Toyota NASCAR Notes & Quotes Texas November 2011

TOYOTA NASCAR NOTES & QUOTES

Week of October 31 – November 6, 2011

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PODIUM AT THE PAPER CLIP:  Denny Hamlinwas the highest finishing Toyota driver in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Martinsville Speedway with a fifth-place result.  The Virginia-native started 11th and led twice for 58 laps (of 500).  His Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) teammate, Kyle Busch, led the field four times for a race-high 126 laps (of 500), but finished 27th after being involved in an accident at the paperclip-shaped short track.  Martin Truex Jr. (eighth) also earned a top-10 result.  In Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race, Hamlin claimed his first NCWTS victory in 12 career series starts, le ading 68 laps (of 200).  The win enabled Hamlin to become just the 23rd driver in NASCAR history to win races in all three of NASCAR’s national touring series.

CHASE RACE SEVEN:  Sunday’s NSCS race at Martinsville Speedway was the seventh 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 27th-place result at Martinsville dropped the Camry driver one position in the standings to seventh.  Busch is now 57 points back from leader Carl Edwards.  Hamlin’s fifth-place finish cut four points into the point lead — he now sits 80 points behind the leader — and he ranks 11th in the standings with three races remaining this season.

TWICE IN TEXAS:  Camry driver Hamlinis the defending fall race winner at Texas Motor Speedway and his November 2010 victory completed a season sweep at the track, after he also won the April race.  The speedy Texas track is one of Hamlin’s favorite facilities and the Camry driver has the second best average finish (9.3) among active drivers at Texas Motor Speedway.  In 12 Texas starts, Hamlin has two wins, eight top-10 finishes and has led 131 laps.

LONE STAR LOCAL: Texas-native and 2000 NSCS champion Bobby Labontereturns to his ‘home’ track for the second time with JTG-Daugherty Racing and looks to improve on his 25th-place finish from the April race.  Originally from Corpus Christi, Labonte has competed in the NSCS since 1991 and the 47-year-old racer has collected 21 victories in over 600 starts. It was recently announced that Labonte will again compete for the team in 2012 with new crew chief Todd Berrier.

WALLACE REACHES RECORD:  NASCAR veteran and Camry driver Kenny Wallacewill break the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) record for most career series starts at Texas Motor Speedway when he starts his 520th race. Wallace made his first start in the NNS in 1988 and has gone on to collect nine wins and 170 top-10 finishes during his lengthy NASCAR career.  The St. Louis-native has also experienced a resurgence this season and ranks in the top-10 in series points for the first time in five years.  Wallace’s team, RAB Racing, is the only single-car organization in the top-10 in the NNS point standings and he is currently seventh in the standings.

TRAMPLING THROUGH TEXAS:  Whenever the NNS visits Texas, Buschis usually in contention for a win at the 1.5- mile track.  Busch recorded five consecutive NNS victories at Texas from 2008 through 2010 and has led the most NNS circuits in track history with 1,187 laps led — more than twice as many as the next closest competitor.  In 13 NNS starts in Texas, Busch has the most wins (5) at the track and has finished in the top-10 on 11 occasions.

NOTES, QUOTES & NUMBERS

NASCARSprintCupSeries(NSCS): Since the start of the 2011 season, Toyota drivers have combined for five victories, 36 top-five results, 71 top-10 finishes and have led 2,454 laps … Denny Hamlin will join FedEx and the American Red Cross at Cross Timbers Middle School in Grapevine, Texas, on  Thursday to teach children how to prepare for emergencies … FedEx will donate $10,000 to the North Texas Region of the American Red Cross and a portion of the donation will be used to build emergency kits at the event to send to areas and families in need as part of the FedEx ‘Race to Prepare’ program.

BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Wounded Warrior Project Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing Do you enjoy racing in your home state of Texas? “Texas is a great place to go.  For me to go home there and — well, not really see too many people that I know because they all kind of moved to North Carolina — but see a few people that will come out to the event for us to see the race.  We have a lot of good memories at Texas and always look forward to it.  It’s a great track to go to.  It’s a lot of fun.  It’s one of those tracks that I think the age that it has on it — the racing surface and the tires that we have — it lends to really good racing usually.  You go fast for qualifying, but the speeds will slow down enough in the race to make a good race out of it.”

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Are you looking forward to racing at Texas? “Texas has been a great race track for me and my career.  When I go there, we’re going to have a little bit more confidence in what we did than other race tracks.  It’s always been a good one.  I have some friends and family that live out there so it’s always a homecoming type race.”

DAVE ROGERS, crew chief, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing How do you put Martinsville in perspective? “In life you have to go through tests and last year we were in the Chase and we had a number of tests come our way and quite frankly, we didn’t handle them that well.  I think that as a team, we’ve handled a lot of tests this year really well, but none in the Chase.  Now the Chase comes and we’ve been dealt a lot of tests and I’m really proud of how this team has handled it.  I haven’t seen people bow their heads.  I haven’t seen people complaining.  I haven’t seen Kyle (Busch) get frustrated.  We just go to the race track and work as hard as we can.  (Martinsville) is another one of those tests and it clearly hurts any realistic shot at winning a championship this year.  There’s still a chance — we won’t give up, but realistically we know it’s over.  But in the end — a year from now, two years from now, 10 years from now — this will make us better people and a better race team and that’s how you go forward.”

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 …The NNS returns to the track after two scheduled off weekends … GameStop, the primary sponsor of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Camry at Texas, is based in nearby Grapevine … As part of its NASCAR sponsorship, GameStop works with vendors to showcase a different video game at each race and ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’  will be featured on the No. 20 Camry in Texas.

KENNY WALLACE, No. 09 G-Oil Toyota Camry, RAB Racing How special will it be to set the NNS career starts record? “When I was a little kid growing up in Arnold, Missouri, if you would have told me that I was to be able to race in NASCAR my whole life, I would have considered that wishful thinking and a dream.  My 520th Nationwide start has been a dream.”

NASCARCampingWorldTruckSeries(NCWTS):  Since the start of the 2011 NCWTS season, Tundra drivers have registered nine wins, 34 top-five results, 70 top-10 finishes and have led 1,111 laps … After 23 races, Timothy Peters (fifth) is the top Toyota driver in the NCWTS points standings … Tundra drivers Todd Bodine (sixth), Brendan Gaughan (11th) and David Starr (13th) are also in the top-15 in the points … Bodine and Gaughan have the most NCWTS wins in Texas with six and four, respectively … Tundra drivers have captured nine victories at Texas Motor Speedway, the most at any track, and the Tundra is fittingly made at nearby Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Texas (TMMTX) … Located in San Antonio, TMMTX opened in 2006 and produces both the Tundra and Tacoma pickup trucks, employing about 2,000 team members … Kyle Busch Motorsports’ (KBM) front tire changer, Pedro Martinez Jr., is a San Antonio-native … Ivan ‘The Ironman’ Stewart, a 10-time off-road racing champion, will attend the Texas Motor Speedway race weekend and will be giving rides at the Toyota Ride & Drive Center … Traxxas the primary sponsor of the No. 18 KBM Tundra at Texas, is based in nearby Plano, Texas … Traxxas recently released a 1/16 scale R/C replica of the No. 18 Tundra … 10-year old Gabe-Bridges Aldridge of Justin, Texas was selected as a winner in the “Riding Shotgun with Kyle Busch Motorsports” essay contest and will be featured on the No. 18 Tundra at Texas Motor Speedway.

BRENDAN GAUGHAN, No. 62 International Trucks / Monaco RV Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing Why have you been so successful at Texas Motor Speedway? “It’s been a few years since we’ve been really good there.  If I knew what made us so good back then, I would have put in a bottle and kept it.  We had a bunch of great years.   The rules were way different.  The teams had more ability to actually be race teams and we tested and we got great at mile-and-a-halfs.  My family loves Texas.  It’s always a big race for us. Probably the biggest race for my family, besides Vegas.  My mother and father have a ranch about 30 miles from the race track.  We do a lot in the rodeo business.  ‘Tuff’ Hedeman (four-time professional bull riding champion and president of Championship Bull Riding) shows up at the race track with us and a lot of the old, famous cowboys always hang out with us. When we come to Texas, we always have a little swagger and I’d like to make it work.”

TODD BODINE, No. 5 Big Red Toyota Tundra, Randy Moss Motorsports Why have you been so successful at Texas Motor Speedway? “The first thing is you’ve got to have a good truck and (Mike Hillman) Jr. has always had good trucks there and we handle really well.  You’ve got to have some luck too and we’ve had luck there.  We had a bad carburetor and still won the race. You’ve got to have everything at Texas and we’re just good there.”

TOYOTA 2011 NASCAR STATISTICS Series Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led NSCS 33 388 (18) 5 36 71 7 218 2,454 NNS 31 240 (22) 10 35 78 5 97 1,604 NCWTS 23 245 (32) 10 34 70 3 63 1,111

TOYOTA DRIVER ROSTER – 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 Office 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 Wounded Warrior Project 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 Nationwide Series Kenny Wallace, No. 09 G-Oil Camry Brian Scott, No. 11 Shore Lodge Camry Kyle Busch, No. 18 Z-Line Designs Camry Joey Logano, No. 20 GameStop Camry Michael Annett, No. 62 Pilot Flying J Camry Steve Wallace, No. 66 5-Hour Energy Camry Joe Nemechek, No. 87 NEMCO Motorsports Camry NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Todd Bodine, No. 5 Big Red Tundra Miguel Paludo, No. 7 Duroline Tundra Johnny Chapman, No. 07 BOBBER.info / ASI Tundra Max Papis, No. 9 GEICO Tundra Timothy Peters, No. 17 NTB / Service Central Tundra Kyle Busch, No. 18 Traxxas Tundra Johanna Long, No. 20 Panhandle Grading Tundra Brendan Gaughan, No. 62 South Point Hotel Tundra David Starr, No. 81 Zachry/NCCER/Boot Tundra

WEEKEND RACE SCHEDULE Fri., Nov. 4 — NCWTS @ Texas Motor Speedway — 8:00 PM (ET), SPEED — Race 24 of 25 Sat., Nov. 5 – NNS @ Texas Motor Speedway – 12:55 PM (ET), ESPN2 — Race 32 of 34 Sun., Nov. 6 — NSCS @ Texas Motor Speedway — 3:00 PM (ET), ESPN — Race 34 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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