Motorsports Brands - Toyota Tidbits
DISECTING DOVER: Camry drivers Kyle Busch (fourth) and Brian Vickers (fifth) registered top-five finishes in last Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Dover International Speedway. New Jersey-native Martin Truex Jr. also finished among the top-10 with an eighth-place result. Busch started from the rear of the field after changing an engine during practice en route to his fourth-place finish. Vickers earned his best result since returning from missing more than half of the 2010 season with a medical issue, as well as his best finish since his victory at Michigan International Speedway in 2009. In the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Dover, Busch was the first Camry driver to the finish line with a runner-up result.
DOVER DOMINANCE: In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Dover, Busch earned his third victory of the season -- and the fourth win of the year for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). Busch started third in the KBM No. 18 Traxxas Tundra and led the field three times for a total of 128 laps. It was his inaugural win driving a Tundra at the Delaware oval. The victory was Busch's third of the season, and the fifth win of the year -- in six events -- for Tundra drivers. The win by Busch marked the fourth straight win at Dover in the Camping World Truck Series for a Tundra driver -- following wins by Aric Almirola (2010), Brian Scott (2009) and Scott Speed (2008). Since the start of the 2004 season, Tundra drivers have recorded 85 wins.
ALL-STAR CAMRYS: Four Camry drivers are scheduled to compete in Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte -- Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne and David Reutimann. Three of the six Camrys that competed in last year's All- Star race earned top-five finishes -- Truex (second), Joey Logano (third) and Hamlin (fourth). Truex won last year's All- Star Showdown to transfer into the All-Star race, and finished runner -up to race-winner Kurt Busch.
HOMEGROWN TALENT: As a Des Moines-native, Michael Annett is looking forward to his third trip to Iowa Speedway in Nationwide Series competition. The 24-year-old spent his youth playing ice hockey in Iowa and advanced through the ranks to play for the AAA Team Illinois. At the age of 16, Annett was part of the team's 2002 Calgary Mac's AAA hockey tournament championship. He later joined the Waterloo (IA) Black Hawks in the US Hockey League where he played through the 2005 season. Annett, who drives the Rusty Wallace Racing No. 62 Camry this season, finished seventh at Iowa Speedway last year. During his brief racing career, Annett has two ARCA victories (Talladega 2007 and Daytona 2008).
RUSTY'S DESIGN: Toyota Nationwide Series team owner Rusty Wallace was an integral part of the overall design and layout of Iowa Speedway. Wallace, owner of Rusty Wallace Racing (and an ESPN broadcaster), served as a consultant to the track during construction of the facility, which began in June 2005. Wallace, worked with architect Paxton Waters to pattern the venue after Richmond International Raceway -- where Wallace had six wins -- with a few modifications. NASCAR held its first event at Iowa in May 2007 with a combination Camping World East/West Series race, and followed that up with inaugural Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) races in 2009. Rusty's son, Steve, will compete in the NNS race at Iowa in the Rusty Wallace Racing No. 66 Camry.
KIMI RACING FOR KYLE: Former Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen is scheduled to make his debut in Friday's NCWTS race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, competing in a second Tundra for KBM. Team owner, Busch, will also compete in the race. Raikkonen comes to NASCAR with a resume that includes the 2007 Formula 1 World Drivers' Championship. Over his nine year career in Formula 1, the Finnish driver registered 18 wins and 62 podium finishes.
BACK STORY: Follow Toyota Racing on Twitter (@toyotaracing) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/toyotaracing). Background and images about the Toyota NASCAR program are available at www.toyotamotorsportsmedia.com.
NOTES, QUOTES & NUMBERS
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS): Since the start of the 2011 season, Toyota drivers have combined for two victories, 11 top-five results, 24 top-10 finishes and have led 1,227 laps … After 11 races, Kyle Busch is third in the NSCS point standings, trailing leader Carl Edwards by 37 points … Denny Hamlin (13th), Kasey Kahne (18th) and Martin Truex Jr. (19th) are also in the top-20 in the standings … This year, Red Bull Racing Team is giving fans the chance to enter photos at www.redbullracingusa.com/shutterspeed and have their picture placed on one of the two Red Bull Racing Camrys that will participate in the 600-mile race at Charlotte, May 29 … Deadline to enter is May 22 and the Camrys will be revealed on May 27 at the Red Bull Racing Fan Day at the EpiCentre in Charlotte … In May 2008, Kahne became the first driver to be voted into the Sprint All-Star race by the fans and go on to win the race … The Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 FedEx Camry pit crew will look to defend their Sprint Pit Crew Challenge Championship from last year on Thurs., May 19 in Charlotte.
TOYOTA NASCAR NOTES & QUOTES -- May 16 - 22, 2011 -- Page 2 KASEY KAHNE, No. 4 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team
Do you approach the All-Star race differently than other 'points' races?
"I don't really approach it much different. I know that when you are out there you don't have to worry quite as much about points, so that's kind of a good thing once in a while. I'm pretty sure we race just as hard everywhere anymore. You just always have the points in the back of your head. It's a little different not having the points, but it'll still be an intense race. There will be some different things going on and people with strategy and everybody will try really hard, that's for sure."
MIKE FORD, crew chief, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Do you think your pit crew can defend their championship title?
"I think athletically they're very good. The thing with that competition is it rewards athleticism, and we've got a very good group when it comes to athletes. The guys that I worry about, and they kind of made a mistake last year, are the 18 guys. They have a really strong group. They were really good in practice last year out there and they made a mistake and got disqualified early in the going. I think between the two of us, we'll make a strong run."
NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS): Since the start of the 2011 season, Toyota drivers have combined for six wins, 16 top- five results, 28 top-10 finishes and have led 1,011 laps … Kenny Wallace (seventh) is the top Toyota driver in the NNS point standings … Brian Scott (eighth), Steve Wallace (ninth), Joe Nemechek (12th) and Michael Annett (13th) are also in the top-15 in the standings … K. Wallace will make his 500th career NNS start at Iowa … Eric Groen, the rear tire carrier on the JGR No. 20 Camry, hails from Sioux Center, Iowa, which is approximately 275 miles northwest of Iowa Speedway … Grimes, Iowa- native Brett Moffitt will drive the Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) No. 00 Camry in the NASCAR K&N Series race. MICHAEL ANNETT, No. 62 Pilot/Flying J Toyota Camry, Rusty Wallace Racing
Are you happy there are two races at Iowa Speedway this year?
"With Iowa Speedway being my home track, I was extremely excited to hear that they secured two races for 2011. They proved that 'America's Heartland' has a passion for motorsports by packing their grandstands with sold-out crowds for their first two Nationwide Series events. It was an amazing feeling when I circled the track and the stands were packed with fans from my home state. Having the support of all those fans makes our sport what it is today, and I'm really excited to see how well NASCAR is being embraced by the fans at Iowa Speedway. I can't wait to hit the track again in 2011."
KENNY WALLACE, No. 09 Family Farmers Toyota Camry, RAB Racing
Are you looking forward to your 500th career Nationwide Series start?
"And, 855th NASCAR start -- so I'm proud of all of them. The reason I'm proud is because it's an accomplishment, it's hard enough just to run one year in NASCAR. In Iowa, I'm going to bring my wife and my three daughters. We're going to go treat it like it's a normal race, except for maybe two hours before the race we'll celebrate that accomplishment. We'll have the car we had at Richmond and had a good run there. Besides it being my 500th start, I'm really looking forward to a good top-five run."
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS): Since the start of the 2011 NCWTS season, Tundra drivers have registered five wins, 11 top-five results, 19 top-10 finishes and have led 577 laps … Timothy Peters (fifth) is the top Toyota driver in the NCWTS points standings after six of 25 races … Max Papis (seventh), Todd Bodine (ninth) and Brendan Gaughan (10th) are also in the top-10 in the point standings … Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) has finished no worse than fifth (Daytona) in the first six races of 2011, including four victories (Phoenix, Darlington, Nashville and Dover) and one second-place result (Martinsville) … Kyle Busch's NCWTS win at Dover marked his 96th career victory across the three national series placing him fifth on the all-time win list -- tied with Mark Martin … Peters will make his 100th career NCWTS start at Charlotte Friday night … Tundra drivers will participate in an autograph session on Friday, May 20 at the Toyota PitPass display at Charlotte Motor Speedway from 1:30 to 2:00 PM.
TIMOTHY PETERS, No. 17 Toyota Tundra, Red Horse Racing
What does it mean to be making your 100th career NCWTS start?
"Making my 100th Truck Series start at Charlotte is a huge career milestone for me. I'm really thankful to have been able to make 100 starts -- most drivers never get to make one. This is a testament to all of the hard work put in by my family and friends, many who will be at the race this weekend. I have to thank Tom DeLoach (team owner) for believing in me and giving me a home for the past three years. I can't think of a better place to make my 100th start."
ERIC PHILLIPS, crew chief, No. 18 Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Has it been a challenge for KBM to prepare two trucks for Charlotte?
"The biggest thing is we haven't brought any people on to do it. All the crew guys on the 18 have put the two trucks together. We built a brand new truck for Kyle (Busch) for Charlotte -- a lot of effort went into that. We have some other new things that we've been working on -- some Nationwide cars that we're trying to get put together for the end of the year, and we've been working hard on that the last couple weeks, too. We've been focusing on getting a lot of stuff built. The guys have been working hard and working a few extra hours, but it's all worth it when you win races."