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Toyota NASCAR Notes & Quotes Champion’s Week

TOYOTA TIDBITS — November 29 – December 5, 2010 Here Are the Headlines:   Camry Drivers Compete in Chase   Toyota Takes Titles   Busch Breaks More Records   Tundras Tally Record Total Wins

COUNTING CAMRY CUP NUMBERS:  Toyota drivers combined for 12 wins, 41 top-five results and 81 top-10 finishes in 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races in 2010.  Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) teammates Denny Hamlin (eight wins) and Kyle Busch (three wins) each captured multiple checkered flags, and David Reutimann drove to victory lane once.  Busch and Hamlin qualified for the 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship playoff — ending the year second (Hamlin) and eighth (Busch) in the final standings.  Joey Logano (16th) and Reutimann (18th) also finished the season in the top-20 in points.

NATIONWIDE NUMBERS:  Camry drivers combined for 17 wins, 73 top-five finishes and 146 top-10 results in 35 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) races in 2010.  Busch — the 2009 series champion — won a series-high 13 races, and finished third in the point standings despite running only 29 of the 35 races.  Busch also helped Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) earn a third straight NNS owner’s title.  Other Toyota racers to win NNS events in 2010 were Logano (three wins) and Marcos Ambrose (one win).  Camry drivers Logano (eighth), Jason Leffler (ninth) and Steve Wallace (10th) finished in the top-10 in points, and Toyota won its third consecutive Nationwide Series manufacturer’s championship.

RECORD-BREAKING RESULTS:  Busch enjoyed a record-setting year in the Nationwide Series in 2010.  He set a record for the number of NNS race wins in a single season with 13 — breaking the old record of 10 race wins which Busch (2009) held with Sam Ard (1983).  Busch also became the first driver to win in all three of NASCAR’s premiere series at the same race track during the same weekend when he won NSCS, NNS and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) races at Bristol Motor Speedway in August.

TUNDRA TRIUMPHS:  Tundra drivers combined for 15 wins, 59 top-five results and 123 top-10 finishes in 25 NCWTS races in 2010.  Busch won a series-high eight NCWTS races in just 16 starts with his first-year race team, Kyle Busch Motorsports  (KBM).   Tundra drivers Aric Almirola (two), Todd Bodine (four) and Timothy Peters (one) also won races in 2010.  The 15 victories by Tundra drivers were the most in a season for Toyota since joining NCWTS competition in 2004.  The previous mark for wins in a season by Tundra drivers was 14 in 2009.  Toyota drivers Almirola (second), Peters (sixth), Mike Skinner (eighth) and David Starr (ninth) also finished in the top-10 in points.

TOYOTA TITLES:  Bodine earned his second NCWTS driver’s championship in 2010 — becoming Toyota’s first two-time driver’s champion.  In the team’s inaugural season of competition, KBM earned the 2010 NCWTS owner’s championship with four drivers piloting the No. 18 Tundra during the season.  Toyota won its fifth consecutive Camping World Truck Series manufacturer’s title in 2010.  Toyota has won the award every year since 2006, and this season clinched the championship at Texas in November with two races remaining.  

TOYOTA TALLY:  Toyota drivers competed in a total of 96 NASCAR races across all three national touring series in 2010 and accumulated 44 total victories.  In 36 NSCS races, Camry drivers recorded 12 wins (33 percent) and seven poles (19 percent).  In 35 NNS races, Camry drivers accounted for 17 race wins (48 percent) and 18 poles (51 percent).  In 25 NCWTS races, Tundra drivers registered 15 victories (60 percent) and 10 poles (40 percent).

REMARKABLE JGR RESULTS:  Since the team started using Toyotas in 2008, JGR drivers — Busch, Hamlin, Logano and Tony Stewart (2008) — have earned a total of 98 wins behind the wheel of Toyota Camrys and Tundras across all three NASCAR series.  JGR has earned 30 NSCS wins and 49 NNS wins.  In addition, Busch has picked up one NNS win driving for Braun Racing and registered a total of 18 NCWTS wins — eight with KBM and 10 with Billy Ballew Motorsports.

KYLE COLLECTS CHECKERS:  This year, Busch had a season across all three of NASCAR’s national series that would be considered a good career for most drivers.  Making 81 total starts (36 NSCS, 29 NNS and 16 NCWTS), Busch won a remarkable 24 races — nearly 30 percent of the races he entered.  The Las Vegas-native recorded 45 top-five results and 57 top-10 finishes, and had 11 poles.  Busch has also earned the most victories in a Toyota with 65 total wins in a Camry or Tundra in 251 starts (15 NSCS wins, 32 NNS wins and 18 NCWTS wins).

TRUEX TAKES SECOND TITLE:  Ryan Truex clinched his second consecutive NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) driver’s championship when he took the green flag at Dover International Speedway in September.  In 2010, Truex had two wins and nine top-10 finishes in 10 races. The 18-year-old Mayetta, N.J.-native posted both of his victories at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and needed only to start at Dover in the No. 00 NAPA Camry to secure the title.  Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) also won its second owner’s championship in the series.

HOLMES NOTCHES WEST CHAMPIONSHIP:  Camry driver Eric Holmes won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West (NKNPSW) championship with a 16th-place finish in the season-finale at Phoenix International Raceway to help Toyota drivers sweep the NASCAR regional series titles in 2010.  Driving the Bill McAnally Racing No. 20 Camry, Holmes won five of 12 events in 2010 en route to his third series title.  The 36-year-old Escalon, Calif., native previously won the NKNPSW championship in 2006 and 2008.  

BACK STORY:  Background information on the Toyota NASCAR program is available at and members of the media can access Toyota images at TOYOTA 2009 NASCAR STATISTICS: Series Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led NSCS 36 458 (33) 12 41 81 7 225 2,890 NNS 35 379 (37) 17 73 146 18 181 3,430 NCWTS 25 250 (32) 15 59 123 10 119 2,051

LEE WHITE, president and general manager, TRD U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development) What are your thoughts about the success of Toyota drivers and teams across NASCAR in 2010? “We are very proud of our Toyota Camry and Tundra teams and drivers this season.  We and our teams were able to earn two manufacturer’s championships, two owner’s championships and a driver’s title.  We all supported Denny Hamlin and Joe Gibbs Racing as they battled through the final race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup title at Homestead-Miami, and we could not be prouder of their efforts.  It was an honor to once again share in the success of Joe Gibbs Racing in its Nationwide Series owner’s championship, as well as the success of Kyle Busch Motorsports in its inaugural season in the Camping World Truck Series. Celebrating Toyota’s first repeat champion with Todd Bodine is the icing on the cake.  A lot of hard work and dedication by all the Toyota teams and drivers went into the 2010 season — from the Toyota drivers and teams to all the personnel at Toyota and TRD in California and North Carolina that contributed to the program.  We look forward to carrying the momentum from this season into 2011.”

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Will the outcome of this year’s Chase provide motivation for next year? “Obviously coming this close is tough, especially the small, little things that could have changed the outcome of this Chase in one lap.  But that part of it hurts, but — you’ve got to get better at all aspects and I feel like that’s where that teams been — the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) team has been strong over the last few years.  They really have no weak spots.  There are several parts of our car, there are several parts of our team that we can improve on, and that’s a good thing, because as competitive as what we are right now, I know I need to get better in qualifying.” What emotions will you take into the off-season? “It’s going to be fuel for me.  I’m just going to try to get better.  There’s things that I can improve on as a driver.  I’ve got to work on qualifying.  I’ll study that in the off-season.  I’ve got to work on my outright speed on the short go’s, on restarts.  Those are the things that I’ve got to get better at and as a team I’ll debrief with them and tell them the things that I feel like our cars need to be to be better in the future.  I can assure you we’re going to hang our heads high because we came close this year.  We had a great year.”

JOE GIBBS, team owner, Joe Gibbs Racing What difference did you see in Denny Hamlin and the No. 11 team this year? “I just think that it’s a maturing process.  Denny (Hamlin) and Mike (Ford, crew chief) have an unusual feeling for each other.   Their team here is very solid and the pit crew.  In pro sports you can’t win if you’re missing something — a pit crew, a crew chief or whatever.  I feel like they’re a very solid team and I think they proved that this year.  And, of course, Denny is maturing.  He’s still young so hopefully we’ve got a lot of good years in front of us.”

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing What does it mean to be part of another Joe Gibbs Racing NNS owner’s championship? “It’s a great testament to the people that I’m surrounded with, with Jason (Ratcliff, NNS crew chief) and the Gibbs family and everybody that’s helped me.  I feel like we’ve done a lot of things that we really didn’t expect to do on the Cup side this year.    We had a lot of good finishes.  I felt like that was something to build upon and go into next year with a stronger feeling and a better relationship with Dave (Rogers, NSCS crew chief), and a better relationship with Dave that he has with Mike (Ford, 11 NSCS crew chief) and Zippy (Greg Zipadelli, 20 NSCS crew chief), so we can all work together again to get all three Gibbs cars in the Chase, and hammer out another championship.”

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 TRAXXAS Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports What does it mean to win the NCWTS owner’s championship in the first season for Kyle Busch Motorsports? “It’s excellent — that’s what we set out in the beginning of the year to do was to come out here and work as hard as we could, to work with two different drivers at first, myself and Brian Ickler, but when Brian got the call to go drive some Roush Racing stuff, we brought in Johnny Benson for a race and we brought in Kasey Kahne for a race, and without all those guys being able to give us good, solid finishes we wouldn’t be in this position.  So it’s to them, it’s to Eric (Phillips, crew chief), it’s to Rick (Ren, general manager), all the guys.  For myself, it’s just the name on the door that said Kyle Busch Motorsports, and maybe that’s who the checks are signed by, but it takes a lot more than just that to go to the race track week in and week out.  Their families and their families’ support and my support from Samantha (Sarcinella, fiancé) and my mom and dad and my brother, too — I mean, being 25- years-old and being in this spot now, winning an owners championship, we never would have thought.”

TODD BODINE, No. 30 Toyota Tundra, Germain Racing How does it feel to be a two-time NCWTS champion? “I never thought that I’d be a one-time champion, let alone two-time champion.  It’s because of these guys up at the track and all the guys back at the shop that — I appreciate the hard work.  It’s hard in a career to be a part of a group that cares as much as this one, and is as good as this one.  I’m fortunate now, this is our fifth year together and we’re going strong and I count my blessings every day to be a part of a group like this — that care and want to win and want to run up front and can do it every week.”

What did you do different this year compared to last year to win the title? “We didn’t really do anything different.  Last year, we just had bad luck — wrong place, wrong time.  A lot of times, we just weren’t handling well.  But, everybody stuck it out.  They dug deep, they dug within themselves to build trucks last winter.  That is one thing, last winter we went to work and re-did our trucks, re-engineered them.  We made them a lot better.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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