Toyota NASCAR Notes & Quotes - Week of July 28, 2008

August 01, 2008
Upcoming Races:
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) @ Pocono Raceway
Friday, August 1, Qualifying @ 3:40 PM (ET) – ESPN2, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
Sunday, August 3, Race start @ 2:00 PM (ET) – ESPN, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128) 
Race 21 of 36

NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) @ Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (Montreal)
Saturday, August 2, Qualifying @ 12:10 PM (ET) – ESPN2, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
Saturday, August 2, Race start @ 3:30 PM (ET) – ESPN2, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128) 
Race 23 of 35

Toyota 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Statistics
Races	Starts (Drivers)	Wins	Top-5s	Top-10s	  Poles	  Times Led	Laps Led
20	194 (13)		8	 29	 43	    3	   146	         2,476

Toyota 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
20 194 (13) 8 29 43 3 146 2,476

HISTORY HERE: This weekend's trip to Pocono Raceway will be the fourth visit to the 'tricky triangle' for the Toyota Camry in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) competition. Earlier this year, Brian Vickers (second) and Denny Hamlin (third) scored top-five finishes for Toyota, and AJ Allmendinger earned a 12th-place result. Current Camry drivers Tony Stewart (one win in 2003 and one pole in 2000) and Hamlin (two wins and two poles in 2006) have scored victories at the 2.5-mile track in Long Pond, Pa.

INCREDIBLE INDY: Sunday was a difficult day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for many competitors, but two Camry drivers were able to finish in the top-10 at the 'Brickyard' -- Hamlin (third) and Allmendinger (10th). It was Allmendinger's career best NSCS finish. Series points-leader Kyle Busch led the race twice for 14 laps and finished 15th. Other Camry drivers in the field included Stewart (23rd), J.J. Yeley (28th), David Reutimann (30th), Michael McDowell (34th), Dave Blaney (35th), Vickers (42nd) and Michael Waltrip (43rd).

ALLMENDINGER'S ANALYSIS: "It was fun in some ways -- running up front was a lot of fun -- and in another way it wasn't fun at all," said Allmendinger, following Sunday's race. "Every time we'd get to about lap seven or eight on the tires, we were just praying not to blow a right-rear. Every lap I felt it and I would just ask when the yellow was coming out. It was one of those things that if you restarted fifth then you could run there pretty easy, but once you got back to 10th there was 'dirty' air and that was tough. To have a 10th-place finish and make up a lot of points -- I'll take it."

HUNDRED FOR HAMLIN: This Sunday's race at Pocono will mark Hamlin's 100th NSCS race and it comes in his third full-time season of NSCS competition. The driver of the No. 11 FedEx Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has earned four wins, 25 top-five finishes, 50 top-10 results and six poles since his first race in October 2005. Much of his early success came at Pocono where he swept the poles and race wins in 2006, has led 300 laps and registered five top-10s in as many starts. "It's pretty amazing," says Hamlin. "I didn't realize it would be 100, but it's kind of fitting that it does come at Pocono. I'm excited about it. I don't know if any other driver has won on his 100th start or not, so I'm going to try to accomplish that."

TWO FLAT TRACKS: The NSCS goes from one 2.5-mile flat track to another -- the race at Indianapolis followed by this week's event at Pocono Raceway. Can success at the first race help at the second? "A lot of it (Pocono) is just like Indy," says Hamlin. "The corners are so big and there are so many of them that if a guy has his car handling a little bit better than everyone else, it makes a huge difference. That's why you don't see 20 passes for the lead like you do at some tracks. If a guy gets tuned in he can really make up some ground. That's why you see the racing that you do at Pocono, as well as at Indy. We've been fortunate enough to have our car in race-winning condition over the last couple of years. Hopefully, we can keep that trend."

RED BULL RETURNS: Vickers will return to Pocono with his No. 83 Red Bull Racing Camry team in an effort to better his June runner-up finish, but might not use the exact same car as earlier this year. "Pocono was a good run for us," says Vickers. "Sometimes you bring the same car back, but it's really tough with these cars. You can have one little donut on the door or a fender rub on the door and you have to spend three weeks trying to repair the body -- and spend a lot of money trying to fix it with this new car before you can take it back to the race track. It used to be that unless you totaled the car and it needed a front clip, then you could just about always take it back the next week, and that's not the case anymore."

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: Camry drivers have led a total of 2,476 of the 5,852 laps run in this year's 20 NSCS races -- 42.3 percent of all the laps. In addition, Busch has led 1,079 laps in a NSCS Camry, making him the first driver to ever lead more than 1,000 laps in a Camry.

POINTS PACE: Busch continues to lead the NSCS point standings with a 253-point advantage over second-place Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Other Camry drivers among the top-15 in the unofficial NSCS point standings include Hamlin (eighth), Stewart (10th), and Vickers (15th).

Toyota 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
22 126 (12) 15 40 62 9 108 2,433

NATIONWIDE NEWS: This weekend will be the second trip to Canada for the Camry and the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS). During last year's inaugural visit to Montreal, Reutimann was the top-finishing Camry driver with a ninth-place result. John Graham (23rd) and Jason Leffler (26th) also competed at the 2.709-mile road course a year ago.

ANOTHER WIN AT ORP: In July 2007, Toyota earned it's first-ever NNS victory when Leffler took the checkered flag first in his No. 38 Great Clips Camry at O'Reilly Raceway Park (ORP). One year later, a Camry driven by Busch cruised to victory lane again at ORP, earning Toyota's 17th series victory and 15th win in 2008. Busch began Saturday's race from the outside of row one and led 197 of the 200 laps in his JGR No. 18 Z-Line Designs Camry. Busch's teammate Joey Logano earned an eighth-place result -- his fifth top-10 in six NNS races. Other Camry drivers in the field included Leffler (16th), Mike Wallace (17th), Reutimann (26th) and James Buescher (28th).

RECORD RUN: Busch's NNS victory on Saturday helped JGR set a new Nationwide Series record for wins by one team in a single season. The JGR No. 18 (five wins) and No. 20 (nine wins) Camrys have combined for 14 total victories in 2008. Drivers who have recorded wins for JGR this season include Stewart (five), Busch (five), Hamlin (three) and Logano (one). "We've got a great group of people and I think it shows with this being 14 wins for us at the Joe Gibbs Racing Nationwide program," said Jason Ratcliff, crew chief for the No. 18 Camry, after the ORP race. "It's all about the people here."

BUSCH NOW THE BEST: Busch's NNS win established another milestone on Saturday when he registered his 15th victory of the season across all three of NASCAR's national series -- breaking a record established in 2006 by Kevin Harvick. Busch's 15 NASCAR wins this season include seven in the NSCS (JGR), six in the NNS (five for JGR and one for Braun Racing) and two in the NCTS (Billy Ballew Motorsports). "It's just been a tremendous year for us," says Busch. "The opportunity that I've had at Joe Gibbs Racing and all the guys there, everybody in the Nationwide shop and the Cup shop as a whole, and Toyota has really stepped it up this year. We've really come ready to play. For me, it's been a dream season all around."

HOME TRACK HISTORY: Montreal-native and past Formula 1 champion, Jacques Villeneuve, will compete for Braun Racing in the No. 32 Camry this weekend at a track named after his father and former Formula 1 driver Gilles Villeneuve. It will be the first time he'll race in the NNS after competing in seven NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) and two NSCS events over the last year and a half. "I am very grateful and happy to have the opportunity to drive for Braun Racing in Montreal," says Villeneuve. "The people of Montreal and Canada love their racing, and this town is going to go crazy! It's super exciting for me to be here to race for the Canadian fans."

KNOW THE TRACK: "It's always an advantage to know the circuit layout," says Villeneuve of his experience on the course in Montreal. "But, in a way I am worried about my Formula 1 habits that are already formed. My biggest worry would be my brake lines, and I will have to remind myself not to use the Formula 1 brake markers."

OFF BUT ON: With the NCTS taking the weekend off, Germain Racing's pit crew and crew chiefs have chosen to attend another race rather than take some time off. Mike Hillman, Jr., (NCTS No. 30 Tundra crew chief) will serve as crew chief for Braun Racing's No. 32 Camry driven by Villeneuve in Montreal. Crew members from Todd Bodine's No. 30 Tundra and Justin Marks' No. 9 Tundra will serve as the pit crew, and Jason Overstreet (NCTS No. 9 Tundra crew chief) will also assist the team in Canada. Hillman and his crew helped Bodine to fourth-place result in the NNS race at Darlington earlier this year.

OH, CANADA: Engine tuner for Reutimann's No. 99 NAPA Auto Parts Camry, Yves LaFrance, grew up near Montreal in Cornwall and is referred to as 'Frenchy' throughout the NASCAR garage. The 42-year-old has been involved in racing for several years. His father, Marcel LaFrance, raced Dirt Modifieds and was racing in Middletown, N.Y., some time around 1992/1993. Marcel wrecked his car during the heat race and together they repaired the damage and asked Emil Reutimann --who is known as Buzzie, David's father -- to race the car because he was guaranteed a starting spot. David was there and helped work on the car and got to know Yves.

ROAD RACING ROOTS: Tundra racer (Justin) Marks began his career in road racing and will make his NNS debut in Braun Racing's No. 10 Camry this weekend that will be sponsored by Canadian company Future Electronics. "I'm really looking forward to it because road racing is where I got my start and how I established myself as a driver," says Marks. "It will be neat to race in a city that's so passionate about racing. I've been able to go there for (some) Formula 1 races and see the layout of the circuit. It's very much like a European-style race track -- the way the fans are right on top of the track. It's on an island and aesthetically it's a really neat place. I'm looking forward to it because it looks like its going to be a challenging course but there's slow speed stuff and real high-speed straight-aways. I've raced on tracks like that before and they're a lot of fun with a lot of opportunity for passing."

CAMRY COUNT: Camrys have won 15 of the first 22 NNS races this year. Busch has six wins, including three consecutive at Texas (April 5), Phoenix (April 11) and Mexico City (April 20), along with victories at Charlotte (May 24), Chicagoland (July 11) and most recently ORP (July 26). Stewart 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 at Richmond (May 2), Dover (May 31) and Daytona (July 4). Logano completes the 15 wins for Toyota with his victory at Kentucky (June 14).

CAMRY CONSISTENCY: Four Camry drivers currently hold positions in the top-15 in the NNS point standings after 22 races. Reutimann is fourth in points (290 points behind leader Clint Bowyer), followed by Busch (seventh), Wallace (eighth) and Leffler (11th).

Toyota 2008 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
14 142 (17) 7 31 63 8 65 1,206

JOHNNY BE GOOD: Johnny Benson earned his third victory in the past four NCTS races after leading 43 laps at O'Reilly Raceway Park en route to victory lane on Friday night. Tundra drivers Busch (eighth) and Mike Skinner (10th) also earned top-10 finishes. Other Toyota drivers in the field included Terry Cook (11th), David Starr (16th), Ted Musgrave (20th), Michael Annett (21st), Bodine (22nd), Marc Mitchell (25th) and Marks (30th).

CHAMPIONSHIP FORM: With his third win of the season, Benson maintained his lead in the NCTS driver point standings. He has eight top-five finishes, 10 top-10s and three poles in the season's first 14 races. "I think we've been good all year," Benson says. "We had our little mishap at Atlanta and of course Martinsville, and those things put us quite a bit behind. We fell back in the points and we've been working hard to get back up there. Trip Bruce (crew chief) has done a phenomenal job with all the guys on the race team. They have the confidence to go and get the things we need to in order to be competitive and I have all the confidence in them working on this Toyota Tundra."

FIVE TUNDRAS IN THE TOP-10: Five Tundra drivers are currently in the top-10 in the NCTS point standings after 14 of 25 races. Benson sits atop the standings with his victory at ORP and is now 15 points ahead of second-place Ron Hornaday, Jr. Tundra drivers Skinner (fifth), Bodine (sixth), Cook (eighth) and Starr (10th) round out Toyota's top-10 in points.

ARCA ATTACK: Scott Speed earned his third ARCA victory of 2008 with a win at Berlin Raceway in Mich., a track in which Tundra driver Benson is a partner. In addition to the Berlin win, Speed was the top-finisher at Kansas and Kentucky. The Red Bull Racing Team driver is second in this year's ARCA standings with nine races remaining. "Having this opportunity from Red Bull to make the transition into stock car racing the right way, without having to jump straight into Cup, is incredible. I have been placed in really good equipment and to have already won a truck race and three ARCA races is really encouraging for the future."

MANUFACTURER'S MATH: Toyota holds the lead in the three premier NASCAR series for the 2008 manufacturer's championship point standings. Toyota is 14 points ahead of Chevrolet in the NSCS chase, has a 36-point advantage over Chevrolet in the NNS standings, and is two points ahead of Chevrolet in the NCTS point standings.

BACK STORY: Background information on the Toyota NASCAR program is available at

IMAGES INFORMATION: Members of media can access Toyota images at



NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Driver 			Car 						Team
Dave Blaney 		No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry 	Bill Davis Racing
J.J. Yeley 		No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry 		Hall of Fame Racing
Kyle Busch 		No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry 		Joe Gibbs Racing  
Denny Hamlin 		No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry 		Joe Gibbs Racing
Tony Stewart 		No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry 		Joe Gibbs Racing
Michael McDowell 	No. 00 Champion Mortgage Toyota Camry 	Michael Waltrip Racing
David Reutimann 	No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry 		Michael Waltrip Racing
Michael Waltrip 	No. 55 NAPA Toyota Camry 		Michael Waltrip Racing
AJ Allmendinger 	No. 84 Red Bull Toyota Camry 		Red Bull Racing Team
Brian Vickers 		No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry 		Red Bull Racing Team

NASCAR Nationwide Series 
Driver 			Car 						Team 
Justin Marks 		No. 10 Future Electronics Toyota Camry 	Braun Racing
Jacques Villeneuve  	No. 32 Toyota 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 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry  	Michael Waltrip Racing


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