Week of July 4 – 10, 2011
THREE DAYTONA TOP-FIVES: Three Camry drivers drove to top-five finishes at the historic Daytona International Speedway (DIS) in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race. Joey Logano finished third and was followed to the checkered flag by Kasey Kahne (fourth) and Kyle Busch (fifth). Kahne led eight times for 19 laps and Busch led 11 laps over five stints in Saturday night’s race.
LOGANO’S FIRST 2011 TROPHY: Camry driver Logano, the three-time defending NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race winner at Kentucky Speedway, claimed his first NNS win of 2011 at Daytona Friday night. Logano led just one lap -- the final one -- to take the checkered flag after gaining six positions in the final few laps while being pushed by his Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) teammate Busch. Three additional Camry drivers earned top-10 finishes -- Busch (fourth), Michael Annett (sixth) and Kenny Wallace (seventh). The sixth-place showing tied Annett’s career best finish and marked his third top-10 in his last four starts.
WALTRIP HEADS HOME: Owensboro, Ky.-native and Toyota team owner/driver Michael Waltrip will compete in Saturday’s NSCS race at Kentucky Speedway with a special paint scheme to honor his brother, Darrell, on the No. 15 Camry. Waltrip’s Camry will display an image of his brother on the hood and a victory lane photo on the quarter panels. The younger Waltrip entered NASCAR in 1985 at the age of 22 and his career has spanned a quarter-century. During his career, he has four NSCS victories, 11 NNS triumphs and one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) win to his credit. He’s a member of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame and released his first book, ‘In the Blink of an Eye,’ in Feb.
FOUR GOODNESS SAKE: Logano will return to Kentucky Speedway as a considerable favorite, having won three consecutive NNS races at the track. The 21-year-old driver has won each event from the pole and has led at least 20 laps in each race. In the track’s most recent NNS event, Logano led more than half of the race -- 106 (of 200) laps. At Kentucky, he has three wins, three poles, both track records and has led on 12 occasions for a total of 202 (of 600) laps (34 percent).
BUSCH CHASING RECORDS: After breaking a tie with Mark Martin for the fifth most career wins across NASCAR’s national touring series earlier this year, Busch is now eyeing another Martin record. Busch currently has 48 career NNS wins in 211 starts, and a win in Friday’s NNS race at Kentucky would tie Martin’s all-time NNS win record of 49.
NOTES, QUOTES & NUMBERS
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS): Since the start of the 2011 season, Toyota drivers have combined for three victories, 19 top-five results, 38 top-10 finishes and have led 1,600 laps … After 17 races, Kyle Busch is third in the NSCS point standings, trailing leader Kevin Harvick by just 10 points … Denny Hamlin (11th), Kasey Kahne (19th) and Joey Logano (20th) are also in the top-20 in the standings … This is the first time the NSCS has ever raced at Kentucky Speedway … The NSCS race at Kentucky will take place about an hour from Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. (TEMA) in nearby Erlanger, Ky. … TEMA was established in 2006 and employs more than 2,700 residents.
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Are you looking forward to racing at Kentucky Speedway? “Kentucky will be good. I’m looking forward to getting there. It’s a great opportunity for the speedway to have the ‘triple’ there this weekend -- the Trucks, the Nationwide cars and the Sprint Cup cars there all together. For their first Sprint Cup weekend, it’s not just a standalone event or it’s not just a Nationwide Series and Cup Series event -- it’s all three. It’s big for the speedway and hopefully it will be good for myself and Kyle Busch Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing.”
What type of racing do you expect? “I couldn’t expect anything but some good, hard racing. Kentucky is a fast race track. There’s a lot of sweeping corners there so you’ve really got to keep your momentum going and it’s a big momentum-type race track. There’s a lot of throttle on time there. You carry a lot of good speed, but yet the place is really wide so you’ve got room for maneuverability. You can run the bottom. It seemed like you can run the middle. I don’t know how great the top will be, but we’ll have to see once we get there and what kind of tire we’re on.”
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 15. Aaron’s Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
How do you feel about recognizing your brother’s Hall of Fame induction on your car? “What a great photo. And, I was there. Seeing it still makes me smile. This was when all the winning started and led Darrell to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. What a happy group we were. So many people who helped him are in it, including my grandparents. I had never seen a man so happy. I have always idolized my brother and because of him, racing is all I ever wanted to do. It is truly special for our family that I will be able to honor him by driving this paint scheme at the first Sprint Cup race in our home state of Kentucky.”
NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS): During the 2011 season, Toyota drivers have combined for seven wins, 20 top-five results, 43 top-10 finishes and have led 1,161 laps … Kenny Wallace (seventh) is the top Toyota driver in the NNS point standings … Steve Wallace (eighth), Brian Scott (ninth), Michael Annett (10th) and Joe Nemechek (15th) are also in the top- 15 in the standings … In just four NNS races, Kyle Busch has led the most laps at Kentucky Speedway (311), and has one win (2004) at the track … NNS drivers will participate in a ‘Feed the Children’ event at Warsaw High School in Warsaw, Ky., on Thurs., July 7 at 1:00 PM … NNS drivers will help provide families in need with food and personal care items.
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Sport Clips Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Does your NNS success at Kentucky give you an advantage for the NSCS event? “I have an advantage coming in because I’ve run Nationwide races there lately. I know what the place is like. At the same time, you can’t compare a Cup car to a Nationwide car at all. A lot of stuff is not going to transfer over.”
Is Kentucky a unique track? “The race track is fun and different. You can run the bottom and go over the bumps or you can run the top and have a smoother racetrack with a longer distance. You might see guys set up their car just to run the high line in turns one and two and maybe some guys that do both. I’m going to try to make my car do both. There’s a balance in there somewhere that you can get your car to go over the bottom and still try to put some grip in your car.”
By: toyota motorsports