Toyota NASCAR Notes & Quotes - Week of August 18, 2008

August 18, 2008

Upcoming Races:

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) @ Bristol Motor Speedway
· Friday, August 22, Qualifying @ 3:40 PM (ET) – SPEED, PRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
· Saturday, August 23, Race start @ 8:00 PM (ET) – ESPN, PRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
· Race 24 of 36

NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) @ Bristol Motor Speedway
· Friday, August 22, Qualifying @ 5:05 PM (ET) – SPEED, PRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
· Friday, August 22, Race start @ 8:00 PM (ET) – ESPN, PRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
· Race 26 of 35

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) @ Bristol Motor Speedway
· Wednesday, August 20, Qualifying @ 4:15 PM (ET) – PRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
· Wednesday, August 20, Race start @ 8:00 PM (ET) – SPEED, PRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
· Race 16 of 25

Toyota 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
23 224 (15) 9 33 49 4 156 2,585

BACK TO BRISTOL: This weekend marks the fourth trip to Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) for the Toyota Camry in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) competition. In March, Camry drivers led 377 of the 506 laps around Bristol's half-mile, high-banked short track, with Denny Hamlin's sixth-place result as the top finishing Toyota driver in the field. Tony Stewart led six times for a race-high 267 laps, but contact late in the race with Kevin Harvick relegated him to a 14th-place finish. Toyota drivers Kyle Busch (17th), David Reutimann (20th), Michael Waltrip (23rd), J.J. Yeley (25th), Dave Blaney (34th), Dale Jarrett (37th), Brian Vickers (39th) and Mike Skinner (40th) also competed in the event.

DEBUT OF THE NEW: The new NASCAR chassis made its debut in NSCS competition at Bristol in 2007. Vickers (15th) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in that race. After that initial race with the new NASCAR chassis, track officials repaved the historic Bristol surface to include variable banking, and when the series returned to the track for the summer race, Waltip (23rd) led the Camry charge in a race won by Carl Edwards.

RETURNING FOR REVENGE: After leading more than half the laps at Bristol in March, the No. 20 Home Depot Camry should be strong again Saturday night. Crew chief Greg Zipadelli is hoping a stout car yields a fine finish. "Obviously, we ran good there in the spring, but we need to go there and run good again -- and finish good," says Zipadelli. "The race track changes a lot between the spring and the fall. You can't get caught up in other people's stuff so much -- you have to qualify well there, race well, have good pit stops and a good pit selection. Hopefully, we can take a deep breath this week and figure out what we need to do to accomplish all that."

HAMLIN HAD IT, ALMOST: Hamlin led 98 laps at the Tennessee short track in March, including pacing the field on a 'green-white-checkered' restart with two laps remaining. A fuel pickup problem allowed Jeff Burton to sneak by for the win, while a disappointed Hamlin coasted home in sixth. "It seems like Bristol is a track where we really, really run good," says Hamlin. "We've led on the last lap the past couple of times there and not won the race. It's good to go back there because we know we can run really well. It's just a nerve-wracking race track because you never know what can happen."

BUSCH ON BRISTOL: Busch has four top-10 finishes in seven career NSCS races at Bristol -- including a victory in March 2007. Heading into this weekend's race, the 23-year-old Las Vegas-native believes 'Thunder Valley' has tamed a bit. "I think years ago it was just a race where everybody could go all out, and now it's sort of tamed," says Busch, referring to the 'Chase' implications Bristol now holds. "With the track being a three-groove race track there's a lot more room that everybody can drive around it, so it's kind of cooled off a little bit in that sense, too."

BRAD'S FIRST BRISTOL: Camry driver Brad Coleman will make his Bristol debut in the Sprint Cup Series this Saturday. In his first start in the Hall of Fame Racing No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota last weekend at Michigan, the rookie completed 197 of 200 laps, finishing 38th in what proved to be a valuable learning experience. "I am looking forward to going to Bristol," says Coleman, who has made two NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) starts at the track. "It's going to be fun, but it's going to be tough to go 500 laps at Bristol."

HOMECOMING: Mike Ford, crew chief for the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 FedEx Camry, hails from Tennessee. Ford was born approximately 75 miles southwest of Bristol in Morristown, Tenn. Brandon Thomas, chief design and development engineer for the Red Bull Racing Team, is a native of nearby Kingsport, Tenn. Thomas' first NASCAR win came at the half-mile bullring as a crew member on a car driven by Rusty Wallace.

MICHIGAN MISS: Busch recorded his 14th top-five finish in 23 NSCS starts with a runner-up result Sunday at Michigan International Speedway in the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) No. 18 Interstate Batteries Camry. He led twice for 34 laps, while fellow Toyota driver Vickers -- who finished sixth -- led 21 laps in the No. 83 Red Bull Camry. Camry drivers Stewart (12th), Reutimann (14th), Waltrip (19th), AJ Allmendinger (28th), Skinner (35th), Coleman (38th), Hamlin (39th) and Blaney (41st) were also in the field.

BRIAN BUMMED: Despite his seventh-place run at Michigan, Vickers was disappointed that his car wasn't handling better late in the race. "We felt like we had a car capable of winning," said Vickers, who scored the Red Bull Racing Team's first ever pole at Michigan. "We chased the track a little bit. I think everybody did. The track continued to get looser and looser and we didn't keep up with it quite as fast as we needed to. The last two stops we decided to go with two tires and go for it. We over-adjusted for the two tires and it was just too tight at the end to really do anything."

TOYOTA TOP-THREES: In 23 NSCS races this season, at least one Camry driver has finished among the top-three positions in 19 of them. Busch has eight victories, including wins at Atlanta, Talladega, Darlington, Dover, Sonoma, Daytona, Chicago and Watkins Glen. He also finished second at Richmond and Michigan, and third at Texas and Charlotte. Hamlin won at Martinsville, and finished third at Phoenix and Indianapolis. Stewart finished third in the season-opening Daytona 500 and both he and Vickers finished second in the two trips to Pocono. Waltrip finished second at Loudon. Through 23 races in 2008, Camrys have compiled 24 top-three finishes.

POINTS PACE: With his second-place finish at Michigan, Busch continues to lead in the NSCS point standings, now holding a 222-point advantage over Edwards. Toyota drivers Stewart (sixth), Hamlin (12th) and Vickers (15th) are also in the top-15 in points.

Toyota 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
25 145 (15) 15 43 70 9 118 2,504

MORE BRISTOL BACKSTORY: Friday night's NNS race at Bristol also marks the fourth series trip to the track for the Toyota Camry. Earlier this season, Camry drivers Reutimann (third), Jason Leffler (sixth) and Mike Wallace (10th) posted top-10 finishes in the rain-shortened event at Bristol. Leffler (second) and Reutimann (third) also had top-five results at Bristol last August.

RACE REWIND: Four Toyota Camrys finished in the top-10 in the NNS race last weekend at Michigan. Vickers' second-place run was the highest among the Camry contingent, followed by Stewart (third), Joey Logano (seventh) and Leffler (eighth). It was Vickers' best NNS run of the year and fourth top-five finish in eight NNS starts this season, and Stewart's sixth top-five in just nine NNS races in 2008.

SMOKE ON 'SLINGSHOTS': "We got in a great battle there," said Stewart, following Saturday's NNS race at Michigan. "It reminded me of being what I can imagine Daytona was like without restrictor plates and with the slingshot and everything. You could get two or three guys there and it really got fun. It was really fun because if you broke the momentum on these things you could get passed going into the turn and come back off and pass a guy back. That's something you don't see here very often."

VICKERS WANTS VICTORY: Vickers led 17 laps in Saturday's NNS race at Michigan, but came up short in the end. "You don't want to come across greedy, but at the same time, I'm getting sick and tired of not winning one of these races," said Vickers, following the race. "I feel like every race that we've been in we've led, we just haven't led the right lap. When I could get up to the top as the tires wore off we could really get good runs and really had a good car to compete for the win -- but we just ran out of time."

DOUBLE (AND TRIPLE) DUTY: Four Toyota drivers will compete in more than one NASCAR event this week at Bristol Motor Speedway. Busch will compete in all three series at the track -- for Joe Gibbs Racing in NSCS and NNS, and for Billy Ballew Motorsports in Wednesday night's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) event. In addition to their duties in the NSCS with Joe Gibbs Racing and the Red Bull Racing Team, respectively, Hamlin and Vickers will drive in Friday's NNS race for Braun Racing. Reutimann will again compete in both NSCS and NNS for Michael Waltrip Racing.

CAMRY COUNT: Camrys have won 15 of the 25 NNS races this season. 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 Indianapolis (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 scored his first-career victory at Kentucky (June 14).

CAMRY CONSISTENCY: Four Camry drivers remain in the top-10 in points following Michigan, with Reutimann (fifth) leading the way, followed by Busch (seventh), Wallace (eighth) and Leffler (ninth) after 25 of 35 races.

Toyota 2008 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
15 162 (18) 8 33 67 9 67 1,283

BACK IN ACTION: The Toyota Tundra returns to NCTS action Wednesday night at Bristol following a weekend off. Tundra driver Johnny Benson has been scorching hot, winning four of the last five races -- at Milwaukee in June, Kentucky and Indianapolis in July, and two weeks ago at Nashville Superspeedway. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-native has recorded 12 top-10 finishes in 15 races this season, and is the defending race-winner at Bristol.

TUNDRAS AT BRISTOL: This week marks the fifth race for the Toyota Tundra at Bristol Motor Speedway. Toyota has a pair of wins at the track, including Benson's victory in 2007 and Skinner's triumph at 'Thunder Valley' in 2005. Tundra drivers also have two poles at the short track, with Reutimann in 2005 and David Green one year ago.

JUNIOR'S TAKE: Tundra driver Todd Bodine has a pair of second-place finishes at Bristol -- in 2005 and 2006. The Germain Racing No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota team returns to Bristol hoping to get that elusive victory. "A win at Bristol would be very special to this team," says crew chief Mike Hillman, Jr. "We know our driver can get it done at this track, and we know we've made a lot of improvements to our short track program. A win at Bristol, especially against the talented Cup drivers we will have in the field on Wednesday, it might rival our Daytona win."

BENSON ROCKS OUT IN NASHVILLE: With his win in Nashville on August 9, Benson maintained his lead in the NCTS point standings, holding a 45-point advantage over second-place Ron Hornaday, Jr. Other Tundra drivers in the top-10 in points include Bodine (fourth), Skinner (fifth), Terry Cook (ninth) and David Starr (10th).

LUCKY EIGHT: Tundra drivers have registered eight NCTS wins in 2008. Benson (four wins) and Busch (California and Atlanta) have each won multiple truck races while Tundra racers Bodine (Daytona) and Scott Speed (Dover) each have one NCTS victory in 2008.

TUNDRAS TOUGH IN TENNESSEE: In addition to the two wins and one pole that Toyota drivers have earned at Bristol, Tundra drivers have been tough at other NASCAR tracks in the 'Volunteer' state, including Nashville, Memphis and Bristol. Toyota drivers have accumulated seven wins and eight poles in the state. In 2005, Tundras swept all three Tennessee races from the pole. This year, Benson earned the pole at Memphis and won the NCTS race in Nashville.

BACK STORY: Background information on the Toyota NASCAR program is available at and 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 
Brad Coleman        	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 Office Toyota Camry        	Joe Gibbs Racing 
Tony Stewart        	No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry        		Joe Gibbs Racing 
Mike Skinner        	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 
Denny Hamlin        	No. 10 Dollar General Toyota Camry        	Braun Racing 
Jason Leffler         	No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry         	Braun Racing 
Brian Vickers        	No. 32 ABF Freight Toyota Camry        		Braun Racing 
Josh Wise        	No. 22 Supercuts Toyota Camry        		Fitz Motorsports 
Mike Wallace         	No. 7 GEICO Toyota Camry         		Germain Racing 
Kyle Busch        	No. 18 Toyota Camry        			Joe Gibbs 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        			Truck        					Team 
Johnny Benson        	No. 23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Tundra        Bill Davis Racing 
Mike Skinner        	No. 5 Toyota Tundra        			    Bill Davis Racing 
Scott Speed        	No. 22 Red Bull Toyota Tundra        		    Bill Davis Racing 
Kyle Busch        	No. 51 Miccosukee Resorts Toyota Tundra        	    Billy Ballew Motorsports 
David Stremme        	No. 15 Hyprene Ergon Toyota Tundra        	    Billy Ballew Motorsports 
Todd Bodine        	No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota Tundra        	    Germain Racing 
Justin Marks        	No. 9 Crocs 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 Toyota Tundra                      Wyler Racing 


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