TOYOTA NASCAR NOTES & QUOTES Week of October 10 – 16, 2011
KANSAS RECAP: Kasey Kahne finished second in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Kansas Speedway — his second consecutive top-five finish in as many weeks. The 31-year-old Enumclaw, Wash., native battled race-winner Jimmie Johnson on the final restart of the event, but wasn’t able to catch the five-time series champion. Kahne’s second-place finish was the 300th top-10 finish for a Camry driver since Toyota joined the series in 2007. Joey Logano (seventh) and Ryan Truex (10th) earned top-10 results in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at the 1.5-mile oval.
CHASE RACE FOUR: Sunday’s NSCS race at Kansas marked the fourth of 10 playoff races in the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Camry drivers Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin are both competing in this year’s Chase. Busch’s 11th-place result at Kansas dropped him to 20 points behind current leader Carl Edwards, and he remains eighth in the standings. Hamlin currently sits 12th in the point standings and is 79 points behind the leader with six races remaining.
CLINT COMING OVER: On Friday in Kansas it was announced that Clint Bowyer would join Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) for the 2012 NSCS season. Bowyer will drive the No. 15 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry. The 32-year-old Emporia, Kan., native has competed in the NSCS for seven years and has four wins, 30 top-five results and 91 top-10 finishes. He has also contended for the Chase for the Sprint Cup in three of those seasons with his best result of third coming in 2007.
CAN KYLE CATCH CHARLOTTE CHECKERS?: Busch has 23 career NSCS race wins, but a victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) has eluded the 26-year-old racer. Busch has earned one pole (May 2008) at the speedway, along with five top-five results and eight top-10 finishes in 15 career starts. However, the 1.5-mile oval is one of only six circuits on the current 23 track NSCS schedule where Busch has yet to take a victory bow following a Sprint Cup event.
REUTIMANN REVELED IN RAIN: David Reutimann earned his first career NSCS victory — and gave MWR its first series win — in the 2009 rain-postponed and shortened Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. Reutimann’s crew chief Rodney Childers elected to keep the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Camry out on the track during a caution just past the halfway point (lap 222), where he led five yellow flag laps before the race was red-flagged due to heavy rain — and never restarted. The victory marked the first Sprint Cup win for a TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development)-built engine since Toyota joined the series in 2007.
FOLLOWING FAMILY: Growing up watching brother Martin Truex Jr.’s NASCAR success, 19-year-old Ryan Truex has now made the NASCAR ranks. After competing for Pastrana-Waltrip Racing (PWR) earlier this season, Truex signed a six- race NASCAR Nationwide Series deal with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) and earned his career-best NNS finish of fourth-place last month at Richmond International Raceway. Truex will compete at Charlotte driving the PWR No. 99 Camry. Truex, whose father Martin Truex, was a race-winner in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, won the 2009 and 2010 K&N Pro Series East championships and posted 15 top-five finishes in 22 races over three seasons.
LOOKING TO LAS VEGAS: Tundra drivers have recorded three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) wins at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In 2005, Todd Bodine started third and led 114 laps (of 152) en route to victory lane. He also won the pole at the 1.5-mile oval in 2009. The 47-year-old Chemung, N.Y.-native has 21 career victories — all in a Toyota — and is the 2006 and 2010 series champion. Mike Skinner, who started one series race earlier this year, captured the Las Vegas checkered flag twice (2006 and 2008) in a Tundra and also swept pole positions in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
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NOTES, QUOTES & NUMBERS
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS): Since the start of the 2011 season, Toyota drivers have combined for five victories, 32 top-five results, 61 top-10 finishes and have led 2,146 laps . The 2011 Waltrip Brothers’ charity golf tournament will take place in Nashville, Tenn. Oct. 19 and 20 to benefit Motor Racing Outreach and Victory Junction . The ‘Better Half Dash’ to benefit Motor Racing Outreach and Speedway Children’s Charities will take place on Saturday night prior to the start of the NSCS race with wives and girlfriends of NSCS drivers and crew chiefs competing in Bandelero cars on the quarter-mile track on the frontstretch of CMS . There will be several participants in the ‘Better Half Dash’ with Toyota connections . Jami McDowell (wife of Michael McDowell), Tricia Mears (wife of Casey Mears), Angie Skinner (wife of Mike Skinner), Sabrina Simpson (girlfriend of Joey Logano) and Nan Zipadelli (wife of crew chief Greg Zipadelli) are all competing in the charity race.
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Do you enjoy the night race at Charlotte? “Charlotte is always fun because it’s cool for us. It’s my favorite track, but it’s cool for a lot of teams because it’s kind of ‘close to home.’ I like going there. It makes things interesting with the night race — practicing during the day and racing at night with the cooler temperatures. You’ve got to put your best foot forward and work as hard as you can.”
DAVE ROGERS, crew chief, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Are you looking forward to Charlotte and the remaining Chase races? “We’re excited for the rest of the Chase. When we saw the schedule this winter we knew that the first four races — Dover we’re typically pretty good at — but Loudon, Kansas, Chicago, those were the tracks that we were the most concerned with. We had a good opportunity to make up some points at Kansas and should have, but we didn’t capitalize. I’m really optimistic going forward to Charlotte.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing What is it like to have Charlotte as the only Saturday night race in the Chase? “We look forward to Charlotte. It’s a home race for us. Even though it’s not the All-Star race, it’s got an All-Star type feel to it. Obviously, a night race in the Chase is big for any race track, but especially big being in the backyard of everyone’s house. I just look forward to it. We run well there so I’m excited to go.”
Is your team more worried about wins or consistency in the final races? “We’re not worried about consistency at all at this point. I’m sure you’re going to see us very spiky over these next few weeks trying a lot of different things to work on different packages to get better. I feel like there’s some stuff within our cars that we need to work on, but we’re not going to get to that until next year. It takes a long process to develop cars when drivers want to change them. It takes a long time to get it done. So, I feel like we’ve got some good things in the works. As long as everyone is open-minded at the shop these next weeks to a bunch of radical changes, I think that we have the potential to head in the right direction. I think that you’ll see in the next two to three weeks that we will be heading in the right direction.”
KASEY KAHNE, No. 4 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team How would you like to finish the year with the Red Bull team? “The biggest thing to me would be to leave on a good note. There’s a lot of people there working really hard and unsure about maybe their future and where they’re going to work next year, and they’re still putting everything they have into our race cars each week. That’s pretty awesome on their part. Kenny Francis (crew chief) just always is looking, him and Keith Rodden (engineer), they’re always looking to make the car just a little bit better, how can I do this, how can I do that, so we’re always working together trying improve.”
NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS): During the 2011 season, Toyota drivers have combined for 10 wins, 33 top-five results, 76 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 . In May, Kyle Busch earned his sixth career NNS victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway in his 14th Nationwide Series start at the track . Ryan Truex will compete in the $100,000 Nationwide Insurance ‘Dash 4 Cash’ after qualifying with his fourth-place finish at Richmond.
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 . Gaughan grew up in Las Vegas and returned this season to the NCWTS where he has enjoyed success over the years . In 181 career NCWTS races, Gaughan has eight wins, 33 top-five finishes, 60 top-10 results and three pole positions.
BRENDAN GAUGHAN, No. 62 Big O Tires Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing How do you feel about an afternoon race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway? “The Vegas race is on Saturday afternoon. It’s the first time that I can remember it being an afternoon race, so it will be a different setup than what we normally run. Our strong run at New Hampshire is our precursor for heading to Las Vegas. We’re taking the New Hampshire truck to Vegas. It has been to the wind tunnel recently and it has a different downforce balance than our other chassis. I think I’m gonna like the truck there. Obviously for me, it’s one of the more important races on the schedule and I know this 62 team is hoping to see their Tundra up front. It will be a red, white and blue paint scheme for the Big O Tires service centers — so it will be a fresh look for us and all of our the fans out there.”
TOYOTA 2011 NASCAR STATISTICS
Series Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
NSCS 30 353 (18) 5 32 61 7 202 2,146
NNS 30 231 (22) 10 33 76 5 94 1,578
NCWTS 20 216 (29) 9 31 60 3 55 1,026
TOYOTA DRIVER ROSTER – Charlotte Motor Speedway & Las Vegas Motor 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 Express 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 Lance Snacks-Tom’s Camry Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Camry Mike Skinner, No. 60 Big Red Camry Michael McDowell, No. 66 HP Racing LLC Camry Brian Vickers, No. 83 Red Bull Camry Joe Nemechek, No. 87 NEMCO Motorsports Camry
NASCAR Nationwide Series Kenny Wallace, No. 09 Thank You Fans! Camry Brian Scott, No. 11 Doosan Camry Kyle Busch, No. 18 Z-Line Designs Camry Joey Logano, No. 20 GameStop Camry Michael Annett, No. 62 Pilot Flying J Camry Steve Wallace, No. 66 5-Hour Energy Camry Kevin Conway, No. 87 Extenze Camry Joe Nemechek, No. 97 NEMCO Motorsports Camry Ryan Truex, No. 99 Pastrana-Waltrip Racing Camry
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Todd Bodine, No. 5 International Truck Tundra Miguel Paludo, No. 7 Stemco Duroline Tundra Butch Miller, No. 07 Riviera Hotel Tundra Max Papis, No. 9 GEICO Tundra Timothy Peters, No. 17 Gearwrench Tundra Brian Ickler, No. 18 Toyota Tundra Josh Richards, No. 51 Joy Mining Machinery Tundra Brendan Gaughan, No. 62 Big O Tires Tundra David Starr, No. 81 Chasco Constructors Tundra
WEEKEND RACE SCHEDULE Fri., Oct. 14 — NNS @ Charlotte Motor Speedway – 7:30 PM (ET), ESPN2 — Race 31 of 34 Sat., Oct. 15 — NCWTS @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway — 3:30 PM (ET), SPEED — Race 21 of 25 Sat., Oct. 15 — NSCS @ Charlotte Motor Speedway – 7:30 PM (ET), ABC — Race 31 of 36