This Week's Races:
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series:
Saturday, July 28, Qualifying @ Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 10:10 AM (ET)
Sunday, July 29, Allstate 400 at the Brickyard @ Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2:00 PM (ET)
Race #20 of 36
NASCAR Busch Series:
Saturday, July 28, Qualifying @ O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, 4:35 PM (ET)
Saturday, July 28, Kroger 200 @ O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, 8:00 PM (ET)
Race #22 of 35
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series:
Friday, July 27, Qualifying @ O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, 4:30 PM (ET)
Friday, July 27, Power Stroke Diesel 200 @ O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, 8:00 PM (ET)
Race #14 of 25
HISTORY HERE: This weekend's race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) marks the first time a Toyota Camry will compete in NASCAR competition at the ‘Brickyard.' Although a Toyota-powered Indy car driven by Gil de Ferran captured the checkered flag in the 2003 Indianapolis 500, the NASCAR Camry has never competed at the 2.5-mile oval.
KISS THE BRICKS: Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, has kissed the bricks twice at IMS following his wins at the famed race track in 1996 and 1999. During his career, Jarrett has led 186 laps at the Indiana oval, including 117 of 160 laps en route to a victory in the 1999 event. He is just one of two drivers with more than one win at the Brickyard (the other being Jeff Gordon).
FOUR CORNERS: "Indianapolis is a difficult race track," says Jarrett, "it's a totally unique track with four distinct corners. If you're off just a little bit, it really magnifies because of the long straightaways. The teams that are on their game are usually the ones you'll see doing well."
TERRY TAKES OVER: Terry Labonte, a two-time NASCAR Cup champion (1984 and 1996) with 11 career starts at Indianapolis, will pilot the No. 55 NAPA Camry as a substitute for regular driver and team owner Michael Waltrip. Labonte recently sat in for Waltrip at the Infineon Raceway road course in June. "It takes everything working right to run well at Indy," says Labonte. "The car needs to handle well. It needs a lot of downforce to get through the corners and it has to have a lot of power. The car has to handle well because it has four turns that require you to get through them so you can carry your momentum heading into the long straightaways. It's a lot easier to run well there when you have a car that has a lot of horsepower -- it's definitely a horsepower track."
UNEXPECTED: AJ Allmendinger, driver of the No. 84 Red Bull Camry, wouldn't have expected to be racing stock cars at IMS as recently as five years ago. "If someone asked me about racing a stock car at Indy, I would have said -- ‘You're crazy,'" says Allmendinger. "But, I've quickly learned -- especially with everything that happened to me last year -- you never know what you're going to get in your career. I've lived a pretty comfortable life in the sense that I was with the same team in Atlantics and moved up to Champ Car with them for three years. Then, I found out what racing is really like -- you get fired and go to a new team, and you switch series. Now, I know that it's a racing career and it's a racing life, and one day to the next you never know what's going to happen. So, I could be on jet skis next week – you never know."
QUALIFYING COUNTS: "Indianapolis is a pretty tough track to get a hold of because there are such flat corners and such long straightaways," says Doug Richert, crew chief of the No. 83 Red Bull Camry driven by Brian Vickers. "You have to set-up your car to go through the corners as good as you can, and you need a lot of grip to get through the corner and head down the straights. We're going to put a lot of emphasis on qualifying, just like we do every week and we're also hoping for good qualifying results."
DIFFERENT VIEW OF TWO: "Indianapolis is unique in that it has four true corners," says Joe Lax, crew chief of the No. 36 360 OTC Camry driven by Jeremy Mayfield. "The long straightaway corners are so much different than the short chute corners. Turns one and three are different than turns two and four because you carry so much speed into one and three. Two and four have a slower entry which creates different handling characteristics, both aerodynamically and mechanically. There's a big balance difference and you have to walk a tightrope as far as how the car will handle all the way around the track."
HAVING HOMER ALONG FOR THE RIDE: David Reutimann, driver of the No. 00 Burger King Camry, will hit the Brickyard this weekend having Homer Simpson along for the ride. The Michael Waltrip Racing entry will feature a customized Simpsons-themed paint scheme in conjunction with the release of ‘The Simpsons Movie.' Burger King has launched Simpsonizeme.com, an interactive website that will convert digital photos of consumers into personalized Simpsonized versions of themselves. Fans will also have a chance to be Simpsonized in a specialized photo booth that Burger King Corp., will set up in the Toyota Pit Pass Experience display at IMS.
HELICOPTER IS HELPFUL: This weekend, Camry drivers Dave Blaney and David Reutimann will compete at both IMS and O'Reilly Raceway Park (ORP) at Indianapolis. Like many of the drivers pulling double-duty in Indianapolis, Blaney will utilize a helicopter to make the six-mile trip between the two facilities to compete in Saturday's Busch Series event and Sunday's NEXTEL Cup race. "I guess we have it worked out to use a helicopter," says Blaney. "I think you really only have to go over and back once, so I don't think it will be all that tough. I think we're set on missing only one practice session in the Busch car and I'm planning on being at the rest of the practices."
TRIO IN TOP-10: Three Camrys -- Reutimann (third), Jason Leffler (fourth) and Todd Bodine (10th) -- finished in the top-10 in Saturday night's Busch Series race at Gateway International Raceway outside St. Louis. The trio battled for Toyota's first NBS win, leading a total of 38 laps in the event and running one-two-three late in the race. This marks the third time three Camrys have finished in the top-10 this season -- the other two events with three Toyotas in the top-10 were at Nashville Superspeedway (April 7) and the Milwaukee Mile (June 23).
BUSCH POINTERS: Following Saturday night's NBS race at Gateway International Raceway, Reutimann remains second in the championship point standings. Leffler now sits in the fifth position in the standings after his fourth-place finish in St. Louis, and Blaney falls one position to sixth.
TOP TUNDRAS: After 13 of 25 races, five Tundra drivers currently sit in the top-eight in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) championship point standings. Mike Skinner, following a win last time out at Kentucky Speedway, is the current points-leader. He is being chased by fellow Tundra drivers Todd Bodine (third), Johnny Benson (sixth), Jack Sprague (seventh) and Ted Musgrave (eighth) as the series begins the second half of the season this weekend at ORP.
TUNDRA TIME: Tundras have won seven of 13 Craftsman Truck Series races this season, and have started from the pole in 11 of those events. Points-leader Mike Skinner has won four times (California, Atlanta, Martinsville and Kentucky), while Jack Sprague (Daytona), Todd Bodine (Texas) and Johnny Benson (Milwaukee) have one win each. Skinner has seven of Toyota's 11 poles (Atlanta, Martinsville, Kansas, Charlotte, Mansfield, Dover and Milwaukee), while Sprague (Daytona), Bodine (Texas), Brad Keselowski (Memphis) and Ryan Mathews (Kentucky) have each started from the front of the field once.
SKINNER LEADS: Craftsman Truck Series points-leader Mike Skinner has been nearly unbeatable this season. The 1995 series champion has finished inside the top-eight in all 13 races, including four wins, 11 top-five finishes and seven poles. Skinner has also led 789 laps in NCTS competition this season, 425 more laps than the next closest driver (Ron Hornaday). The Daytona Beach, Fla.-driver has completed every lap of the season to-date.
AGE IS JUST A NUMBER: With his victory at Kentucky (July 14), Skinner became the second NCTS driver -- and sixth driver in NASCAR history -- to win a race after turning 50. Skinner, who celebrated his 50th birthday on June 28, joined Joe Ruttman as a 50-year-old NCTS race-winner. Other NASCAR drivers who have recorded race wins after their 50th birthday include Harry Gant (18 NBS wins), Bobby Allison (two NNCS wins), L.D. Ottinger (two NBS wins) and Dick Trickle (two NBS wins).
HYBRIDS HIT INDY: The Toyota ‘Highway to the Future: Mobile Hybrid Experience' will make a pit stop in Indianapolis during at the Allstate 400 weekend. This traveling, interactive exhibit offers the opportunity for race fans to learn about alternative fuels, hybrid technology -- how it works and its benefits, Toyota's related developments over the years and what each of us can do to make a difference in the environment. It will be set up outside IMS's main entrance, and days/hours of operation are Friday, July 27, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Saturday, July 28, 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, July 29, 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.toyota.com/highway.
LOCALLY RAISED: Toyota produces a handful of vehicles in the Hoosier state. The Tundra, Sequoia and Sienna are produced in Princeton, where the facility employs more than 4,600 workers and makes an investment of more than $2.6 billion into the local economy. In Lafayette, the Camry is produced at a facility with approximately 1,000 associates. During 2007, over 460,000 Toyota vehicles are expected to be produced in the state of Indiana. Toyota also has an industrial equipment manufacturing facility in Columbus, where pneumatic and cushion-tire, internal combustion and electronic forklifts are produced.
HAPPY 50th: Toyota is celebrating its 50th anniversary in the U.S. in 2007 and operates 10 manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and assembles approximately half the vehicles it sells in America. In addition, Toyota, its dealers and manufacturing plants employ close to 150,000 individuals in the U.S.
BROADCAST BITS: The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race will be televised on ESPN and broadcast on IMS Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio (Channel 128). NEXTEL Cup qualifying will be televised on ESPN2, and broadcast on IMS Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio (Channel 128). The NASCAR Busch Series race will be televised on ESPN2, 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 programs and the manufacturer's NASCAR program is available at www.toyotamotorsports.com.
IMAGES INFORMATION: Members of the media can access Toyota photography by registering at www.toyotamotorsportsmedia.com.
2007 TOYOTA DRIVER/TEAM ROSTER 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 Terry Labonte No. 55 NAPA Toyota Camry Michael Waltrip Racing David Reutimann No. 00 Burger King® Toyota Camry Michael Waltrip Racing AJ Allmendinger No. 84 Red Bull Toyota Camry Team Red Bull Brian Vickers No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry Team Red Bull NASCAR Busch Series Driver Car Team Dave Blaney No. 10 Fan1st.com 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 Driver Truck Team Johnny Benson No. 23 360 OTC Toyota Tundra Bill Davis Racing Ryan Mathews No. 22 Toyota Tundra Bill Davis Racing Mike Skinner No. 5 Toyota Tundra Bill Davis Racing Justin Labonte No. 00 Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota Tundra Darrell Waltrip Motorsports 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 David Green 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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