Second Camry Cup Conquest Comes at Martinsville

March 30, 2008

March 30, 2008 - Martinsville, VA - Camry driver Denny Hamlin notched the second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) win for Toyota Sunday at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. Hamlin took the lead on lap 427 and never looked back en route to his first win at the Virginia half-mile.

The Chesterfield, Virginia-native started on the outside front row and his No. 11 FedEx Camry was strong throughout the 500-lap, 263-mile race at the short track.

"Finally! The curse is over I hope," said Hamlin, following the race. "We had such bad luck over these last two weeks. It finally feels good to come here and get a win in front of the hometown fans. I can't wait -- this is a sign of things to come, I believe."

The victory for Toyota came in its 42nd Sprint Cup Series race since joining the series in the beginning of the 2007 season. Hamlin's teammate, Kyle Busch, earned the first NSCS win for Toyota at Atlanta Motor Speedway earlier this month.

"A lot of thanks go to the guys at TRD (Toyota Racing Development) to help support us at Joe Gibbs Racing to try to get our issues worked out," said Hamlin, following the race. "For them to kind of take a lead role and say that they would do whatever it took to help us fix the problems -- that goes a long way. That is what you look for in a manufacturer, and I couldn't be prouder to be with them (Toyota)."

Hamlin's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Tony Stewart, finished fifth to secure his fourth top-10 finish of the season.

Busch, who led the NSCS points coming into Martinsville, ran in the top-10 early in the race before a broken rear end gear forced him into the garage. Busch finished 38th and fell to fifth in the NSCS points.

Michael McDowell finished 26th in his NSCS debut on Sunday driving the No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Camry for Michael Waltrip Racing. Other Camry drivers in the field included Brian Vickers (23rd), J.J. Yeley (27th), Mike Skinner (31st), Michael Waltrip (35th), Ken Schrader (37th), Busch (38th) and Dave Blaney (43rd).

With the victory, Hamlin moves into eighth on the NSCS points. Camry drivers Busch (fifth, 831 points) and Stewart (sixth, 811 points) are also in the top-10 in the point standings after six of 36 races this season.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to action April 6 at Texas Motor Speedway.

In Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race, Dennis Setzer crossed the finish line first to spoil Toyota's hopes of winning its fourth consecutive NCTS race this season. Two Toyota Tundra drivers finished in the top-10 as Ken Schrader crossed the finish line fourth and David Starr finished sixth.

Billy Ballew Motorsports teammates Busch and Hamlin combined to lead 96 laps early in the race with Hamlin leading a Toyota-high 64 laps, but both drivers fell back in the field during a pit stop sequence. On the final lap, Busch battled fellow Tundra driver Johnny Benson for second place, but made contact and both drivers spun. Benson finished 25th in the No. 23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Tundra while Busch finished 26th in the No. 51 Miccosukee Resorts Tundra.

Skinner was running third in the No. 5 Toyota Tundra and looked to make NASCAR history with his third straight win at a short track, but ran out of fuel on the lap 247 and finished 29th.

"It was a good points day," said Starr, following the race. "It's just a shame that it turned out this way because we had a bunch of Toyota's up there and a bunch of them didn't end up where they should have so I'm just disappointed."

Busch, who has won two of three series races this year, remains the NCTS points leader by 35 points over fellow Tundra driver, Todd Bodine, who finished 12th on Saturday.

Chrissy Wallace, daughter of Toyota driver Mike Wallace, made her NCTS debut at Saturday's race and finished 18th.

"For my first truck race I was extremely excited," said Wallace, following the race. "They (Toyota and Germain Racing) put the belief in me that I could get a top-20 finish and that is exactly what we did."

Other Toyota drivers in the field were Terry Cook (13th), Ted Musgrave (15th), Phillip McGilton (16th), Justin Marks (20th) and Hamlin (21st).

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series returns to action April 26 at Kansas Speedway.

 

Toyota NSCS Driver Finishes at Martinsville Speedway
1st, DENNY HAMLIN
5th, TONY STEWART
23rd, BRIAN VICKERS
26th, MICHAEL McDOWELL
27th, J.J. YELEY
31st, MIKE SKINNER
35th, MICHAEL WALTRIP
37th, KEN SCHRADER
38th, KYLE BUSCH
39th, DAVID REUTIMANN
43rd, DAVE BLANEY

Toyota Drivers in NSCS Point Standings – following Martinsville Speedway**
5th, KYLE BUSCH			831 points
6th, TONY STEWART		811 points
8th, DENNY HAMLIN		758 points
18th, BRIAN VICKERS		631 points
28th, DAVID REUTIMANN		512 points
31st, J.J. YELEY		468 points
32nd, MICHAEL WALTRIP		460 points
38th, DAVE BLANEY		373 points
41st, MIKE SKINNER		268 points
43rd, KEN SCHRADER		192 points
48th, MICHAEL McDOWELL		65 points
** unofficial point standings

Toyota NCTS Driver Finishes at Martinsville Speedway
4th, KEN SCHRADER
6th, DAVID STARR
12th, TODD BODINE
13th, TERRY COOK
15th, TED MUSGRAVE
16th, PHILLIP McGILTON
18th, CHRISSY WALLACE
20th, JUSTIN MARKS
21st, DENNY HAMLIN
25th, JOHNNY BENSON
26th, KYLE BUSCH
29th, MIKE SKINNER

Toyota Drivers in NCTS Point Standings – following Martinsville Speedway**
1st, KYLE BUSCH		645 points
2nd, TODD BODINE		610 points
7th, DAVID STARR		534 points
9th, JOHNNY BENSON		501 points
10th, TERRY COOK		499 points
11th, TED MUSGRAVE		493 points
12th, PHILLIP McGILTON		491 points
14th, MIKE SKINNER		469 points
17th, JUSTIN MARKS		430 points
34th, KEN SCHRADER		160 points
39th, CHRISSY WALLACE		109 points
41st, DENNY HAMLIN		105 points
** unofficial point standings
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