Toyota NASCAR Notes & Quotes Martinsville October 2011

TALLADEGA TALLY:  Brian Vickerswas the highest finishing Toyota driver in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Talladega Superspeedway with a fifth-place result.  Vi ckers started 30th and led three times for three laps (of 188).  His Red Bull Racing teammate, Kasey Kahne, finished right behind him in the sixth position.  Denny Hamlin (eighth), Michael Waltrip(ninth) and Martin Truex Jr.(10th) also earned top-10 results for Toyota on Sunday.  In Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race, Todd Bodine was the top finishing Tundra driver with a sixth-place result at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.  Tundra drivers Brendan Gaughan (eighth), Kyle Busch (ninth) and Max Papis (10th) also earned top-10 finishes in Saturday’s NCWTS race.

CHASE RACE SIX:  Sunday’s NSCS race at Talladega was the sixth of 10 races in the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship playoff.  Camry drivers Busch and Hamlin are both competing in this year’s Chase.  Busch’s 33rd-place result at Talladega dropped the Camry driver two positions to sixth in the standings — and Busch is now 40 points back from leader Carl Edwards.  Hamlin’s eighth-place finish moved him up one position and he is currently 11th in the point standings and is 84 points behind the leader with four races remaining this season.

DENNY TO DEFEND:  Hamlin has been victorious three of the last four times the NSCS visited Martinsville Speedway — in October 2009, and March and October of last year.  The Chesterfield, Va.-native led a race-high 206 of 501 laps in 2009, another race-high 172 of 508 laps in the spring race a year ago, and 40 laps in last year’s fall race, to capture the three checkered flags.  Hamlin has a total of four NSCS wins at Martinsville.  He scored his first win driving a Toyota Camry at the track in March 2008.

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MARTINSVILLE MAGIC:  Toyota has had a great deal of success at the half-mile Martinsville Speedway in both the NSCS and NCWTS.  In NSCS competition, Martinsville is second only to another Virginia track — Richmond International Raceway — for the total number of NSCS wins by Camry drivers since 2007.  All four of the Cup wins belong to Virginia- native Hamlin (Oct. 2010, March 2010, Oct. 2009 and March 2008).  Tundra drivers have earned six wins at the track since Toyota entered the Truck Series in 2004.  Those six wins at one track are only second to the nine victories that Tundra drivers have earned at Texas Motor Speedway.  Tundra drivers that have visited victory lane at Martinsville include David Starr (March 2006), Jack Sprague (Oct. 2006),  Mike Skinner (March and Oct. 2007),  Johnny Benson (Oct. 2008) and  Timothy Peters(Oct. 2009).

TIMOTHY’S TURF:  Tundra driver Petersscored his first career NCWTS victory in October 2009 at Martinsville Speedway. The Danville, Va.-resident led the final 84 laps en route to victory lane at his ‘home’ track.  Peters, who joined Red Horse Racing midway through the 2009 season, previously ran his own NCWTS operation out of his home 30 miles from Martinsville.  Peters is currently in the middle of the championship battle and is in the fifth position — 42 points behind leader Austin Dillon with three races remaining in the season.

RICHARDS REMEMBERS:  Josh Richardswill run a U.S. Navy SEALs hood on the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) No. 51 Tundra in Martinsville.  Richards met two children who grew up in a Virginia Beach, Va., community and were distraught after the Aug. 6 helicopter attack in Afghanistan that killed 31 American fighters, including a number of Navy SEALs.  The children, along with their recently retired Navy father, started a website to collect donations (www.nswkids.com) to assist families who lost members in the Aug. 6 attack.

NOTES, QUOTES & NUMBERS

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing What are the challenges of racing at Martinsville? “Martinsville is a challenging track.  Just kind of a tough little tricky race track.  Still probably figuring things out.  The guys have done a nice job with our cars lately where we’ve come here a lot better prepared and we’ve been able to have better results.  Still qualifying kind of eludes us, but in the race once we kind of get into a rhythm and get moving.  We finished third at Martinsville earlier this year, so I’m looking forward to trying to improve on that.  You can almost guarantee the top two spots will be either the 11 (Denny Hamlin) and the 48 (Jimmie Johnson), so every body else is racing for third.”

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing How strong are you at the remaining race tracks? “The last really Chase races are all good race tracks for us — typically has been the case over the course of my career.  We’ve always run much stronger the last four races than we have the first five.  A lot of it is the tracks that are there at the end.   We’re looking forward to it.  We had a great car at Martinsville Speedway in the spring and had a chance to win.  I think we got caught with fuel mileage and got caught on pit road for something.  Other than that, we know every time we go there that we’ve got a shot to win.”

BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Camry, JTG Daugherty Racing Are you happy to be back with JTG Daugherty Racing for 2012? “I like the plan that this team has in place and if you look at the choices I’ve made throughout my career, you can tell that I have always enjoyed the challenge of building up a team.  We have some people with proven success coming to work with us and we plan to capitalize on that, along with the technical resources of Toyota.   We’ve had some limited success this year and we are focused on improving and continuing to build our program.  I am looking forward to a successful 2012.”

NASCARSprintCupSeries(NSCS):  Since the start of the 2011 season, Toyota drivers have combined for five victories, 35 top-five results, 69 top-10 finishes and have led 2,270 laps … NASCAR will host an Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) test at Martinsville Speedway on Mon., Oct. 31 … JTG-Daugherty Racing announced in Talladega that they will field a Camry again in 2012 with Bobby Labonte driving … Todd Berrier will join the team as crew chief of the No. 47 Camry in 2012… Fans can log on to grilling.com/racing and register for a chance to win an ultimate VIP track and grilling experience with Labonte and the team at Las Vegas in March.

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 … Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced they will field a full-time NNS team in 2012 with the driver and sponsor to be announced at a later date… The NNS will enjoy one more weekend off 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, 67 top-10 finishes and have led 1,042 laps … After 22 races, Timothy Peters (fifth) is the top Toyota driver in the NCWTS points standings … Tundra drivers Todd Bodine (sixth), Brendan Gaughan (12th) and David Starr (13th) are also in the top-15 in the points … Denny Hamlin will make his first NCWTS start of 2011 in Saturday’s race driving the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) No. 18 Tundra … Tundra drivers Peters, Gaughan and Max Papis will visit more than 500 kids at the Martinsville Boys & Girls Club on Thursday, Oct. 27.

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 18 Traxxas Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports Why are you driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports at Martinsville? “I’ve wanted to drive one of Kyle’s (Busch) trucks for a long time.  He has one of the most successful programs out there and I couldn’t pass this opportunity up.  The Martinsville truck race is always an exciting one and I look forward to being a part of it.  I’ve never got a Truck win in my career.  I’d like to be a part of that small group that’s won in all three series.  I feel like that’s a pretty darn good opportunity to do that.”

TIMOTHY PETERS, No. 17 Red Horse Racing Tundra, Red Horse Racing Do you enjoy racing at your home track? “It is a lot of fun racing at home.  I feel very comfortable making laps around Martinsville.  I just know the place.  It feels like I have made a million laps around that track and I know what I want in the truck there.  I take a lot of confidence to the track. It is a really cool feeling knowing that I have my own cheering section when I strap behind the wheel of the No. 17 Toyota Tundra.  I feel like we can go there each year and win that race.  It is a fun weekend for sure.”

JOSH RICHARDS, No. 51 Joy Mining Machinery Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports What does it mean to have the Navy SEALs logo on your truck at Martinsville? “It’s an honor to have met Hunter and Alexandra Vogel and to be a part of their effort to honor the Navy SEALs and warriors who gave their lives fighting terrorism.  Their effort to honor the fallen has become a fundraiser for the Navy SEAL Foundation, and the widows and children of those who lost their lives on August 6.  It is a privilege to have their artwork on the hood of the Joy Mining Machinery Toyota Tundra for the race this weekend at Martinsville and to have Hunter, Alexandra, their family and guests from the Naval Special Warfare community at the race.”

TOYOTA 2011 NASCAR STATISTICS Series Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led NSCS 32 377 (18) 5 35 69 7 212 2,270 NNS 31 240 (22) 10 35 78 5 97 1,604 NCWTS 22 234 (30) 9 33 67 3 60 1,042

TOYOTA DRIVER ROSTER – Martinsville 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 Camry Casey Mears, No. 13 GEICO Camry Kyle Busch, No. 18 M&M’s Halloween Camry Joey Logano, No. 20 Interstate Batteries 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 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Todd Bodine, No. 5 NTB / Service Central Tundra Miguel Paludo, No. 7 Stemco/Duroline Tundra Max Papis, No. 9 GEICO Tundra Timothy Peters, No. 17 GearWrench/Strutmaster Tundra Denny Hamlin, No. 18 Traxxas 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

WEEKEND RACE SCHEDULE Sat., Oct. 29 — NCWTS @ Martinsville Speedway — 2:00 PM (ET), SPEED — Race 23 of 25 Sun., Oct. 30 — NSCS @ Martinsville Speedway – 1:30 PM (ET), ESPN — Race 33 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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