before returning to action October 15 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
TOYOTA 2011 NASCAR STATISTICS Series Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led NSCS 29 342 (18) 5 31 60 7 201 2,138 NNS 29 224 (22) 10 33 74 5 94 1,578 NCWTS 20 216 (29) 9 31 60 3 55 1,026
TOYOTA DRIVER ROSTER – Kansas Speedway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series David Reutimann, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Camry Kasey Kahne, No. 4 Red Bull Camry Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Freight Camry Casey Mears, No. 13 GEICO Camry Kyle Busch, No. 18 M&M’s Camry Joey Logano, No. 20 Home Depot Camry Bobby Labonte, No. 47 Bush’s Beans-Kingsford Camry Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Camry Michael McDowell, No. 66 Victory Junction Camry Brian Vickers, No. 83 Red Bull Camry Joe Nemechek, No. 87 NEMCO Motorsports Camry
NASCAR Nationwide Series Kenny Wallace, No. 09 Family Farmers Camry Brian Scott, No. 11 Shore Lodge Camry Joey Logano, No. 18 GameStop Camry Ryan Truex, No. 20 Schick Camry Michael Annett, No. 62 Pilot Flying J Camry Steve Wallace, No. 66 5-Hour Energy Camry Joe Nemechek, No. 87 NEMCO Motorsports Camry
WEEKEND RACE SCHEDULE Sat., Oct. 8 — NNS @ Kansas Speedway – 2:30 PM (CT), ESPN2 — Race 30 of 34 Sun., Oct. 2 — NSCS @ Kansas Speedway – 1:00 PM ( CT), ESPN — Race 30 of 36