Atlanta: Toyota Motorsports preview

NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: Toyota drivers have combined for two top-five results and four top-10 finishes through three of 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races ... Joey Logano (sixth) earned his ninth career top-10 finish at Las Vegas and now sits...

NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: Toyota drivers have combined for two top-five results and four top-10 finishes through three of 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races ... Joey Logano (sixth) earned his ninth career top-10 finish at Las Vegas and now sits eighth in the NSCS point standings ... Toyota driver Brian Vickers finished among the top-10 in both NSCS races at Atlanta in 2009, fifth in the spring and seventh in the fall, in the Red Bull Racing Team No. 83 Camry ... Logano lived in the Atlanta area for part of his childhood, and raced Legends cars at the quarter-mile oval inside Atlanta Motor Speedway ... Kyle Busch gave Toyota its first NSCS win at Atlanta in March 2008 in the manufacturer's 40th race in the series.

JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

What is the key to having the fastest car at Atlanta? "I haven't been (to Atlanta) enough to know exactly what we need, but that place has no grip and it seems like every time I go there, I 'm stuck on the bottom. I'm going to really focus on getting my car running good on the top and the bottom and try to get a good balance in the race car. That's probably the biggest deal. It definitely becomes tire management. There are times you'll get loose down the front straightaway -- you lose that much grip. It's hard to imagine you're going almost 200 (miles per hour) and you're going down the straightaway when you light up your tires. The race is fun as a driver."

What do you think makes the Atlanta track so fast? "I guess it's the banking and the size of the track and that's the way they did it -- it has a lot of speed. I have a lot of history at the track, but only on the quarter-mile in a Legends car race. I used to live in Atlanta and run a lot of the Legends car races -- ‘Thursday Night Thunder' -- just not much on the big track yet. So, we are getting there."

Do you have any immediate goals? "Right now, for me, it's to try to keep this thing in the top-12. I think it's awesome right now to be in the points where we are at and have a shot at making the Chase right now -- compared to last year we didn't even think about making the Chase. To be in a good position and to have an awesome Home Depot car -- I'm excited about that."

DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing

Does Atlanta compare to Darlington at all? "As far as race tracks getting wore out and having to do more -- Atlanta is a very abrasive race track, wears tires out and it's something you have to stay on top of the whole time. I don't know if there's anything to compare to Darlington now -- but they both keep you on your toes all day. If you run five laps of green and the yellow comes out, everybody comes down pit road for tires -- nothing wrong with the race track, it's just race tracks get older and they get more abrasive and that's what we have at those tracks -- at least Atlanta anyway."

BRIAN VICKERS, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team

Does the Atlanta track suit your driving style? "I like old, slick, wore out race tracks. They're what I grew up racing and I've always enjoyed those race tracks. I really like Atlanta and I like running against the wall. Atlanta has all of the above."

MICHAEL WALTRIP, co-owner, Michael Waltrip Racing

How important is the Atlanta market for Michael Waltrip Racing? "They (races) are all important. What's great about Atlanta is the chance for us to socialize and hang out with our sponsors. They usually come to the race. I usually go to town a day early and just say hi. It's a bit of a homecoming for me personally, because being the owner and understanding that the majority of our partners are in Atlanta, I look forward to the event."

Are you spending more time with sponsors now that you're not driving? "That's the number one priority now. It used to be where everything revolved around the car and me being in the car and practicing, but now we can schedule things at different times and I can do a bigger variety of events for our sponsors because of the fact I don't have to be in the car at noon on every Friday."

-source: toyota motorsports

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Brian Vickers , Joey Logano , Kyle Busch
Teams Red Bull Racing , Michael Waltrip Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing