NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series (NNCS):
Friday, October 26, Qualifying @ Atlanta Motor Speedway, 7:10 PM (ET)
Sunday, October 28, Pep Boys Auto 500 @ Atlanta Motor Speedway, 2:00 PM (ET)
Race 33 of 36
NASCAR Busch Series (NBS):
Saturday, October 27, Qualifying @ Memphis Motorsports Park, 10:35 AM (ET)
Saturday, October 27, Sam's Town 250 @ Memphis Motorsports Park, 3:30 PM (ET)
Race 32 of 35
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS):
Saturday, October 27, Qualifying @ Atlanta Motor Speedway, 9:45 AM (ET)
Saturday, October 27, EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 @ Atlanta Motor Speedway, 1:00 PM (ET)
Race 22 of 25
HISTORY HERE: This weekend's Pep Boys Auto 500 marks the second trip to the one-and-a-half-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) for the Toyota Camrys in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series (NNCS). Dave Blaney (27th) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver at Atlanta in March and led one lap in the No. 22 Caterpillar Camry. Camry drivers Dale Jarrett (36th), David Reutimann (40th) and Brian Vickers (42nd) were also in the field. Vickers led five laps in the race, becoming the first Camry driver to lead the field in NNCS competition.
MORE HISTORY HERE: Toyota Tundras will make their seventh appearance at AMS Saturday afternoon in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS). Tundra drivers have posted two wins and captured five poles in their previous six trips to the Georgia track, including a victory by Mike Skinner from the pole earlier this season. Skinner also started on the pole at Atlanta in the fall of 2005 and 2006. Defending NCTS champion Todd Bodine guided his Tundra to victory lane from the pole in March of 2006, and Reutimann gave Toyota its inaugural Craftsman Truck Series pole at Atlanta in March of 2004.
GEORGIA ON DJ'S MIND: Jarrett, driver of the No. 44 UPS Camry for Michael Waltrip Racing, has enjoyed the most success among the NNCS Camry contingent at AMS. The 1999 Cup series champion has one win (1997) and two poles (2000 and 2001) at the track, and has led 432 laps in 39 starts at the Atlanta oval, but also likes the progress his team has made throughout this season. "We've come a long way," says Jarrett. "It has been a really good effort by Michael Waltrip Racing to get us to this point. You'll continue to see a lot of good things come from the team."
MOVING FORWARD: The Michael Waltrip Racing teams of Reutimann, Jarrett and team owner Michael Waltrip have qualified all three cars in four of the past five races (Dover, Kansas, Talladega and Martinsville). "We weren't up to speed and we weren't where we needed to be when the season started," says Waltrip. "Now, we really have our stuff lined up in a good way and it makes me proud that teams like Team Red Bull and Toyota will ask us our thoughts and look to us to see what we're doing -- that's just a great feeling."
AJ ACCELERATES TO ATLANTA: AJ Allmendinger earned his career-best NNCS finish (15th) at Lowe's Motor Speedway just two weeks ago in the No. 84 Red Bull Camry. This weekend he will head to Atlanta, which is a similar mile-and-a-half configuration to Charlotte. "I'm excited to get to Atlanta, but obviously we're still inconsistent," says Allmendinger. "When it comes to a race track like Atlanta, it gets cold and it gets fast -- so one little mistake and you're not in the race. It's going to be touch and go to get in the race, but I'm really looking forward to it especially after the run we had in Charlotte."
EATING AT THE ENERGY STATION: Team Red Bull drivers Allmendinger and Vickers, as well as vice president of competition, Guenther Steiner, and director of competition, Elton Sawyer, will join the media for lunch on Friday at NOON PM (ET) at the Red Bull Energy Station, located outside turn two, and will be available for interviews.
BLANEY'S BATTLE: Blaney remains locked into the 43-car NNCS field this weekend at Atlanta with his Bill Davis Racing team currently 35th in team owner points. However, problems at Martinsville dropped the Ohio-native from 34th to 35th-place, but he remains 142 points ahead of the 36th position with only four races remaining this season. "It makes all the difference to be in the top-35 because you have to be in the show in order to maintain that position," says Blaney. "If you fall out of two or three of the races with bad luck -- we could be right back in the same position outside the top-35."
A CUP FOR SKINNER: Skinner, a NASCAR veteran with 244 NNCS starts to his credit, will attempt to make his first start in a Toyota Camry in Sunday's Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta. Skinner tried to qualify for the season-opening Daytona 500. If he makes the field this weekend, it will be his first NNCS start since Martinsville last October.
TESTING TOYOTAS: Following Sunday's race, all three Toyota NNCS teams -- Bill Davis Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and Team Red Bull -- are scheduled to participate in a two-day, NASCAR-sanctioned test at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Teams will be testing the ‘Car of Tomorrow' (COT) in preparation for 2008 when that vehicle will be utilized full-time.
BUSCH BOYS ARE BACK: After a weekend off, the NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) returns to action in the Sam's Town 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park on Saturday. The race marks the first trip for the NBS Camrys to the three-quarter-mile Tennessee oval. Toyota owns a pair of NCTS wins at Memphis, in 2005 and 2006. Brent Sherman is scheduled to make his Toyota NASCAR debut at Memphis, driving the No. 10 Fan1st.com Camry for Braun Racing. Sherman will make his 60th-career NBS start.
FOUR TO GO: As the NBS heads to Memphis, two Camry drivers are among the top-five in the championship point standings. After 31 of 35 races, Reutimann is second -- 638 points behind leader Carl Edwards -- and Jason Leffler is fourth, just 72 points behind third-place Kevin Harvick.
LEFFLER'S MILESTONE: Memphis will mark Leffler's 150th career NBS start. This season, the Long Beach, Calif.-native has registered one win (ORP), two pole positions (Daytona-2 and Bristol), six top-fives and nine top-10s, while leading 141 laps. "Anytime you reach a milestone in your career it makes you look back and reflect," says Leffler. "I'm proud of my accomplishments and the positive direction my career has taken over the last few years. This year has been a great year for me -- becoming a father, scoring my second career victory at ORP and now sitting fourth in the point standings. This is a great series to race in and I look forward to my next 150 starts."
DOUBLE DUTY: Reutimann will split his time this weekend between Atlanta and Memphis, pulling double-duty in the Cup and Busch Camrys. He has three NCTS starts at Memphis, including a second-place finish in 2005. He competed in the 2002 NBS race at Memphis, starting fifth, leading 12 laps and finishing 12th. Reutimann also earned his first NASCAR pole at Memphis in 2003 when he qualified Greg Biffle's NBS car, and gave a television interview saying he was looking for a ride. A few days later, he got a call from Darrell Waltrip, who offered him a seat in a Tundra for the 2004 season. "Memphis is a special place for me – it's where I credit 'getting noticed,'" says Reutimann.
FOR ST. JUDE CHILDREN: This weekend, all three NBS Camrys will participate in the 'Design a Dream' paint scheme campaign to promote awareness for the children at St. Jude Children's Hospital. The goal of the 'Design a Dream' campaign is to have these children at the hospital design the race car paint schemes for all participants. "Cover Race Cars with the Color of Hope" is the official message of the 'Design a Dream' campaign. "These children designed the Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry and several of the other race cars for this event," says Reutimann. "When we race at Memphis, we're not only providing awareness for St. Jude Children's Hospital, but Aaron's -- who is a big supporter of children's charities -- will also continue to send one child to Victory Junction Gang Camp."
TUNDRA TAKES TITLE: Skinner's victory last weekend at Martinsville Speedway enabled Toyota to capture its second consecutive NCTS manufacturer's championship. Five Tundra teams have combined for 11 victories, 51 top-fives and 81 top-10 finishes -- and helped Toyota clinch the title with four races remaining in the season. Since joining the series in 2004, Tundras have scored 36 wins and 47 poles in 96 races. In addition to the manufacturer's titles in 2006 and 2007, Tundra driver Todd Bodine won the 2006 driver's championship.
SKINNER IS A WINNER: "It started in February when Jack Sprague won the race in Daytona," says Skinner. "Johnny Benson has won three races and we were fortunate to win some races too. Todd Bodine has won a couple races so it's not any one team that can win this thing. Toyota is really good about giving information to all the race teams -- our stuff is really equal and you can see that every week. I want to thank Toyota for allowing us to be a part of this program."
TOYOTA TITLE TALK: "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. "Although we've expanded our NASCAR involvement to include the NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series this season, we recognize the popularity and value of the Craftsman Truck Series and our commitment to the series has never wavered. Winning this manufacturer's title during the same month as Toyota's 50th anniversary in the United States makes it even more special."
TUNDRA TALK: After 21 of 25 races this season, five Tundra drivers are currently in the top-10 in the NCTS point standings. With his win at Martinsville, Skinner regained the championship lead and currently sits 11 points in front of Ron Hornaday. Tundra drivers Bodine (fourth), Johnny Benson (fifth), Ted Musgrave (seventh) and Jack Sprague (10th) are chasing Skinner in the standings.
TOP TUNDRAS IN 2007: Tundras have won 11 races and scored 15 poles in the 2007 NCTS 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 Gateway). Benson has three wins (Milwaukee, Bristol and Gateway), while Bodine won from the pole at both Texas and Talladega. Sprague was victorious in the season-opener at Daytona from the pole, and scored his second pole of the season last weekend at Martinsville. Brad Keselowski (Memphis) and Ryan Mathews (Kentucky) each have one pole each for Toyota.
RED HORSE REUNION: Brandon Whitt will make his first NCTS start in nearly two years this weekend at Atlanta, driving the No. 1 Red Horse Racing Tundra. Whitt drove for the team in its inaugural season in 2005, scoring one win (Memphis) and two poles (Memphis and Phoenix). Saturday's race will be Whitt's 58th-career NCTS start. "It's going to be a big landmark for me and my career," says Whitt. "It's been awhile since I've been in a race in a truck. I've been testing some Cup cars over the past year-and-a-half and did some ARCA racing, but to come back and run in the trucks is definitely going to be a challenge. I'm coming in with the confidence of being with a team like Red Horse Racing and I think we can pick up right where we left off in 2005."
THE FUTURE IS NOW: Joe Gibbs Racing development driver Joey Logano was victorious in Saturday's NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway. Logano, a 17-year-old rookie, bested the 40-car field comprised of drivers from NASCAR's Grand National Busch East and West Series competing in a 250-lap short-track shootout.
HAPPY 50th: Toyota is celebrating its 50th anniversary in the U.S. this month. 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. For more information on the 50th anniversary of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., please visit 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 MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio (Channel 128). The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race will be televised on SPEED and broadcast on PRN 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 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 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Driver Truck Team Johnny Benson No. 23 TCUV Toyota Tundra Bill Davis Racing Mike Skinner No. 5 Toyota Tundra Bill Davis Racing Jacques Villeneuve No. 27 Unicef Toyota Tundra Bill Davis Racing Josh Wise 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 Brandon Whitt No. 1 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra Red Horse Racing Jack Sprague No. 60 Con-Way Freight Toyota Tundra Wyler Racing
All materials on this site are for editorial use only. The use of these materials for advertising, marketing or any other commercial purpose is prohibited. They may be cropped but not otherwise modified. To download these materials, you must agree to abide by these terms.