Upcoming Races: NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) @ Gateway International Raceway Saturday, July 19, Qualifying @ 5:00 PM (ET) – ESPN2, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128) Saturday, July 19, Race start @ 9:30 PM (ET) – ESPN2, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128) Race 21 of 35 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) @ Kentucky Speedway Saturday, July 19, Qualifying @ 3:30 PM (ET) – SPEED, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128) Saturday, July 19, Race start @ 7:00 PM (ET) --SPEED, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128) Race 13 of 25 Toyota 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Statistics Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Led Laps 19 184 (13 drivers) 8 28 41 3 138 2,429
SCORE SEVEN: Camry driver Kyle Busch passed last year's series champion Jimmie Johnson with two laps remaining at Chicagoland Speedway Saturday night en route to his seventh NSCS victory of the year. The 23-year-old driver led a race-high 165 of 267 laps in his Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) No. 18 M&M's Camry. Busch has won two consecutive NSCS races and has earned victories in three of the last four Cup events.
ILLINOIS ENDING: At Chicagoland Speedway, two other Toyota drivers joined Busch in the top-10. JGR teammate Tony Stewart finished fifth in his No. 20 Home Depot Camry and Brian Vickers finished sixth in his No. 83 Red Bull Racing entry. Other Camry drivers who competed at Chicagoland included AJ Allmendinger (13th), David Reutimann (14th), Dave Blaney (23rd), J.J. Yeley (24th), Michael Waltrip (36th), Denny Hamlin (40th) and Michael McDowell (43rd).
PICKING APART THE PASS: "I gave up on myself and didn't think I could do it," said Busch, of his late-race pass for the lead. "As soon as I touched his (Jimmie Johnson) rear bumper, I just laid on the gas -- and whether he was going to go or not -- it was going to be a whale of a restart and pretty exciting. He went and I was right there on his rear bumper, and fortunately that was our race-winning move -- just being able to stay with him on the restart, not spin my tires and get to his outside through turns one and two. I had some momentum and got to his outside on three, was able to complete the pass through four and made it to the finish line first."
ON A ROLL: Busch's victory at Chicagoland was his seventh NSCS win of the 2008 season and the eighth for Toyota. The Las Vegas-native also earned Toyota's initial NSCS victory at Atlanta (March 9), picked up a win at Talladega (April 27), and was victorious at Darlington, S.C. (May 10). In addition, he won at Dover (June 1), recorded his first career NSCS road course victory in Sonoma, Calif. (June 22) and earned a first-place finish at Daytona (July 5). Hamlin made his way to victory lane at Virginia's Martinsville Speedway (March 30) to record Toyota's second of eight NSCS wins.
YEAR TO REMEMBER: "This is just an unbelievable year and something to be really proud of and really fortunate to be involved with," said Busch, of his 2008 campaign. "To have all these guys on my side with Joe Gibbs and J.D. (Gibbs) and Steve (Addington, crew chief) and everybody, it's just unbelievable. You cherish them when you can get them, and definitely this year is one to cherish."
HAPPY AND HUNGRY: "This doesn't come along very often -- I never dreamed of this for myself," added Busch. "You always see it happen with somebody else and you feel good about them being able to do that. Now, that that feeling has come upon me, I know you have to stay humble and yet stay hungry, go out there and do what you can in order to survive in these races, and to survive up front and try to win. Somehow, it's paying off and it's working out. I'm just so proud of the effort."
RED BULL REBOUND: Red Bull Camry drivers Vickers (sixth) and Allmendinger (13th) each scored top-15 finishes at Chicagoland -- the second time this season the team has accomplished that feat. Last month at Pocono, both drivers also finished in the top-15 -- with Vickers taking the checkered flag second and Allmendinger scoring a career-best 12th-place result. This season, Allmendinger and Vickers have collected 12 top-15 finishes, five top-10s, three top-fives and 133 laps led.
CREW CHIEF CHANGE: Chicago marked the first race for Jimmy Elledge as the crew chief of the No. 84 Red Bull Camry driven by Allmendinger. "It's important to get off to a good start and have a solid weekend and build on that," said Allmendinger, following Saturday night's 13th-place finish. "I had more information than I ever could imagine. I knew exactly where I was running the whole time, what lap times I was running, and what the guys near me and behind me were running. It's everything I could ask for and it seems like it makes driving so much easier. I love knowing what's going on. His experience level -- it's great to have that and learn from that."
POINTS PACE: Busch continues to lead the NSCS point standings following Saturday night's win at Chicagoland, and holds a 262-point advantage over second-place Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Other Camry drivers among the top-15 in the unofficial NSCS point standings include Stewart (10th), Hamlin (12th) and Vickers (14th).
ESPY AWARD NOMINATIONS: NSCS points leader Busch has been nominated for three awards at The 2008 ESPYS that will take place at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Wednesday and will air on ESPN on Sunday, July 20 at 9 p.m. Busch is up for ‘Best Driver', ‘Breakthrough Athlete', and ‘Best Finish.' Toyota Tundra driver Chrissy Wallace from Germain Racing is scheduled to attend the 2008 ESPYS.
BLANEY BOY: Although Dave Blaney, driver of the No. 22 Caterpillar Camry, will not be in his race car this weekend, there will be another Blaney competing at the track. Dave's 14-year-old son Ryan is scheduled to participate in his first stock car race this Saturday in a Super Late Model car at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, N.C.
CAMRY COOL DOWN: The NSCS will take a week off before returning to action at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, July 27.
Toyota 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Led Laps
20 115 (12 drivers) 14 37 57 9 101 2,152
HISTORY HERE: This weekend, Toyota will make its second NNS appearance at Gateway International Raceway outside St. Louis. Last year, four Camry drivers competed in the 250-mile event with Reutimann (third) and Jason Leffler (fourth) earning top-five finishes -- followed by Todd Bodine (10th) and Blaney (35th).
TAKING ANOTHER TROPHY: Busch led 101 of the 200 laps in the NNS race at Chicagoland to earn his fifth series win of the season. Busch's victory was the 13th for JGR in NNS competition, tying the record for the most NNS wins by a team in a single season. Along with Busch's Chicagoland victory, the Las Vegas-native has four other wins this season, including one behind the wheel of a Braun Racing entry. Other JGR NNS drivers joining Busch in victory lane in 2008 includes Stewart (five), Hamlin (three) and Joey Logano (one).
CAMRY COMES TO LIFE: "In the beginning, we didn't have a good start," said Busch. "We were running fourth, fifth, sixth -- and just kind of stuck there. Then, we made some good calls on adjustments on pit road and the thing came to life. It feels really good. To be associated with Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota and all the folks -- is just unbelievable."
TOYOTA TOP-FIVES: Four Toyota Camrys finished in the top-five in the NNS race at the 1.5-mile track south of Chicago. Aside from Busch's victory, Hamlin (second), Vickers (fourth) and Reutimann (fifth) rounded out the top-five for Toyota.
CAMRY COUNT: With Busch's victory at Chicago, Toyota drivers have won three consecutive NNS races and 12 of the last 14 races. Camrys have won 14 of the 20 NNS races this year. Busch has five wins, including three consecutive at Texas (April 5), Phoenix (April 11) and Mexico City (April 20), along with a victory at Charlotte (May 24) and his most recent win at Chicagoland (July 11). Stewart also has five NNS wins at Daytona (Feb. 16), California (Feb. 25), Talladega (April 26), Darlington (May 9) and New Hampshire (June 28). Hamlin has recorded three victories, including his most recent win at Daytona (July 4), as well as wins at Richmond (May 2) and Dover (May 31). Eighteen-year-old Joey Logano completes the 14 wins for Toyota with his victory at Kentucky (June 14).
HEADING HOME: Camry driver Mike Wallace will return to his hometown this weekend when he competes at Gateway. Wallace, driver of the Germain Racing No. 7 GEICO Toyota Camry, grew up in St. Louis and began racing at Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, Ill., just a few miles away from Gateway. "It's a real honor competing at Gateway because a couple of years ago the race track named a race in our families honor and they've also named the turn one and two grandstands after us," says Wallace. "I grew up racing at Tri-City Speedway, winning a lot of races there so going back to Gateway every year is an exciting race for me and I want to win really bad. We're going back this year with a desire to win this race because there's a lot of people who follow the whole Wallace family that show up to watch that race
-- people that I went to school with and raced in that area."
CAMRY CURVEBALL: In honor of his homecoming, Wallace will throw out the first pitch at the St. Louis Cardinals game on Thursday at Busch Stadium. "It's quite an honor anytime you can do something in front of hometown fans," added Wallace. "This will be the first time that I've been at the new ballpark in St. Louis. I'm not a ball player, but I admire all of the guys who do play ball. All of us as kids wished we could play baseball, so being able to be on Major League field, especially in St. Louis at the new Busch Stadium, is quite an honor."
JOEY JUMPS BACK IN: Eighteen-year-old Logano will make his fifth NNS start Saturday night at Gateway in the JGR No. 20 GameStop Toyota. The No. 20 JGR entry has registered nine wins this year, including Logano's win at Kentucky. In four NNS starts, Logano has recorded three top-six finishes along with two pole positions. "I've been playing video games the last couple of days just to see what the track layout is like," says Logano. "I've been told that Gateway has just about the same amount of banking as Kentucky, but it's obviously shaped differently and races differently. From what I've been told, there are two completely different ends to the race track. I'm looking forward to the challenge of a new track, though."
CAMRY CONSISTENCY: Five Camry drivers currently hold positions in the top-20 in the NNS point standings after 20 races. Reutimann moved into third in points (217 points behind leader Clint Bowyer) with his fifth-place finish at Chicago, followed by Busch (fifth), Wallace (eighth), Leffler (11th) and Hamlin (20th).
Toyota 2008 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Led Laps
12 121 (17 drivers) 5 27 53 7 56 1,013
HISTORY HERE: This weekend, the Toyota Tundra will make its fifth NCTS appearance at Kentucky Speedway. Last year, four Tundras finished in the top-five including race-winner Mike Skinner, who started fourth and led 135 of 150 laps en route to his first-place finish. A year ago, Bill Davis Racing's Ryan Mathews earned the pole for Toyota and finished fourth.
KYLE COMES BACK: After taking two NCTS races off, Busch will return to the seat of the No. 51 Miccosukee Resorts Toyota Tundra for Billy Ballew Motorsports at Kentucky this weekend. In eight starts, Busch has two wins, one pole, four top-fives and six top-10 finishes. Busch ranks second in laps led this season in NCTS competition with 304 laps although he has competed in just eight of the 12 NCTS races this year.
TRUCK DEBUT: "I've never raced a truck at Kentucky," says Busch. "Kentucky is one of my favorite places. It's always a lot of fun. I've raced Nationwide cars and won there, and I've won in the ARCA car there. Hopefully, our Cup test there last week helped me get a better sense and feel for the place and what I can learn there for the truck. I'm kind of itching to get back into the Truck Series."
THREE FOR CHRISSY: Chrissy Wallace is set to make her third NCTS start this weekend at Kentucky in the No. 03 GEICO/Germain Racing Tundra. Wallace, daughter of Camry driver Mike Wallace, made NCTS starts at Martinsville and Milwaukee this year, where she finished 18th and 20th-place, respectively. "Kentucky will definitely be the fastest track I've been on for a race," says Wallace. "We were able to test a Tundra at Pocono Raceway, and that really helped me get a feel for the higher speeds. I'm looking forward to racing Kentucky Speedway. Since we were able to turn some laps there in the ARCA car, I'll have a better idea of what to expect when we unload."
CENTURY MARK: Toyota driver Johnny Benson made his 100th career NCTS start in a Tundra at Memphis (June 28). In 12 starts this season, Benson has recorded a win, three poles, six top-fives and eight top-10 finishes. "It's a pretty cool deal to be able to have 100 starts with Bill Davis Racing and Toyota," says Benson. "I think we've won 10 times in those 100 races, and one out of 10 isn't bad. Bill and Gail Davis give us great trucks and equipment to make us competitive each week, and the Toyota Tundra package is second-to-none in the Craftsman Truck Series garage. Hopefully, we can continue the success we've had so far this season, and give Bill Davis Racing its first NASCAR championship."
CAPTAIN COOK: Tundra driver Terry Cook will serve an honorary captain for the Cincinnati Reds during their game against the New York Mets on Thursday. "It might be all I do is pass out bubble gum to the team in the dugout, but if that's it I am going to be all over it," says Cook. "Actually, I think the biggest part of my job is going to be presenting the starting lineup to the umpires before the game. Once we get that done, I think we get to kick back and have some fun with the team. But if they need me to get anything done, I'll jump to it. It's something I am really looking forward to."
FOUR IN TEN: Four Tundra drivers are currently in the top-10 in the NCTS point standings after 12 of 25 races. Benson fell from first to fourth following the most recent race at Memphis and is now 56 points behind leader Ron Hornaday, Jr. Tundra drivers Bodine (third), Skinner (sixth) and Cook (ninth) also are in the top-10 in points.
MANUFACTURER'S MATH: Toyota holds the lead in two of the three premier NASCAR series in the 2008 manufacturer's championship point standings. Toyota is 19 points ahead of Chevrolet in the NSCS chase and has a 26-point advantage over Chevrolet in the NNS standings. Toyota is four points behind Chevrolet in the NCTS point standings.
BACK STORY: Background information on the Toyota NASCAR program is available at www.toyota.com/pitpass.
IMAGES INFORMATION: Members of media can access Toyota images at www.toyotamotorsportsmedia.com.
2008 TOYOTA DRIVER/TEAM ROSTER NASCAR Nationwide Series Driver Car Team James Buescher No. 32 Dollar General Camry Braun Racing Jason Leffler No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry Braun Racing Mike Wallace No. 7 GEICO Toyota Camry Germain Racing Joey Logano No. 20 GameStop Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs Racing David Reutimann No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry Michael Waltrip Racing NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Driver Car Team Johnny Benson No. 23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Tundra Bill Davis Racing Michael Annett No. 22 Red Bull Toyota Tundra Bill Davis Racing Mike Skinner No. 5 Toyota Tundra Bill Davis Racing Kyle Busch No. 51 Miccosukee Resorts Toyota Tundra Billy Ballew Motorsports Marc Mitchell No. 15 Hyprene Ergon Toyota Tundra Billy Ballew Motorsports Todd Bodine No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota Tundra Germain Racing Justin Marks No. 9 Construct Corps Toyota Tundra Germain Racing Chrissy Wallace No. 03 GEICO/Germain Toyota Tundra Germain Racing Ted Musgrave No. 59 Team ASE Toyota Tundra HT Motorsports David Starr No. 11 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra Red Horse Racing Terry Cook No. 60 Wyler.com Toyota Tundra Wyler Racing
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