Toyota NASCAR Notes & Quotes - Week of September 8, 2008

September 10, 2008

Upcoming Races:
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) @ New Hampshire Motor Speedway
· Friday, September 12, Qualifying @ 3:10 PM (ET) – ESPN2, PRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
· Sunday, September 14, Race start @ 2:00 PM (ET) – ABC, PRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
· Race 27 of 36

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) @ New Hampshire Motor Speedway
· Saturday, September 13, Qualifying @ 10:05 AM (ET) – SPEED, PRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
· Saturday, September 13, Race start @ 3:00 PM (ET) – SPEED, PRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
· Race 18 of 25

Toyota 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
26 254 (15) 9 38 58 4 169 3,189

HISTORY HERE: This weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) marks the fourth time the Toyota Camry has competed at the one-mile New England oval. Two Camry drivers earned top-five finishes in the rain-shortened spring race -- Michael Waltrip (second) and J.J. Yeley (third). Other Camry drivers in the field included Denny Hamlin (eighth), Tony Stewart (13th), Brian Vickers (16th), David Reutimann (19th), Kyle Busch (25th), Dave Blaney (33rd), Michael McDowell (42nd) and AJ Allmendinger (43rd).

PLACES IN THE 'CHASE': Toyota will be represented in the 'Chase for the Sprint Cup' for the first time since entering the NSCS in 2007. Three Camry drivers -- Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) teammates Busch, Hamlin and Stewart -- will start the 10-race 'Chase' at New Hampshire. With the points reset for the championship-contenders, Busch will be have a 30-point lead over second-place Carl Edwards. Hamlin and Stewart are sixth and eighth respectively in the championship points standings.

CONSISTENT 'CHASE' CONTENDER: 'It's a lot better to be at the top than it is down at the bottom,' said Busch, following Sunday's race at Richmond. 'Just to go out there and run consistently in the final 10 races and race these other 42 guys at the track with us, and yet still try to outrace the other 11 that we're trying to beat out for the championship. We know it's going to be tough and it's not going to be easy, and we have the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) and the 99 (Carl Edwards) most to worry about and anybody else that could hit their stride. The 88 (Dale Earnhardt, Jr.) was really good at the beginning of the year and you never know what (Jeff) Gordon and (Matt) Kenseth will do -- all of these guys are capable of something.'

RICHMOND REWIND: Two Camry drivers earned top-five finishes at Richmond -- Stewart (second) and Hamlin (third). Reutimann matched his career-best NSCS finish of ninth for the second consecutive weekend and led the most laps (104) in the 400-lap race. Other Camry drivers in the field included Busch (15th), McDowell (20th), Blaney (22nd), Ken Schrader (27th), Waltrip (28th), Vickers (36th) and Allmendinger (43rd).

DEBUT DELAY: Last weekend, tropical storm Hanna impacted not only the east coast of the United States, but also the NSCS debut of Joey Logano. When track activities were cancelled Friday night and Saturday at Richmond, including NSCS qualifying, it placed the 18-year-old on the outside of the 43-car starting field. The Middletown, Conn.-native is now scheduled to make his NSCS debut this weekend at New Hampshire driving the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 02 Home Depot Camry.

FAMILIAR TERRITORY: 'I'm excited to get in the Cup car because we had a good car when we practiced at Richmond,' said Logano. 'I like the Cup cars more than the Nationwide cars. I think they fit my driving style a little better. I like that I get to run my first Cup race at New Hampshire. I've run two Camping World races there and won them both.'

SPRING SUCCESS: 'Our finish at New Hampshire was our best one of the year and it gave us a little bit of a boost at the time,' says Steve Boyer, crew chief for Hall of Fame Racing and the No. 96 DLP HDTV Camry. 'We had a pretty good car at Richmond and that track is very similar set-up wise. Some of the things we learned at New Hampshire helped us at Richmond and going back there we feel pretty confident about the set-up of our car to go back there and finish well.'

TESTING FOR TOMMY: 'We have tested exclusively looking towards New Hampshire for the past month-and-a-half and we feel like we'll be bringing back a better package,' says Tommy Baldwin, crew chief for the Bill Davis Racing No. 22 Caterpillar Camry and a native of Bellport, N.Y. 'We built a new car for the race and we're going to give it our best shot. We tested at Gateway International Raceway (St. Louis) for four days last month and have been working diligently on our test program. I really look forward to the race there for the lobsters and the Modifieds.'

HISTORICAL HAPPENING: In last year's spring NSCS race at NHMS, Blaney earned the inaugural Cup pole position for Toyota since the manufacturer joined the series at the start of the 2007 season. The pole came in Toyota's 17th NSCS race and was the second of Blaney's career. Since that accomplishment, Camry drivers have earned five more NSCS poles including Waltrip at Talladega last October. This season, Busch has poles at Las Vegas and Charlotte, Hamlin started from the front of the field at Richmond in May and Brian Vickers earned the pole at Michigan.

SUCCESSFUL STRATEGY: 'We just got a break there at the end with my pit strategy, getting enough gas to get us to the end and having a really strong car,' said Waltrip, who finished second in the spring race at New Hampshire. 'I passed a bunch of guys to get into position to get to race-winner Kurt (Busch) and race him. I really wished we could have gone back to green. To get a win for our team would have been very, very rewarding.'

WALTRIP'S WAY: 'I think it has to do with the progressive banking,' says Waltrip, about racing at New Hampshire. 'The track did something smart a few years ago. They flattened out the bottom of the track. That means if you want to pass someone, it's shorter on the bottom. However, you do not have the banking to lean on. I love that layout. It's fun and it's now tradition. The banking has created hard-nosed, flat-track racing. The easy way around is up top. The fastest way around is on the bottom, but you have to have your car handling better to work down there. It's a really cool scenario.'

TONY'S TAKE ON TRACK: 'It's a big motor deal,' says Stewart, about racing at New Hampshire. 'With the corners being so tight, you've got to put a lot of gear in the car to get it up off the corner. Forward bite is always an issue there, too -- trying to get the car to go forward. So, it's hard to get up off the corners. Then you've got long straight-aways where you can kind of relax a little bit. Coming into the corners, you use a lot of brake, and it's hard to not only get the car stopped, but to get it to turn. '

FLAT FACTS: 'It seems like our FedEx team always excels on the shorter, flat track,' says Hamlin. 'A lot of it has to do with the package that we have and we feel like we're a little bit better right now on the shorter tracks. We don't have our big track stuff exactly figured out, but really we're just trying to take advantage of the strong points that we do have.'

MESHING MIKE AND MICHAEL: 'Probably the main thing that I've learned is that I just need to go off of my feel and not chase the lap time,' said McDowell, about what he learned from Mike Skinner driving his NSCS car for three races. 'Just chase what I need out of my race car to feel good about running a whole race. Mike (Skinner) verified that we needed to work on our race car and that my feedback was very similar to his. It gave me confidence that I can do the job that they need me to do. We just need to work on communication and getting all the other elements together to make sure that we can get this car back in the top-35.'

NOW IN NEW ENGLAND AGAIN: Two crew members for the Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) No. 00 Toyota Camry will enjoy a homecoming at New Hampshire. Greg Osbourne, car chief and rear tire changer, is from Hampton Beach, N.H., and rear tire carrier Troy Prince is from York, Maine. Osbourne joined MWR when Waltrip established his team for the start of the 2007 campaign. Osbourne also worked with Waltrip on his NAPA team at Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI). Prince served as the rear tire carrier for Waltrip's DEI team in 2005 before making the move to MWR.

BIG GREEN GUY: Shaun Peet, jackman for the No. 83 Red Bull Camry, attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., and played on the school's Division 1 ice hockey team for four seasons as a defenseman for the Big Green, from 1994 to 1998, participating in 76 games and scoring three goals. Following graduation, Peet went on to play professional minor-league hockey from 1998 through the 2005 season. 32-year-old Peet now serves as captain of the No. 83 pit crew that won the NASCAR Pit Crew Challenge in Charlotte in May.

MORE HOMECOMINGS: Multiple crew members from the No. 20 Home Depot Camry are from the New England-area. Crew chief Greg Zipadelli is from Berlin, Conn.; Jason Lee, jackman for the No. 20 car, is from Willimontic, Conn.; car chief and brake specialist Jason Shapiro is from Essex, Conn.; and tire changer and mechanic Ira-Jo Hussey is from nearby Manchester, N.H.

DOUBLE DUTY: Two Toyota drivers will compete in both the NSCS and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) races at New Hampshire. Busch will compete in the familiar JGR No. 18 M&M's Camry and the Billy Ballew Motorsports No. 51 Miccosukee Tundra. Reutimann will be back behind the wheel of a Tundra for the first time in almost two years as he will drive the Germain Racing No. 9 Tundra, along with his No. 44 UPS Camry for Michael Waltrip Racing.

Toyota 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
28 166 (15) 16 46 80 10 122 2,655

RICHMOND RECAP: Three Camry drivers earned top-10 finishes Sunday night at Richmond in the NNS race -- Hamlin (fourth), Logano (seventh) and Busch (10th). Other Camry drivers in the field included Mike Wallace (15th), Jason Leffler (30th), Reutimann (34th) and Josh Wise (35th).

CAMRY COUNT: Camrys have won 16 of the 27 NNS races this season. Busch has seven 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), Indianapolis (July 26) and California (Aug. 30). 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-NNS career win at Kentucky (June 14).

POINTS PACE: After 28 of 35 races, four Camry drivers remain in the top-10 in points after Richmond, with Reutimann (sixth) leading the way for Camry drivers, followed by Busch (seventh), Wallace (eighth) and Leffler (ninth).

Toyota 2008 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
17 174 (18) 9 39 78 10 72 1,481

TUNDRA HISTORY: This weekend's NCTS race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway will mark the fifth time Toyota Tundras will compete on the one-mile oval. Tundras have earned two wins at the speedway -- Travis Kvapil (2004) and Johnny Benson (2006). Four Tundra drivers earned top-10 finishes at New Hampshire in last year's race -- Skinner (third), Todd Bodine (fourth), Ted Musgrave (seventh) and Johnny Benson (eighth).

REUTIMANN READY: 'This is kind of a one-shot deal that we're doing at Loudon,' says Reutimann, about running the No. 9 Tundra at New Hampshire. There's a lot of guys on that team that I worked with in the past and were with me on my original truck deal, so I am looking forward to going back and working with them. We're definitely there to try to win the race and try to have a good time. I appreciate the opportunity that the Germain family is giving us. It's a one shot deal and I'm really looking forward to it.'

OVERSTREET/REUTIMANN REUNION: 'I'm excited, it's going to be fun to do another race with him,' says Jason Overstreet, crew chief on the Germain Racing No. 9 Tundra. 'It took us about a year-and-a-half to really mesh back when we were together a couple seasons ago, and I really enjoy working with him. The trucks are so different now that not many of our notes will be useful this weekend, but we'll rely on the 30 (Todd Bodine) truck to give us some good information. We'll get the truck as good as we can, and then we'll hammer down.'

GONE FROM GATEWAY: The NCTS drivers spent the weekend at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis for the 17th race of the season. Four Tundra drivers earned top-10 finishes including Benson (third), Bodine (fourth), Skinner (seventh) and Musgrave (10th). Other Tundra drivers in the field included Shane Sieg (13th), Terry Cook (17th), Chrissy Wallace (19th), Michael Annett (24th), Marc Mitchell (26th), Justin Marks (27th) and David Starr (28th).

FOUR IN TOP-10: Four Tundra drivers are currently in the top-10 in the NCTS championship race. Benson still leads the standings and now has a 94-point advantage over defending NCTS champion Ron Hornaday, Jr. Bodine, the 2006 NCTS champion, is fourth, followed by two-time NCTS champion Skinner (fifth) and Cook (10th).

A FINE NINE: Tundra drivers have registered nine NCTS wins in 2008. Benson (Milwaukee, Kentucky, Indianapolis and Nashville) and Busch (California, Atlanta and Bristol) have each won multiple races. Tundra racers Bodine (Daytona) and Speed (Dover) each have one NCTS victory in 2008.

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 
Ken Schrader               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 Express Toyota Camry              Joe Gibbs Racing 
Joey Logano                No. 02 Home Depot Toyota Camry                 Joe Gibbs Racing 
Tony Stewart               No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry                 Joe Gibbs Racing 
David Reutimann            No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry                        Michael Waltrip Racing 
Michael McDowell       	   No. 00 Champion Mortgage 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 Craftsman Truck Series 
Driver                         Truck                                             Team 
Johnny Benson            No. 23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Tundra         Bill Davis Racing 
Michael Annett           No. 22 Pilot Travel Centers 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 Ergon Toyota Tundra                           Billy Ballew Motorsports 
Todd Bodine              No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota Tundra              Germain Racing 
David Reutimann          No. 9 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 Toyota Tundra                       Wyler Racing 


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