This Week's Races:
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series:
Saturday, April 28, Qualifying @ Talladega Superspeedway, 11:15 AM (ET)
Sunday, April 29, Aaron's 499 @ Talladega Superspeedway, 2:30 PM (ET)
NASCAR Busch Series:
Friday, April 27, Qualifying @ Talladega Superspeedway, 5:05 PM (ET)
Saturday, April 28, Aaron's 312 @ Talladega Superspeedway, 2:30 PM (ET)
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series:
Saturday, April 28, Qualifying @ Kansas Speedway, 2:30 PM (ET)
Saturday, April 28, O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 @ Kansas Speedway, 5:30 PM (ET)
TOYOTAS AT TALLADEGA: Toyota has made one start at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway when the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) made its first visit to the track last October. Tundra drivers finished in four of the top-five positions and seven of the top-10 spots. Two of those drivers who competed at Talladega will compete in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Talladega. AJ Allmendinger, driver of the No. 84 Red Bull Toyota Camry, made his Talladega debut a year ago in the NCTS race and finished fifth while David Reutimann, driver of the No. 00 Domino's Camry, finished sixth.
TALLADEGA TROPHIES: Toyota drivers have earned a total of four wins at Talladega. Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 44 UPS Camry, has two wins (1998, 2005), Michael Waltrip, driver of the No. 55 NAPA Camry, has one win (2003), and Brian Vickers, driver of the No. 83 Red Bull Camry, earned the most recent win at the Alabama speedway (2006). Jeremy Mayfield, driver of the No. 36 360 OTC Camry, has also found success at Talladega, earning three poles (1996, 2000, 2003).
VICKERS VICTORY: Vickers earned his first career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series victory in last October's race at Talladega. Vickers has earned three top-15 finishes this season, including a 10th-place result at California Speedway -- the best finish by a Camry in NNCS competition thus far. Vickers also finished 15th at Bristol (March 25) and 14th at Texas (April 15).
VICKERS ON TALLADEGA: "I like Talladega, I think it's a great race," says Vickers. "Hopefully we'll be able to qualify a little better than the last time we were at a restrictor plate race. Qualifying is so important already, but at Talladega we won't have the "150s" to lean on. I enjoy this race track, it's a lot of fun and I really enjoy restrictor plate races."
LAST LAPS: This week's race at Talladega marks the last race at the track where the current NASCAR NEXTEL Cup car will be raced. When the series returns to the track in October, teams will be required to use the Car of Tomorrow (COT). While the teams will have a chance to test the COT at Talladega in early September, some drivers have already taken laps at the track in the COT. "Actually, we ran the COT after last fall's race at Talladega," says Dave Blaney, driver of the No. 22 Caterpillar Camry for Bill Davis Racing. "A few of us were there running on Monday and it was really no different from the current car."
DAVE DISCUSSES TALLADEGA COT: "NASCAR will control the speed of the cars with the restrictor plates and get us running as fast as they want us," says Dave Blaney. "The cars suck up a little better than the normal cars so you get a little better 'slingshot'. You definitely suck up to the car in front of you better. I think they will put on a little different race at Talladega than we've seen in the past."
MAYFIELD MUSINGS: "Running the current car this week at Talladega and then switching to the COT when we come back in October is really not too much of a problem for me," says Jeremy Mayfield. "I think it's great that we're going to run that car here in October because it's going to show how much progress we've made. The fans are going to be the ones who say which one they like best – based on how good of a show we put on and how close the racing is. Whether they like the first race or the second race, that will tell the story."
PIZZA PARTY: David Reutimann's No. 00 Camry will carry the winning paint scheme of the Domino's 'Great Debate' in Sunday's Aaron's 499 NEXTEL Cup race. Consumers have voted online for the past month for the Philly Cheese Steak pizza or the Brooklyn style pizza, the winning pizza will be featured on Reutimann's car in Talladega.
HORSEPOWER: Dale Jarrett's No. 44 Camry will have a special 'Kentucky Derby 133' paint scheme this weekend at Talladega. The car will feature artwork to commemorate the 133rd annual running of the Kentucky Derby, which will be held on Saturday, May 5.
WALK OF FAME: Two Toyota drivers, Michael Waltrip and Jeremy Mayfield, are among the drivers that have been nominated for induction into the Talladega Texaco Hall of Fame. Voting on the driver to be inducted will take place through July 15, 2007 at www.talladegawalk.com, and the winner will be part of a ceremony in downtown Talladega in October.
BUSCH BATTLE: All three NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) Camrys have maintained their positions in the top-15 of the championship point standings following the Phoenix event. Dave Blaney, driver of the No. 10 Braun Racing Camry, maintains his second-place position in points following his 10th-place finish at Phoenix. David Reutimann, driver of the No. 99 Michael Waltrip Racing Camry, finished 12th at Phoenix and remains fifth in the series standings, and Jason Leffler, driver of the No. 38 Braun Racing Camry, finished 18th and moved up to 14th in points.
HOLY GUACOMOLE: Hass Avocados of Mexico will serve as the primary sponsor on the No. 10 Camry piloted by Dave Blaney for the first time this season. The last race where Hass Avocados of Mexico adorned Blaney's Busch car was at Lowe's Motor Speedway (October 2006) where Blaney earned his first and only NBS win.
DREAM BIG: David Reutimann's No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Camry will carry a special paint scheme during Saturday's NBS race. Nine-year-old, Marina Sansom from Madres, Oregon created the winning design of the 'Color Your Way to Talladega' sweepstakes. Sansom and her family will attend the race to see her florescent crayon design come to life in the Aaron's 312.
CHEMISTRY IN KANSAS: With the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) heading to Kansas Speedway for the third time in series history, Tundra drivers are hoping to capture their second win and third straight pole at the track. Todd Bodine drove his No. 30 Germain Racing Toyota Tundra to victory lane at Kansas in 2005. Tundra drivers Mike Skinner (2006) and Bill Lester (2005) have both earned pole positions at the track. Last year, Mike Skinner was the top-finishing Toyota Tundra driver at the track when he crossed the finish line fifth.
TRIUMPHANT TERRY: Terry Cook, driver of the No. 59 HT Motorsports Tundra, returns to Kansas Speedway this weekend as the defending O'Reilly 250 race winner. Last year, Cook recovered from a flat tire with 18 laps to go with excellent pit strategy and a strong truck to take the race win. "The win at Kansas last year was pretty special," says Cook. "It was one of those weekends where even when things went wrong, we overcame them easily. We cut a right-front tire down early and went a lap down with a green-flag pit stop. Fortunately, we were able to drive back through the field and get our lap back. Then, we powered to the front leading the last 40 laps to get the win. It was a big deal because it had been 94 races since my last win at Indianapolis."
TUNDRAS WITH TROPHIES: Mike Skinner, driver of the No. 5 Bill Davis Racing Tundra, has won the three most recent Craftsman Truck Series races at Martinsville (March 31), Atlanta (March 16) and California (February 23). In addition, Jack Sprague, driver of the No. 60 Con-Way Freight Tundra, captured the checkered flag in the Daytona season-opener, giving Toyota wins in all four NCTS events this year.
WISE UP: Josh Wise will make his NCTS debut this weekend at Kansas. Wise will pilot the No. 00 Aaron's Lucky Dog Tundra for Darrell Waltrip Motorsports. "I've waited for what seems like forever to get into the truck and race," says Wise. "This is an outstanding opportunity for me and a big step in my career. The testing that I've done in the ARCA series and in the Tundra has really prepared me for this race. I've been trying to put as many pieces of the puzzle together before actually racing. I've asked tons of questions and tried to learn from those around me. I've listened and watched different drivers to learn from their strong points."
TUNDRAS ON TOP: Tundra drivers hold four of the top-six spots in the NCTS championship point standings. After four races, Mike Skinner sits atop the NCTS point standings. Tundra drivers trailing Skinner in the standings are Todd Bodine (second), Ted Musgrave (fifth) and Jack Sprague (sixth). Aaron Fike, driver of the No. 1 Red Horse Racing Tundra, leads the Rookie-of-the-Year standings and is currently 10th in the overall standings.
CAMRYS AT KANSAS: Two Camrys will participate in Friday's ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Kansas. Josh Wise will drive the No. 22 ESR Development Team Camry and Bobby Santos III will drive the No. 02 Bill Davis Racing Camry. Wise has competed in one ARCA race this season finishing 36th at Daytona. Santos has been in two ARCA events this season with a best finish of 18th at Nashville. Santos earned the pole and led 116 laps at the USA International Speedway event before an on-track accident took him out of the race.
WEST COAST CAMRY: Kyle Cattanach will make his debut this Saturday in the NASCAR Grand National Division West Series behind the wheel of a Camry for Melo Motorsports. Cattanach, a native of Redding, Calif., will join the series as they compete at the 'fastest half-mile in the west', the Altamont Motorsports Park in Tracy, Calif. This weekend's event is the third of the 14-race season for the Grand National Division West Series.
COUNTLESS CAMRYS: Production of the Toyota Camry started on Friday, April 20 in Lafayette, Ind. at the Subaru of Indiana manufacturing plant. The plant intends to produce 100,000 Camrys annually and employ 1,000 associates. Toyota currently produces 11 vehicle models in North America and employs more than 41,000 people.
MOTOR MADNESS: Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama, Inc. is located in Huntsville, Ala., approximately 150 miles northwest of the Talladega Superspeedway. The facility is the only one in North America that produces V8 engines for Toyota with more than 115,000 produced by 480 employees in 2005. In addition to the V8 engines, the Alabama facility also produces V6 engines for Toyota cars and trucks, totaling more than 168,500 made in 2005.
MILE MARKERS: Toyota wants to recognize those proud Tundra and Tacoma owners who have achieved 200, 300, and even 400 thousand miles on their trucks. These owners can visit www.toyotatrucknation.com and share adventures and photos of their trucks. Visitors to Toyota Truck Nation will also have a chance to purchase special t-shirts, license plate frames and window stickers to show pride in their high-mileage Toyota truck.
MANUFACTURING IN MISSISSIPPI: Toyota broke ground on its eighth vehicle manufacturing plant in North America in Blue Springs, Miss., last week. Production is scheduled to begin in 2010 with 2,000 employees who will produce the Toyota Highlander SUV. Annual vehicle capacity at the plant will be 150,000 units bringing Toyota to approximate North American production capability of 2.2 million cars and trucks annually.
BROADCAST BITS: The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race will be televised on FOX and broadcast on MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio (Channel 128). NEXTEL Cup qualifying will be televised on SPEED, and broadcast on MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio (Channel 128). The NASCAR Busch Series race will be televised on ABC, and broadcast on MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio (Channel 128). The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race will be televised on SPEED, and broadcast on MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio (Channel 128).
BACK STORY: Background information on Toyota's motorsports activities and the Toyota NASCAR program is available at www.toyotamotorsports.com.
IMAGES INFORMATION: Members of media can access Toyota images at www.toyotamotorsportsmedia.com.
2007 TOYOTA DRIVER/TEAM ROSTER TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY, APRIL 28-29 (NNCS & NBS) KANSAS SPEEDWAY, APRIL 28 (NCTS) NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Driver Car Team Dave Blaney No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry Bill Davis Racing Jeremy Mayfield No. 36 360 OTC Toyota Camry Bill Davis Racing Dale Jarrett No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry Michael Waltrip Racing David Reutimann No. 00 Domino's Toyota Camry Michael Waltrip Racing Michael Waltrip No. 55 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry Michael Waltrip Racing Brian Vickers No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry Team Red Bull AJ Allmendinger No. 84 Red Bull Toyota Camry Team Red Bull NASCAR Busch Series Driver Car Team Dave Blaney No. 10 Hass Avocados from Mexico Toyota Camry Braun Racing Jason Leffler No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry Braun Racing David Reutimann No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry Michael Waltrip Racing NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Drive Truck Team Johnny Benson No. 23 360 OTC Toyota Tundra Bill Davis Racing Mike Skinner No. 5 Toyota Tundra Bill Davis Racing Tyler Walker No. 36 360 OTC Toyota Tundra Bill Davis Racing Josh Wise No. 00 Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota Tundra Darrell Waltrip Racing Todd Bodine No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota Tundra Germain Racing Ted Musgrave No. 9 Team ASE Toyota Tundra Germain Racing Terry Cook No. 59 HT Motorsports Toyota Tundra HT Motorsports Aaron Fike No. 1 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra Red Horse Racing Jack Sprague No. 60 Con-Way Freight Toyota Tundra Wyler Racing
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