June 22, 2008 - Sonoma, CA - Kyle Busch cruised around the challenging Infineon Raceway road course in Sunday afternoon's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race en route to his fifth victory of the season in his Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) No. 18 M & M's Toyota Camry.
The 23-year-old driver started 30th and led the field twice for 78 laps in the 112-lap race at the 1.99-mile road course through the hills of Northern California. Busch led the final 42 circuits and held off all challengers, including runner-up David Gilliland and third-place Jeff Gordon.
"We unloaded here this weekend and we were absolutely horrible," Busch said, after the race. "We were so bad we didn't know what was going on. The guys worked their tails off and never gave up. We worked on it and worked on it -- made changes to everything -- and finally figured it out. For Toyota to win here at their home race -- that's pretty special, too."
In 16 NSCS races this season, Busch has captured the checkered flag five times and Toyota drivers have recorded six victories. In addition to Busch's win at the Sonoma, Calif.-road course, the Las Vegas-native has also picked up wins at Atlanta, Talladega, Darlington and Dover. Fellow JGR teammate Denny Hamlin earned the other Camry victory at Martinsville.
"It's a new year -- and I guess it's a new me," added Busch. "It's a new team here being with the 18 car. To put it in victory lane five times this year -- that's something that's pretty special. I have to thank to Steve Addington (crew chief) and all the guys. This has been a phenomenal year so far -- it's been special."
Five other Camry drivers finished among the top-25 in the first road course race of the season -- Tony Stewart (10th), Brian Vickers (14th), Dave Blaney (20th), rookie Michael McDowell (21st) and Michael Waltrip (25th). Other Camry drivers in the field included Hamlin (27th), AJ Allmendinger (37th) and David Reutimann (40th).
Four Camry drivers remain in the top-20 in the unofficial NSCS point standings following the visit to Northern California. Busch maintains his spot atop the standings and is 103 points ahead of second-place Jeff Burton. Other Camry drivers among the top-20 in the standings include Hamlin (eighth), Stewart (11th) and Vickers (15th).
The next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on the schedule is at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, June 29.
In Saturday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at the Milwaukee Mile, Toyota drivers Joey Logano and David Reutimann recorded top-five finishes. Logano crossed the finish line second in his JGR No. 20 GameStop Camry and Reutimann ended up fifth in the MWR No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Camry.
Logano started seventh and ran among the top-10 during the race's opening stages. After adjustments made by crew chief Dave Rogers on pit road, Logano's car came to life and the 18-year-old driver was able to charge through the field during a long green-flag run in the middle of the event. He would move into the lead on lap 172 (of 250) at the one-mile oval.
After falling to third-place during the last set of pit stops, Logano worked his way back to second. He led the field for 35 laps and crossed the finish line 1.589 seconds behind race- winner Carl Edwards.
"It was long, I can promise you that," said Logano, of his first Milwaukee start. "We started off and my car just wasn't where it needed to be -- we were way off and kept going backwards. We just kept working on it and never gave up, but we were just too tight at the end to catch Carl (Edwards)."
It was Logano's third top-10 finish in four NNS starts. He was sixth in his series debut at Delaware's Dover International Speedway in May, and recorded his first-career victory last weekend at Kentucky Speedway.
Reutimann's fifth-place finish was his sixth top-five finish in 17 races this year. The Zephyrhills, Fla.-driver overcame a pit road speeding penalty by racing through the field in the event's final laps.
Toyota drivers Jason Leffler (10th), James Buescher (14th) and Mike Wallace (18th) were also in the field at Milwaukee.
Reutimann remains third in the unofficial NNS point standings, 190 points behind leader Clint Bowyer. Wallace (eighth) and Leffler (10th) also hold down spots in the top-10 in points after 17 of 35 races.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series returns to action at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, June 28.
Johnny Benson restarted first after a red flag caution period with 50 laps remaining Friday night at the Milwaukee Mile, and then pulled away from the field to score his third consecutive NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) victory at the historic Wisconsin track -- as well as his first win of the season in the Bill Davis Racing No. 23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Tundra.
Benson started on the pole and led the field three times for a race-high 130 laps (of 200). A faulty set of tires in the middle of the race put Benson mid-pack with storms looming in the area, but a lightning-quick pit stop found him back in the lead before a 25-minute weather delay. When the storms passed and the race resumed, Benson's truck thundered away from the competition, crossing the finish line 2.530 seconds clear of runner-up Matt Crafton.
"The last pit stop got us out front, and that's probably what won us the race," said Benson, following his victory. "Trip Bruce (crew chief) just builds me great, great trucks to race every week. Once we got in that clean air up front and we ran one or two corners under green when we went back to racing after (the delay), I felt I was going to be in pretty good shape."
It was the 10th victory of Benson's career. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-driver became just the fourth driver in NCTS history to win three straight races at the same track.
"It is a little overwhelming to be able to win three races here," Benson said. "It will sink in after a day or two. Milwaukee is not too far from where I grew up, just on the other side of the lake. I've won an ASA (American Speed Association) race here, and I've come close in a Nationwide (Series) race before, but to win three truck races here in a row is just incredible."
Benson's win is the fifth for Toyota this season, and 43rd since joining the series in 2004.
Tundra drivers Todd Bodine (fifth), Michael Annett (sixth), Terry Cook (ninth) and Mike Skinner (10th) also scored top-10 finishes Friday night. Annett's finish came in just his first career NCTS start, while Cook's was the 100th top-10 result of his career.
Toyota drivers Mike Bliss (12th), Marc Mitchell (15th), Ted Musgrave (19th), Chrissy Wallace (20th), David Starr (23rd) and Justin Marks (25th) were also in the field.
With the win, Benson extended his lead in the unofficial NCTS point standings, and is now 50 points ahead of fellow Tundra driver Todd Bodine. Skinner (sixth) and Cook (seventh) are also in the top-10 in points after 11 of 25 races.
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series returns to action at Memphis Motorsports Park, June 28.
Toyota NSCS Driver Finishes at Infineon Raceway 1st, KYLE BUSCH 10th, TONY STEWART 14th, BRIAN VICKERS 20th, DAVE BLANEY 21st, MICHAEL McDOWELL 25th, MICHAEL WALTRIP 27th, DENNY HAMLIN 37th, AJ ALLMENDINGER 40th, DAVID REUTIMANN
Toyota Drivers in NSCS Point Standings -- following Infineon Raceway** 1st, KYLE BUSCH 2,408 points 8th, DENNY HAMLIN 2,008 points 11th, TONY STEWART 1,908 points 15th, BRIAN VICKERS 1,788 points 28th, DAVID REUTIMANN 1,390 points 29th, DAVE BLANEY 1,299 points 30th, MICHAEL WALTRIP 1,251 points 36th, J.J. YELEY 882 points 39th, MICHAEL McDOWELL 796 points 40th, AJ ALLMENDINGER 656 points ** unofficial point standings
Toyota NNS Driver Finishes at the Milwaukee Mile 2nd, JOEY LOGANO 5th, DAVID REUTIMANN 10th, JASON LEFFLER 14th, JAMES BUESCHER 18th, MIKE WALLACE Toyota Drivers in NNS Point Standings – following the Milwaukee Mile** 3rd, DAVID REUTIMANN 2,316 points 7th, KYLE BUSCH 2,093 points 8th, MIKE WALLACE 2,053 points 10th, JASON LEFFLER 1,968 points ** unofficial point standings Toyota NCTS Driver Finishes at the Milwaukee Mile 1st, JOHNNY BENSON 5th, TODD BODINE 6th, MICHAEL ANNETT 9th, TERRY COOK 10th, MIKE SKINNER 12th, MIKE BLISS 15th, MARC MITCHELL 19th, TED MUSGRAVE 20th, CHRISSY WALLACE 23rd, DAVID STARR 25th, JUSTIN MARKS Toyota Drivers in NCTS Point Standings – following the Milwaukee Mile** 1st, JOHNNY BENSON 1,617 points 2nd, TODD BODINE 1,567 points 6th, MIKE SKINNER 1,483 points 7th, TERRY COOK 1,441 points 12th, DAVID STARR 1,324 points 15th, TED MUSGRAVE 1,247 points 16th, KYLE BUSCH 1,205 points 17th, JUSTIN MARKS 1,189 points 22nd, SCOTT SPEED 985 points 25th, MARC MITCHELL 914 points ** unofficial point standings
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