TOYOTA TIDBITS – September 20 – 26, 2010 Here Are the Headlines: Hamlin Holds Chase Lead Following Loudon Camry Drivers Seek More Success at ‘Monster Mile’ Tundras Tally Six Straight
LOOKING BACK AT LOUDON: Denny Hamlin chased down the leaders in the closing laps of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) before settling for a second-place finish at the one-mile New England oval. The runner-up result enabled him to maintain the points lead after the first of 10 Chase races to determine this year’s champion. Hamlin was forced to pit road under caution after a spin on lap 216, but he charged back through the field from 22nd- place in the final 80 laps. Camry drivers David Reutimann (seventh) and Kyle Busch (ninth) also finished in the top-10. Hamlin now leads NHMS race-winner Clint Bowyer by 35 points in the Chase standings, with Busch fourth — 62 points behind his Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) teammate Hamlin.
THREE-PEAT: The NSCS and NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) return to Delaware’s Dover International Speedway this weekend. Toyota drivers have swept all three NASCAR series races twice at the one-mile concrete oval. Most recently in May, Busch won the NSCS and NNS races, while Aric Almirola picked up his first career victory in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS). It marked just the eighth time in history that one manufacturer has won all three NASCAR races at one track during the same race weekend. In addition, Busch captured the pole for the NNS race and Martin Truex Jr. started first in the NSCS event. In 2008, Toyota drivers swept all three NASCAR Series races at Dover for the very first time. Busch earned the NSCS victory, Hamlin won the NNS race and current Cup driver and then rookie Tundra driver Scott Speed won the Truck Series event.
NNS RETURNS TO MONSTER MILE: Toyota has three Nationwide Series victories at Dover since joining the series in 2007. Along with Busch’s win there in May, Camry drivers swept both NNS races in 2008 — Hamlin was victorious in the May race and Busch won the September race that year. Busch remains third in NNS points despite running only 22 of 27 events. Toyota drivers Trevor Bayne (seventh), Steve Wallace (eighth), Jason Leffler (ninth) and Brendan Gaughan (10th) are also in the top-10 in points with eight races remaining on the 2010 schedule.
SIX STRAIGHT IN FIRST-PLACE: Busch earned the sixth straight victory for a Tundra with his win Saturday in the Truck Series race at NHMS. The 25-year-old Las Vegas native started from the pole and led eight times for 156 (of 175) laps. Busch’s win marks the first time Toyota has won six straight races, dating back to the NCWTS event at Nashville Superspeedway (Aug. 7). Previously, Tundra drivers won five consecutive events — ending with a Busch victory at New Hampshire — in 2009. Toyota has now won 12 of 19 Truck Series races in 2010. Timothy Peters (sixth), Almirola (eighth) and Todd Bodine (ninth) also recorded top- 10 finishes for Toyota at New Hampshire. Bodine continues to lead the series point standings after 19 of 25 races this season, holding a 257-point advantage over Almirola heading into Saturday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
SPONSAFIER 2 VOTING: Fans can vote for their favorite paint scheme designs from the 100 national semi-finalists in the ‘Sponsafier 2’ contest at www.toyotaracing.com, from Sept. 14 through Sept. 23. T he winning design will be unveiled at Phoenix International Raceway, Nov. 14.
BACK STORY: Background and images on the Toyota NASCAR program are available at www.toyotamotorsportsmedia.com.
TOYOTA 2010 NASCAR STATISTICS: Series Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led NSCS 27 350 (30) 10 31 61 5 156 2,133 NNS 27 288 (29) 13 56 113 13 136 2,655 NCWTS 19 177 (24) 12 45 93 9 88 1,688
WEEKEND RACE SCHEDULE: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series @ Dover International Speedway, Sunday, Sept. 26 @ 1:00 PM (ET), ESPN — Race 28 of 36
NASCAR Nationwide Series @ Dover International Speedway, Saturday, Sept. 25 @ 3:30 PM (ET), ESPN2 — Race 28 of 35
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Saturday, Sept. 25 @ 9:30 PM (ET), SPEED — Race 20 of 25