Toyota NASCAR Notes & Quotes - Week of November 10, 2008

November 10, 2008

Upcoming Races:
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series @ Homestead-Miami Speedway
·Friday, November 14, Qualifying @ 3:10 PM (ET) – ESPN2, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
·Sunday, November 16, Race start @ 3:45 PM (ET) – ABC, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
·Race 36 of 36

NASCAR Nationwide Series @ Homestead-Miami Speedway
·Saturday, November 15, Qualifying @ 11:35 AM (ET) – SPEED, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
·Saturday, November 15, Race start @ 4:30 PM (ET) – ESPN2, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
·Race 35 of 35

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series @ Homestead-Miami Speedway
·Friday, November 14, Qualifying @ 5:00 PM (ET) – SPEED, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
·Friday, November 14, Race start @ 8:00 PM (ET) – SPEED, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128)
·Race 25 of 25

Toyota 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
35 344 (20) 10 44 71 4 217 3,460

HOMESTEAD HISTORY: Five Toyota Camry drivers competed in last year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season- finale at Florida's Homestead-Miami Speedway. Dave Blaney was the top Toyota finisher with a 12th-place result. Other Camry drivers in the field included Dale Jarrett (17th), David Reutimann (25th), Brian Vickers (42nd) and Jeremy Mayfield (43rd). Current Camry driver Denny Hamlin has recorded back-to-back third-place finishes at the 1.5-mile Florida oval.

FOLLOW-UP FROM PHOENIX: Hamlin (fifth) was the top finishing Toyota in Sunday's NSCS race at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). It was his 12th top-five Cup result of the season. Camry driver Kyle Busch (eighth) also earned a top-10 finish at Phoenix -- his 21st top-10 in 35 Cup races this year. Marcos Ambrose (18th) and Blaney (20th) also recorded top-20 finishes at the one-mile oval. Other Toyota drivers in the field included Tony Stewart (22nd), Michael Waltrip (24th), Reutimann (25th), Ken Schrader (27th), Scott Speed (40th) and Vickers (42nd).

HAPPY ENDING: Hamlin was happy to leave Phoenix with a top-five finish, but will be even happier to enjoy some time off after the final race of the season in Florida. "A lot of people will have a sigh of relief when the season is over, for sure," says Hamlin. "It's definitely been a long year for us and the traveling gets tough. We're just looking forward to hopefully solidifying our spot in the top-10 at Homestead."

TO BE IN THREE: For the third straight weekend, Busch will compete in all three NASCAR events during a race
weekend. The 23-year-old Las Vegas-native will drive for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) in both the Cup and Nationwide races, and
will pilot a Tundra for Billy Ballew Motorsports in Friday night's truck race. "I like it because you get to go out there and drive and do what you love to do," says Busch. "For me, I just enjoy getting out there on the race track. I would presume that
any extra time on the track is an advantage. To run the triple with the truck, the Nationwide and the Cup stuff, it always helps -- at least for me -- because you get a sense of the track, air pressure adjustments, and things to change on the vehicles throughout the race."

AMAZING ACHIEVEMENT: Busch has competed in 81 NASCAR races this season and has registered 21 victories in those events -- eight in NSCS, 10 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) and three in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS). "It's great and it's a lot of fun to have that success like that this year," Busch says. "I've been able to run with a lot of great people and to be teamed with great race teams, and all the guys that have helped sponsor our stuff this year and get us to the race track. I don't really think about winning one in every four (races) or anything like that. You think about that you have 21 and all you want is more."

PHENOMENAL FEAT: "The year's not over yet, so once the checkered flag falls in the Cup race at Homestead then it'll be time to reflect and look back on it all and be like, ‘Wow, that's pretty cool,'" says Busch, about his 2008 accomplishments. "I don't even know all the numbers to tell you the truth. All I know are the wins, the 10 in the Nationwide Series and the 21 overall. It's just phenomenal the way this year's gone. A lot of that success of course is right down to Joe Gibbs Racing and all these guys putting their hearts and everything into the organization with the Nationwide and the Cup program."

END OF AN ERA: Tony Stewart will wrap up his 10-year career with Joe Gibbs Racing on Sunday at Homestead. Stewart has learned many valuable lessons from Gibbs that he will take with him next season as he starts his own NSCS team. "I think he's made me a smarter businessman, being able to spend 12 years with him," says Stewart. "I've been very fortunate and blessed to be surrounded by a guy, and drive for a guy, that is of the caliber of Joe (Gibbs).' And not only what he does as a team owner, but who he is as a person and what he means to us as a person."

DETERMINED DENNY: "We've made the ‘Chase' all three years that we've tried and we're one of three teams that has done that. Now, it's time to set little loftier goals. We finished in the top-three the first season and we've struggled the last couple of years. Our performance has been well -- not a championship-caliber performance, but we've been good enough to be top-five or top-three in points every single year. It's just every single year we've had problems in the ‘Chase.' We're not ahead of the curve as much as we were at the beginning of the year."

BOWLED OVER: Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Stewart will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 38th annual Fiesta Bowl Parade on Jan. 3, 2009. "We spend so much time this time of year getting ready for the end of the season -- by the time the Fiesta Bowl comes around I'm just happy that I get to sit still long enough to watch it," says Stewart. "That's kind of become a tradition for us -- in our off-season with it being so short. All I care about is that we have two great teams come and play a great game. That in itself will be special no matter who it is."

OVERSEAS ADVENTURE: Following the season, Hamlin will make a journey overseas to the foothills of Mount Fuji in Japan for ‘Toyota Motorsports Day' at Fuji Speedway. Hamlin will run several exhibition laps in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car and may get a chance to drive a Formula One car. "I'm excited about it," says Hamlin. "I've never gone overseas so it's going to be exciting for me. To meet some of the executives at Toyota -- I got to meet a few of them at Phoenix, and they said they're excited to get a ride from me. It's going to be fun, especially to get to know those guys. We're going to have a long partnership and it's a good way to build on it."

DOUBLE DUTY: In addition to Busch competing in all three NASCAR races at Homestead, two other Camry drivers will also be running a pair of events. Hamlin will compete for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NSCS race and Braun Racing in the NNS event, and Reutimann will drive Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) entries in NSCS and NNS competition.

DOLPHIN DUO: Terry Bassett, chief marketing officer for MWR, and Shannon Myers, jack man for the No. 55 MWR Camry, both have connections to the Miami Dolphins. Bassett was the vice president of marketing and business development for the Dolphins before his move to MWR earlier this year. Myers was a wide receiver at North Carolina's Lenoir-Rhyne University who was selected by the Dolphins in the 1995 NFL draft.

CHASING THE ‘CHASE': Hamlin is the top Toyota driver in the ‘Chase' standings, where he currently sits ninth in the 12-car field, 471 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson. Busch (10th) and Stewart (12th) are also in the top-12 in points with one race remaining in the 2008 NSCS season.

Toyota 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
34 206 (17) 20 56 98 13 144 3,347

HOMESTEAD HISTORY: Five Toyota Camrys competed in last year's NNS race at the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway. Jason Leffer (14th) earned the top finish among Toyota drivers in Braun Racing's No. 38 Great Clips Camry. Other Camry drivers in the field included Reutimann (15th), Blaney (26th), Michael McDowell (32nd) and Todd Bodine (37th).

RELIABLE RUNNING: Mike Wallace, driver of the No. 7 Germain Racing Camry, has completed 99.2% of all the laps in NNS competition during this season -- finishing 6,166 of 6,215 total laps. "We can take our hat off to our race team because we don't break and I try not to tear the car up," says Wallace. "Had we not had someone turn us around at Bristol, we would have completed all but a handful of laps this year. Our cars don't break, the Toyota motors don't have any failure, all the preparation of the cars is excellent and the crew itself is doing better."

ALL ABOUT ARIZONA: Hamlin (second) and Busch (fifth) earned top-five finishes for Toyota in the NNS event on Saturday at PIR. Wallace (ninth) and Joey Logano (10th) also recorded a top-10 finishes at Phoenix. Camry drivers Josh Wise (23rd), Jason Leffler (25th) and Reutimann (31st) also participated in the 201-mile race.

RECORD RESULTS: The Joe Gibbs Racing NNS Camrys -- No. 20 and No. 18 -- have combined to win 19 races in the series this year. Busch's win at Texas (Nov. 2) equaled Sam Ard's 1983 record for the most wins by one driver in the Nationwide Series in a single season. The victory was also the 10th of the year for the JGR No. 18 team -- equaling another record that was held by Richard Childress Racing (2006) and Howard Thomas (1983). Busch (eight) and Hamlin (two) have combined for the 10 wins by the No. 18 team. In Indianapolis (July 26), Busch broke the record for most wins by one team in NNS competition, and Busch's wins at California (Aug. 30), Dover (Sept. 20) and Charlotte (Oct. 10), along with Hamlin's triumph at Kansas (Sept. 27), further increased the record.

POINTS PACE: Four Camry drivers currently rank in the top-10 in the NNS point standings heading to the Florida season-finale. Busch (sixth) is the highest-ranking Toyota driver in the point standings after 34 of 35 races. Reutimann (seventh), Wallace (eighth) and Leffler (ninth) are also among the top-10 in the point standings.

Toyota 2008 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Statistics
Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
24 251 (31) 12 58 110 10 104 1,846

HOMESTEAD HISTORY: Tundra drivers have had a great deal of success in NCTS competition at Homestead winning two of the four NCTS races they have competed in at the track, including wins last year (Johnny Benson) and in 2005 (Bodine). Tundra drivers have also captured the pole position three times. Current Camry driver Reutimann earned back-to-back poles in 2004 and 2005, and Mike Skinner started first at the Florida track in 2006.

PHOENIX FINISH: Four Tundras finished among the top-five Friday night in Phoenix -- Busch (second), Bodine (third), Brian Scott (fourth) and Skinner (fifth). Other Toyota drivers in the field included Terry Cook (11th), David Starr (13th), Speed (14th), Jack Sprague (17th), Michael Annett (18th) and Kenny Wallace (22nd).

BENSON BATTLING: Benson finished 26th at Phoenix and heads to the season-finale at Homestead with a three point lead over Ron Hornaday, Jr., in the unofficial NCTS point standings. "We decided at the beginning of the year running for the championship we weren't going to worry about anything and we weren't going to put any pressure on – we're just going to go have some fun and go do it," says Benson. "So, we're making it fun for the fans -- I can guarantee you that."

TWO TO DEBUT: Premier Racing will make its first NCTS start in a Toyota at Homestead-Miami with Timothy Peters behind the wheel of the No. 17 Tundra. This weekend's race will be a prelude for 2009 when the team will field Tundras throughout the season. Tayler Malsam will also make his NCTS debut at Homestead driving the Bill Davis Racing No. 52 Stocks for Tots Tundra.

TAKING THE TITLE: Toyota clinched the 2008 NCTS manufacturer's championship when Busch crossed the finish line second at Texas (Oct. 31). 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.

CHAMPIONSHIP CHASE: Benson was able to hang on to his NCTS point lead following Phoenix and now leads second-place Hornaday, Jr., by only three points after 24 of 25 races. Tundra drivers Bodine (third), Skinner (fifth), Sprague (ninth) and Cook (10th) are also in the top-10 in points with only one race at Homestead-Miami remaining this year.

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 Bad Boy Mowers 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 
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 
Scott Speed               No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry                Red Bull Racing Team 
Brian Vickers             No. 84 Red Bull Toyota Camry                Red Bull Racing Team 
NASCAR Nationwide Series 
Denny Hamlin              No. 32 Hass Avocados from Mexico Toyota Camry   Braun Racing 
Jason Leffler             No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry                 Braun Racing 
Michael Annett            No. 03 HYPE Toyota Camry                        Germain Racing 
Mike Wallace              No. 7 GEICO Toyota Camry                        Germain Racing 
Kyle Busch                No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry              Joe Gibbs Racing 
Joey Logano               No. 20 DLP HDTV 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 
Tayler Malsam             No. 52 Stocks for Tots Toyota Tundra            Bill Davis Racing 
James Buescher            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                      SS Green Light Racing 
Chrissy Wallace           No. 9 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 
Timothy Peters            No. 17 Toyota Tundra                            Premier Racing 
David Starr               No. 11 Zachry Toyota Tundra                     Red Horse Racing 
Jack Sprague              No. 60 Toyota Tundra                  Wyler Racing 
Brian Scott               No. 16 Albertsons Toyota Tundra                 Xpress Motorsports 

< back

You must be logged in to view this item.

This area is reserved for members of the news media. If you qualify, please update your user profile and check the box marked "Check here to register as an accredited member of the news media". Please include any notes in the "Supporting information for media credentials" box. We will notify you of your status via e-mail in one business day.

Copyright Notice

All materials on this site are for editorial use only. The use of these materials for advertising, marketing or any other commercial purpose is prohibited. They may be cropped but not otherwise modified. To download these materials, you must agree to abide by these terms.