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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