NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series (NNCS):
Friday, November 2, Qualifying @ Texas Motor Speedway, 4:40 PM (ET)
Sunday, November 4, Dickies 500 @ Texas Motor Speedway, 3:30 PM (ET)
Race 34 of 36
NASCAR Busch Series (NBS):
Friday, November 2, Qualifying @ Texas Motor Speedway, 6:35 PM (ET)
Saturday, November 3, O'Reilly Challenge @ Texas Motor Speedway, 3:30 PM (ET)
Race 33 of 35
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS):
Thursday, November 1, Qualifying @ Texas Motor Speedway, 8:00 PM (ET)
Friday, November 2, Silverado 350k @ Texas Motor Speedway, 9:00 PM (ET)
Race 23 of 25
HISTORY HERE: This weekend's race at Texas Motor Speedway marks the second trip to the ‘Lone Star State' for the Toyota Camrys in NNCS competition. In the initial visit to the one-and-a-half-mile Texas oval in April, three Camrys started the race and Brian Vickers recorded the best result -- a 14th-place finish -- in the No. 83 Red Bull Camry. The other Camry drivers in the field were Dave Blaney and Dale Jarrett.
MORE HISTORY HERE: Since the 2004 season, Toyotas have participated in seven NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) races at Texas Motor Speedway. Todd Bodine has four NCTS victories at the track -- winning one race in each of the past four years (2004-07), including a victory from the pole this past June. Mike Skinner has been the fastest NCTS qualifier four times at the Texas oval -- starting first once in 2004 and 2006, and twice in 2005.
LAST RACE: In the most recent NNCS race at Atlanta Motor Speedway (Oct. 28), four Toyota drivers -- Vickers (10th), Michael Waltrip (11th), AJ Allmendinger (16th) and Jarrett (19th) -- registered top-20 finishes at the one-and-a-half-mile Georgia oval.
BETTER FOR BRIAN: In Atlanta, Vickers recorded his fifth top-10 finish of the season -- the most top-10 finishes among the Toyota drivers. "We know that we can race well, but we just need to figure out what we have to do to qualify better," says Vickers. "I think what we did at Atlanta was a huge step in that direction. For the first time in a long time, we not only made the race, but we were contending for the fastest time in practice and we were in the top-15 in qualifying. What we applied at Atlanta is not going to work at every track, but it's going to work at a lot of them."
TRIO OF TOP-20S: Waltrip, driver of the No. 55 NAPA Camry, has had three consecutive top-20 finishes in the three most recent races at Atlanta, Martinsville and Charlotte. "It's three in a row in the top-20 and three in a row on the lead lap," says Waltrip. "If you do that once, you got lucky, but when you do that three times in a row you're doing something right."
DJ HAS DONE IT: Jarrett, who pilots the No. 44 UPS Camry for Michael Waltrip Racing, has one victory at Texas Motor Speedway. Jarrett captured the checkered flag in the Cup race at the Texas oval in 2001, becoming the oldest driver (44 years, 4 months, 6 days) to win at the track. Jarrett also started from the pole in the inaugural race at Texas in 1997.
DON'T HIDE NEW RIDE: Michael Waltrip Racing built Jarrett a brand new Camry to race at Atlanta, Texas and the season-finale at Homestead, Fla. "When the team came to me and told me what they were doing, it really surprised me," says Jarrett. "They felt like these three races with this car is something we could use and was worth the effort. Although we're sitting 40-something in owner points, it doesn't matter because we're still fighting and battling hard. That's what we have to do and that‘s what we have to show -- that we're willing to do this no matter how bad things have been. We have to continue to improve -- that's our goal."
OPTIMISTIC OBSERVATION: "Toyota has done a lot of work with the engine and that has been great to see," says Jarrett. "They have really listened to the drivers and made it a lot better for us on the race track. I'm excited about what I see and I think things are only going to continue to get better."
ATLANTA + CHARLOTTE = TEXAS: "Texas is just like Atlanta and Charlotte," says rookie Allmendinger, who has top-20 finishes in the recent races at Charlotte (15th) and Atlanta (16th). "It's scary, but you just have to suck it up and hang on. I think we have a solid program that has made great gains this year. I'm also getting more comfortable in the car, but it's always going to be tough to qualify."
A CUP FOR MIKE: Skinner, a NASCAR veteran with 244 career Cup starts, will attempt to make his first NNCS race of the 2007 season at Texas in the No. 36 360 OTC Toyota Camry. Although he's made qualifying attempts at the Daytona season-opener and the recent Atlanta race, the Daytona Beach, Fla.-driver has not started a Cup event this year. Skinner's most recent NNCS race was at Virginia's Martinsville Speedway in October of 2006.
TESTING TOYOTAS: Following Sunday's race, all three Toyota NNCS teams -- Bill Davis Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and Team Red Bull participated in a two-day (Oct. 29-30), NASCAR-sanctioned ‘Car of Tomorrow' (COT) test at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "I'm more comfortable in the ‘COT' cars, and I don't know why," said Allmendinger, during the test session. "It has a higher center of gravity and dances around a bit more, but I can control that. With the current car, I'm not really sure. I don't mind the ‘COT' -- it's fun to drive."
PICKING UP POLES: Vickers captured the pole position at Texas in last year's fall Cup race at the track. Blaney and Jason Leffler have also been the fastest qualifiers at Texas. Blaney picked up the Busch Series pole at the track in 1999 and the following year Leffler started first in the NBS race at Texas.
NUMBER TWO FOR TOYOTA: Toyota picked up its second Busch Series win of the year in the most recent race of the season at Memphis Motorsports Park (Oct. 27). David Reutimann captured the checkered flag in the No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Camry at the Tennessee short track for his inaugural series win. In July, Leffler scored Toyota's first NBS win when he visited victory lane at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.
TALKING ABOUT THE TRIUMPH: "What a great night," said Reutimann, following the Memphis race. "We've been really close and I'm proud that we finally got it. On the final restart, I did something my dad taught me back when we were dirt racing -- and we had a really good start. To get our first win -- that's pretty exciting. They say after you win one they come a little easier -- we'll see."
MORE TRIUMPH TALK: "Toyota has done a great job all year long and we've had great motors and great horsepower from TRD (Toyota Racing Development) since the start of the season," says Reutimann. "We as race teams have had to get better to be able to use what Toyota has had to offer us. Now, we're getting a little bit closer. There are only three teams that use Toyotas and we share a lot of information with one another -- then we go out on the race track and try to beat each other."
WELCOME BACK TO THE TRACK: "It was fairly late Saturday night when we flew back from Memphis," says Reutimann, about his trip back to Atlanta. "We landed outside the track and some of our sponsors from Aaron's were standing there. I thought; ‘Man, that's really nice they made a special trip to see me get off the plane and congratulate me.' So, I got out and we started talking. All of the sudden they backed away real quick. Then it sounded like a herd of cattle coming my way. I turned to see my entire Cup team running at me and they had champagne. They pretty much doused me on the runway. It was pretty neat to get off the plane after a great day in Memphis and have all my Cup guys there to see me. It was really cool."
REUTIMANN'S REVIEW: What does Reutimann think of his 2007 NBS season? "It's been okay," says Reutimann. "There are definitely things we should have done better at different points of the season. I'm proud of what we've done and Toyota has done a good job their first year in the Busch Series. We've been trying to knock into Carl's (Edwards) lead a little towards the end of the year. He's so far out on us, but that's not keeping us from trying. We'll keep digging."
TRIO TO GO: As the NBS heads to Texas Motor Speedway, two Camry drivers are among the top-three in the championship point standings with three races remaining on the calendar. After 32 of 35 races, Reutimann is second in the standings behind leader Carl Edwards -- and Leffler now sits in third-place.
TODD TAKES TO TEXAS: Bodine has four wins and one pole in his six NCTS starts at Texas, and is tied for the most wins at the track. Can he set the record for most wins at Texas in this weekend's NCTS race? "We go to every track with the same goal -- to win," says Bodine. "I've said it before, but I'm not one who looks at past success as a guarantee of future success at any race track. I'm happy to have a lot of wins at Texas and I really like racing there. But, having that record on the line won't change our approach when we show up at the track."
TOYOTA TITLE TALK: Skinner's victory at Martinsville Speedway (Oct. 20) enabled Toyota to clinch its second consecutive NCTS manufacturer's championship. "Winning a second manufacturer's championship is a testament to the outstanding race teams that Toyota has been associated with in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, as well as the extremely talented Tundra drivers," said Jim Aust, vice president - motorsports, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. "We recognize the popularity and value of the Craftsman Truck Series and our commitment to the series has never wavered."
TUNDRA TALK: With three races remaining in the current campaign, five Tundra drivers are currently in the top-10 in the NCTS championship point standings. After this past weekend's race at Atlanta, Skinner trails Ron Hornaday in the championship standings by four points. Tundra drivers Johnny Benson (fourth), Bodine (fifth), Ted Musgrave (seventh) and Jack Sprague (10th) are chasing the two leaders in the standings.
TOP TUNDRAS IN 2007: Tundras have won 11 races and scored 15 poles this season. Skinner leads the way with a series-high five wins (California, Atlanta, Martinsville, Kentucky and Martinsville-2) and nine poles (Atlanta, Martinsville, Kansas, Charlotte, Mansfield, Dover, Milwaukee, Nashville and St. Louis). Benson has three wins (Milwaukee, Bristol and St. Louis), while Bodine won from the pole at both Texas and Talladega. Sprague captured the season-opener at Daytona from the pole, and scored his second pole of the season at the fall Martinsville race. Brad Keselowski (Memphis) and Ryan Mathews (Kentucky) have also started from the pole.
TOYOTA IN TEXAS: Texas is home to TMMTX -- Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Texas. The production facility, which is located in San Antonio, opened last fall and builds Toyota Tundras. The facility employs 2,000 Toyota team members, and an additional 2,100 people are employed at the 21 on-site suppliers located at the facility.
COOKING IN TEXAS: Terry Cook, driver of the No. 59 HT Motorsports Tundra, will visit TMMTX (Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Texas) and Southwest High School, located outside of San Antonio, prior to this weekend's race at Texas Motor Speedway. At the high school, Cook will speak to 100 high school students who are taking automotive training courses. Following his visit to the high school, Cook will tour TMMTX and meet with Toyota associates.
HAPPY 50TH: In October, Toyota celebrated its 50th anniversary in the U.S. Toyota and its dealers employ close to 145,000 workers in the U.S. and assemble approximately half the vehicles it sells in America, while operating 10 manufacturing facilities throughout the country. More information on the 50th anniversary of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., can be found at www.toyota50th.com.
TOYOTA IN AMERICA: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. was formed October 31, 1957, establishing its headquarters in a former Rambler dealership in Hollywood, Calif. Sales began in 1958 and totaled a modest 288 vehicles that first year -- 287 Toyopet Crown sedans and one Land Cruiser. In nine of the past 10 years, the Toyota Camry has been the best-selling car in America. Assembled at Toyota's Georgetown, Kentucky plant, more than six million Camry models have been sold in the United States since its debut more than 20 years ago.
BROADCAST BITS: The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race will be televised on ABC and broadcast on PRN Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio (Channel 128). The NASCAR Busch Series race will be televised on ESPN2, and broadcast on PRN 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
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Driver Car Team Dave Blaney No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry Bill Davis Racing Mike Skinner No. 36 360 OTC Toyota Camry Bill Davis Racing Dale Jarrett No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry Michael Waltrip Racing David Reutimann No. 00 Burger King Toyota Camry Michael Waltrip Racing Michael Waltrip No. 55 NAPA 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 Jason Leffler No. 38 Great Clips Camry Braun Racing Brent Sherman No. 10 Fan1st.com Camry Braun Racing David Reutimann No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Camry Michael Waltrip Racing Michael McDowell No. 00 NAPA Toyota Camry Michael Waltrip Racing NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Driver Truck Team Johnny Benson No. 23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Tundra Bill Davis Racing Mike Skinner No. 5 Toyota Tundra Bill Davis Racing Jacques Villeneuve No. 27 Unicef Toyota Tundra Bill Davis Racing Todd Bodine No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota Tundra Germain Racing Justin Marks No. 03 Crocs Toyota Tundra Germain Racing Ted Musgrave No. 9 Team ASE Toyota Tundra Germain Racing Terry Cook No. 59 HT Motorsports Toyota Tundra HT Motorsports Jason Leffler No. 1 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra Red Horse Racing Jack Sprague No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota Tundra Wyler Racing Andy Lally No. 00 TRG Toyota Tundra The Racer's Group
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