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Toyota NASCAR Notes & Quotes Martinsville March 2015

March 23 – March 29, 2015


SHORT TRACK STOP: This weekend’s stop on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) schedule marks the first short track of the season and the first time the redesigned 2015 Camry competes on a short track. The paperclip-shaped Martinsville Speedway brings the series back to the East Coast after a three-week stint out west. While many teams are happy to be back within 120 miles of home in Charlotte, .N.C., the teams must now prepare for the challenges that a short track can present.

MARTINSVILLE MAGIC: Toyota has had a great deal of success at the half-mile Martinsville Speedway in both the NSCS and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) with four NSCS victories and 12 Truck wins. In NSCS competition, Martinsville is second only to another Virginia track — Richmond International Raceway — for the total number of NSCS wins by Camry drivers since 2007.  Virginia-native Denny Hamlin has claimed all four Cup wins for Toyota at the track (March 2008, Oct. 2009, March 2010 and Oct. 2010). In the Truck Series, Toyota’s 12 wins at the track since 2004 ranks second to the 13 victories that Tundra drivers have earned at Texas. Tundra drivers who have visited Martinsville’s victory lane include: Hamlin (Oct. 2011 and 2012); David Starr (March 2006); Jack Sprague (Oct. 2006); Mike Skinner (March and Oct. 2007); Johnny Benson (Oct. 2008); Timothy Peters (Oct. 2009); Johnny Sauter (March 2013); Darrell Wallace Jr. (Oct. 2013 and Oct. 2014); and most recently Matt Crafton (March 2014).

NEW FACES: Several new faces will get behind the wheel of Toyota Tundras this weekend at Martinsville for Saturday’s NCWTS race. Daniel Suarez will make his first start at Martinsville driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports along with his teammate Justin Boston who both tested at the half-mile track just last week. Canadian-born driver Cameron Hayley will take his first short track laps for ThorSport Racing and hopes to add to the winning ways of the Ohio-based team at the Virginia short track. Red Horse Racing will field a Tundra for Gray Gaulding at Martinsville in addition to Ben Kennedy and hometown favorite Timothy Peters.


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS):  Camry drivers Matt Kenseth (13th), Denny Hamlin (14th), David Ragan (15th), Carl Edwards (17th) and Clint Bowyer (20th) currently rank in the top-20 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) point standings … Along with his four Martinsville victories, Chesterfield, Virginia-native Hamlin has earned two poles for Toyota at Martinsville in Oct. 2010 and Oct. 2013… His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kenseth finished second at Martinsville in Oct. 2013 and has recorded two additional top-10 finishes at the half-mile track since joining JGR.

CARL EDWARDS, No. 19 ARRIS Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What will you do to try to improve your record at Martinsville?
“Martinsville is probably my worst track. Let’s be honest, I’m terrible there. Hopefully I can turn that around. I’m going to be glued to Denny (Hamlin) at Martinsville. I’m going to make sure my motorhome is parked right next to his and I might even wear a FedEx hat the whole weekend – whatever it takes to be fast at Martinsville.”

DAVID RAGAN, No. 18 M&M’s Crispy Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What is the most difficult part about racing at Martinsville?
“I think Martinsville, from a driver’s perspective mentally it’s a tough race. It’s also important to manage your equipment throughout the race as the track rubbers up and changes throughout the day. You are constantly in traffic and you always have someone on your nose and on your bumper and you can’t make a mistake. Managing your brakes, fenders, tires are very important. Having good forward drive is a key and so is managing your tires, so if you abuse your tires on the beginning of the run, you usually have to pay for it later in the run. There are just so many different variables to keep in mind. It sounds so simple because you don’t have to worry about your aero platform and how your splitter height is, but it’s very important to take care of your car so your brake ducts and fans work efficiently. It’s a grueling race, for sure.”

MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What does it take to get around Martinsville?
“Martinsville is one of those tracks, like all short tracks actually, where you need to have a car that turns really well, along with having some grip on entry and exit. I have a feeling it’s going to be a little bit different with the reduced horsepower this year. It’s always one of those tracks where you need to remain patient and try to keep your cool all day. Pit road is fairly tight at Martinsville, but it’s honestly just like any other pit road in the sense that it’s easier to pass on pit road at Martinsville than on the track itself. When you have a great pit crew like we do, you want to take advantage of those opportunities to get as much as you can to improve your position from pit road.”

NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS):  Camry drivers David Starr (ninth), Daniel Suarez (11th) and JJ Yeley (14th) currently rank in the top-15 in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) point standings … Erik Jones’ third-place finish at Southern California’s Auto Club Speedway marked his career-best finish in the series to date. Jones will be back behind the wheel of a NXS Camry along with the rest of the series in two weeks at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday, April 10.


NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS):  Tundra drivers Matt Crafton (second), Erik Jones (third), Johnny Sauter (fourth) and Ben Kennedy (seventh) currently rank in the top-10 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) point standings … Timothy Peters is a native of nearby Danville, Virginia.

MATT CRAFTON, No. 88 Menards Toyota Tundra

What is the secret to success at Martinsville?
“Martinsville is a race where track position means everything. It’s important to qualify in the front and it’s key to maintain that position. Everyone likes to run on the bottom and that makes it difficult to make moves and pass. Last year when we won, we didn’t start the race off great – in fact we were terrible. The truck was really, really tight from the center of the corner off. We made a couple track bar adjustments and an air pressure adjustment on the first two runs and we finally got going – these guys just never gave up. You can’t give up at Martinsville. You just have to muscle for everything you’ve got.”

ANIEL SUAREZ, No. 51 ARRIS Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
What are your expectations for racing at Martinsville?
“I’ve never raced at Martinsville before, but the team and I are hoping we can keep the trend of strong finishes from the first two events of the season going. I feel really good about the job that everyone on the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 51 ARRIS Toyota team has done already this season. Even we’re surprised at how good a start we’ve had and how much we’ve progressed so far this year, and I hope that Martinsville is no exception. The Tundra has responded really well to everything we’ve tried to do in previous races, but there is still a lot to do in order to continue being successful at this level. We’re going to go out there, do our best and hopefully have another positive result for ARRIS, Toyota and Kyle Busch Motorsports.”


Series Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Top-5s Top-10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
NSCS 5 43 (14) 0 3 6 0 20 137
NXS 5 53 (17) 0 4 7 1 13 94
NCWTS 2 19 (11) 0 4 10 0 8 130

TOYOTA DRIVER ROSTER – Martinsville Speedway (NSCS and NCWTS)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Camry
Clint Bowyer, No. 15 Camry
David Ragan, No. 18 Camry
Carl Edwards, No. 19 Camry
Matt Kenseth, No. 20 Camry
JJ Yeley, No. 23 Camry
Jeb Burton, No. 26 Camry

Brett Moffitt, No. 55 Camry
Matt Dibenedetto, No. 83 Camry
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Erik Jones, No. 4 Tundra
Gray Gaulding, No. 7 Tundra
Ben Kennedy, No. 11 Tundra
Cameron Hayley, No. 13 Tundra
Timothy Peters, No. 17 Tundra
Matt Tifft, No. 25 Tundra
Daniel Suarez, No. 51 Tundra

Justin Boston, No. 54 Tundra
Matt Crafton, No. 88 Tundra
Johnny Sauter, No. 98 Tundra

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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