TOYOTA NASCAR NOTES & QUOTES April 2 – 8, 2012
TOYOTA TIDBITS MARTINSVILLE MASHUP: Martin Truex Jr. was the top-finishing Toyota driver in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Virginia’s Martinsville Speedway, taking home a fifth-place finish in an accident-extended race. Truex drove to the inside when the race leaders — including his Michael Waltrip Racing teammate, Clint Bowyer — collided during the first attempt at a green-white-checkered flag finish and Truex emerged with a top-five result. Bowyer recovered to finish 10th. Camry driver Denny Hamlin claimed sixth-place and led twice for 31 laps (of 515).
KING OF THE ROAD: Red Horse Racing teammates Timothy Peters and John King finished fifth and ninth, respectively, in their home state of Virginia at Martinsville Speedway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS). King, a native of Fort Blackmore, Va., who won the season-opening race in Daytona, started 32nd and meticulously worked his way through the field to record a top-10 finish and retain the lead in the NCWTS point standings. Peters, from nearby Danville, Va., started third and finished fifth to move into second-place in the NCWTS point standings — one point behind his Tundra teammate. Ross Chastain (seventh) and Jason Leffler (eighth) also guided their Tundras to top-10 finishes.
REACHING WORLD RECORDS:Many drivers will use the scheduled off -week to slow down and relax — but not Truex¸ who is aiming to set record speeds during the down time. Truex will travel to Huntsville, Ala., in an attempt to set multiple world speed records with his RC (radio-controlled) boat. The nine-year NSCS veteran currently holds three world speed records with his RC boat on oval course configurations in the International Model Power Boat Association (IMPBA).
SOCIAL MEDIA & WEBSITE: Follow Toyota Racing on Twitter (@ToyotaRacing) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/toyotaracing). Background and images about the Toyota NASCAR program are available atwww.toyotaracingmedia.com. NOTES, QUOTES & NUMBERS NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS): During the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season, Toyota drivers have combined for one victory (Phoenix), seven top-five results, 17 top-10 finishes, 454 laps led and two pole positions … After five races, Martin Truex Jr. ranks sixth in the series point standings, trailing leader Greg Biffle by 12 points … Denny Hamlin (seventh) and Clint Bowyer (ninth) also are among the top-10 in the standings … Truex’s fifth-place finish in Martinsville was Toyota’s 175th top-five result since joining NSCS competition in 2007 … Kyle Busch is currently participating in a two-day Goodyear tire test at Michigan International Speedway … Joey Logano will visit the New York International Auto Show on Sun., April 8.
MARTIN TRUEX JR, No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing When did you start racing RC (radio-controlled) boats? “It all started when I bought the house on the lake (in North Carolina). I’ve always been into RC cars and trucks and built them since I was a kid. Then I raced them with my buddies and stuff. When I moved to the lake, I decided I needed to get a boat. So, I bought one and I wasn’t happy with it so I did some looking around on the internet and found some stuff. Then I started building my own.” How many records do you hold? “Three world records. They are all three oval records, which is a timed oval. Two of them are on a one-third-mile course and one is a quarter-mile course. They are all sanctioned by IMPBA (International Model Power Boat Association).” Where will you be trying to set new records this weekend? “We got to the same place every time — Huntsville, Alabama. I’m going for three new oval records. One that I already have and want to lower it because I know I can. I’m going to try to go for a straight line record, which is straightaway speed. The record I’m going for in that is with a little 3.5 cc engine and it’s 103 miles per hour. I’m trying to go at least 105.”
CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing How will you spend your off week? “I’ve been moving my dirt shop (Clint Bowyer Racing) — we’ll be moving into my new dirt shop and my office. I finally have an office myself, so I’m looking forward to having my own office. I don’t have to share with anybody. When I lock the door, I know where stuff is because that’s where I left it last — somebody else didn’t pick it up and walk away with it, which usually happened before. I’m looking forward to that. Really proud of my dirt guys — they have been running so well. They won another race in the Lucas Oil Late Model Series. Jared Landers won and Jonathon Davenport has been running good in the other car. So much new with me, my life and my career — even our dirt program. It’s been a fun year.”
DAVE ROGERS, crew chief, No. 18 M&M’s Brown Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing How will this week’s Michigan tire test benefit your team? “Track time is valuable. Right now we’re on a very limited test schedule, so you don’t get to test on tracks that you real ly race on all that often. Whenever Goodyear offers up a track test or a tire test, you have to take it. It’s the only time we can go to the track and collect whatever data we want, whether it be tire temps, shock travels, what the driver’s doing in the cockpit — all that stuff is really valuable because we can bring that data back to the race. Although we won’t have a data system in the car when we’re racing, we can refer back to that data and ask the driver, ‘When is your car doing that? Show me on your data trace from the test when your car is doing that.’ Then you can look at all the vitals and you can see what might be causing the problem.” Can you evaluate the first part of your season? “I’m really proud of this race team. I think I have a bunch of tough guys on this race team. We went down to Daytona, we won the Bud Shootout and our (Daytona) 500 car wasn’t as strong. While most teams are sitting practices out, we were working. I think we logged more laps than any team down in Daytona — quite confident that my guys worked harder than anyone in Daytona. Kyle (Busch) just rode around and started to make his move at the very end, thought we had something for them and we got spun there at the exit of the tri-oval. Then the guys worked really hard at Vegas, Phoenix — we had to unload a backup car at Vegas — got back out on the track. We’ve been through some adversity and these guys have kept their heads up. They are keeping positive and we had a good, solid run at California. That shows me that we’re turning the corner and making progress. Pretty excited about it.”
JASON RATCLIFF, crew chief, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing How will your team spend this off week? “We try to go home the first part of the week and make sure that we’re in good shape for Texas or we have a good game plan. Then we just go our own way — let those guys have as many days off as you can possibly give them. Get a little ‘R&R’ and spend some time with their families. We’ll spend Monday, Tuesday and maybe even part of Wednesday making sure — what you don’t want to do is take time off and then come back and have to work late to get ready for Texas. As long as we’re in decent shape, we’ll take some days off for sure.” What does this off weekend do for your team? “It just gives you a breather. You don’t really get caught back up — I don’t know that you ever get caught back up — but it does give you a chance to catch your breath. You take that time and make sure you spend two or three days with your family and just really enjoy that.”
NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS): During the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season, Toyota drivers have combined for one win (California), four top-five results, 10 top-10 finishes, 387 laps led and three pole positions … After four races, Tayler Malsam ranks eighth in the series point standings … Mike Bliss (10th), Joe Nemechek (1 3th) and Kenny Wallace (14th) also rank among the top-15 in the standings … Brian Scott has been keeping busy with his sponsor Dollar General during the time off … This past weekend he attended the opening of the 10,000th store in Northern California … This week he will attend ‘Race Day’ for employees at the company’s headquarters in Tennessee … Scott will be joined by Dollar General teammates Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Jason Leffler and team owner Joe Gibbs … The NNS is in the second of two off-weeks before returning to action at Texas Motor Speedway on Fri., April 13.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS): Tundra drivers have registered one win, four top-five results and nine top-10 finishes during the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season … After two races, rookie driver John King leads the series point standings … Timothy Peters (second), Todd Bodine (10th), Ross Chastain (11th) and David Starr (12th) also rank among the top-15 in the standings … The NCWTS will return to action on Sun., April 15 for the series’ first-ever race at North Carolina’s Rockingham Speedway. TOYOTA 2012 NASCAR STATISTICS
Starts Series Races (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led NSCS 5 59 (15) 1 6 14 2 23 421 NNS 5 53 (16) 1 4 10 3 28 387 NCWTS 2 21 (13) 1 4 9 0 2 10