TOYOTA TIDBITS KING OF KANSAS: Camry driver Denny Hamlin won Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) at Kansas Speedway, marking the first Cup win by a Camry on the 1.5.-mile track. He took the lead after passing his Toyota teammate Martin Truex Jr. with 31 laps remaining. Hamlin led twice during the 267-lap Kansas race to claim his second win of the season. Truex finished second after leading a race-high 173 laps over four stints. Kyle Busch finished 10th and Joey Logano recorded a 15th-place result.
TWO TOP-FIVES IN TRUCKS: Tundra driver Timothy Peters (second) was the top-finishing Toyota driver in Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) in Kansas. His Red Horse Racing teammate Todd Bodine (fifth) also recorded a top-five result. Bodine led twice for five laps and Jason Leffler (18th) also led five circuits in the race. Tundra drivers Matt Crafton (12th), John King (13th) and Dakoda Armstrong (15th) also posted top-15 finishes in Kansas.
CAMRYS CAPTURE CHECKERS: Camry drivers have captured 40 wins on 20 tracks since joining NSCS competition in 2007 and Toyota has most frequently visited victory lane at Richmond International Raceway (RIR) — where Camry drivers have claimed five checkered flags. Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) drivers Busch and Hamlin posted five-consecutive victories at Richmond from 2009 through 2011. Busch finished first in three consecutive spring NSCS races at Richmond (2009-2011) and Virginia-native Hamlin won back-to-back fall races (2009 and 2010).
IT’S DENNY TIME: When racing in Richmond, Hamlin is characteristically a contender — he has led 1,188 laps in 12 starts at his home track. Leading laps in 10 of 12 Richmond races, Hamlin has an average of 99 circuits led in each event. His 1,188 laps led rank second among active drivers at RIR, trailing only Jeff Gordon, who has led 1,413 circuits in 38 starts.
ANTICIPATED ARRIVAL: Action sports superstar Travis Pastrana will make his much-anticipated NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) debut at RIR driving the RAB Racing No. 99 Camry. Pastrana, whose 2011 debut was delayed by an injury, has been racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) in preparation for his NNS debut. The 28-year old has a best result of 12th in the NKNPSE and finished sixth in the 2011 Toyota All-Star Showdown.
HOKIE, HOKIE, HOKIE, HI: A large number of Virginia Tech graduates work in the garages of Joe Gibbs Racing. JGR employs at least nine Hokies, including crew chiefs Darian Grubb (Hamlin) and Kevin Kidd (Brian Scott), both Virginia natives, and the team’s vice president of operations, Todd Meredith, among others. In addition, JGR driver and Virginia- native Hamlin is also a Hokie fan.
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 at www.toyotaracingmedia.com.
NOTES, QUOTES & NUMBERS NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS): Through eight races, Martin Truex Jr. is second in the series point standings, trailing leader Greg Biffle by 15 points … Denny Hamlin (fifth), Clint Bower (11th) and Joey Logano (12th) also rank in the top-12 in the standings … By virtue of his Kansas win, Hamlin became the 40th driver in NSCS history to record 19 NSCS victories … One additional win by Hamlin would make the No. 11 the first car number in NASCAR history to reach 200 wins … Truex has posted five consecutive top-10 results, his longest streak in NSCS competition, and seven top-10s in the last 10 races … Truex has earned more points (363) than any other driver during that 10-race span … Three Camry drivers — Busch (5.0), Hamlin (7.6) and Bowyer (10.5) — have the highest average finishes at Richmond among active drivers … Hamlin will host the annual Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown charity race at Richmond on Thurs., April 26 … Toyota will sponsor the FanZone at the Short Track Showdown … Hamlin, FedEx and The Salvation Army will deliver home goods to a family in Tuscaloosa, Ala. on May 3 … Mark Martin will host his eighth annual fan appreciation event on May 5 in his hometown of Batesville, Ark. … Hamlin’s crew chief, Darian Grubb, is a native of Floyd, Va. … Brad Donaghy, the front tire carrier on the No. 18 Camry, hails from Orange County, Va. … Tyler Nelson, an assistant engineer on the No. 56 Camry, is from Fredericksburg, Va.
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Are you excited to return to Richmond? “We’ve got a lot of stuff leading up — we have our big Short Track Showdown coming up on Thursday, so we’ve got a lot of planning. I obviously need to go to Richmond early to get some stuff done. We’re excited. I love going to Richmond anyway, but any time you can go after winning the previous week, it makes it a little more exciting. I’m excited about it. It’s a big weekend, and obviously winning in Kansas is a great step to trying to get some promotion for that.”
TOYOTA NASCAR NOTES & QUOTES – April 23 – 29, 2012 — Page 2
CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing What makes Richmond a ‘racer’s track’? “Richmond is an awesome race track and I’d definitely say it’s a ‘racer’s track.’ It just means you can pass, you can control your destiny a little bit more than these bigger race tracks we’ve been on here lately. It’s a lot of fun to climb up on the wheel and make things happen.”
Why is Richmond a unique short track? “Richmond is a little bit bigger — it’s the perfect size race track. It’s just big enough you get that sensation of speed as a fan and short enough that we can still beat and bang and rip and gouge on one another and try to win that thing. I think it makes for a good atmosphere on racing.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Brown Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing What is it about Richmond that suits your driving style? “I’m not sure exactly what it is about Richmond that fits my style. When I first went there in the Trucks I was terrible and then they repaved the place. I went there in a Nationwide car with Hendrick Motorsports and pulled off a win right away. It’s been a good track for me ever since then with both the Nationwide and the Cup Series and I have just taken a liking to it. You have to be so technical there. The speeds are really high, but yet it’s a short track. You really have to be on top of your game to be sure that the car stays under you.”
Why is Joe Gibbs Racing strong at Richmond? “I think a lot of it comes from Denny (Hamlin). Denny and I really feed off each other an awful lot in Richmond. We use each other a ton there just to be sure we can beat the rest of the competition, of course. We do like similar setups there unlike other mile-and-a-half tracks or two-mile tracks where we don’t run very similar setups. Richmond is one of those places that we both know what it takes to get around there and we’re both similar to one another that we both run well.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Brakes Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing What do your consistent results say about your team and MWR? “It’s kind of a statement for us that we’re here for the long haul, we’re here for the rest of the season — we’re not just a flash in the pan. We’ve been solid each week and I know our wins are going to come. We just need to keep running like we are.”
NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS): After six races, Tayler Malsam ranks eighth in the series point standings … Mike Bliss (10th) also ranks among the top-10 in the standings … Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch swept the 2011 NNS races at Richmond — winning the spring and fall races, respectively … Joey Logano has the highest average finish (6.3) and high average starting position (3.3) among active drivers in the NNS at Richmond … Kevin Kidd, crew chief for Brian Scott, calls Tazewell, Va. his hometown … Two Virginia natives work on the No. 20 Camry — Joel Wiedman from Richmond and Chris Jones of Glade Hill … Kyle Busch Motorsports has two crew members from Virginia — engineer Joey Cohen of Chesapeake and engine tuner Jason Watkins of Ridgeway … RAB Racing engineer Cliff Daniels is from Smithfield, Va.
TRAVIS PASTRANA, No. 99 Boost Mobile Toyota Camry, RAB Racing What are your expectations for your Nationwide Series debut? “It’s just a matter of getting out there, not getting in trouble, but still trying to be aggressive and not just getting taken advantage of in the first couple of laps. I think for me, it’s going to be wanting to get aggressive and go as I’ve always done, but at the same time think don’t crash, don’t make a fool of yourself and don’t cause any trouble. I’m looking forward to getting the first race — I shouldn’t say over with — I’m looking forward to getting in that car in the first race. But after the first race, we’ll know a lot more where we sit. We’ll know where to improve on, and hopefully we’ll make it up all the laps. My goal is to stay and be on that lead lap in the end. If we can do that and not crash, it would really set a lot of confidence for me going into the next round.”
Will your past racing success translate to NASCAR? “Yeah, for sure. I think anyone that’s been at the top of any sport understands what it takes and that is total passion and commitment. No matter what you think someone’s doing, if they’ve made it to the top of their sport at one point, they eat, sleep, and breathe that sport. You have to only think about that sport. You have to only do that sport. There are different techniques, but the same mindset. So I think we’re coming to play and it’s going to be good.”
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS): After four races, Timothy Peters leads the series point standings … John King (eighth) and Matt Crafton (10th) also are in the top-10 in the standings … The NCWTS takes two weeks off before returning to action on May 18 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
TOYOTA NASCAR NOTES & QUOTES – April 23 – 29, 2012 — Page 3
TOYOTA 2012 NASCAR STATISTICS
Series Races Starts Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led (Drivers) NSCS 8 95 (15) 2 10 22 3 36 728 NNS 6 64 (17) 1 5 11 3 31 399 NCWTS 4 43 (15) 1 9 14 0 9 67
TOYOTA DRIVER ROSTER – Richmond International Raceway NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Freight Camry J.J. Yeley, No. 49 JPO Absorbents Camry Clint Bowyer, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Camry Mark Martin, No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Camry Kyle Busch, No. 18 M&M’s Brown Camry Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA Brakes Camry Mike Bliss, No. 19 Humphrey Smith Racing Camry Landon Cassill, No. 83 Burger King/Dr. Pepper Camry Joey Logano, No. 20 Home Depot Camry Joe Nemechek, No. 87 AM/FM Energy Stoves Camry David Stremme, No. 30 Inception Motorsports Camry Travis Kvapil, No. 93 Burger King/Dr. Pepper Camry Bobby Labonte, No. 47 Bush’s Beans Camry
NASCAR Nationwide Series Jeff Green, No. 10 Camry Joey Logano, No. 20 Dollar General Camry Brian Scott, No. 11 Dollar General Camry Mike Bliss, No. 44 TriStar Motorsports Camry Eric McClure, No. 14 Hefty/Reynolds Wrap Camry Kurt Busch, No. 54 Monster Energy Camry J.J. Yeley, No. 17 LLC-Excel Therapy Specialists Camry Jason Bowles, No. 81 American Majority Camry Denny Hamlin, No. 18 Z-Line Designs Camry Joe Nemechek, No. 87 SWM International Camry Tayler Malsam, No. 19 G-Oil Camry Travis Pastrana, No. 99 Boost Mobile Camry
WEEKEND RACE SCHEDULE Fri., April 27 — NNS @ Richmond International Raceway — 7:00 PM (EST), ESPN2 — Race 7 of 33 Sat., April 28 — NSCS @ Richmond International Raceway — 7:00 PM (EST), FOX — Race 9 of 36