Toyota NASCAR Notes & Quotes - Week of October 27, 2008

October 29, 2008

Upcoming Races:
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series @ Texas Motor Speedway
·Friday, October 31, Qualifying @ 3:40 PM (CT) – ESPN2, PRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
·Sunday, November 2, Race start @ 2:30 PM (CT) – ABC, PRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
·Race 34 of 36

NASCAR Nationwide Series @ Texas Motor Speedway
·Friday, October 31, Qualifying @ 5:35 PM (CT) – SPEED, PRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
·Saturday, November 1, Race start @ 2:30 PM (CT) – ESPN2, PRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
·Race 33 of 35

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series @ Texas Motor Speedway
·Thursday, October 30, Qualifying @ 7:00 PM (CT) – MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
·Friday, October 31, Race start @ 8:00 PM (CT) – SPEED, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
·Race 23 of 25

Toyota 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
33 323 (20) 10 43 67 4 210 3,447

TOYOTA AT TEXAS: The Toyota Camry will make its fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) start at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. Three Camry drivers -- Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) teammates Kyle Busch (third), Denny Hamlin (fifth) and Tony Stewart (seventh) -- recorded top-10 finishes during the spring race at the 1.5-mile oval. After starting third and leading 16 of the first 29 laps, Busch was able to work with an ill-handling car to finish third.

ATLANTA REWIND: Hamlin (third) and Busch (fifth) scored top-five finishes for Toyota at Atlanta. Hamlin led 56 laps to record his career-best NSCS finish at the Georgia oval and his ninth top-three result of 2008. Other Toyota drivers in the field included Stewart (17th), Brian Vickers (21st), David Reutimann (28th), Marcos Ambrose (29th), Scott Speed (34th), Ken Schrader (35th), Michael Waltrip (37th) and Dave Blaney (41st). Ambrose made his first career Cup start in a Camry at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

RACE RESTART: Hamlin was leading the race when a debris caution bunched up the field with 15 laps remaining, enabling race-winner Carl Edwards and runner-up Jimmie Johnson to pass him. "We struggled on the restarts," said Hamlin. "But, the 99 (Carl Edwards) was coming. I think I was in the middle of the track versus going high or low and he hit us and knocked us down the race track. He chose what lane he wanted to be in. Once you get the guy on the outside on the restart, it's over. The only way regain was to do it back to him, but our car would not take off."

MAKING THE MOST: As an eight-time NSCS winner this season, Busch and his No. 18 Camry team didn't give up in Atlanta despite handling problems during the second half of the event. "This was a hard fought finish," said Busch, after the race. "The guys kept digging in and Steve (Addington, crew chief) kept making changes to get us further up there. We made the most of a solid run. We need to start running in the top-five and then the wins should come back our way."

CONSISTENCY COUNTS: In 13 NSCS starts at Texas Motor Speedway, Stewart has been quite consistent by accumulating one win, being one of only three drivers with eight top-10 results and leading the most laps at the track. "It puts you in a positive frame of mind when you go to a track knowing that you've run well there before," says Stewart. "You have to be comfortable or you're not going to go fast. You can move around on the race track to where you can run on the top side or the bottom side. It's nice from a driver's perspective to be able to have that flexibility behind the steering wheel, knowing that if your car's not driving exactly the way you want it to, you can find a spot the car likes better."

TUNING IN A TRACK: "Anytime you put more seasons on a race track, the better it gets because it seems like the pavement wears out on the bottom and it makes it to where you can run the top and be fast and you can run the bottom and be fast," says two-time Cup champion Stewart. "Every year that we come (to Texas), I think the racing just gets better and better, as far as being able to move around on the race track and guys not having to just follow each other and get stuck behind each other. You can actually pass, you can race and you can get away from guys if your car's fast."

CAMRY ‘CHASE' RACERS: Stewart is the highest-ranking Toyota driver in the ‘Chase,' currently sitting eighth in the 12-car field, 401 points behind current leader Johnson. Hamlin (11th) and Busch (12th) are also in the top-12 in points with 33 of 36 races complete in the 2008 NSCS season.

TOYOTA TOP-10S: This season, nine of the 10 full-time Camry teams have earned top-10 NSCS finishes. The No. 00 entry, which will be driven by Marcos Ambrose as the No. 47 Camry for the remainder of the year, will attempt to earn a 10th-place or better finish. Camry drivers have earned 43 top-five results and 67 top-10 finishes in 2008. Toyota drivers have led 3,447 of a possible 9,412 laps in NSCS this season -- more than one-third of all laps.

Toyota 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
32 191 (17) 19 52 91 12 136 3,110

TEXAS TALE: Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Texas will be the fourth visit for Toyota Camrys to the ‘Lone Star' state. Busch scored his first of eight Nationwide wins in the spring event. He led 125 of the final 130 laps -- and a race-high 126 of 200 -- en route to the checkered flag. Vickers (sixth), Jason Leffler (ninth) and Stewart (10th) also earned top-10 finishes for Toyota in April. In last fall's race at Texas, Reutimann earned the pole position for Toyota the week following his first career NNS win in Memphis.

TOYOTAS IN TENNESSEE: Reutimann recorded his season-best NNS finish of the year on Saturday with a second-place finish at Memphis Motorsports Park. Toyota 18-year-old drivers Joey Logano (fifth) and James Buescher (pole) also had memorable moments in Memphis. Buescher earned his first career pole in just his sixth series start and finished 19th. Leffler finished 12th and Mike Wallace earned a 14th-place result, while Marc Davis (23rd) made his Nationwide Series debut on Saturday in a JGR entry.

FROM THE BACK OF THE PACK: Reutimann's NSCS driving duties in Atlanta over the weekend caused him to miss qualifying in Memphis and he had to start from the back of the 43-car field. "We ended up having a great car," says Reutimann. "Josh (Wise) did an incredible job practicing and qualifying the car. The car drove phenomenal the whole race. Three-quarters of the field was in the same situation when we ended up being two laps down. We got one of our laps back the old fashion way -- I fought for it and got it back -- and then the second time we got the ‘Lucky Dog' and were able to get up there."

LOGANO LEARNING: Part of being a rookie driver is visiting tracks for the first time, which is what Logano is experiencing this year. "I came to Memphis earlier and went around a few laps with Mike McLaughlin and Casey Atwood just trying to get to know the race track a little bit to see what I needed to do," said Logano, who has proved to be a quick study. "I think we did good for never being here before. I'll take another top-five to get back in the spirit again."

CATCHING SOME COACHING: Logano has learned many things from Joe Gibbs -- the former NFL coach and team owner at JGR. "A lot of people stuff," says Logano. "He knows what he's doing when it comes to that. You watch the way he deals with the media. You watch the way he deals with the guys on the team. That, to me, is a very, very big deal. Winning races takes a lot of hard work, and that's one of the steps, I think, that gets you there. You have to be gelling with the people around you all the time. That's probably the biggest thing I've learned from him."

PILING UP POLES: Toyota drivers have earned 12 NNS poles this season. Busch has four poles at Nashville (March 22), Phoenix (April 11), California (August 30) and Dover (September 20). Camry drivers with a pair of poles in 2008 include Logano at Nashville (June 7) and Kentucky (June 14), Stewart at Daytona (Feb. 15) and Talladega (April 25), and Vickers at Las Vegas (March 1) and Charlotte (May 24). Reutimann earned the top-starting spot at Chicagoland (July 11) and Buescher earned the pole at the most recent NNS race at Memphis (Oct. 25).

POINTS PACE: Four Camry drivers currently rank in the top-10 in the NNS point standings heading into Texas. Reutimann, who regained the sixth position in the standings, is the highest-ranking Toyota driver in points after 32 of 35 races. Busch (seventh), Wallace (eighth) and Leffler (ninth) also trail points-leader Clint Bowyer with three races remaining.

Toyota 2008 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
22 229 (28) 12 51 98 10 99 1,669

TUNDRAS IN TEXAS: Toyota Tundras will make their 10th NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) start at Texas Motor Speedway Friday night. Tundra drivers have won five of the nine NCTS races they have competed in, including back-to-back wins in 2007. Tundra driver Todd Bodine has four wins at Texas (2004-2, 2005-2, 2006-1, 2007-1) and one pole position at the track. Ted Musgrave won in last season's fall race. Mike Skinner has held five pole positions in the NCTS at Texas.

RACE RECALL: Six Toyota Tundras finished among the top-10 in the NCTS event at Atlanta on Saturday. Hamlin finished third in a Billy Ballew Motorsports entry and was followed to the finish line by Bodine (fourth) and Speed (fifth). Tundra drivers Johnny Benson (seventh), Busch (eighth) and Brian Scott (10th) also posted top-10 results on the 1.5-mile Georgia oval. Other Toyota drivers in the field included Jack Sprague (13th), David Starr (14th), Chrissy Wallace (25th), Skinner (26th) and Terry Cook (28th).

GOING THE DISTANCE WITH DENNY: Is the race distance what attracts Cup regulars like Hamlin and Busch to compete in the Craftsman Truck Series? "I'm voting that all races are only 130 laps," said Hamlin after Saturday's NCTS race. "This one was just right. You get the most action per lap when it's a short race like this. In Cup you have to be more patient -- you don't see the battle for positions like you do in these truck races. In Cup, you just run so many more laps and it takes so much longer that you just don't run 100 percent anymore in the Cup Series until the last 50 laps or so."

MIKE LIKES TEXAS: "Texas is just one of those places that is absolutely first class," says Skinner, who has more than twice as many poles at Texas than any other NCTS driver. "It's a neat race track for trucks. We've really got around there good in the past, led a lot of laps and got several poles. We haven't walked away with a win yet, but we've been very close."

GERMAIN GETS IT: Bodine and Germain Racing have found the right way to get around Texas like few other teams. The Germain NCTS team has five wins and two poles at the 1.5-mile race track. "Germain Racing has a really good intermediate track program," says Bodine. "Texas falls right into that. As a team, we've had wins and pole awards with our Lumber Liquidators Tundra and with our No. 9 Tundra program. It's a track where we just seem to have good success."

CHAMPIONSHIP CHASE: Benson was able to maintain his NCTS point lead following Atlanta and now leads second-place Hornaday, Jr., by 31 points after 22 of 25 races. Tundra drivers Bodine (third) and Skinner (seventh) are also in the top-10 in points with three races remaining.

HEADING HOME: Two Toyota NCTS drivers will return to their home state of Texas for this weekend's race. Starr, who will pilot the No. 11 Tundra, grew up about 275 miles south of Texas Motor Speedway in Houston. In 20 NCTS starts at Texas, he has recorded nine top-10 finishes, including seven top-fives. Ryan Lawler, who will drive the No. 15 Tundra, is originally from Colleyville, a suburb of Dallas. At the age of 21, Lawler will be making his eighth career NCTS start.

TEXAS TUNDRAS: Texas is home to Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Texas (TMMTX). The San Antonio production facility opened in November of 2006 and produces Toyota Tundras. The facility employs almost 2,000 Toyota team members, and an additional 2,100 people are employed at the 21 on-site suppliers located at the facility.

REGIONAL CHAMPS: Bill McAnally Racing and Toyota recently secured two championships. Eric Holmes and his No. 20 NAPA Camry team clinched the 2008 NASCAR Camping World Series West championship with four wins, nine top-fives, 10 top-10 finishes and five poles this year. He'll compete in the ‘Toyota All Star Showdown' on January 23-24, 2009 at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. Paulie Harraka, a product of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program, captured the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model championship in his No. 16 Ruth's Chris Toyota with 11 victories in 2008.

TAKING A TITLE: This past weekend, Busch became a championship owner when his race team captured the title in the PASS South super late model series. Driver Alex Haase, an 18-year-old Las Vegas-native, guided the Kyle Busch Foundation Toyota to three wins, six top-five finishes and nine top-10 results in the series en route to the championship. "The PASS South series is a fun series," says Busch. "Congratulations to Alex Haase and all my boys. They won the championship -- the first for a Camry in late models, I presume. Also, a first for myself, and a first for Alex -- it was a good weekend."

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 
Max Papis                   No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry                      Germain Racing 
Ken Schrader                No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry                   Hall of Fame Racing   
Joey Logano                 No. 02 Home Depot Toyota Camry                 Joe Gibbs 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 
David Reutimann             No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry                        Michael Waltrip Racing 
Marcos Ambrose              No. 47 Little Debbie 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 Nationwide Series 
Driver                         Car                                              Team 
Brian Vickers              No. 32 Dollar General Toyota Camry                 Braun Racing 
Jason Leffler              No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry                    Braun Racing 
Mike Wallace               No. 7 GEICO Toyota Camry                           Germain Racing 
Kyle Busch                 No. 18 Farm Bureau Insurance 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 
Josh Wise                  No. 00 NAPA Toyota Camry                           Michael Waltrip Racing 
  
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 
Ryan Lawler               No. 15 Hyprene Ergon Toyota Tundra                  Billy Ballew Motorsports 
Kyle Busch                No. 51 Miccosukee Resort Toyota Tundra              Billy Ballew Motorsports 
Max Papis                 No. 07 GEICO Toyota Tundra                          Germain Racing 
Paul Tracy                No. 9 Bombardier/Sport Clips 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 Zachry Toyota Tundra                         Red Horse Racing 
Jack Sprague              No. 60 Wyler.com Toyota Tundra                      Wyler Racing 
Brian Scott               No. 16 Albertsons Toyota Tundra                     Xpress Motorsports 
  
  
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