November 15 – 21, 2010
TOYOTA TALK: Hamlin Hopeful Heading to Homestead Season-Finale Reed Ready to End Season in Victory Lane Bodine, Busch Talk Truck Series Titles
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: This year, Toyota drivers have combined for 12 wins, 41 top-five results, 80 top-10 finishes and six poles after 35 of 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races … Camry driver Denny Hamlin currently leads the championship standings by 15 points over second-place Jimmie Johnson and 46 points ahead of Kevin Harvick going into the season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway … Kyle Busch ranks seventh in the Chase standings … Joey Logano has recorded five straight top-10 finishes … With only two months to go in the year, the Toyota Camry is the best-selling car in America, a position it has held for eight consecutive years … The 2010 Camry, built in Georgetown, Ky., and Lafayette, Ind., also was judged to be the No. 1 ‘American- made’ vehicle for the second straight year in a recent annual survey conducted by Cars.com.
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing How will you race the season-finale at Homestead this weekend with the series points lead? “The important thing is we have a good car for Homestead. It’s going to be our Texas car. So, we know we got a good piece there. This is why we run the races. This is why you can’t crown anyone before this thing is over, is because if any kind of strategy or anything goes wrong, it could be the deciding factor in the championship. It’s a tight one. It’s just going to be whoever runs best. Trust me, I’d rather race at Homestead knowing I need to go out there and I need to win the race than knowing I need to finish 15th. That’s the mentality I’m going to have, is to win the race. It will be one of those things where you’ll probably see me as aggressive as I’ve been all year.”
Will your past success at Homestead work in your favor this weekend? “If you look at stats and history it looks good for us, but you never know what can happen. We just hope to have a clean race and the best car to win. That’s all that we can ask for to crown the champ. I’m proud that we’ve stepped up our performance like we have over these last few weeks. I’m just going to continue to keep digging as hard as I can and try to beat those guys. It’s going to be tough. Those guys are going to be good. We see that every week. As far as I’m concerned, it’s going to take a win.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Do you enjoy racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway? “Homestead is a fun race track. It’s real challenging from the beginning to the end of the race and with the beginning to the end of the run. You run the bottom then you go to the top. You’re always moving around, you’re always thinking. The sun is going to play havoc on our eyes getting down into turn one during the race. I’m looking forward to it, and hopefully there’s another two NASCAR championships to celebrate down there for myself with Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Truck Series, as well as Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) in the Nationwide Series — both owner’s titles, and then helping JGR celebrate the driver and owner championships with Denny Hamlin.”
KASEY KAHNE, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team How has the transition been to joining the Red Bull Racing Team and preparing for 2011? “I think at times it’s been pretty good and at other times it’s been kind of difficult. They do everything a lot different, so it’s been tough at times to pick that up while other stuff has been easy. I’m glad I have these few races to work on it. I think it definitely does help us prepare for next year. They have a lot of good people and good equipment.”
NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: This year, Toyota drivers have combined for 16 wins, 72 top-five results, 142 top-10 finishes and 17 poles after 34 of 35 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) races … Kyle Busch is third in the NNS point standings despite only racing in 28 races this season … Camry drivers Joey Logano (seventh), Steve Wallace (ninth) and Jason Leffler (10th) are also in the top-10 with one race remaining … Last November, Busch notched the first win for a Camry driver at Homestead, becoming the first racer since 1983 (Sam Ard) to win both the season-finale and the NNS driver’s championship in the series … The Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) No. 18 Camry currently leads the NNS owner’s point standings by 41 points heading into the season-finale at Homestead.
REED SORENSON, No. 32 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Braun Racing What will it take for your team to get to victory lane at Homestead-Miami Speedway? “This is a great team of guys. They build good cars, Trent (Owens) is a great crew chief and the pit crew is the best they’ve been all year. What we need to do to get to victory lane is to have no mistakes. We’re a strong enough team that if something goes wrong, for example, we miss a setup or we have a bad pit stop, we are still able to rally back and get good finishes. That’s what our statistics show. However, it is so competitive now in this series, that to win, you can’t make a single mistake all weekend long. It’ll be my first trip to Homestead with the team, but I don’t doubt it’ll be another good one.”
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: This year, Tundra drivers have combined for 14 wins, 56 top-five results, 116 top-10 finishes and 10 poles after 24 of 25 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) races … Todd Bodine clinched the 2010 NCWTS driver’s championship at Phoenix … Tundra drivers Aric Almirola (second), Timothy Peters (sixth), Mike Skinner (eighth), David Starr (ninth) and Jason White (10th) are in the NCWTS top-10 with one races remaining … The Toyota Tundra will make its 175th NCWTS start Friday night at Homestead … Tundra drivers have won three of the six NCWTS races at Homestead, including wins by Bodine (2005 and 2008) and Johnny Benson (2007).
TODD BODINE, No. 30 Germain.com Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing What does it take to be successful at Homestead-Miami Speedway? “You have to keep the trucks wound up and keep them running free without being loose — that’s the hard thing. Those corners are really long and sweep and to carry your momentum through the center is important and get off the corner. I actually liked the old track just as much as I like the new one. It’s neat to go to south Florida and have a different audience. It’s pretty much always going to be sunny and warm. It’s enjoyable.” What did it mean to clinch the Truck Series driver’s championship at Phoenix last week? “It means a lot, because it’s nice to go to Homestead without that pressure and be able to enjoy it for a whole week. The last championship we raced for, we went to Homestead and had to race before we knew what was going to happen at the end. It was pretty nerve wracking. Germain Racing has done such a great job — all the guys at the shop, the motor shop and the guys on the road crew. (Mike Hillman) Jr. (crew chief) has led this team to another championship. It shows his leadership skills and how good a person he is. We don’t give up and I’m proud to be the guy that drives this Toyota Tundra for a great race team.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Traxxas Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports What would it mean to you to win the owner’s title in the Truck Series? “It means a lot. Where we started this year and actually not having anything a year ago at this point and coming as far as we’ve come — it means quite a bit to myself, to Eric Phillips (crew chief), Rick Ren (general manager) and all the families that we have that work for us — all the dedication that they give and the time that they’ve put in this year. We came from nothing. We came from redoing trucks from Xpress (Motorsports) that we could just get to the race track. We bought some assets from Roush Racing to get to the race track for Daytona. We knew that they had good restrictor-plate trucks and we built a lot of our own new stuff. It’s come a long way and it’s been a lot of hard work, but there’s still a lot more work to do in order to get fully funded for next year.”
TOYOTA DRIVER ROSTER – Homestead-Miami Speedway NASCAR Sprint Cup Series David Reutimann, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Camry Robby Gordon, No. 7 SPEED Energy Camry Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Express Camry Casey Mears, No. 13 GEICO Camry Kyle Busch, No. 18 M&M’s Camry Joey Logano, No. 20 Home Depot Camry Marcos Ambrose, No. 47 Clorox-Kleenex Camry Mike Bliss, No. 55 Prism Motorsports Camry Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Camry Landon Cassill, No. 64 Gunselman Motorsports Camry Mike Bliss, No. 66 Prism Motorsports Camry Scott Speed, No. 82 Red Bull Camry Kasey Kahne, No. 83 Red Bull Camry Joe Nemechek, No. 87 NEMCO Motorsports Camry NASCAR Nationwide Series Brian Scott, No. 09 Shore Lodge Camry Jason Leffler, No. 10 ABF Camry David Reutimann, No. 11 Rexall Camry Michael Annett, No. 15 Germain Racing Camry Kyle Busch, No. 18 Z-Line Designs Camry Joey Logano, No. 20 GameStop Camry Reed Sorenson, No. 32 Dollar General Camry Kasey Kahne, No. 38 Great Clips Camry Kevin Lepage, No. 56 RaceDaySponsor.com Brendan Gaughan, No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Camry Steve Wallace, No. 66 5 Hour Energy Camry Martin Truex Jr., No. 99 OUT! Pet Care Camry NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Mike Skinner, No. 5 International Trucks-Monaco RV Tundra Justin Lofton, No. 7 VisitPit.com Tundra Max Papis, No. 9 GEICO Tundra Miguel Paludo, No. 11 Stemco Tundra Timothy Peters, No. 17 Tough Lufkin Tundra Kyle Busch, No. 18 Traxxas Tundra Johanna Long, No. 20 Panhandle Grading & Paving Tundra Tayler Malsam, No. 25 Iron Horse Jeans Tundra Todd Bodine, No. 30 Germain.com Tundra Craig Goess, No. 46 Greenville Toyota Tundra Aric Almirola, No. 51 Riverside Cafe Tundra Tom Hessert, No. 77 Germain Racing Tundra David Starr, No. 81 Zachary Tundra