April 1, 2007 - Martinsville, Va. - In Sunday afternoon's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Martinsville Speedway, Dale Jarrett was the top-finishing Camry among the five Toyotas in the field at the Virginia half-mile oval. Jimmie Johnson held off a charging Jeff Gordon to capture the checkered flag in the 500-lap event.
The Martinsville race marked the second time this season that the NASCAR 'Car of Tomorrow' (COT) was used in a NEXTEL Cup event. Last week, at Tennessee's Bristol Motor Speedway, the COT made its racing debut.
Jarrett, driver of the No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, started 38th and finished 28th in his Michael Waltrip Racing entry. He battled handling problems throughout the day.
"Getting the car to turn was really our biggest challenge of the weekend," said Jarrett, after the race. "We made adjustments to the car at every pit stop to see if we could make it any better, and nothing seemed to work. It's frustrating, but the guys did a great job on pit road today. We'll learn from today and get ready for Texas."
Jarrett's Michael Waltrip Racing teammate David Reutimann, driver of the No. 00 Domino's Toyota Camry, ended his day at Martinsville in 33rd-place. Reutimann also faced handling troubles throughout the day.
"We fought the handling on the car since the drop of the green," said Reutimann, after the race. "We just kept throwing things at the car -- as far as adjustments go -- and couldn't seem to get it where we needed to be. We were pretty happy with the car in the final practice session yesterday and it seemed that no matter what we tried in the race, nothing helped. It just wouldn't turn in the center of the corner and it seemed like a lot of guys were fighting the same thing. But we're not going to get down, we'll just keep working at it."
Trailing Jarrett and Reutimann to the finish line were Toyota drivers Dave Blaney (37th), AJ Allmendinger (38th) and Jeremy Mayfield (40th). Toyota drivers Brian Vickers (No. 83 Red Bull Camry) and Michael Waltrip (No. 55 NAPA Camry) failed to qualify for the race.
The next race on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup calendar is at Texas Motor Speedway, April 15.
In Saturday afternoon's Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville, Mike Skinner won his third consecutive series race when he guided his No. 5 Bill Davis Racing Toyota Tundra to victory lane in the Virginia half-mile.
Skinner started from the pole and led all but six laps in a dominant performance en route to the win. It was Skinner's second victory at Martinsville and the 22nd Craftsman Truck Series win of his career, as well as his sixth triumph in a Toyota Tundra.
Toyota has now accumulated 29 wins since joining the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at the beginning of the 2004 season. In addition, Toyota drivers have captured the checkered flag in the first four races – Daytona (Jack Sprague), and California, Atlanta and Martinsville (Mike Skinner) – of the 2007 campaign.
"We didn't expect to win this race and we certainly didn't expect to sit on the pole," said Skinner, after the race. "This was really cool. It wasn't a fluke today, our Tundra was just hauling -- it was awesome and Jeff Hensley (crew chief) gave me great stuff again. This is about as good as it gets."
Tundra drivers Todd Bodine (second), Ted Musgrave (fifth), Aaron Fike (seventh), Tyler Walker (eighth) and Johnny Benson (10th) also scored top-10 finishes at Martinsville. Rookies Fike and Walker registered the best finishes of their NCTS careers.
Other Tundra racers in the field were Terry Cook (15th), Jack Sprague (16th) and AJ Allmendinger (27th).
The next race on the Craftsman Truck Series calendar is at Kansas Speedway, April 28.
Toyota NNCS Finishing Positions at Martinsville Speedway
28th, DALE JARRETT
33rd, DAVID REUTIMANN
37th, DAVE BLANEY
38th, AJ ALLMENDINGER
40th, JEREMY MAYFIELD
DNQ, BRIAN VICKERS
DNQ, MICHAEL WALTRIP
Toyota Drivers in the NNCS Point Standings following Martinsville Speedway race**
37th, DALE JARRETT 399 Points
38th, DAVE BLANEY 377 Points
40th, BRIAN VICKERS 299 Points
43rd, DAVID REUTIMANN 214 Points
49th, JEREMY MAYFIELD 109 Points
50th, AJ ALLMENDINGER 92 Points
**Unofficial Point Standings
Toyota NCTS Finishing Positions at Martinsville Speedway
1st, MIKE SKINNER
2nd, TODD BODINE
5th, TED MUSGRAVE
7th, AARON FIKE
8th, TYLER WALKER
10th, JOHNNY BENSON
15th, TERRY COOK
16th, JACK SPRAGUE
27th, AJ ALLMENDINGER
Toyota Drivers in the NCTS Point Standings following Martinsville Speedway race (Unofficial)
1st, MIKE SKINNER 745 Points
2nd, TODD BODINE 651 Points
5th, TED MUSGRAVE 600 Points
6th, JACK SPRAGUE 564 Points
8th, JOHNNY BENSON 543 Points
10th, AARON FIKE 497 Points
19th, TERRY COOK 385 Points
20th, AJ ALLMENDINGER 375 Points
22nd, TYLER WALKER 373 Pointsspeedway.
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