November 4, 2007 - In Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series (NNCS) race at Texas Motor Speedway, Jimmie Johnson charged past Matt Kenseth with three laps remaining to capture the checkered flag, and three Toyota drivers -- Dave Blaney, Brian Vickers and Mike Skinner -- recorded top-25 finishes in the 334-lap, 500-mile race near Fort Worth, Texas.
Blaney was the top Toyota driver in the final results with his 21st-place finish. "We just weren't very good tonight," said Blaney, driver of the No. 22 Caterpillar Camry. "We struggled with the handling and could never get the car very good. We wanted to finish good to stay in the top-35 in the points. If you have trouble in the last two races, you can fall out of the points. It's still wide open to stay in the top-35, so we have to finish races."
Vickers crossed the finish line 23rd in the No. 83 Red Bull Camry. Skinner, who was making his first-ever NNCS start in a Camry, ended up in 24th-place in the No. 36 360 OTC Camry. Skinner's most recent NNCS start was more than a year ago (Oct. 2006) at Virginia's Martinsville Speedway.
Dale Jarrett was 38th in the No. 44 UPS Camry and AJ Allmendinger, who started fifth, finished in 39th-place. Allmendinger made contact with the turn two wall early in the race, and then was involved in an accident on the backstretch. David Reutimann, driver of the No. 00 Burger King Camry, retired early from the race and finished 43rd.
It was Johnson's first career win at the one-and-a-half-mile Texas oval, and his third consecutive victory this season. With just two races remaining on this year's schedule, Johnson currently leads in the 'Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup' and has amassed nine wins in 2007. It was also the 32nd win of his Cup career.
The next race on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule is next Sunday (Nov. 11) at Phoenix International Raceway.
In Saturday afternoon's NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) race at Texas Motor Speedway, Kevin Harvick drove into victory lane and three Toyota drivers -- Jason Leffler, David Reutimann and Michael McDowell -- recorded top-20 finishes at Texas.
Leffler, driver of the No. 38 Great Clips Camry, was the top Toyota in the final results with his 12th-place finish. "Early in the race, we were battling a tight race car," said Leffler, following the race. "Then, we were able to fix it until the car got loose. Our car just kept going back and forth between tight and loose. We would have liked a better finish, but we'll take what we got and head to Phoenix."
Reutimann, who won the most recent NBS race at Memphis, started from the pole and ran among the top-10 for about half the 200-lap race. He crossed the finish line 18th in the No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Camry.
McDowell, who was making his first career NASCAR Busch Series start in a Michael Waltrip Racing entry, qualified 17th in the No. 00 NAPA Camry and finished 20th. The fourth Toyota in the starting line-up was driven by Brent Sherman, who ended his day in 37th-place in the second Braun Racing entry.
Harvick, the defending Busch Series champion, started 21st and led the field twice for 36 laps en route to the race win.
He passed Greg Biffle to take the lead and held onto first-place for the final 35 circuits at the one-and-a-half-mile oval. Kyle Busch (second), Denny Hamlin (third), Clint Bowyer (fourth) and Matt Kenseth (fifth) followed Harvick to the finish line.
Carl Edwards clinched the Busch Series championship with his 11th-place finish at Texas. Reutimann continues to hold onto second-place in the unofficial NBS championship point standings, and Leffler remains in third-place.
The next race on the NASCAR Busch Series schedule is next Saturday (Nov. 10) at Phoenix International Raceway.
In Friday night's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race at Texas, veteran Ted Musgrave survived a chaotic closing few laps to register his first win of the season in the No. 9 Team ASE Toyota Tundra.
With five laps remaining in the race, championship contenders Mike Skinner and Ron Hornaday were running side-by-side, battling for the lead. Chad McCumbee took advantage of the battle between the veterans to move into the lead. Hornaday got loose and made contact with Skinner, bringing out the caution and ending Hornaday's race.
After the race was restarted following almost 16 minutes of red flag period, McCumbee had the lead followed by Jack Sprague and Musgrave. When the green flag flew, Sprague and McCumbee made contact, which allowed Musgrave to take the checkered flag under caution.
"We let a few of these races get away from us here at Texas," said Musgrave, after the race. "It's a bittersweet victory, I guess to have something like that happen and we win the race. We can finally say we won in Texas after so many tries.
Brendan Gaughan finished second, followed by Skinner (third), Mike Bliss (fourth) and Rick Crawford (fifth). Skinner's finish allowed him to regain the championship lead with two races remaining this year. In the unofficial point standings released immediately following the race, Skinner leads Hornaday by 57 points.
Other Tundra drivers in the race were Sprague (sixth), Jason Leffler (ninth), Terry Cook (12th), Todd Bodine (16th), Andy Lally (22nd), Justin Marks (23rd), Jacques Villeneuve (25th) and Johnny Benson (27th).
The next race on the Craftsman Truck Series schedule is next Friday (Nov. 9) at Phoenix International Raceway.
Toyota NNCS Finishing Positions at Texas Motor Speedway
21st, DAVE BLANEY
23rd, BRIAN VICKERS
24th, MIKE SKINNER
38th, DALE JARRETT
39th, AJ ALLMENDINGER
43rd, DAVID REUTIMANN
DNQ, MICHAEL WALTRIP
Toyota NNCS Drivers in the Point Standings following Texas Motor Speedway race**
32nd, DAVE BLANEY 2,579 points
38th, BRIAN VICKERS 1,928 points
39th, DAVID REUTIMANN 1,790 points
41st, DALE JARRETT 1,472 points
43rd, AJ ALLMENDINGER 1,165 points
44th, MICHAEL WALTRIP 1,149 points
Toyota NBS Finishing Positions at Texas Motor Speedway
12th, JASON LEFFLER
18th, DAVID REUTIMANN
20th, MICHAEL MCDOWELL
37th, BRENT SHERMAN
Toyota NBS Drivers in the Point Standings following Texas Motor Speedway race**
2nd, DAVID REUTIMANN 3,942 Points
3rd, JASON LEFFLER 3,733 Points
23rd, DAVE BLANEY 2,401 Points
Toyota NCTS Finishing Positions at Texas Motor Speedway
1st, TED MUSGRAVE
3rd, MIKE SKINNER
6th, JACK SPRAGUE
9th, JASON LEFFLER
12th, TERRY COOK
16th, TODD BODINE
22nd, ANDY LALLY
23rd, JUSTIN MARKS
25th, JACQUES VILLENEUVE
27th, JOHNNY BENSON
Toyota NCTS Drivers in the Point Standings following Texas Motor Speedway race**
1st, MIKE SKINNER 3,718 Points
4th, TODD BODINE 3,254 Points
6th, JOHNNY BENSON 3,221 Points
7th, TED MUSGRAVE 2,944 Points
9th, JACK SPRAGUE 2,752 Points
14th, TERRY COOK 2,468 Points
32nd, JOSH WISE 962 Points
34th, AJ ALLMENDINGER 916 Points
* Unofficial Point Standings
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