TOYOTA TALK: Busch and Hamlin Enjoy California
Truex Likes Return to NNS Racing
Win Kyle’s Tundra
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: This year, Toyota drivers have combined for 10 wins, 32 top-five results, 64 top-10 finishes and five poles after 29 of 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races … Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch are currently competing in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship playoff … Hamlin is second (-8 points) and Busch is fourth (-80 points) in the current Chase standings after three of 10 races … Owner and driver Robby Gordon grew up in Orange, Calif. … The 10 Sponsafier2 finalists will be announced this Friday (Oct. 8) with the grand prize winner to be named at the Phoenix race in November.
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Do you enjoy racing at California’s Auto Club Speedway? “I like California. It’s real wide and it’s kind of flatter than Michigan, so it’s a little harder to get a h old of, but you can really spread out. In the spring we saw guys all the way down at the white line and we saw guys all the way up at the wall. It seemed to be a really good race. It will be a really fun race track. It’s widened out and it’s become where you can race all over it, and with the race being as long as it is, you need to take a lot of time working through traffic and being able to have a good car and all that. It’s the same thing every week. We just hope for a solid day and that our efforts will put us good enough.”
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Are you looking forward to racing at Auto Club Speedway? “Any big track is good for us at this point. We’re getting ready to get into a swing of a lot of big 1.5-mile, two-mile race tracks and I feel like that was really our ‘bread and butter’ through the summer months. I feel like we’re definitely heading into some tracks that are definitely in our favor.” What does it take to be successful at Auto Club Speedway? “California is a multi-groove race track, but it’s just a track where you have to setup your car on one specific line because when you run the top your car changes a whole lot different than what it is on the bottom. Our goal is to get up there and if we’re going to run the top in practice we have to commit to it in the race. It’s very line sensitive track and the restarts are obviously interesting there because of the draft.”
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Are you looking forward to putting Kansas behind you and finishing the season on a high note? “It has been a good season and we need to finish out the season on a strong point and get to the good of it. We’ve had some really good race cars and haven’t had good finishes so we need to finish out as strong as we can to give our guys a little momentum during the off-season. As they’re building cars and updating things, it makes the winter go by a lot better when you finish out strong.”
NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: This year, Toyota drivers have combined for 15 wins, 62 top-five results, 123 top-10 finishes and 15 poles after 29 of 35 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) races … Joey Logano’s victory at Kansas enabled Toyota to clinch its third consecutive NNS manufacturer championship (2008-2010) and seventh manufacturer’s title (four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series trophies 2006-2009) overall since entering NASCAR in 2004 … In 20 NNS starts this year, Logano has two wins, 11 top-five finishes, 19 top-10 results and six pole positions … Reed Sorenson has six NNS starts at Auto Club Speedway with four top-15 results and his No. 32 team has had four top-10 finishes in the last four races at the two-mile oval … Toyota driver Jason Leffler is originally from Long Beach, Calif. … Following a fifth-place result in Kansas, two-time NNS champion (2004 & 2005) Martin Truex Jr. will compete in Fontana this weekend.
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 99 Torrent Toyota Camry, Diamond Waltrip Racing How does it feel to be back competing in the Nationwide Series? “It feels good. It’s just fun to run upfront. I’ve got to thank Diamond-Waltrip and everybody there for this opportunity. The Bechtel’s (team co-owners) and everybody who puts this race car together. It is a lot of fun. I hadn’t run one of these cars in probably five years and I remember how much fun it was. I’m looking forward to California. I’m looking forward to Ryan (Truex) running a few more races. He did a fine job (at Kansas) and I’m real proud of what he was able to do.”
STEVE WALLACE, No. 66 5 Hour Energy Drink Toyota Camry, Rusty Wallace Racing Is Auto Club Speedway a track you enjoy? “Auto Club Speedway is a track that I didn’t really like a few years ago, but recently, I feel like I’ve started to understand what it takes to go fast there and we’ve had a few top-10s there lately to prove it. Looking at Auto Club overall, it’s a momentum track just like everywhere else we go and having big time horsepower is huge there. Outside of the track, it’s always fun visiting Los Angeles. A lot of our sponsors are out there, guys like Toyota and Oakley — even the guys at Troy Lee Designs who paint my helmets — so it’s definitely a trip that I’m looking forward to making.”
REED SORENSON, No. 32 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Braun Racing Are you looking forward to racing with the No. 32 team at Auto Club Speedway? “I’m looking forward to returning to Auto Club Speedway with the Nationwide Series. This will be my first time there with the Dollar General team. They run really well there and had a top-10 with (Brian) Vickers earlier in the season and a second-place finish last fall. I know we had some bad luck last weekend in Kansas, but we are definitely looking to bounce back and get the finish that we know this No. 32 team is capable of, and that’s first.”
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: This year, Tundra drivers have combined for 12 wins, 46 top-five results, 97 top-10 finishes and nine poles after 20 of 25 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) races … Todd Bodine (first), Aric Almirola (second), Timothy Peters (fifth), Mike Skinner (eighth), David Starr (ninth) and Justin Lofton (10th) are in the top-10 in the NCWTS point standings with five races remaining … Bodine leads second-place Almirola in the point standings by 262 points … Toyota is currently 13 points ahead of Chevrolet in the NCWTS manufacturer’s point standings … The NCWTS has two more weekends off before returning to action at Martinsville Speedway, October 23 … The Kyle Busch Foundation is giving away Busch’s own Toyota Tundra and the winner will also receive a free trip to the NASCAR race weekend at Phoenix International Speedway … Raffle tickets are $18 and the winner will be drawn Nov. 1 … Go to www.winkylestundra.com for more information on the raffle.
TODD BODINE, No. 30 Germain.com Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing How do you determine when to be conservative on the track and when to be aggressive? “Who you’re racing around, what part of the race it is, what position you’re in — you take all those things into consideration. How you’re truck is handling, what kind of truck it is, these are just things you have to think about and realize when you’re out there and just be aware of your surroundings and your situation and you make your determination of what you can do from there.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports How is the ‘Win Kyle’s Tundra’ contest helping to support the Kyle Busch Foundation? “We can’t thank Toyota enough for partnering up with the Kyle Busch Foundation and helping to support a lot of deserving children’s homes. Not only is it a great cause to support, but some lucky fan is going to win a really cool looking Toyota Tundra.”
TOYOTA DRIVER ROSTER — Auto Club Speedway NASCAR Sprint Cup Series David Reutimann, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Camry Robby Gordon, No. 7 ExtenZe Camry Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Office Camry Casey Mears, No. 13 GEICO Camry Kyle Busch, No. 18 M&M’s Camry Joey Logano, No. 20 Home Depot Camry Marcos Ambrose, No. 47 Little Debbie Camry Mike Bliss, No. 55 Prism Motorsports Camry Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Camry Landon Cassill, No. 64 Gunselman Motorsports Camry Jason Leffler, No. 66 Prism Motorsports Camry Scott Speed, No. 82 Red Bull Camry Reed Sorenson, No. 83 Red Bull Camry Joe Nemechek, No. 87 NEMCO Motorsports Camry NASCAR Nationwide Series Jeremy Clements, No. 04 Toyota Camry Ricky Carmichael, No. 10 Monster Energy Camry James Buescher, No. 11 Toyota Camry Michael Annett, No. 15 Pilot Flying J Coffee Camry Kyle Busch, No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Camry Joey Logano, No. 20 GameStop Camry Reed Sorenson, No. 32 Dollar General Camry Jason Leffler, No. 38 Great Clips Camry Brendan Gaughan, No. 62 Loan Star Title Loans Camry Steve Wallace, No. 66 5 Hour Energy Camry Martin Truex Jr., No. 99 Torrent Toyota Camry