MILESTONE MOMENT IN MIAMI FOR MIKE SKINNER AND TUNDRA
150th Start for Toyota and Skinner in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (November 20, 2009) -- When the green flag waves to start Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, it will mark the 150th race for Toyota in the series since the beginning of the 2004 season.
"Reaching our 150th start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is a great moment for Toyota and the Tundra," said Ed Laukes, corporate manager of motorsports operations, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. "We've been able to align ourselves with some extremely talented drivers like Mike Skinner, who has made all 150 starts in a Tundra, and Todd Bodine who was our inaugural driver's champion in the series. What we've accomplished during our first 150 races is a result of the dedication of all the teams and drivers that have campaigned Tundras over the past six seasons, as well as the hard work of everyone at TRD, U.S.A."
During the past six years, Tundra drivers have recorded 65 victories and captured 68 pole positions, and have helped Toyota win four consecutive Camping World Truck Series manufacturer's championships (2006 to 2009).
In 149 races, 17 teams and 75 drivers have combined to make a total of 1,421 NCWTS starts. Mike Skinner is the only driver who has started all 149 races. In addition to Skinner, just two other drivers have been a part of all four manufacturer's titles -- Bodine (133 starts) and Johnny Benson (121 starts). Bodine and Benson have both been driving Tundras since 2004, although Benson only ran a partial NCTWS schedule this season.
"When I heard that Toyota was entertaining getting into NASCAR back in 2003, and they were going to do it the first couple years through the Truck Series -- I really missed the trucks and wanted to get back into the series," said Skinner, driver of the Randy Moss Motorsports No. 5 Exide Toyota Tundra. "We partnered up with Toyota and it's just been a fantastic venture ever since. We've become friends as well as business partners. It's been an honor to drive for Toyota and represent them -- it's just been really, really great. Toyota has been very supportive of me so when we have good years -- like being able to help them get four straight manufacturer's championships -- it makes it feel like its all worth it."
Tundra drivers Skinner and Bodine have both been a part of all four of Toyota's NCWTS manufacturer's championships and have not missed a series race since the beginning of the 2006 season. In addition to Bodine winning the driver's title in 2006, Benson also captured the driver's crown in 2008 in a Toyota.
"It was special to be the first champion and it was a privilege for me knowing Toyota's history in motorsports -- not just NASCAR -- but the championships that they have won in other forms of motorsports," said Bodine, driver of the Germain Racing No. 30 Copart Toyota Tundra. "To be able to be the first champion in the upper levels of NASCAR competition was very special. We are all also very proud of what we accomplished as a group for Toyota -- not only the four straight manufacturer's championships -- but also successfully helping Toyota move into the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series."
Skinner leads all Toyota drivers with 35 pole positions, including a series-record 11 in 2007, in his 149 starts in a Tundra. The Susanville, Calif.-native has also recorded 12 victories in a Tundra. Bodine, who has 133 starts in a Tundra, has recorded 17 victories for Toyota in the Camping World Truck Series, the most of any Tundra driver. He also has started from the pole five times.
-credit: toyota motorsports