TOYOTA TAKES TITLE: Toyota earned its first Nationwide Series manufacturer's championships in 2008. Toyota clinched the NNS manufacturer's title in its second year of series competition when Hamlin's JGR No. 18 Camry crossed the finish line...
TOYOTA TAKES TITLE: Toyota earned its first Nationwide Series manufacturer's championships in 2008. Toyota clinched the NNS manufacturer's title in its second year of series competition when Hamlin's JGR No. 18 Camry crossed the finish line first at Kansas (Sept. 27). "Toyota's accomplishments are the result of hard work and achievement by all of our race teams working in conjunction with TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development) and Triad," says Lee White, TRD's president and general manager. "All the tireless efforts during the off-season, pre-season testing and throughout the season, in combination with a talented driver line-up, have produced the exceptional results that yielded these championships."
OWNER'S CHAMP: Joey Logano's 10th-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway secured the NNS owner's championship for JGR and the No. 20 Toyota Camry. In 2008, four drivers (Busch, Hamlin, Logano and Stewart) combined for nine wins, six poles, 16 top-five finishes and 25 top-10 results in the No. 20 entry. "It was special to have all those guys -- Kyle, Denny , Tony and Joey -- get in that car and run it," says J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR. "For the guys at the shop that have worked all year long, it would have been real frustrating to go the whole year and not have something to show for it. We're real excited and I think for our team, it meant more than most championships mean to other teams. This was a big deal for us and for the guys that worked so hard, because in the Nationwide Series you have guys that do a little bit of everything -- they really work their tails off."
RECORD RUNS: The Joe Gibbs Racing NNS Camrys -- No. 20 and No. 18 -- combined to win a series record 19 races in 2008. Busch's win at Texas (Nov. 2) equaled Sam Ard's 1983 record for the most wins (10) by one driver in the Nationwide Series in a single season. Busch (eight) and Hamlin (two) combined for the 10 triumphs by the No. 18 team -- equaling another series record. In Indianapolis (July 26), Busch broke the previous record (13) for most victories by one NNS organization, and the additional wins by Busch and Hamlin further increased the mark.
EIGHT STRAIGHT: Camry drivers won eight consecutive NNS races from April to June -- Texas through Dover -- this season. The eight wins were achieved between two race teams (JGR and Braun Racing) and among three drivers (Busch, Stewart and Hamlin). The record for most consecutive NNS wins by one manufacturer is 11 established in 2000.
TWENTY TRUIMPHS: Camry drivers combined for 20 NNS victories in 2008. Busch led the Toyota brigade with 10 triumphs, including Texas (April 5), Phoenix (April 11), Mexico City (April 20), Charlotte (May 24), Chicagoland (July 11), Indianapolis (July 26), California (Aug. 30), Dover (Sept. 20), Charlotte (Oct. 10) and Texas (Nov. 1). Stewart earned five wins at Daytona (Feb. 16), California (Feb. 25), Talladega (April 26), Darlington (May 9) and New Hampshire (June 28). Hamlin visited victory lane at Richmond (May 2), Dover (May 31), Daytona (July 4) and Kansas (Sept. 27). Logano's victory at Kentucky (June 14) enabled him to became the youngest NNS race-winner (18 years and 21 days).
CONSISTENCY COUNTS: Mike Wallace, driver of the No. 7 Germain Racing Camry, completed 99.2 percent of all the laps in NNS competition during the season -- finishing 6,366 of 6,415 total laps. He had eight top-10 finishes and was eighth in the final series point standings. Wallace made his 330th career NNS start at the 2008 season finale, moving him into eighth-place in the NNS all-time career starts record book. "We can take our hat off to our race team because we don't break and I try not to tear the car up," says Wallace. "Our cars don't break, the Toyota motors don't have any failure, all the preparation of the cars is excellent and the crew itself is doing better."
POINTS POSITION: Four Camry drivers finished in the top-10 in the final 2008 NNS point standings. Busch (sixth) was the highest-ranking Toyota driver in the point standings. Reutimann (seventh), Wallace (eighth) and Jason Leffler (ninth) were also among the top-10 in the point standings. Other Camry drivers competing part-time in the series included Hamlin (19th), Logano (20th), Vickers (36th) and Stewart (39th). This year, 18 Camry drivers combined for 20 wins, 58 top-five results and 102 top-10 finishes, as well as 14 pole positions and led 3,439 laps -- more than half of all NNS laps.
-credit: toyota motorsports