Toyota NASCAR Notes & Quotes - Week of November 3, 2008

November 05, 2008

Upcoming Races:
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series @ Phoenix International Raceway
·Friday, November 7, Qualifying @ 3:45 PM (MT) – ESPN2, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
·Sunday, November 9, Race start @ 1:45 PM (MT) – ABC, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
·Race 35 of 36

NASCAR Nationwide Series @ Phoenix International Raceway
·Saturday, November 8, Qualifying @ 10:05 AM (MT) – SPEED, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
·Saturday, November 8, Race start @ 2:30 PM (MT) – ESPN2, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
·Race 34 of 35

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series @ Phoenix International Raceway
·Friday, November 7, Qualifying @ 2:30 PM (MT) – SPEED, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
·Friday, November 7, Race start @ 6:00 PM (MT) – SPEED, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
·Race 24 of 25

Toyota 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
34 334 (20) 10 43 69 4 215 3,459

PHOENIX PROFILE: This weekend, the Toyota Camry will make its fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) start at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). In April, Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) teammates Denny Hamlin (third) and Kyle Busch (10th) were the top Toyota finishers at the one-mile Arizona oval. In 13 starts at Phoenix, Tony Stewart has one victory (fall 1999) and eight top-10 finishes, including four top-five results in his last six races. Busch has one win (fall 2005), one pole position (spring 2006) and five top-10s in seven starts at Phoenix. In six Phoenix races, Hamlin has recorded one pole position (fall 2005) and three third-place finishes (fall 2005, spring 2006 and spring 2008).

TAKE ON TEXAS: It was a fuel mileage finish at Texas Motor Speedway Sunday that included plenty of last minute ‘dash-and-splashes' on pit road. Camry drivers Busch (sixth) and Reutimann (10th) earned top-10 results in the 500-mile race. Other Toyota drivers in the field included Stewart (16th), Hamlin (17th), Brian Vickers (18th), Marcos Ambrose (21st), Michael Waltrip (27th), Dave Blaney (29th), Ken Schrader (30th), Scott Speed (33rd) and Joey Logano (40th). It was Logano's first NSCS start driving a Joe Gibbs Racing entry.

DAVID DELIVERS: Reutimann, driver of the No. 44 Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) Camry, ran among the top-five most of the 334-lap race at Texas and led the field twice for five laps en route to a 10th-place finish. "It goes to show you we have cars that are capable of running strong, leading races and taking the lead of races," said Ryan Pemberton, Reuitmann's crew chief. "It's good to think you have enough power when the motor's good enough, the team's good enough, the car's good enough and the driver's good enough to actually go out there and take the lead of the race. I probably could have tried to stretch it on fuel, but this team really needed a top-10 and I knew the way we pitted was a pretty conservative route to save a top-10 finish."

BUMP UP: At Texas on Sunday, Reutimann recorded his fourth top-10 finish of the season since the May Charlotte race. The Zephyrhills, Fla.-native has moved into 23rd-place in the overall driver point standings and pushed the No. 44 MWR Camry into the 25th spot in the owner point standings.

ARIZONA OUTLOOK: Does Busch expect to have strong runs at Phoenix? "In Trucks and the Nationwide Series I can win there. In Cup cars, we've struggled on the flat tracks and that's a flat track. I foresee the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) and the 99 (Carl Edwards) battling it out. The 16 (Greg Biffle) will probably be close to that."

TONY TALKS: Stewart has been racing at PIR since 1993 when he first competed in a USAC event at the desert oval. He participated in Indy Racing League (IRL) events at the track for two years before making the move to NASCAR in 1999. "It's always a place that we've liked," says Stewart. "We spent so much time out there it was a ‘west coast home' away from home for us. With all of the different types of cars we've run out there -- it's just made it that much more fun."

WHO IS THE ‘MUFFIN MAN'?: Scott Speed, driver of the No. 84 Red Bull Camry, will debut a T-shirt he designed for charity in conjunction with PIR and Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Muze Clothing Co., in the track media center on Friday. The T-shirt, which features an original ‘muffin man' drawing by Speed, will be sold during the race weekend and on www.muzeclothing.com with proceeds benefiting the Southwest Chapter of Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). "This is a really cool opportunity for me to work on a project that ties one of my biggest passions – fashion – into motorsports, while also raising money for a great cause," said Speed. "We're hoping that through this project we can increase awareness and raise money for conditions such as ulcerative colitis, a disease that affects me personally."

PAST PRESSURE: In 2005, Hamlin was selected to drive the JGR No. 11 FedEx entry. "Back then, I was put in a good situation because there were no expectations," says Hamlin, who has earned four career Cup victories. "When I got in the car, there was really no pressure for me to do anything. We had a top-10 our second run out (Charlotte) and it tied the best finish that the team ever had. I felt confident that I had the ride so I was able to be relaxed with those last five races. Then I got the pole in Phoenix before the season was over. Those things took a lot of pressure off me."

CHASING THE ‘CHASE': Stewart is the top Toyota driver in the ‘Chase' standings, where he currently sits ninth in the 12-car field, 404 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson. Busch (10th) and Hamlin (12th) are also in the top-12 in points with two races to go in the 2008 NSCS season.

Toyota 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
33 199 (17) 20 54 94 12 142 3,285

PHOENIX FACTS: In the April NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Phoenix, Busch led 133 laps on his way to a first-place finish at the Arizona oval. He was followed to the finish line by Hamlin (third) and Reutimann (ninth). Driving a Hendrick Motorsports entry, Busch also won the Phoenix November race in 2007. Braun Racing's Jason Leffler recorded Toyota's best result in the 2007 fall NNS Phoenix race with an eighth-place run, and Blaney (10th) was the top Toyota driver to finish the spring 2007 event.

TAKE TWO AT TEXAS: Busch was victorious for the second time at Texas this year in the Nationwide Series when he crossed the finish line first in his JGR No. 18 Camry. He led 174 laps in Saturday's race en route to victory lane. In the two Texas NNS races this year, Busch has led 300 of 400 laps. Other Camry drivers in Saturday's event included Logano (fourth), Reutimann (eighth), Josh Wise (11th), Mike Wallace (12th), Hamlin (14th), Leffler (17th) and Vickers (37th).

REACHING RECORDS: Busch's win was his 10th NNS victory of the season, which equaled Sam Ard's 1983 record for the most wins by one driver in the Nationwide series in a single season. The win was also the 10th of the year for the JGR No. 18 team, tying another record that was held by Richard Childress Racing (the No. 21 entry in 2006) and Howard Thomas (the No. 00 driven by Ard in 1983). Busch (eight) and Hamlin (two) have combined for the No. 18 team's 10 wins.

SOMETHING ABOUT SAM: "NASCAR had some champions of past years together and when Sam (Ard) was there I shook his hand, said hello to him and told him what he means to this sport," says Busch. "I know his record of 10 wins and I know what he's done for the sport and how he's built the Nationwide Series. His name is one of the lead names along with (Tommy) Houston, (Mark) Martin and (Tommy) Ellis. It's a pretty cool list of names of drivers who built this series." In victory lane, Busch announced he was sending Ard -- who is battling health issues – a check for $100,000.

HOW MANY MORE?: Saturday's NNS victory at Texas also marked Busch's 21st NASCAR triumph of 2008 in 78 race starts -- 34 NSCS races, 28 NNS starts and 16 NCTS events. In addition to his 10 Nationwide Series wins this year, the 23-year-old driver has also recorded eight NSCS victories and three triumphs in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS). "I would have liked to have seen 25 (wins), but I might have to shy off that a little bit," says Busch. "We're trying to get as many as we can."

TONY'S TAKE ON 20+: "It's still a pretty successful year in my opinion," says Stewart, about his JGR teammate Busch. "To go out and win 21 races in any season, no matter what type of car it is, that's pretty impressive. Obviously, he's not going to be satisfied because he's so competitive. But, when you put it in perspective and you look how many races you've run, to win 21 races out of a season is pretty impressive."

COOL CARPOOL: Unveiled at the SEMA show in Las Vegas this week is the Ultimate NASCAR Fan Sienna Rampvan. It gives a racing twist to the traditional Toyota Sienna Rampvan that provides outstanding wheelchair access. Complete with a nearly identical red and black paint scheme and racing decals to the No. 38 Camry driven by Leffler, this van has a host of new features ideal for the avid NASCAR fan. Leffler will sign autographs at the SEMA show alongside the van on Tuesday and Wednesday before heading to Phoenix. More information on the Sienna Rampvan is available at braunability.com or Toyota.com/mobility.

POINTS PACE: Four Camry drivers currently rank in the top-10 in the NNS point standings heading to Phoenix. Reutimann, who regained the sixth position in the standings, is the highest-ranking Toyota driver in points after 33 of 35 races. Busch (seventh), Wallace (eighth) and Leffler (ninth) also trail points-leader Clint Bowyer with two races remaining.

Toyota 2008 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
23 241 (31) 12 55 106 10 102 1,756

TUNDRAS AT PIR: Toyota Tundras will make their fifth visit to PIR for Friday evening's event. Tundra drivers have won two NCTS races at Phoenix -- back-to-back wins in 2005 (Todd Bodine) and 2006 (Johnny Benson). Mike Skinner captured the pole position in the 2007 NCTS race and has finished in the top-10 each of the past three years. Busch, who will drive a Billy Ballew Motorsports Tundra, is the defending NCTS race-winner at the Arizona oval.

SEVEN IN TOP-10: Seven Tundras finished among the top-10 in the NCTS event at Texas last Friday. Tundra drivers Busch (second), Benson (third), Bodine (fourth), Terry Cook (sixth), Skinner (eighth), Brian Scott (ninth) and Speed (10th) all registered top-10 finishes. Other Toyota drivers in the field included Texas-resident David Starr (12th), Jack Sprague (15th), Paul Tracy (20th), Texas-native Ryan Lawler (22nd) and Max Papis (29th).

NCTS TITLE THREE-PEAT: Toyota clinched the 2008 NCTS manufacturer's championship when Busch crossed the finish line second at Texas. It marks the third consecutive manufacturer's championship for Toyota in the series and the fourth manufacturer's title for Toyota since becoming a participant in NASCAR's upper levels of competition in 2004. Toyota captured its first NCTS title in 2006 -- when Tundra driver Bodine also won the driver's championship -- and won the manufacturer's honors again in 2007. In September, Toyota clinched the 2008 Nationwide Series manufacturer's championship at Kansas Speedway.

SMOKIN' TUNDRA: The No. 51 Tundra crew overcame misfortune in Texas to lead the field three times for 87 laps (of 147) en route to a second-place finish. The day before arriving in Texas, a fire destroyed the Billy Ballew Motorsports transporter en route to the track, severely damaging everything except a ‘smoked' race truck, a scorched pit box and a few tools. "I have to thank these guys," said Busch. "For as much adversity they've had this week and for sticking with us -- this just means so much to finish second. We wish we could have got a win. This is the best handling truck I've ever had at Texas. If it comes up that much short to (race-winner) Ron Hornaday, Jr., and those guys on that bunch than that's all we had for them. "

BENSON SPINS & WINS: Two years ago, Benson had a memorable NCTS race at Phoenix, starting on the pole and spinning on the first lap, before coming all the way through the field to earn the win. "At Phoenix, we've had some success," says Benson. "It's a neat, short track, and there's a lot of great racing there. I think that year that we started on the pole and spun and then came from the back to win -- those are far and few between races where that would even happen."

CHAMPIONSHIP CHASE: Benson was able to hang on to his NCTS point lead following Texas and now leads second-place Hornaday, Jr., by six points after 23 of 25 races. Tundra drivers Bodine (third), Skinner (sixth), Sprague (ninth) and Cook (10th) are also in the top-10 in points with only races at Phoenix and Homestead-Miami remaining this year.

TOYOTA IN ARIZONA: Four Toyota facilities are located in Arizona. Toyota's Arizona Proving Grounds are located in Wittman, Ariz. Toyota conducts vehicle performance evaluations for the North American market at this site. One of three Toyota Financial Services (TFS) national customer services centers is located in Chandler, Ariz., a suburb of Phoenix. Also located in Arizona are the TFS Tech Center Phoenix (TCP) and a Toyota Logistics Services facility, which is responsible for the transportation of vehicles in the region. There are almost 3,000 Toyota and dealer employees in Arizona with more than $450 million invested in the local economy.

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 
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 Pedigree 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 
Kyle Busch               No. 32 Berringer Wines Toyota Camry          Braun Racing 
Jason Leffler            No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry              Braun Racing 
Mike Wallace             No. 7 GEICO Toyota Camry                     Germain Racing 
Denny Hamlin             No. 18 DLP HDTV 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 
Kenny Wallace            No. 15 Hyprene Ergon Toyota Tundra                  Billy Ballew Motorsports 
Kyle Busch               No. 51 Miccosukee Resort Toyota Tundra              Billy Ballew Motorsports 
Michael Annett           No. 9 Construct Corps 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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