HAMLIN IS 'MR. MONDAY': In Monday afternoon's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Texas Motor Speedway -- which was rescheduled from Sunday due to rain -- Denny Hamlin ran among the leaders all day long and then took over first-place with 12...
HAMLIN IS 'MR. MONDAY': In Monday afternoon's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Texas Motor Speedway -- which was rescheduled from Sunday due to rain -- Denny Hamlin ran among the leaders all day long and then took over first-place with 12 laps (of 334) remaining en route to victory lane. Hamlin took the lead on a late race restart and never relinquished his position at the front of the field, holding off a charging Jimmie Johnson in the closing laps. The victory, which came less than three weeks after Hamlin had surgery on his left knee, was his second win of the season and 10th of his NSCS career. The Virginia native's two wins this season have come in Monday, rain-delayed events -- he won at Virginia's Martinsville Speedway earlier this year in addition to his Texas victory. Hamlin's win in August of 2009 at Pocono Raceway also came on a Monday afternoon.
RECORD-SETTING, POST-RAIN RACE DAY: Monday was a record-setting day for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) at Texas Motor Speedway. Hamlin won the NSCS race and Kyle Busch recorded a victory in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) -- marking the first time ever that one organization has won both a NSCS race and a NNS event in one day at the same track. In addition, Busch added his name to the NASCAR record book by winning a fifth consecutive race at the same track. Busch dominated the 200-lap NNS race, leading the field four times for a total of 153 laps.
TOYOTA TALLADEGA TRIUMPHS: Alabama's 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway has been the site of success for Camry and Tundra drivers who have a total of six NASCAR wins across the three national touring series -- two NSCS wins (2008), one NNS victory (2008) and three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) first-place finishes (2007, 2008 and 2009). In 2008, four NASCAR races were held at Talladega and Toyota drivers swept all four events. Busch led 12 of the 188 laps in the spring race to earn the first Camry Sprint Cup Series points win at a superspeedway. Former Toyota driver Tony Stewart led the most laps (81 of 117) in the spring Nationwide Series race on his way to victory lane. Stewart was again dominant in the fall NSCS race -- leading the most laps (24 of 190) -- en route to registering Toyota's 10th Cup win of 2008. Todd Bodine earned the 49th win for Toyota in the series in the 2008 NCWTS race at the Alabama oval.
TALLADEGA TOP-10s: In last year's spring Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega, four Camry drivers ended up in the top-10 in a wild finish at the track. Camry drivers Marcos Ambrose (fourth) and Scott Speed (fifth) both finished in the top-five. Brian Vickers (eighth) and Joey Logano (ninth) also recorded top-10 results for Toyota. Camry drivers Busch and Hamlin led a number of laps in the 500-mile race -- Busch led a race-high 42 (of 188) laps and Hamlin led 28 laps. However, Busch and Hamlin were shuffled back in the draft late in the race and finished 25th and 22nd, respectively.
SITE OF SUCCESS: Talladega Superspeedway has been the site of much success for Camry drivers. Michael Waltrip earned the second NSCS pole for a Toyota driver at the track in the 2007 fall race, and he was joined by four other Camry drivers among the top-six qualifiers for that event -- Dave Blaney (second), Brian Vickers (third), David Reutimann (fifth) and Jacques Villeneuve (sixth). That was not the first time Waltrip, who will be returning to the driver's seat this weekend in the Prism Motorsports No. 55 Camry, had success at Talladega -- he also earned a win in the fall of 2003 at the superspeedway. Vickers also has fond memories of Talladega -- it's where he earned his first career NSCS triumph in the fall of 2006.
BACK TO 'BAMA: Two Camry team members call Alabama home -- Charlie Brock, the car chief on the No. 82 Camry driven by Speed, spent seven years in Hueytown, Ala. Brock is the grandson of legendary racer, 'Red' Farmer -- an original member of 'The Alabama Gang.' Todd Foster, a mechanic who also provides pit support on the JGR No. 20 Camry driven by Logano, is from Birmingham, Ala.
-source: toyota motorsports