Toyota NASCAR Notes & Quotes Talladega Oct 2011


Week of October 17 – 23, 2011

American Muscle

CHARLOTTE RECAP:  Kyle Busch finished second in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Kasey Kahne finished fourth — his third consecutive top-five finish.  Busch tussled with the race leaders down the stretch and led 111 laps (of 334) after starting from the rear of the field, but was unable to best Matt Kenseth for the victory.  Busch also finished runner-up in Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Charlotte and Brian Scott claimed a fifth-place result at the 1.5-mile track.

CHASE RACE FIVE:  Saturday night’s NSCS race at Charlotte was the fifth of 10 playoff races in the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship playoff.  Camry drivers Busch and Denny Hamlin are both competing in this year’s Chase.   Busch’s second-place result at Charlotte helped the Camry driver climb to fourth-place in the standings and shave two points off Carl Edwards’ lead — Busch is now 18 points back.  Hamlin is currently 12th in the point standings and is 86 points behind the leader with five races remaining in the 2011 season.

TRUCKS IN VEGAS:  Timothy Peters(third) was the top-finishing Tundra driver in Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Las Vegas.  As a player in the championship hunt, Peters gained on series points leader Austin Dillon and is now 25 points behind in the standings in the fifth position.  Todd Bodine (fifth) and Brendan Gaughan (ninth) also posted top-10 finishes at the 1.5-mile speedway.

HALL CAR HONORING DW:  Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) team owner Michael Waltripwill compete at Talladega Superspeedway in a paint scheme honoring his brother’s induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.  Darrell Waltrip, a three-time NSCS champion and a four-time winner at Talladega, was elected into the Hall in June.  As Darrell’s younger brother, Michael will honor his brother by driving a MWR Camry styled after the car Darrell drove to his first career win at Nashville in 1975.  The Camry features a photo of the victory lane celebration on the hood of the car.

TOPS AT TALLADEGA:  While he is yet to register a finish better than third at Talladega Superspeedway, third-year driver Joey Logano has the best average finish among active drivers at the track.  Logano has an average finish of 12.6 in five starts at the 2.66-mile track.  He has four top-10 finishes, including a pair of top-five results in the previous fall races.

CENTENNIAL START IN ALABAMA: Tundra driver Buschwill make his 100th career NCWTS at Talladega Superspeedway.  In 99 NCWTS starts, Busch has captured 30 wins in the series, helping the 26-year old driver surpass the 100-win mark for his NASCAR career earlier this year.  Since founding his own team, Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM), prior to the start of the 2010 season, Busch has made 30 starts as an owner/driver and has captured 14 wins along with claiming the NCWTS owner’s championship in 2010.

TUNDRA TRIUMPHS:  In five NCWTS races at Talladega, Tundra drivers have captured the last four consecutive checkered flags, and Mike Skinner finished second in the inaugural NCWTS race at the 2.66-mile track in 2006.  Busch is the two-time defending race-winner (2009 and 2010) and Bodine won consecutive races prior to Busch’s reign (2007 and 2008).  Bodine has led the most laps in the NCWTS at Talladega (85) and has the most top-five and top-10 finishes at the track (four).  Tundra driver David Starr has completed the most laps in five NCWTS races at Talladega (475).

NOTES, QUOTES & NUMBERS NASCARSprintCupSeries(NSCS):  Since the start of the 2011 season, Toyota drivers have combined for five victories, 34 top-five results, 64 top-10 finishes and have led 2,257 laps … NASCAR will host an Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) test at Talladega Superspeedway on Thurs., Oct. 20 … The No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Camry is scheduled to participate in the EFI test … The Toyota Venza will pace the field in Sunday’s NSCS race at Talladega Superspeedway … The Venza is produced at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) in Georgetown, Ky.

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Halloween Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Do you expect the rule changes NASCAR mandated for Talladega to impact the racing? “No, I don’t expect anything different.  They’ve changed some of the cooling things again.  They’ve changed the pop-off valve again, the radiator size I think, too, or that’s next year’s change.  With the restrictor plate, they’ve changed as well.   There’s certainly some things they’re trying to do to separate us and get us apart from each other, which is fine.  I don’t have a problem with that one bit.  I actually like it.  Are we going to see much different of a race?  Probably not.  Maybe just a little bit more swapping in between cars.  That’s it.”

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Halloween Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing (continued) Is there anything that can be done to separate the field at Talladega? “Yeah, you can get rid of the push-draft.  You can misalign the noses like we were before we went to the new car.  You know, it’s almost a step back in history again.  That’s all I can think of.  Certainly , the re’s aspects of why we have the cars the way we have them now and with the grip level we have on the tires and everything and the track just being resurfaced, it gives us the opportunity to push.  Unless they misalign the noses where we can’t push, I don’t see it changing.”

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing What do you think about the NASCAR mandated rule change for Talladega? “I think that it’s a good thing opening up the plates.  I think they should open them up more and I think that small amount that they open it up — it’s not going to make that big of a difference.  We’re still going to be pushing.  If you open it up enough to where it really will make a horsepower difference to where we’re running a decent speed by ourselves then we can’t push.  The truth is that if we still go out there and push, we’re going to be running faster than we would be in the pack.  I would like to see them open it up more.  It would eliminate the push quite a bit.  Right now you’re just relying on so many different factors to finish well in those types of races.  I would like to see a change and don’t mind the change.”

MARTIN TRUEX JR, No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Will the racing be different at Talladega this weekend? “I think the difference at Talladega will be that there will be more lead changes.  You’re not going to be able to push for quite as long, so there’s going to be a lot more people coming and going as opposed to being in those little groups of two holding their momentum most of the time.  There’s going to be that big shuffle back and forth.  There’s going to be a lot going on for them to look at.  Of course with Talladega being so wide, you can get five-wide pretty comfortably, but again there’s going to be a lot of speed differential because guys are going to have to switch a lot.”

MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 15 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing What does it mean to honor your brother’s Hall of Fame induction? “To be able to go to Talladega in a replica of a car that Darrell (Waltrip) raced there for the first time and started his march toward the Hall of Fame, it is a special feeling.  We both won at Talladega and based on how I’ve run in those races — even though I’m pretty much retired — I feel like I can win again.  I’m going there with a car that has so much meaning to our family and being able to leave the pit area feeling like I can win, that’s pretty cool.   Some of my earliest memories of Darrell and his NASCAR career were at Talladega.  I’ve been going to Talladega since the mid ’70s.  I wasn’t around for that first one, I was probably nine.  Darrell was not only my childhood hero and brother, but someone who helped shape me into what I am today.”

NASCARNationwideSeries(NNS):  During the 2011 season, Toyota drivers have combined for 10 wins, 35 top-five results, 78 top-10 finishes and have led 1,604 laps … Kenny Wallace (seventh) is the top Toyota driver in the NNS point standings … Brian Scott (eighth), Steve Wallace (ninth) and Michael Annett (10th) are also in the top-10 … K. Wallace tied the NNS career starts record with Jason Keller at Charlotte Motor Speedway when he made his 519th career start … The NNS will enjoy a two-week break before returning to action on Saturday, Nov. 5 at Texas Motor Speedway.

NASCARCampingWorldTruckSeries(NCWTS):  Since the start of the 2011 NCWTS season, Tundra drivers have registered nine wins, 33 top-five results, 63 top-10 finishes and have led 1,040 laps … After 21 races, Timothy Peters (fifth) is the top Toyota driver in the NCWTS points standings … Tundra drivers Todd Bodine (seventh), David Starr (12th) and Brendan Gaughan (13th) are also in the top-15 in the points … Greg Passen, tire specialist for Kyle Busch’s No. 18  Tundra, is a Birmingham native and competed in the local Late Model scene before becoming a NASCAR crew member … Passen has worked with Busch for 29 of his 30-career NCWTS wins … Seven-year old Annabelle Lacy from Odenville, Ala., will be featured on the No. 18 Tundra after winning the “Riding Shotgun with Kyle Busch Motorsports” essay contest.

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports How do you feel about your 100th NCWTS start? “It’s going to be great to start 100 races in the Truck Series.  We’ve won an awful lot of those.  It’s been pretty awesome to run with Billy (Ballew Motorsports) and to run with Kyle Busch Motorsports and win as often as we have with Toyota and everyone.  It’s been great, so I can’t hope for anything less than coming out of there with another win and seeing if we can’t get it done.”

TIMOTHY PETERS, No. 18 NTB / Service Central Tundra, Red Horse Racing How do you see the championship playing out? “Anything is possible at this point.  I don’t think anyone thought that the race last weekend would be such a turning point, but the race this weekend at Talladega is anyone’s game.  I feel confident in this No. 17 team and I know we will have good equipment.  What is meant to be will be and we hope that when this thing is all said and done, we are holding the hardware .”

TOYOTA 2011 NASCAR STATISTICS Series Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led NSCS 31 364 (18) 5 34 64 7 204 2,257 NNS 31 240 (22) 10 35 78 5 97 1,604 NCWTS 21 224 (30) 9 33 63 3 58 1,040

TOYOTA DRIVER ROSTER – Talladega Superspeedway 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 Office Camry Casey Mears, No. 13 GEICO Camry Michael Waltrip, No. 15 Aaron’s Dream Machine Camry Kyle Busch, No. 18 M&M’s Halloween Camry Joey Logano, No. 20 Home Depot Camry Bobby Labonte, No. 47 Scott Products Camry Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Camry Michael McDowell, No. 66 HP Racing LLC Camry Brian Vickers, No. 83 Red Bull Camry Joe Nemechek, No. 87 NEMCO Motorsports Camry Kevin Conway, No. 97 Camry NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Todd Bodine, No. 5 NTB / Service Central Tundra Miguel Paludo, No. 7 Stop Diabetes Tundra Max Papis, No. 9 GEICO Tundra Timothy Peters, No. 17 NTB / Service Central Tundra Kyle Busch, No. 18 Toyota Cert. Used Vehicles Tundra Johanna Long, No. 20 Panhandle Grading Tundra Josh Richards, No. 51 Joy Mining Machinery Tundra Brendan Gaughan, No. 62 South Point Hotel Tundra David Starr, No. 81 Zachry/NCCER/ASI Tundra Chris Fontaine, No. 84 Glenden Enterprises Tundra

WEEKEND RACE SCHEDULE Sat., Oct. 22 — NCWTS @ Talladega Superspeedway — 4:00 PM (ET), SPEED — Race 22 of 25 Sun., Oct. 23 — NSCS @ Talladega Superspeedway – 2:00 PM (ET), ESPN — Race 32 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


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