TOYOTA TIDBITS TODD’S 200 TIMES THREE: Tundra driver Todd Bodine will make his 200th career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start on Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway. When Bodine takes the green flag at Chicagoland, he will become the first driver in NASCAR history to record 200 starts in each of NASCAR’s three national touring series, and will have 766 combined starts, which places him 20th in the NASCAR record book. Bodine has won two NCWTS driver’s championships — in 2006 and 2010. He also has made 192 of his 199 starts in a Toyota Tundra where he’s earned 22 victories, 90 top-five finishes, 121 top-10 results along with seven poles. The 48-year-old driver has also competed in 325 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) races and 241 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) events. The Chemung, N.Y.-native made his first NASCAR start in 1986 (Martinsville NNS race) and has been a regular competitor in the NCWTS since 2004.
LOUDON LOOK BACK: Camry drivers Denny Hamlin (second) and Clint Bowyer (third) earned top-five finishes in Sunday’s NSCS race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Hamlin led a race-high 150 laps (of 301) after starting third. His Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) teammate Kyle Busch started from the pole and led 72 laps, but finished 16th.
PETERS PICKS UP IOWA TROPHY: Tundra driver Timothy Peters picked up his first NCWTS victory of the season in Saturday night’s event at Iowa Speedway. The Danville, Va.-native started from the pole and led 87 laps (of 200) to earn his fourth career NCWTS victory — one in each of the last four seasons. The victory also extended his series points lead to 12 points over second-place Justin Lofton.
THREE OF FIVE: Camry drivers have won three out of the last five NNS races at Chicagoland Speedway. Busch has a pair of NNS victories at the 1.5-mile oval (2008 and 2010), and Joey Logano won the 2009 event. Busch will drive his own Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) entry at Chicagoland, a track where he has five victories (one NSCS, two NNS and two NCWTS).
TWICE AS NICE: Tundra drivers have visited victory lane in the NCWTS twice at Chicagoland Speedway, and both times Busch has driven his Tundra to the front of the field. In 2009, Busch started fourth and led 79 laps (of 150) on his way to claiming the series inaugural victory at Chicagoland. He followed up that performance in 2010 by driving his own Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) No. 18 Tundra to victory lane after starting fourth and leading 121 laps (of 154). Although last year’s event didn’t result in a first-place trophy, Busch did finish fifth after leading 10 laps (of 150).
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NOTES, QUOTES & NUMBERS NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS): After 19 races, Denny Hamlin is fifth in the series point standings, trailing leader Matt Kenseth by 79 points … Martin Truex Jr. (eighth) and Clint Bowyer (ninth) also rank in the top-10 in the standings … The NSCS takes a rare weekend off before returning to action at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 29 … Camry driver Bowyer is hosting his ‘Support Emporia 12 Charity Event’ in Emporia, Kan., on July 21 … The event includes a golf tournament, dinner, awards, live auction and music, and will benefit the Emporia Community Foundation through Bowyer’s ’79 Fund’ … Hamlin will participate in the American Century Championship, a celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Lake Tahoe, Calif., on July 20-22 … Joey Logano will race Late Models at Riverside International Speedway in Nova Scotia, Canada on July 21.
CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing How will you spend your off-week? “I’m doing our annual charity golf tournament because it’s the only off weekend that I can have it, so going back to my hometown and doing that. Wishing we could get back to having at least two (off weekends), that way you could go on vacation one of them, but it is what it is. We’ve loved what we’re doing and a pretty good opportunity to get paid and make a living doing what you love. So, that opportunity doesn ‘t come around in life every day. That being said, we’re proud of our golf tournament and have a lot of fun and always raise a lot of money for our hometown.”
NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS): After 17 races, Mike Bliss ranks eighth in the series point standings … Brian Scott (10th) is also among the top-10 in the standings … Camry drivers have 14 top-five finishes and 21 top-10 results in six races at Chicagoland Speedway … Scott has one pole (2011) and two third-place results in three races at Chicagoland … Kenny Wallace will compete for RAB Racing at Chicagoland, where he finished seventh last June … Travis Pastrana will drive the No. 99 Camry at Chicagoland … Ryan Truex will make his fifth start of the season driving for JGR on Sunday … Scott will participate in Nationwide Insurance’s Celebrity Pro-Am at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio on July 23.
BRIAN SCOTT, No. 11 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Do you enjoy racing at Chicagoland Speedway? “I’ve had this weekend’s race circled on my calendar all year. Chicago is my best track and I have no doubt that my team will provide me with a strong Dollar General Camry for Sunday’s race. We’ve had a few frustrating races, so going to a track where I have a high level of confidence will be a breath of fresh air. We sat on the pole there last year and finished third. It was my first career pole and that was really exciting for us. We’re looking to start from the pole position again this year and, most importantly, contend for a win for this 11 team and Dollar General.”
What type of race does Chicagoland produce? “I like the multiple grooves at Chicago, where you can run the bottom and you can run the high side. It just really suits my driving style. I tend to get into the corners pretty hard and then just really do everything I can to try to get the car to turn and then mash the gas. It just seems that Chicago really suits that style. Chicago’s a place where you have to set your car up for the long run and I tend to be better at long runs than short runs. I’ve always had good runs at Chicago, so that gives me a level of confidence when we do race there. I feel like I’ve had really fast race cars, so I know what I am looking for in regards to the feel of a race car when we’re there.”
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS): After nine races, Timothy Peters continues to lead the series point standings … Matt Crafton (sixth) is also in the top-10 in the standings … Tundra driver David Starr will make his 300th career NCWTS start at Chicagoland … In 15 years driving in the NCWTS, Starr has four victories, 47 top-five finishes, 115 top-10 results and five pole positions … Johnny Sauter has one NNS victory at Chicagoland in 2002 … Eric Phillips, crew chief on the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) No. 18 Tundra, is from Canton, Ill . … KBM General Manager Rick Ren hails from Tilton, Ill. … Todd Bodine will make an appearance at the Jamboree in the Hills Country Music Festival in Morristown, Ohio on July 22.
TODD BODINE, No. 11 Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing What does it mean to be the first driver in NASCAR to reach 200 starts in all three national series? “It’s pretty neat. When I started in this sport as a driver, you never thought about getting to this point. You only thought about the next race — the future wasn’t something you thought about. Here I am after 21 years driving. My first full season in Nationwide was in ’91. To make it to this point, we all strive for excellence in whatever sport we’re in. To have longevity and to make a career out of it, and to get to this point, it’s a pretty special thing to know I’ve been able to accomplish that much. It’s not often in this world that you can get to do for a living the one thing that they love the most. I’m very fortunate in a lot of respects. I’m glad to be able to be a part of this sport.”
How memorable are your two NCWTS championships? “The first one, it meant as much to my family as it did to me. We’ve been in racing our whole lives. Geoff (Bodine, brother) has been racing NASCAR since 1979 and between the three of us, we have a lot of seasons racing in NASCAR’s top divisions and our family had never won a championship. To finally win that championship was not just my accomplishment, as much as I felt like it was an accomplishment for our family to show that we were deserving of it. To finally get it done — it meant a lot to my family. To win the second championship, it was validation for the first one. We went out there and won that and came back four years later and to get the second one — it was validation that we didn’t luck into the first one. We went out and raced it and earned it. It was pretty special to be able to be the first Toyota driver to get two championships also.”
TIMOTHY PETERS, No. 17 Red Horse Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing Do you think Chicagoland is a difficult track? “The bumps you have to deal with in (turns) three and four, I feel like it just throws you for a loop. Sometimes it can be an ‘Achilles’ Heel’ for me. Last year, we struggled really bad there and I feel like that’s where we lost some of our momentum. Our package then to now is ten times better and I can’t wait to get to these tracks that challenged us last year because I think that’s where you’ll see us shine.”
JOHNNY SAUTER, No. 13 Hot Honeys/Curb Records Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing Why do you enjoy Chicagoland? “Chicago has always been special for me. I got my first ever Nationwide win there. That race track has got a lot of character. I just never know what to expect when I go there. It seems like the track changes a lot from year to year, but it’s just a cool race track. I say this a thousand times, but I get tired of the cliché ‘cookie cutter’ race tracks because they might look the same from an aerial view, but they sure don’t drive the same. Chicago is a great one. It’s the closest race we can get to home for me, so friends and family will be there and I think we’ve never finished worse than fifth there.”
Series Races Starts Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led (Drivers) NSCS 19 230 (20) 5 28 53 7 103 1,631 NNS 17 189 (31) 6 24 41 5 86 942 NCWTS 9 92 (17) 4 19 31 2 24 270
TOYOTA DRIVER ROSTER – Chicagoland Speedway NASCAR Nationwide Series Kenny Wallace, No. 09 Family Farmers Camry Mike Bliss, No. 44 BanditChippers.com Toyota Camry Jeff Green, No. 10 Toyota Camry Kyle Busch, No. 54 Monster Energy Camry Brian Scott, No. 11 Dollar General Camry Jason Bowles, No. 81 American Majority Camry Eric McClure, No. 14 Hefty/Reynolds Wrap Camry Joe Nemechek, No. 87 AM/FM Energy Wood Camry Ryan Truex, No. 18 Grime Boss Camry Travis Pastrana, No. 99 Boost Mobile Camry Tayler Malsam, No. 19 G-Oil/Noah’s Light Found. Camry
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Johnny Chapman, No. 07 Wear Your Gear Tundra Timothy Peters, No. 17 Red Horse Racing Tundra Ross Chastain, No. 08 Watermelon Assoc. Tundra Jason Leffler, No. 18 Dollar General Tundra John Wes Townley, No. 09 Toyota Tundra David Starr, No. 81 ZACHRY Tundra Todd Bodine, No. 11 Toyota Care Tundra Matt Crafton, No. 88 Menard’s Tundra Johnny Sauter, No. 13 Hot Honeys/Curb Records Tundra Dakoda Armstrong, No. 98 EverFi.com Tundra
WEEKEND RACE SCHEDULE Sat., July 21 — NCWTS @ Chicagoland Speedway — 7:00 PM (CT), SPEED — Race 10 of 22 Sun., July 22 — NNS @ Chicagoland Speedway — 2:00 PM (CT), ESPN — Race 18 of 33