Toyota NASCAR Notes & Quotes Watkins Glen August 2012

TOYOTA NASCAR NOTES & QUOTES

August 6 – 12, 2012

TOYOTA TIDBITS POCONO PLAYBACK: Two Camry drivers earned top-10 results in Sunday’s rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Pocono Raceway. Martin Truex Jr. was the top-finishing Camry driver with a third-place result when the race was called at lap 98 of a scheduled 160 circuits. Truex moved up two spots to fifth in the NSCS standings. In addition to Truex’s third-place result, his Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) teammate Clint Bowyer finished in the eighth position.

CarParts.com
American Muscle

IOWA RACE REWIND: Camry driver Michael McDowell was the top-finishing Toyota driver in Saturday evening’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Iowa Speedway with a sixth-place showing — his fourth top-10 result in as many NNS starts with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR). Up-and-coming driver Darrell Wallace Jr. finished seventh in his second career NNS start while Grimes, Iowa native Brett Moffitt finished ninth in his first series race.

TUNDRA TOP-10s: In Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Pocono Raceway, two Tundra drivers registered top-five finishes in the 50-lap race. Matt Crafton crossed the finish line fourth and Denny Hamlin finished fifth at the 2.5-mile Pennsylvania track. Tundra drivers John Wes Townley (eighth) and Ross Chastain (10th) also earned top-10 finishes at Pocono. The eighth-place result was a career best finish for Townley.

WATKINS GLEN WINNER: Toyota has recorded one NSCS victory at Watkins Glen International when Kyle Busch took the checkered flag for JGR in 2008 at the upstate New York road course. Busch started on the pole after qualifying was rained out and paced the field for 52 laps (of 90) in the event, leading a one-two JGR sweep, as former Toyota driver Tony Stewart finished second. Busch, who has six top-10 finishes in seven starts at Watkins Glen, also earned the pole there in 2011 and finished in third-place. The Las Vegas-native led a race-high 49 laps (of 92) around the 2.45-mile upstate New York road course and was followed to the finish line by Truex (fourth) and Joey Logano (fifth), who also earned top-five results in the rain-delayed Monday finish.

BRIAN BACK AT THE GLEN: Brian Vickers will return to the Toyota NSCS lineup at Watkins Glen for his fifth start of the season in the MWR No. 55 Camry. In four starts with MWR, Vickers has earned two top-five results, including fifth- place at Bristol and fourth at Sonoma — the other road course on the 2012 schedule. Vickers’ best finish at Watkins Glen International was eighth in August 2005.

SOCIAL MEDIA & WEBSITE: Background and images about the Toyota NASCAR program are available at www.toyotaracingmedia.com, @ToyotaRacing, www.facebook.com/toyotaracing and www.youtube.com/toyotaracingusa.

NOTES, QUOTES & NUMBERS NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS): After 21 races, Martin Truex Jr. is fifth in the series point standings, trailing leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 50 points … Denny Hamlin (eighth) and Clint Bowyer (10th) also rank in the top-10 … Busch sits fourth while Joey Logano ranks fifth among ‘wild card’ candidates for the Chase … Clint Bowyer was victorious at the other road course on the 2012 NSCS schedule at Sonoma in June … It marked Bowyer’s first win as a member of Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR), as well as his inaugural victory driving a Toyota … Andy Graves, the Sprint Cup Series program manager for TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development), is from Mexico, N.Y. … Graves has been with TRD since Toyota joined the NSCS prior to the 2007 season … Kerry Ferris, tire specialist on the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) No. 11 team, is from Perry, N.Y., Kenny Barber, rear tire carrier on the No. 18, hails from Hoosick Falls, N.Y., and Dan Bajek, who handles pit support for the No. 18, is from Camden, N.Y. … Camry will serve as the official pace vehicle at Watkins Glen International.

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing What is the most fun part of a lap at Watkins Glen? “Going through turn one and up through the esses are pretty cool — it’s challenging, but yet a lot of fun. As you come down the front straightaway, it’s a downhill braking zone. You try to stay out and get a good, hard cut to the right for turn one and accelerate out of there as quickly as you can to get setup for the esses — stay wide on the left and then turn into the right- hander in (turn) two — smooth, you’re getting out of the gas, but not using too much brake, but just rolling off in there. You start going back uphill so the car will load up and that’s when you get back in the gas really wide open and then you have to turn back to the left and be able to roll back out of it just enough to make the car bend.”

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing (continued) What is the most challenging aspect of Watkins Glen? “I’d say the most challenging thing is the culmination of the inner loop and the carousel. That’s an area of the race track where a lot of guys really try to abuse — they’ll get off on the right side, get off on the left side and throw dirt up on the race track and then it just makes for a real mess.”

JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Do you enjoy racing at Watkins Glen? “I do. We had a really good run there last time — I think we finished fifth — and I’ve gotten better at the road courses lately, so it’s been a lot of fun and I’m having a good time with it. I want to get a road course win — that would be something really cool to have. Having the speed there is one thing, which is hard enough just having the speed, but also just trying to have the right strategy and keep your head in the game throughout the whole race because a lot of things can change throughout the race and your strategy will change. You just have to be calm and methodical about it and it will eventually all work its way out.”

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Do you enjoy racing at Watkins Glen? “I’m looking forward to it. I always look forward to road courses, especially Watkins Glen. I’ve had a lot of great runs there, great finishes. We were in the mix for the lead with a few laps to go. I think we ran third or fourth. I always enjoy running up there. I grew up running the North Series and remember going up there with my father years ago. That’s one of those special tracks — kind of like Pocono, going to Dover or New Hampshire. That’s one of my tracks I grew up going to, so I always enjoy it.”

NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS): After 20 races, Mike Bliss ranks eighth in the series point standings … Brian Scott (10th) is also among the top-10 in the standings … Marcos Ambrose won two NNS races at Watkins Glen for Toyota in 2009 and 2010 … Joey Logano (third) and Kyle Busch (fourth) finished in the top-five at The Glen in 2011 … Busch has posted four consecutive top-five results in a Camry at the upstate New York road course, finishing runner-up in 2008 and 2009 … Logano has recorded top-five results the past two years also earning a runner-up finish in 2010 … Ryan Truex will be back behind the wheel of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Camry … Truex claimed his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory at The Glen in 2009 … This season, he has registered four top-10 finishes in five starts for JGR.

RYAN TRUEX, No. 20 Grime Boss Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Do you have any past experience racing at Watkins Glen? “I’ve been to Watkins Glen once in the K&N Series. One start and one win, so I’ve got a good record there. I like road courses. My first year in the K&N Series we had two road courses on the schedule and I won both. The year after I was leading the one road course race we had at Lime Rock and drove off the track leading so other than that I’ve had a good career on road courses. I haven’t been on one in the Nationwide car yet so I thought it would be cool to race there where I’ve won before and I know the track. There will be a lot of Cup guys there and road course ringers so it will be a good experience for me.”

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS): After 11 races, Timothy Peters continues to lead the series point standings by eight points over Ty Dillon … Matt Crafton (fifth) is also in the top-10 in the standings … The NCWTS will enjoy a weekend off and returns to action at Michigan International Speedway on August 18 … Through Oct. 1, the Kyle Busch Foundation will be raffling a custom motorcycle in conjunction with Deadwood Choppers at www.KBFChopperRaffle.com.

TIMOTHY PETERS, No. 17 Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing What is your strategy for the second half of the season as the points leader? “I think what we’re looking at is still trying to stay out of trouble, complete 100 percent of the laps. Butch (Hylton, crew chief) has a package that is comfortable for my driving style and I can really hustle it. I’ve really tried to change my way of communicating back to him and try to do it quicker. What we’ve done so far has worked and we’re just going to try to continue that. Hopefully we can get us another win or a couple more before the year is out. When it comes down to Homestead, when the checkered flag falls, hopefully we’re at the head table.”

TOYOTA 2012 NASCAR STATISTICS

Series Races Starts Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led (Drivers) NSCS 21 254 (21) 5 30 58 8 111 1,667 NNS 20 224 (32) 6 26 48 5 93 1,038 NCWTS 11 111 (19) 4 23 39 2 27 275

TOYOTA DRIVER ROSTER – Watkins Glen (NSCS, NNS) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Freight Camry Jason Leffler, No. 49 America Israel Racing Camry Clint Bowyer, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Camry Brian Vickers, No. 55 My Classic Garage Camry Kyle Busch, No. 18 M&M’s Camry Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Camry Mike Bliss, No. 19 Humphrey Smith Racing Camry Landon Cassill, No. 83 Burger King Camry Joey Logano, No. 20 Home Depot Camry Joe Nemechek, No. 87 Genny Light Camry Patrick Long, No. 30 Inception Motorsports Camry Travis Kvapil, No. 93 Burger King Camry Bobby Labonte, No. 47 Miller Welders Freightliner Camry

NASCAR Nationwide Series Jeff Green, No. 10 Toyota Camry Mike Bliss, No. 44 TriStar Motorsports Camry Brian Scott, No. 11 Dollar General Camry Kyle Busch, No. 54 Monster Energy Camry Eric McClure, No. 14 Hefty/Reynolds Wrap Camry Kenny Habul, No. 75 SunEnergy 1 Racing Camry Joey Logano, No. 18 GameStop Camry Jason Bowles, No. 81 American Majority Camry Tayler Malsam, No. 19 G-Oil/Noah’s Light Fund Camry Alex Kennedy, No. 87 Global Barter Corp. Camry Ryan Truex, No. 20 Grime Boss Camry Joe Nemechek, No. 97 AM/FM Energy Wood Camry Casey Roderick, No. 24 Michel Connolly Endowment Victor Gonzalez Jr., No. 99 Delta Commercial Camry Camry

WEEKEND RACE SCHEDULE Sat., August 11 — NNS @ Watkins Glen International – 2:15 PM (ET), ABC — Race 21 of 33 Sun., August 12 — NSCS @ Watkins Glen International — 1:00 PM (ET), ESPN — Race 22 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.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here