Texas II: Toyota Motorsports preview

NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: This year, Toyota drivers have combined for 11 wins, 38 top-five results, 77 top-10 finishes and six poles after 33 of 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races ... Toyota drivers Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch are currently ...

NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: This year, Toyota drivers have combined for 11 wins, 38 top-five results, 77 top-10 finishes and six poles after 33 of 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races ... Toyota drivers Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch are currently competing in the 2010 NSCS Chase ... Hamlin is in second-place in the championship standings, 14 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson, after seven of 10 races ... Martin Truex Jr.'s No. 56 Camry will feature 2,400 names this weekend as part of a fan promotion via the NAPA Facebook page ... For the first time in his NSCS career, Camry driver Joey Logano has registered three consecutive top-10 results ... Logano now has a career-best 14 top-10 finishes this season ... Busch will compete in the Cup, Nationwide and Truck events in the final three race weekends of the season at Texas, Phoenix and Homestead-Miami ... Marcos Ambrose will compete in a speed shopping event at Tom Thumbs in Trophy Lake, Texas on Thurs., Nov. 4 at 6:00 PM.

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

Is competing for the championship this season different from previous years? "I've really felt like over the last couple years I've had potential to run with the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) and whoever might be the championship contender. I feel like we've had these opportunities, it's just this has been the first year that we've put it all together. We've put the expectations out and then been able to succeed in achieving them. We've done that this year better than any other year -- we've closed at the end of races better than we ever have."

Did you have any concerns your knee injury would affect your championship chances this season? "It's tough to say because when I decided to get (surgery) I was 20th or so in points and I knew it was too early to panic because we never really run good until five or six races into the season. Our performance seems to turn when we get to the spring Martinsville race. I didn't know the impact that the knee situation would have and obviously winning two weeks after having the surgery, I knew it was not going to be an issue. If I could win at Texas -- a track I'd never won at before -- then it was going to be a non-issue."

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

Will racing in all three events at Texas give you an advantage? "I'm used to doing all three, so it isn't that big of a deal jumping from different cars. The momentum of winning a Truck or Nationwide race certainly doesn't hurt when it comes to the Cup race. But also, even bigger, is I feel like I learn so much from those races that I can apply to Sunday. If I'm running all three, by the time Sunday rolls around I've already been on pit road almost a dozen times and I also have learned what lines are working and how the track reacts to changes and we can apply it to the Cup car. I usually talk to Dave (Rogers, NSCS crew chief) after a Nationwide or Truck race to tell him what I felt during the day and also Jason (Ratcliff, NNS crew chief) talks to Dave as well. I feel like it makes me a better driver, but also it helps my team with the information I can gather from the two races I've already run."

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

What do you think about running a special design on your race car at Texas?

"It was great to see how well NAPA's fundraising program for Susan G. Komen for the Cure was received by NASCAR fans. The NAPA Know How Facebook Signature Car promotion rose over $50,000. There are over 2,400 names on the car. I've never seen anything quite like it. The car is a show stopper because everyone on the shop floor at Michael Waltrip Racing stops and looks at it. I can only imagine what will happen once it rolls off the NAPA hauler at Texas Motor Speedway. Fans, especially those affected some way by breast cancer, will appreciate the car. I know I am very proud of it."

KASEY KAHNE, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team

Do you enjoy racing at Texas? "It's probably one of my best tracks and one of my favorite tracks. We've always been pretty decent there. Hopefully, it will be again. Not sure why, but that track really seems to suit my driving style. We've won there in the past and have a few top-five finishes, and hopefully we can do that again coming up. Jimmy (Elledge, crew chief) and the guys on this 83 car work hard to get good cars on the track and I'm sure we'll have one at Texas."

-source: toyoto motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Jimmie Johnson , Marcos Ambrose , Martin Truex Jr. , Denny Hamlin , Joey Logano , Kyle Busch
Teams Red Bull Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing