Toyota NASCAR Notes & Quotes - Week of October 13, 2008

October 15, 2008

Upcoming Races:
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) @ Martinsville Speedway
·Saturday, October 18, Qualifying @ 10:00 AM (ET) – SPEED, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
·Saturday, October 18, Race start @ 3:00 PM (ET) – SPEED, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
·Race 21 of 25

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series @ Martinsville Speedway
·Friday, October 17, Qualifying @ 3:30 PM (ET) – ESPN2, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
·Sunday, October 19, Race start @ 1:30 PM (ET) – ABC, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
·Race 32 of 36

Toyota 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
31 303 (17) 10 40 64 4 208 3,390

HISTORY AT MARTINSVILLE: The Toyota Camry will make its fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) start at Martinsville Speedway this weekend. In March, Camry driver Denny Hamlin earned Toyota's second NSCS win of the season at the Virginia oval. Hamlin's Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) teammate Tony Stewart also recorded a top-five finish for Toyota with a fifth-place result. Other Camry drivers in the field included Brian Vickers (23rd), Michael McDowell (26th), J.J. Yeley (27th), Mike Skinner (31st), Michael Waltrip (35th), Ken Schrader (37th), Kyle Busch (38th), David Reutimann (39th) and Dave Blaney (43rd).

RACE REWIND: Busch earned the top finish for Toyota in Saturday's race at Charlotte's Lowe's Motor Speedway with a fourth-place result -- his best finish in this year's 'Chase'. Stewart (11th), Hamlin (16th) and Vickers (18th) also earned top-20 finishes for Toyota. Other Camry drivers who competed at Charlotte included Waltrip (24th), Blaney (27th), Reutimann (32nd), Schrader (38th), Skinner (39th) and AJ Allmendinger (43rd).

KYLE CLIMBING: After his fourth-place result in Saturday's race, Busch has now tallied 16 top-five finishes, 18 top-10 results and has led 1,671 laps in 31 races this season. "It was a hard-fought fourth -- it was the best the car was there at the end of the race, the last couple runs," said Busch, following the race. "We were fortunate enough to bring this car home up front with a good fourth-place finish. I'm proud of all the efforts there with all these guys."

'CHASE'-CONTENDERS: Busch gained two positions in the 'Chase for the Sprint Cup' following Charlotte and moved into ninth-place in the standings. Stewart held onto seventh-place and Hamlin is ranked 12th in the current NSCS point standings. With five races remaining in the 'Chase,' Stewart is 228 points behind current leader Jimmie Johnson.

TURNAROUND TIME: In March, Hamlin started from the outside of the front row at Martinsville and led the field three times for a total of 82 laps en route to his victory. "I'm looking forward to Martinsville," says Hamlin. "It seems like our luck has been so bad I'm looking to turn it around any way I can -- and Martinsville seems to be a track we've done that at. It's one I'm looking forward to -- I definitely consider it my second 'home' track."

TROPHY TALK: Hamlin's win at Martinsville in March was special for the Chesterfield, Va.-native, not only because it was in his home state, but also because of the first-place prize. "That was very cool because I always would get made fun of by my team guys and my spotter about not having a grandfather clock," explains Hamlin, of his trophy. "Now that I have one, they have to come up with something else. Then I got a duplicate that's actually at my house -- the original is at my parent's."

GAINING GROUND: "It's going to be a track that is somewhat of a wild card, but I think it's just that you have some guys that are in the 'Chase' that don't particularly run well at Martinsville and some guys that do," says Hamlin of Martinsville. "It's a track that we always look at that we can make up a few points. Jimmie (Johnson) as the leader is going to be hard because he runs really well there, but we can obviously gain on some guys that are in front of us in points right now. We have some good tracks coming up for us, for sure. I'm cautiously optimistic that we can get back in it."

SHORT TRACK STRATEGY: "It's just a short track race and you've got to try to have a good car for (it) and it's hard to have a good car there with the field as tight as it is," says Busch of Martinsville. "Qualifying up front seems to help out a little bit. We know who the guys that are going to be tough there are. Really, there's nothing that you can change about that race track to stay out of trouble or what not. Basically, you can be leading the race and have a wreck in front of you while you are trying to lap some guys."

MARTINSVILLE MAKE UP: Vickers believes the new NASCAR chassis is better suited for racing at the Virginia short track. "These cars are probably more suited for Martinsville and take the beating and banging and the punishment even better than the old cars because the bumpers do align and everything is so rigid and the foam in the doors," says Vickers.

MILESTONE AT MARTINSVILLE: Reutimann will make his 200th career start driving a Toyota in a NASCAR race when he pilots the No. 44 Michael Waltrip Racing Camry at Martinsville on Sunday. Reutimann has made the most starts among all Toyota drivers, including 57 NSCS starts, 66 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) starts and 76 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) starts.

SPEEDY START: After qualifying was rained out last week at Charlotte, former Formula One racer and current Red Bull Racing Team development driver Scott Speed will now make his first career NSCS start at Martinsville in the No. 84 Red Bull Camry. The 25-year-old will also sit behind the wheel of the No. 84 Red Bull Camry at Atlanta, Texas, Phoenix and Homestead. In 10 NCTS starts this year, Speed has recorded four top-10 finishes including a win in only his sixth NCTS start at Dover (May 30).

Toyota 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
31 185 (16) 19 50 89 11 135 3,086

TOYOTA TRIUMPH: In Friday night's NNS race at Charlotte, Busch crossed the finish line first to earn his ninth series win of the year and Toyota's 19th NNS victory in 2008. It also marked the 20th NASCAR win of the year for the Las Vegas native in 71 starts. In addition to his nine Nationwide Series wins in 2008, Busch has also recorded eight NSCS victories and three in the NCTS.

KYLE CONQUERS CHARLOTTE: Busch swept both NNS races at Lowe's Motor Speedway in 2008 with his victory Friday night in the No. 18 JGR entry. The 23-year-old also won the May NNS race while driving a Braun Racing Camry. "It's definitely pretty awesome to be back in victory lane especially at Lowe's Motor Speedway, one of my favorite tracks," said Busch, following the race. "It was a lot of fun out there to race those guys and have a great win for us."

TOYOTA TOP-10's: Along with Busch's victory, Vickers (third) and Wallace (10th) also had top-10 finishes for Toyota at Charlotte. Camry drivers Joey Logano (14th), Blaney (17th), Jason Leffler (18th) and Reutimann (24th) also participated in the 300-mile event.

LEADING LAPS: Camry drivers crossed the 3,000 laps led mark in NNS competition this season with 174 laps led during the NNS race at Charlotte. Busch has led a series-high 1,688 laps while Tony Stewart, who has made nine NNS starts this year, has led 537 total laps, which ranks third among NNS drivers.

CAMRY COUNT: Toyota drivers have earned 19 NNS wins this season. Busch has nine victories, including three consecutive at Texas (April 5), Phoenix (April 11) and Mexico City (April 20), along with victories at Charlotte (May 24 and Oct. 10), 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 four victories at Richmond (May 2), Dover (May 31), Daytona (July 4) and Kansas (Sept. 27). Logano scored his first career NNS career win at Kentucky (June 14).

POINTS PACE: Four Toyota drivers are in the top-10 in NNS points after 31 of 35 races, with Busch (sixth) leading the Camry contingent, followed by Reutimann (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
20 206 (25) 11 45 89 10 97 1,614

SCORE FOUR: Tundra drivers have won four of the last five races at Martinsville Speedway. Last year, Skinner won back-to-back races at the Virginia short track, while David Starr won the spring race in 2006 (his first win in a Tundra) and Jack Sprague won the 2006 fall race. Schrader (fourth) and Starr (sixth) were the other top-Toyota finishers in the spring race earlier this year.

RACING REUNION: Sprague will be back in the driver's seat of a Tundra for the remainder of the 2008 season beginning this weekend at Martinsville when he returns to the No. 60 Wyler Racing Toyota Tundra. It marks a reunion of Sprague and Wyler Racing as they competed together for 55 races starting late in the 2005 season through the end of last year. Their first race together was in Martinsville toward the end of the 2005 season which will be the site of their reunion this weekend. During his first stint with Wyler Racing, Sprague visited victory lane three times, earned four poles, 18 top-five results and 27 top-10 finishes.

NEW DEBUT: Sean Caisse will make his NCTS debut Saturday afternoon at Martinsville. Caisse will pilot the No. 9 Tundra for Germain Racing. The 22-year-old finished second two years in a row in the NASCAR Camping World Series East championship (2006 and 2007). This year, Caisse has earned two top-five finishes in five ARCA RE/MAX Series starts.

CAISSE COMMENTS: "If I were to pick a race track for my first Truck Series race, it would be either Martinsville or Loudon," says Caisse. "We tried to do this last year at Loudon, but qualifying got rained out. I'm very excited to make my Truck Series debut in the Tundra at Martinsville Speedway. Watching the Truck Series races on SPEED, I've always thought that Martinsville is the most ideal track for racing. It's a really cool, aggressive, bumping and banging track."

FOLLOWING FATHER'S FOOTSTEPS: Dustin Skinner, son of veteran Tundra driver Mike Skinner, will make his NCTS debut Saturday afternoon at Martinsville. The 23-year-old will sit behind the wheel of the No. 03 Germain Racing Tundra at the Virginia short track, the very same track where his father made his first-ever NASCAR start in 1986.

HEADING HOME: Todd Bodine always looks forward to racing at Martinsville Speedway even though he has never recorded a win at the track. Bodine graduated from high school just 45 minutes from Martinsville in Rocky Mount, Va. Last year, Bodine finished second in the spring NCTS race. He also earned the pole position for the 2001 NSCS fall race at the Virginia oval.

BODINE HOME BOUND: "To me, winning Martinsville is almost as good as winning Daytona," says Bodine. "I consider it one of my home tracks. I graduated high school 45 minutes up the road. I used to hang out in Martinsville. I've been going to Martinsville since I was seven watching my brothers race there. So, for me to win Martinsville -- it's one of my big three that I want to do. Plus, both of my brothers have won there and it would be history for all three of us to have wins there. I've always run well there and it's like going home when we go there."

HOMETOWN HERO: One person who has more experience than most drivers at Martinsville won't be in the starting line-up, but will be in the pits for Xpress Motorsports. Jeff Hensley, who hung up his driver's suit and is currently crew chief for Brian Scott and the No. 16 Xpress Motorsports Tundra, knows Martinsville as well as anyone. Growing up in Ridgeway, Va., just six miles from Martinsville Speedway, Hensley spent considerable time at the track. He competed in 10 Nationwide Series races at Martinsville between 1982 and 1985, recording five top-10 finishes. In addition, Hensley was a part of two wins at Martinsville as crew chief with Skinner and the No. 5 Bill Davis Racing Tundra last year.

VIRGINIA CONNECTIONS: HT Motorsports is one of the longest-operating NASCAR teams and is based in the state of Virginia. Team owner Jim Harris is a lifelong resident of the Lynchburg, Va.-area, where he operates his family owned business, Harris Trucking. HT Motorsports' team sponsor, ASE, is also located in Virginia, with their corporate headquarters located in Leesburg.

TUNDRA TALLY: Tundra drivers have registered 11 NCTS wins through 20 races in 2008. Johnny Benson (Milwaukee, Kentucky, Indianapolis and Nashville), Busch (California, Atlanta and Bristol) and Bodine (Daytona and Talladega) each have multiple race wins this season. Tundra racers Speed (Dover) and Skinner (Las Vegas) each have one NCTS victory this year.

FOLLOW THE LEADER: Benson fell to second-place in the NCTS point standings following Talladega and is now 39 points behind leader Hornaday, Jr. Other Tundra drivers in the top-10 in NCTS points include Bodine (fourth), Skinner (sixth) and Terry Cook (10th).

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   
Denny Hamlin               No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry                            Joe Gibbs Racing 
Kyle Busch                 No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry                            Joe Gibbs Racing   
Tony Stewart               No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry                       Joe Gibbs Racing 
Mike Bliss                 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 
Brian Vickers              No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry                         Red Bull Racing Team 
Scott Speed                No. 84 Red Bull Toyota Camry                         Red Bull Racing Team 
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 
Driver                         Truck                                                    Team 
Mike Skinner               No. 5 Toyota Tundra                                  Bill Davis Racing 
Scott Speed                No. 22 Red Bull Toyota Tundra                        Bill Davis Racing 
Johnny Benson              No. 23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Tundra         Bill Davis Racing 
Jason White                No. 15 Toyota Tundra                   Billy Ballew Motorsports 
Kyle Busch                 No. 51 Miccosukee Resorts Toyota Tundra              Billy Ballew Motorsports 
Dustin Skinner             No. 03 Germain Toyota Tundra                         Germain Racing 
Sean Caisse                No. 9 Germain Toyota Tundra                          Germain Racing 
Todd Bodine                No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota Tundra              Germain Racing 
Terry Cook                 No. 59 Team ASE/Harris Trucking Toyota Tundra        HT Motorsports 
David Starr                No. 11 K&N Filters Toyota Tundra                     Red Horse Racing 
Jack Sprague               No. 60 Toyota Tundra                       Wyler Racing 
Brian Scott                No. 16 Albertsons Toyota Tundra                      Xpress Motorsports 


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