Toyota NASCAR Notes & Quotes Pocono – Texas

TOYOTA NASCAR NOTES & QUOTES Week of June 6 – June 12, 2011 TOYOTA  

TIDBITS HAMLIN HAD THE FUEL:  Denny Hamlinwas the highest finishing Camry driver with a third-place result in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Kansas Speedway.  Hamlin started 15th and led the field three times for 34 laps (of 267) in the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) No. 11 FedEx Freight Camry.  Hamlin was running at the front of the field when he was forced to make a pit stop during a mid-race caution to make adjustments on his Camry.  In the closing laps, the 30-year- old Chesterfield, Va.-native had enough fuel to make it to the finish when other drivers had to pit.   Hamlin has earned four top-10 finishes in the last five races to move up six spots into the top-12 in points and is now just one point from 10th-place in the NSCS championship point standings.    

WINDY CITY RECAP:  In Saturday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Chicagoland Speedway, Kenny Wallacewas the first Camry driver to the finish line with a seventh-place result in the 200-lap race.  Wallace’s result in Saturday’s race was his fifth top-10 of the 2011 season, and his third top-10 in the last four races.  Kelly Bires (eighth) made his second appearance of the season in the JGR No. 18 Camry.  Michael Annett (ninth) also earned a top-10 finish in his Toyota — his first top-10 result in 2011.    

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SEASON BEST FOR BODINE:  In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Kansas Speedway, Todd Bodinewas the highest finishing Tundra driver with a third-place result.  Bodine started 10th in the Germain Racing No. 30 NTB/Valvoline Tundra and led twice for nine laps (of 167) .  The third-place result marked Bodine’s best finish of the season.  The defending series champion also earned a third-place result at Darlington Raceway in March.  Tundra drivers Busch(sixth), Brendan Gaughan(seventh) and Travis Kvapil(10th) also earned top-10 results in Saturday’s race.  

HAMLIN HAS HANDLE:  Hamlin’sracing resume has more NSCS wins at Pennsylvania’s Pocono Raceway than any other track on the circuit.  His winning ways at Pocono began during his rookie season in 2006 when Hamlin earned the win from the pole  in both NSCS races held at the Pennsylvania track — which included his first career Cup Series victory (June 2006).  The 30-year-old earned his third win at Pocono in August 2009 when he crossed the finish line first after leading 91 laps (of 200).  Hamlin was dominant again last summer, leading 88 laps (of 204) to bring home his fourth victory in last June’s rain-delayed race.  The driver of the JGR No. 11 FedEx Camry has tallied a total of seven top-five and eight top-10 finishes in his 10 career NSCS starts around the 2.5-mile triangular track.    

Among active drivers, he is tied with Jeff Gordon for the most victories (four) at Pocono, while semi-retired driver Bill Elliott has five wins at the track.  

TUNDRAS AT TEXAS: Tundra drivers have nine NCWTS race wins at Texas Motor Speedway since entering the series in 2004.  Tundra driver Bodine has the most Truck Series victories at the mile-and-a-half track with six (Oct. 2004, Nov. 2005, June 2006, June 2007, June 2009 and June 2010), along with one pole position.  NCWTS team owner Busch (Nov. 2009 and Nov. 2010) has two wins at the Texas track and former Toyota driver Ted Musgrave (Nov. 2007) has a single win at the circuit.    

NOTES, QUOTES & NUMBERS NASCARSprintCupSeries(NSCS):  Since the start of the 2011 season, Toyota drivers have combined for two victories, 13 top-five results, 28 top-10 finishes and have led 1,381 laps … After 13 races, Kyle Busch is fifth in the NSCS point standings, trailing leader Carl Edwards by 60 points … Denny Hamlin (11th) and Kasey Kahne (18th) are also in the top-20 in the standings …… Shaun Peet, jackman and pit crew captain for the No. 83 Red Bull Camry,  was a defenseman for the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins (hockey) during the 2001 season  … Bryan Jacobsen, the No. 83 front tire changer, is from Honesdale, Pa., … Twin brothers from Warren, Pa., work alongside each other on the Red Bull Racing Team Camrys — Scott Munksgard is the shock specialist on the No. 83 Camry, and his twin brother Lance is the pit crew coach for both Red Bull teams.  

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Why have you had so much success at Pocono? “It’s tough to say, I mean, because we’ve won there in different cars, different lines.  The patch is no longer a huge advantage like it used to be in turn three and I run a much different line than what other guys run.  I don’t know.  I just search around and seem to find what works.  The thing is, though, I’ve got cars good enough to where I can run 80 percent all day and still be able to keep up with the guys.  That’s what makes it easy for me to look really good is the fact that I don’t have to push my car over the limit and it still has speed.”  

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing (continued) What are your goals for the next 13 races before the Chase starts? “My goal right now, if I had to set out where I want to be going into Richmond — I’d like to be top-five in points.  Fifth is a good number and a feasible goal where we can reach.  If we go on a run and win every race, sure we can be first, but a feasible goal is to be top-five so we don’t have to race our way into Richmond.  That’s the goal.  We don’t want to have to go to Richmond and still not know whether we’re going to be in the Chase or not.  We need to be consistent and we need to learn how to finish races consistently in the top-five, not top-10 — top-five.  Obviously, we are getting better and our cars are getting better.  I’m pretty sure we’re going to be good and in that position when we get to Richmond and not panicking whatsoever.   We’ve made up a lot of distance in these last few weeks, so we have to keep that going.”  

JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Do you enjoy racing at Pocono? “I’ve ran really good there and I’ve run really bad there.  I’ve been kind of confused there before.  I like it.  I think it’s fun.   It’s really interesting because you have three way different corners, so trying to get your car to handl e good in all three corners is really tough.  Trying to figure all that out and racing there is fun.  You have that long straightaway in the front and even the one down Long Pond is really, really long too.  It’s always good racing there and on restarts, it’s nuts because you can go four and five-wide into turn one, so it’s a lot of fun.”  

NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS):  Since the start of the 2011 season, Toyota drivers have combined for six wins, 17 top- five results, 36 top-10 finishes and have led 1,120 laps … Kenny Wallace (seventh) is the top Toyota driver in the NNS point standings … Steve Wallace (eighth), Brian Scott (ninth), Michael Annett (1 0th) and Joe Nemechek (12th) are also in the top-15 in the standings… The NNS will enjoy a weekend off before returning to action June 18 at Michigan International Speedway.  

MICHAEL ANNETT, No. 62 Pilot Flying J Toyota Camry, Rusty Wallace Racing How do you feel about your finish at Chicagoland? “I’m really proud of my guys. We finally got a finish we deserve, and this should be the perfect momentum-builder for the season ahead.  We unloaded one of the best cars I’ve had all season, and we consistently got better throughout practice sessions and the race. This season’s start hasn’t played out quite as expected, but our ninth-place finish proves that we’ve taken a turn in the right direction.  I definitely think we’re on the path to contending with the top-10 week-in and week-out, so I look forward to the rest of the season.”  

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS):  Since the start of the 2011 NCWTS season, Tundra drivers have registered six wins, 13 top-five results, 24 top-10 finishes and have led 631 laps … Timothy Peters (fifth), Todd Bodine (ninth), Brendan Gaughan (10th), Max Papis (12th) and David Starr (14th) are currently in the top-15 in the point standings … Gaughan recorded four consecutive NCWTS wins at Texas Motor Speedway (June and Nov. 2002, June and Nov. 2003) … Texas native David Starr is sponsored by privately-owned, San-Antonio-based Zachry … Texas is home to Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Texas (TMMTX) … The production facility, which is located in San Antonio, opened in November of 2006 and produces both the Toyota Tundra and Tacoma pickup trucks … The facility employs almost 2,300 Toyota team members and represents an investment of more than $2 billion  

TODD BODINE, No. 30 NTB/Valvoline Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing How confident are you racing at Texas? “We always feel like we can go win at Texas any time we race there.  Goodyear’s coming back with a different tire, so the advantage we had with the old setup for our Tundra is one we’ll have to work on with the tire change.  We’ll just have to work hard to get our Toyota to go as fast as it normally is.”  

BRENDAN GAUGHAN, No. 62 Big Red Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing What is your mindset for Texas where you won four races in a row earlier in your career? “I think there’s one other NASCAR driver to accomplish four consecutive wins at Texas Motor Speedway, but he hasn’t done it in a truck.  Kyle Busch built a five-in-a-row streak in the Nationwide Series, but he’s only working on a two race winning streak in trucks.  We need to get our names on the trophy this Friday night.  Texas has always been a great track for me.  Texas feels different than any other race track because of the history there. It feels great to show up at Texas, knowing that we are capable of winning with our Big Red Tundra, but, it’s a double-edged sword.  If I have a bad race at Texas, it makes it that much worse.”  

TOYOTA 2011 NASCAR STATISTICS Series Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led NSCS 13 156 (18) 2 13 28 1 101 1,381 NNS 14 112 (19) 6 17 36 2 61 1,120 NCWTS 8 103 (22) 6 13 24 2 29 631  

TOYOTA DRIVER ROSTER – Pocono Raceway & Texas Motor Speedway NASCAR Sprint Cup Series David Reutimann, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Camry Kasey Kahne, No. 4 Red Bull Camry Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Ground Camry Casey Mears, No. 13 GEICO Camry Kyle Busch, No. 18 M&M’s Camry Joey Logano, No. 20 Home Depot Camry Bobby Labonte, No. 47 Clorox-Kleenex Camry T.J. Bell, No. 50 Green Smoke Camry Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Camry Mike Skinner, No. 60 Big Red Camry Michael McDowell, No. 66 HP Racing LLC Camry Brian Vickers, No. 83 Red Bull Camry Joe Nemechek, No. 87 NEMCO Motorsports Camry NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Travis Kvapil, No. 5 Int’l Truck Monaco RV Tundra Miguel Paludo, No. 7 Stemco Duroline Tundra Butch Miller, No. 07 Tundra Max Papis, No. 9 GEICO Tundra Timothy Peters, No. 17 Red Horse Racing Tundra Brian Ickler, No. 18 Toyota Tundra Johanna Long, No. 20 Panhandle Grading Tundra Todd Bodine, No. 30 NTB/Valvoline Tundra Craig Goess Jr., No. 46 Greenville Toyota Tundra Brendan Gaughan, No. 62 Big Red Tundra Justin Lofton, No. 77 Lofton Cattle Tundra David Starr, No. 81 Zachry Tundra  

WEEKEND RACE SCHEDULE Fri., June 10 — NCWTS @ Texas Motor Speedway — 9:00 PM (ET), SPEED — Race 9 of 25 Sun., June 12 — NSCS @ Pocono Raceway — 1:00 PM (ET), TNT — Race 14 of 36

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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