August 21, 2007 - Brooklyn, MI - Two Toyota Camrys finished in the top-10 at Tuesday's rain-delayed 3M Performance 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series (NNCS) race at Michigan International Speedway. Dave Blaney finished sixth in his No. 22 Caterpillar Camry and Brian Vickers finished eighth in his No. 83 Red Bull Camry. This marks the first time two Camrys have finished in the top-10 at a NNCS race.
Blaney quietly ran within the top-15 throughout much of the 200-lap race and made his way into the top-10 in the final laps. This sixth-place finish for Blaney is his second top-10 of 2007 as he finished ninth at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"Tommy Baldwin (crew chief) kept getting the car a little bit better as the race went on," said Blaney following today's race. "After our last pit stop the car just took off -- we were one of the fastest cars out there on the race track. We got some yellows there and weren't sure how we'd end up, but we still ended up good. We are happy with it. If we can run like that most of the days and get better and better with no problems -- that's a great day."
Blaney and his Bill Davis Racing team will head to Bristol Motor Speedway this week with a secured starting position as a result of moving into the 35th position in owner's points following today's race.
"It's a big relief to get into the top-35, but you have to enjoy a nice run like this even more than that," continued Blaney. "When you can run like this you are not going to be out of the top-35 long. If we can keep this up week in and week out -- we'll be fine."
Vickers led 11 laps in the race en route to his third top-10 finish of the season. The Team Red Bull Camry spent nearly the entire race, 164 of 200 laps, within the top-10 and was able to take the checkered flag eighth.
"We had a decent car," said Vickers following today's race. "We were at our worst on the last restart. We were just too tight -- we took two tires and no fuel. We are definitely improving, we just need to keep working on it. We've gotten better and better -- these guys do a great job. Toyota brought a new package this weekend -- a new intake manifold -- and that helped."
To-date Toyota has a total of six top-10 finishes this season in NNCS competition. In addition to Vickers' fifth-place finish in Charlotte (May), he was 10th at California (February) and eighth at Michigan. Other top-10s have been registered by Michael Waltrip, who finished 10th at Michigan (June), and Dave Blaney was ninth at Indianapolis (July) and sixth at Michigan.
David Reutimann finished 23rd in his No. 00 Dominos.com Camry and Waltrip finished 40th in his No. 55 NAPA Camry after an accident on lap 92.
The next race on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule is Saturday, August 25 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Brian Vickers and Todd Bodine gave Toyota two top-10 finishes in NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) action at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday. Vickers crossed the finish line sixth in his No. 10 Fan1st.com Camry and Bodine recorded an eighth-place finish in his No. 03 Germain Racing Camry.
Vickers, who was making just his second NBS start of the year for the Braun team, started on the outside of row one and led three times for 18 laps during the race. Despite a couple of mishaps in the pits that pushed him deep in the field, he managed to make his way back into the top-10.
"We had a great car, but we messed up and gave the race away in the pits," said Vickers, after the race. "We had a slow pit stop -- we came in first and came out 35th the first stop, and we didn't get all the gas in the car. The caution came out and we worked our way back up to second -- then we had to pit and went to the back again. That pretty much did us in. The race was green from that point forward. We charged as hard as we could and we were the fastest car on the race track for most of the race -- we just lost too much ground starting at the back and we couldn't make it up."
Bodine, who was making his just his second Busch Series start this year for Germain Racing to earn the team a second top-10 result. It was his third NBS start of the season.
"Our race was pretty good," said Bodine, after the race. "We started out a little tight and made some adjustments and got a little loose -- we then adjusted it back and it got a little tight. For just our second race and our first time on a big track -- we're learning what the car needs. It's different than what we're used to in the Craftsman Truck Series. It's been a while since we ran a car, so we're gaining on it."
Camry drivers Jason Leffler and David Reutimann also earned top-20 results at Michigan. Leffler guided his No. 38 Great Clips Camry to a 12th place finish and David Reutimann ended up 16th in the No. 99 Dominos.com Camry.
It was the fourth time a Camry started on the outside of the front row in the Busch Series, in addition to two NBS poles earlier in the year. In addition, the two top-10 results for the Camry in the Busch Series were the 27th and 28th top-10 finishes of the season.
The next race on the NASCAR Busch Series schedule is Friday, August 24, at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Toyota NNCS Finishing Positions at Michigan International Speedway 6th, DAVE BLANEY 8th, BRIAN VICKERS 23rd, DAVID REUTIMANN 40th, MICHAEL WALTRIP DNQ, JEREMY MAYFIELD DNQ, DALE JARRETT DNQ, AJ ALLMENDINGER Toyota Drivers in the NNCS Point Standings following Michigan International Speedway ** 33rd, DAVE BLANEY 1,689 points 39th, BRIAN VICKERS 1,262 points 40th, DAVID REUTIMANN 1,006 points 41st, DALE JARRETT 948 points 46th, JEREMY MAYFIELD 630 points 48th, AJ ALLMENDINGER 464 points 51st, MICHAEL WALTRIP 356 points **Unofficial Point Standings Toyota NBS Finishing Positions at Michigan International Speedway 6th, BRIAN VICKERS 8th, TODD BODINE 12th, JASON LEFFLER 16th, DAVID REUTIMANN Toyota Drivers in the NBS Point Standings following Michigan International Speedway ** 3rd, DAVID REUTIMANN 2,883 points 4th, JASON LEFFLER 2,741 points 12th, DAVE BLANEY 2,252 points **Unofficial Point Standings
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