NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) @ Kansas Speedway
· Friday, September 26, Qualifying @ 3:10 PM (CT) – ESPN2, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
· Sunday, September 28, Race start @ 1:00 PM (CT) – ABC, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
· Race 29 of 36
NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) @ Kansas Speedway
· Saturday, September 27, Qualifying @ 9:35 AM (CT) – SPEED, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
· Saturday, September 27, Race start @ 2:30 PM (CT) – ESPN2, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
· Race 30 of 35
Toyota 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
28 274 (16) 9 38 61 4 174 3,196
KANSAS PAST: This weekend, the Toyota Camry will compete for the second time at Kansas Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS). Last September, five Camrys participated in the rain-shortened event at the 1.5-mile oval and Dave Blaney was the highest Toyota-finisher with a 15th-place result. Current Camry driver Tony Stewart won the 2006 NSCS race at Kansas, and Nationwide Series regular Jason Leffler captured a Cup pole at Kansas in 2001.
RACE RECALL: In the most recent race on the Sprint Cup calendar at Delaware's Dover International Speedway, Michael Waltrip scored his second top-10 of the year with a 10th-place finish. Stewart (11th), Blaney (12th), AJ Allmendinger (16th) and David Reutimann (17th) also earned top-20 results in Sunday's 400-lap event. Other Camry drivers in the field at Dover included Michael McDowell (29th), Brian Vickers (31st), Ken Schrader (33rd), Denny Hamlin (38th) and Kyle Busch (43rd).
HOW TO PILE UP POINTS: Three Toyota drivers are competing for the series championship in the 'Chase for the Sprint Cup' -- Stewart (seventh), Hamlin (11th) and Busch (12th). Stewart is the most experienced Toyota 'Chase' racer this year, having competed in four and earning his second series title in 2005 under the 'Chase' format. "You literally take it one week at a time," says Stewart. "You do the things that it takes to try to win the race and then after the end of the day you look at the point standings and say, 'Okay, where am I at now?' The goal each week is to win the race. You may not get the most points for winning the race if somebody else has led the most laps, but you're still going to have a good points day. That's the approach that I've always had and always will have -- just go out and do what you can do to try to win the race each day."
TIME TO TALLY: Hamlin is in his third career 'Chase' appearance after competing in the 2006 and 2007 championship pursuits. The driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) No. 11 FedEx Camry knows how to handle the demands a championship bid can put on a team. "When things go good, it's easy to maintain," Hamlin says. "But, when things go bad, it's easy to hit the panic button. I did that last year. Having one bad race, and the next thing you know, I was trying to make up for it at other tracks. You have to realize that there's no one week that's more important than the next. You can get down to the end and say 'this race killed us,' but you could've made up points in the eight previous. You have to realize that 10 weeks is a long stretch, and you're not going to win in the first three or four weeks, but you can lose it."
OTHERS APPROACH: In addition to the 12 'Chase' drivers, there are 31 other competitors that make up the 43-car field every week. While they are not vying for the championship, they are still racing for wins and points. "I think you race hard for every position you can," says Vickers, currently 17th in NSCS points. "You have to respect the fact that they're racing for a championship, but at the same time, you have to do your race, as well."
DAVID'S DEAL: "Nothing is really any different than what we've done before," says Reutimann, currently 22nd in the points after four consecutive top-20 results. "Our deal is just to try to do the same stuff we've been trying to do all year long -- being a little more consistent and finish out on a high note."
JOEY JUMPS IN AGAIN: Joey Logano will make his second career NSCS start at Kansas when he climbs behind the wheel of the Hall of Fame Racing No. 96 DLP HDTV Camry. Though this will be the 18-year-old's first race at Kansas, he tested with JGR a few years ago at the track. "My first ARCA test was at Kansas and Zippy (Greg Zipadelli, No. 20 crew chief) came with us," recalls Logano. "That was kind of my 'let's see how this kid is' kind of thing. It was fun and I liked the track -- we were fastest at the test. It's going to be different in a Cup car, but we'll get the hang of it and figure it out."
FRYE'S OTHER FIELD: Red Bull Racing Team vice president and general manager Jay Frye is a 1987 graduate of the University of Missouri. While at Mizzou, Frye was a tight end and offensive lineman for the Tigers football program (1983-1986). "I played college football at the University of Missouri and I still follow the team religiously," says Frye of his Alma Mater. "They're ranked fifth right now and doing great, so they're a lot of fun to watch. Our racing schedule unfortunately doesn't allow for me to get to their games very often. This weekend the Offensive Coordinator, Andy Hill, and the Director of Football Operations, Barry Odom, are coming out to the track as my guests so I'm looking forward to giving them an inside look into the world of NASCAR. Ironically, my number in college was the No. 83 and Andy's was the No. 84, so maybe that will bring us some good luck for the race."
MULTIPLE MIDWESTERNERS: Many Toyota team members have roots in the region surrounding Kansas Speedway. Tyler Epp, general manager of Hall of Fame Racing, is from Lawrence, Kan., located just 40 miles west of the track. Steve Boyer, crew chief for the No. 96 Hall of Fame Racing Camry, hails from North Platte, Neb., which is about six hours northwest of Kansas City. Boyer, 36, earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1993 from the University of Nebraska. Tim Sparkman, shock specialist for the No. 11 JGR entry, is from St. Louis. The Michael Waltrip Racing team includes the No. 44 team gas runner Wayne Johnson and scorer Rosemary Johnson, who both still live in Miller, Mo. Chris Hall, front tire carrier for the No. 55 NAPA team, is from Springfield, Mo., which is just under four hours southeast of the track.
WRESTLER REPETITIONS: Like many pit crew members who played sports before moving to NASCAR, Aaron Shields (front tire carrier for the No. 83 Red Bull Racing Camry) made a name for himself in his home state of Kansas as a nationally- recognized wrestler. A native of Goodland, Kan., his wrestling titles include being a four-time Kansas Juniors champion, a two-time Kansas high school state champion and was a high school All-American ranked ninth in the nation during his senior year. "Wrestling is all about repetition and doing drills over and over until doing them becomes second nature in a match," says Shields. "That's very similar to how our pit crew prepares for pit stops. In practice, we also do drills and practice our techniques on a daily basis which has prepared me for carrying tires. Everything feels like second nature on race day, and you need that because you never know what is going to happen during a pit stop."
HEADING HOME: Lee White, president and general manager of TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development), is originally from Ellsworth, Kan., and has a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Missouri at St. Louis. White, who was promoted to president and general manager of TRD in June, is responsible for engine development, manufacturing, chassis design/development, team/manufacturer relationships, manufacturer/sanctioning body relations and engineering support for Toyota teams in NASCAR, USAC, NHRA, Grand-Am and Off-Road competition.
DOUBLE DUTY: Four Toyota drivers will compete in both the NSCS and NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) events at Kansas. Hamlin will pilot the No. 18 JGR Camry in Saturday's Nationwide event in addition to his usual Cup duties in the No. 11 entry. Vickers will be behind the wheel of his No. 83 Red Bull Racing entry in the NSCS race and the No. 32 Braun Racing entry in the NNS. In addition to his duties in the No. 20 GameStop Camry, Logano will compete in Sunday's 400-mile event in the No. 96 Camry. Reutimann will continue his regular Toyota 'double-duty' for Michael Waltrip Racing in both events.
Toyota 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
29 172 (15) 17 47 83 11 125 2,812
MORE KANSAS HISTORY: Camrys will make their second NNS appearance at Kansas Speedway on Saturday. Vickers was the top Toyota finisher in 2007, after leading 31 laps en route to a ninth-place result. Todd Bodine (14th), Reutimann (17th) and Leffler (21st) also competed for Toyota at Kansas in 2007. Current Camry driver Busch won the Kansas NNS race a year ago. Toyota driver Waltrip earned back-to-back poles in 2002 and 2003 at the 1.5-mile oval.
GOOD NEIGHBOR: Toyota NNS driver Mike Wallace grew up in St. Louis, located approximately 250 miles east of Kansas Speedway. In 29 NNS starts this season, Wallace has six top-10 finishes, including a season-best third-place result at Kentucky. He's completed 99 percent of all NNS laps in 2008 (5,115 of 5,161).
EIGHT IS GREAT: Busch led three times for 157 of 207 laps to win his eighth NNS victory of the season on Saturday at Dover. Hamlin (sixth) and Leffler (seventh) also recorded top-10 finishes for Toyota. Other Camry drivers in the field included Wallace (12th), Logano (14th) and Reutimann (17th).
UNBEATABLE BUSCH: Las Vegas native Busch has led more than twice as many NNS laps (1,550) this season than any other competitor, including 157 laps en route to his victory at Dover. "I knew it was a good race car, I was just trying to figure out where it would go," said Busch, of his Camry after the Dover race. "It would go anywhere -- high, low, all over the place. We knew (Mike) Bliss was out there a ways, so once I got to second I just rode there and bided my time. I knew there was going to be another caution. If not, he was going to have to stop, and I was going to have to stop under green for our final stops. I was trying to do what we needed to do to bring this thing home in first-place."
CAMRY COUNT: Camrys have won 17 of the 29 NNS races this season. Busch has eight victories, 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), California (Aug. 30) and Dover (Sept. 20). 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 29 of 35 races, five Camry drivers are in the top-20 in points, with Reutimann (sixth) leading the way for Camry drivers, followed by Busch (seventh), Wallace (eighth), Leffler (11th) and Hamlin (20th).
Toyota 2008 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
19 195 (23) 10 42 84 10 89 1,586
VICTORY IN VEGAS: Mike Skinner recorded his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) win since October 2007 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday. John Andretti (fourth) and Bodine (ninth) also earned top-10 results for Toyota in Nevada. Other Tundra drivers in the field included Brian Scott (14th), Shane Sieg (19th), Scott Speed (21st), David Starr (22nd), Terry Cook (23rd), Johnny Benson (27th), Stacy Compton (28th) and Justin Marks (29th).
DOWN TO THE WIRE: Saturday's victory was the 25th career NCTS win for Skinner and his ninth in a Tundra. He made a dramatic last lap pass in his Tundra to win by 0.020 seconds. "Erik's (Darnell, second-place) truck was good," said Skinner, after the race. "I knew I wasn't going to wreck to win the race. I was going to push him, bounce off of him, do whatever I needed to do. Doug Richert (crew chief) did a phenomenal job calling practice and Slugger Labbe did a good job calling the race. He put us in position to win the race and if we'd have finished fifth or 10th, I still think it was a successful day because of how much we struggled all year."
FOUR IN TOP-10: Four Tundra drivers remain in the top-10 in the NCTS championship race following Las Vegas. Despite retiring from Saturday's race at lap 64 with a cut tire and finishing 27th, Benson maintains the points lead by one point over defending NCTS champion Ron Hornaday, Jr. Other Toyota drivers in the top-10 include Skinner (fifth), Bodine (seventh) and Cook (10th).
TRIUMPHANT 10: Tundra drivers have registered 10 NCTS wins in the first 19 races of 2008. Benson (Milwaukee, Kentucky, Indianapolis and Nashville) and Busch (California, Atlanta and Bristol) each have multiple race wins. Tundra racers Bodine (Daytona), Speed (Dover) and Skinner (Las Vegas) each have one NCTS victory in 2008.
TOYOTA TERRITORY: Toyota owned Bodine Aluminum, Inc., has plants located in St. Louis and Troy, Mo.
The St. Louis plant manufactures engine brackets and carrier covers. The Troy plant manufactures cylinder heads and cylinder blocks. Toyota bought this family-owned St. Louis foundry in 1990 and employment has grown to more than 1,100, and production has expanded to more than 60 million pounds of engine parts each year.
BACK STORY: Background information on the Toyota NASCAR program is available at www.toyota.com/pitpass and members of media can access Toyota images at www.toyotamotorsportsmedia.com.
2008 TOYOTA DRIVER/TEAM ROSTER NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Car Team Dave Blaney No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry Bill Davis Racing Joey Logano 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 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 Nationwide Series Driver Car Team Jason Leffler No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry Braun Racing Brian Vickers No. 32 ABF Moving Toyota Camry Braun Racing Mike Wallace No. 7 GEICO Toyota Camry Germain Racing Denny Hamlin No. 18 Z-Line Designs 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
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