Phoenix II: Toyota Motorsports preview

NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: This year, Toyota drivers have combined for 12 wins, 40 top-five results, 79 top-10 finishes and six poles after 34 of 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races ... After winning at Texas, Toyota driver Denny Hamlin now leads...

NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: This year, Toyota drivers have combined for 12 wins, 40 top-five results, 79 top-10 finishes and six poles after 34 of 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races ... After winning at Texas, Toyota driver Denny Hamlin now leads the championship standings by 33 points over second-place Jimmie Johnson with two races remaining in the Chase ... Kyle Busch is the only driver in NASCAR history to have three consecutive seasons of more than 20 wins across all three NASCAR series ... The Las Vegas-native notched 21 overall wins in 2008, 20 in 2009, and currently has 22 wins in 2010 ... Toyota, Lexus or Scion owners can show their car key at Phoenix for access to the Toyota Owners Hospitality (TOH) area where they'll be able to enjoy snacks, driver appearances and a place to sit down and relax at the track ... TOH is located on the main vendor midway by the Toyota 'PitPass' and SPEED displays and open on Friday (10 AM to 6 PM), Saturday (9 AM to 2:30 PM) and Sunday (8 AM to 1 PM).

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

What does it take to be successful at Phoenix? "Phoenix is a track where braking is extremely important -- just like Martinsville. You've got to have a car that rolls the center there extremely good, especially in turn one because it's much tighter than it is in turn three. I continue to work on how quick I can get in to the entry of the corners there. Obviously, the forward bite seems to get a little bit better as it starts to get dark, but with the change in time, we're going to have to worry about keeping the rear tires on the car. I like Phoenix -- it's one of my favorite race tracks to go to. My performance has been very up-and-down at the track over the last few years, but I do like going there."

How will you approach the final two races of the season? "For me, I'm going to race Phoenix as if I'm 33 (points) behind. There's no comfortable margin going into Homestead because anything can happen. So for Phoenix, being an up-and-down race track for me, I've got to really be focused on practice day to get Mike (Ford, crew chief) the information and just stay 100 percent focused is all I can do. I'm not going to be conservative having the (points) lead. I'm going to want to stretch that out before we get to Homestead."

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

Do you enjoy racing at Phoenix? "I like Phoenix. Phoenix is fun. I've run well there in the Trucks -- I've won there. I've won there in the Nationwide, as well as in the Cup Series, so it's a place that I like going to. We ran really well there in the spring. We probably had a really good shot at winning the race and then there towards the end we had pit strategy not go our way. You've got to have a good car, but you've got to have good brakes, you've got to have a good turning car and you've got to have a good car that can accelerate off of turn two and go fast down the backstretch. Being a day race and being hot and slick it makes it that much more interesting."

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

How much momentum does four straight top-10 finishes give you and your team heading into the off-season? "My last finishes -- we were seventh, sixth, fifth, fourth -- so that's pretty cool. We're going to run out of time -- we need to skip a couple spots to get to first by the end of the season. We have a lot of momentum right now and I think two consecutive top-fives is also exciting. I'm pumped up about it. If we were in the Chase we'd be about fourth or so right now, so that's exciting knowing that we'd be there. We've just got to do a good job next year getting ourselves in the Chase."

-source: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson , Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing