Charlotte: Toyota Motorsports preview

NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: This year, Toyota drivers have combined for five wins, 13 top-five results, 28 top-10 finishes and three poles after 12 of 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races ... Five Camry drivers are currently in the top-20 in the...

NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: This year, Toyota drivers have combined for five wins, 13 top-five results, 28 top-10 finishes and three poles after 12 of 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races ... Five Camry drivers are currently in the top-20 in the NSCS point standings -- Kyle Busch (second), Denny Hamlin (fifth), Martin Truex Jr. (12th), Joey Logano (18th) and David Reutimann (20th) ... Truex transferred into Saturday night's All-Star race, where he finished second , after winning the Showdown qualifying race earlier in the evening ... Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) will host a Fan Appreciation Day on Wed., May 26 at MWR in Cornelius, N.C. ... MWR drivers are scheduled to sign autographs between 4:00 and 8:00 PM ... The Toyota PitPass display will feature the grand prize winning car from the 'Sponsafy Your Ride' contest during the race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway ... The Toyota Owner's Hospitality area will be open on Saturday and Sunday for Toyota, Lexus and Scion owners.

DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Armed Forces Foundation Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing

Did you miss out on celebrating last year's win because the race was rain-shortened? "In the end, you look back and we won the race so we really didn't miss out on anything. It would have been cool to have been able to come to the checkered flag, win the race and then do what everybody else does. I don't feel like I was slighted in any way because we won the race. It just ended up being that way and it was still a lot of fun. I will always have that little star beside it because it was rain-shortened, but it just drives you more to go out and win it the way you wanted to win it to begin with. Trust me, I didn't want to win the race that way. It's just the way it worked out."

Are you confident about defending your race win from a year ago? "I feel like our mile-and-a-half program is good, so I feel pretty confident coming here. Charlotte is a tough race track and it's a race track that you have to stay up on top of. From the outside looking in, it doesn't look like anything any different than any of the other race tracks that we go to. It drives different, it's very temperature sensitive and it's just a tough race track and it will always be a tough place."

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Batteries Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing

How much momentum did your run in the All-Star race give you for the 600? "We felt good coming into last week's events a Charlotte because of the test we had and what we learned. The last few weeks we seemed to be getting better and better. We thought we were going to be real good coming here, so it wasn't unexpected. It wasn't like we just came out of the blue and won the Showdown. We've been competitive, but momentum is a big thing in this sport. You see it all the time. It worked for us a couple years ago. It seemed to just give us that confidence in each other and know that we can get it done. Hopefully it will do the same thing. I am looking forward to the 600 this week. I think we'll have a good car. The NAPA guys will obviously work on it and work on the issues we had during the All-Star Race. We'll get it better. We'll come back and try to do what we can do. It should be fun."

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

How important is winning the Coca-Cola 600? "You want to win this race. I was close last year, leading all the laps and then getting the thing called by rain just after we had pitted and didn't stay out. The year before that, we were really fast here -- I think we ran third. I'd like to win this race. Like I said, it's my favorite race track and to win the 600 -- it's one of the races on my list before I'm done. Being the longest race of the year, it's a grueling event, it's a tiresome race, but for me, racing everything I can every weekend, I seem to knock that out of there. Four hundred laps around here might seem like a long time, but when you're in the seat and you have a good driving race car, it's not that long."

DAVE ROGERS, crew chief, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Are you confident about your chances in the Coca Cola 600? "We're always confident. We really believe in Kyle Busch and he's showing a lot of belief in us. We're starting to really click here and everyone is working really hard. Everybody says that, but our guys really are working hard. They put a lot of hours in and really focus on details. I think it's showing on the race track so we're confident coming back here this week."

-source: toyota motorsports

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , David Reutimann , Martin Truex Jr. , Denny Hamlin , Joey Logano , Kyle Busch
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing