TOYOTA TALK: Toyota Drivers Talk Talladega NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: Toyota Camry drivers have combined for 10 wins (Kyle Busch -- Las Vegas, Bristol-1, Richmond and Bristol-2; Denny Hamlin -- Pocono-2, Richmond-2 and Martinsville-2; David ...
Toyota Drivers Talk Talladega
NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: Toyota Camry drivers have combined for 10 wins (Kyle Busch -- Las Vegas, Bristol-1, Richmond and Bristol-2; Denny Hamlin -- Pocono-2, Richmond-2 and Martinsville-2; David Reutimann -- Charlotte; Joey Logano -- New Hampshire; and Brian Vickers -- Michigan-2), 38 top-fives and 68 top-10 finishes through 32 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races this season ... After six Chase races, Hamlin is ninth in the standings and Vickers is in 12th-place ... In 2008, Toyota drivers swept all four NASCAR races at Alabama's 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway ... Busch won the spring NSCS race with former Toyota driver Tony Stewart taking the Nationwide Series race win ... Stewart also earned his sole NSCS win in a Camry in the fall with Todd Bodine winning the fall truck race ... Dave Rogers will be taking over as crew chief for Kyle Busch and the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota starting with the November 8 race at Texas Motor Speedway.
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Do you enjoy restrictor-plate races? "Yeah, we run up front a lot on superspeedways. We don't have a win in a points-paying race, but we've had a lot of success. It seems like our Talladega-package, or whatever , really pushes guys extremely well. With having two teammates that are not in the Chase, they will obviously be trying to win themselves, but if not then they will be trying to get us a victory and get us the most points possible. That's going to be a benefit for us, but of course everyone knows that anything can happen. In the position that I'm in right now in the points, I love going to Talladega because it's an opportunity for me to make up points if someone happens to have an issue."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What is the key to winning at Talladega? "The key there is to somehow stay out of trouble. You pretty much stay around the bottom, since there is a lot of grip there, and you can pretty much run wide open every single lap. Everyone can run up on top of each other. When you get single file at the bottom, sometimes it's hard to get a lane on the outside with enough good cars to get something going. It can be frustrating at times because of that. It also seems to still put on a good race each time we go there. If you can be a contender and stay in line on the bottom, you can make it a pretty easy and safe race. Normally, guys are not content doing that, so that's when it starts to get crazy."
Do you have confidence at Talladega knowing how strong Joe Gibbs Racing is at restrictor-plate tracks? "I think our Toyotas are pretty good when we get to the restrictor-plate tracks, so Talladega is going to be fine. I think we'll have a good run there. Everybody is typically fast at Talladega, so it will be a little bit different. I'm looking forward to it. I feel like myself and Denny (Hamlin) are good drafting partners, and Joey (Logano) is starting to get the hang of it, for sure."
Are you looking forward to racing at Talladega? "The track's treated me well and treated this team well. We're excited to go back, but it's still Talladega. You can't let your guard down. A lot of things can happen there that are out of your control. You just do your part the best you can and hope the rest of it avoids you."
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 Kingsford Charcoal Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
How will you approach Talladega Superspeedway after the short track race at Martinsville? "These past few weeks have been very extreme. We've gone from scary fast Charlotte to the slowest track on the circuit, back to plate racing where your grandmother can drive in qualifying. At the same time, the race itself at Talladega is tough and it's not for everybody. For me, I want to win the race. It's anyone's race and Brad Keselowski was a surprise winner in April. This weekend, how do I do that? Generally speaking, I will let everything settle down and wait for the first crash to get out of the way. About halfway, I'll move up through the pack to make sure my car can run up in there and be able to handle jumping in and out of lines to go to the front. Then I will sit tight and wait for the last 40 laps."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
What is your favorite memory of racing at Talladega? "One of my favorite races at Talladega was when Dale Earnhardt won the race when he was running 18th with two laps to go. He took the checkered flag with Kenny Wallace pushing him to the line. It was the fall of 2000 and it was the last race he won. It was an amazing race and an amazing day. I am pretty sure fans are going to see more cool stuff at Talladega. The place may be the 'Eighth Wonder of the World' because of what happens on Sunday at Talladega."
-credit: toyota motorsports