Kansas: Toyota preview

THIS RACE: The O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race at Kansas Speedway will be the sixth Craftsman Truck Series event at the track. There will be nine Toyota Tundras in the field at the one- and-a-half-mile Kansas ...

THIS RACE: The O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race at Kansas Speedway will be the sixth Craftsman Truck Series event at the track. There will be nine Toyota Tundras in the field at the one- and-a-half-mile Kansas oval.

LAST RACE: In the most recent race of the 2006 NCTS season at the Milwaukee Mile (June 23), Johnny Benson recorded his second consecutive Craftsman Truck Series victory when he guided the No.23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Tundra to `Victory Lane.' Benson started fourth and led 47 laps en route to the checkered flag. Tundra drivers following Benson to the finish line were Jack Sprague (fourth) and David Reutimann (fifth).

BENSON'S BACK-TO-BACK: Johnny Benson's first-place finish at Milwaukee came one week after he recorded his first-ever NCTS win at Michigan. Prior to the back-to-back wins at Michigan and Milwaukee, the previous best Craftsman Truck Series result for the Grand Rapids, Michigan-native had been second-place.

MOTORING AWAY AT THE MILE: Atthe Milwaukee Mile, Johnny Benson finished first in only his second NCTS start at the track. "I really can't believe this happened," said Benson, following the race. "That first win was pretty hard to get. Everyone said the second one would come a little easier, but I didn't think it would come so soon. We've been close this year and have had some opportunities to win races. I just didn't think we would win again so soon after that first one -- although I thought we'd have more chances to win this year."

JOHNNY BE GOOD: Johnny Benson has recorded five straight top-six finishes and has moved into third-place in the championship point standings. In addition to his back-to-back wins at Michigan and Milwaukee, Benson finished fifth (Texas), sixth (Dover) and fourth (Mansfield) before his two straight wins.

TOYOTA NOW HAS 19: Toyota now has 19 NCTS wins since the Tundra began competing in the Craftsman Truck Series at the beginning of the 2004 season. Along with six wins this year -- two Johnny Benson ( Milwaukee by and Michigan), three by Todd Bodine (Texas, St. Louis and Atlanta) and one by David Starr (Martinsville) -- Tundras finished first nine times in 2005 and four times in 2004. Drivers who have recorded wins driving Tundras include Bodine (10), Travis Kvapil (two), Benson (two), Mike Skinner (two), David Reutimann (one), Starr (one) and Brandon Whitt (one).

POINTS PACE: After the first 11 races of the 2006 season, Toyota drivers hold down the top-five positions in the NCTS championship point standings. Todd Bodine sits atop the championship standings with 1,758 points. Trailing Bodine in the standings are second-place David Reutimann (1,632 points), third-place Johnny Benson (1,628 points), fourth-place Ted Musgrave (1,560 points) and fifth-place Jack Sprague (1,502 points).

LAST YEAR HERE: A year ago at the Kansas oval, Todd Bodine captured the checkered flag in his No.30 Germain Racing Tundra and Bill Lester earned the pole position in his No.22 Bill Davis Racing Tundra. Lester registered a record qualifying speed of 173.833 mph (31.100 seconds).

FIRST IN 2005: Todd Bodine's victory at Kansas was the first NCTS win for Toyota in 2005. A year ago, Toyota earned its first win in the 12th race of the season. Two years back, Toyota earned its inaugural NCTS win in the 13th race of the year at Michigan.

MORE KANSAS RACE RECAP: Four Tundra drivers were among the top-five finishers at Kansas a year ago. Following Todd Bodine to the checkered flag were Toyota drivers David Reutimann (third), Mike Skinner (fourth) and Bill Lester (fifth).

TODD TALKS KANSAS: "We really struggled at Kansas during practice last year," said Bodine. "But, before qualifying we made a shock change -- and it was absolutely the right change to make. My Tundra was just awesome during the race and the horsepower was incredible. The truck was just a little `free' all day -- but that's what you've got to have to go fast with these trucks."

MAJOR MARK: Bill Lester's fifth-place finish at Kansas last year equals the best outcome of his NCTS career. He also finished fifth in the 2005 season-finale at Homestead.

JOHNNY ENJOYS REGULAR RACING: "Week-in and week-out racing is what I like," says Johnny Benson. "It keeps everybody in the `swing of things.' Although, it doesn't give you a whole lot of time to relax, but that keeps you on your game. To run a race and take three weeks off, and then run another race and take two weeks off -- it looks good on paper, but it really isn't good."

MIKE MAKES MARK IN MIDWEST: Mike Skinner, driver of the No.5 Bill Davis Racing Tundra, has made two NCT start s at Kansas Speedway. However, the Daytona Beach, Fla.-driver has plenty of Craftsman Truck Series experience in the Kansas City-area, having run at Topeka's Heartland Park three times (1995-97) and Missouri's I-70 Speedway twice (1995-6). In those five NCTS starts at tracks surrounding the current Kansas City circuit, Skinner recorded NCTS wins at Topeka (1996) and I-70 (1995), as well as a second-place at I-70 and two fifth-place finishes at Topeka.

TWO AT TOPEKA: Veterans Todd Bodine and Johnny Benson have also competed in NCTS races at Topeka's Heartland Park. Bodine, who won at Kansas last season, finished fourth at Topeka in 1995. Benson finished sixth at Topeka in 1996.

BODINE BUSY AT KANSAS: Todd Bodine has started races at Kansas Speedway in all three of NASCAR's premiere divisions. He has two NCTS starts at the track (2004 and 2005), as well as two Busch Series starts (2002-03) and has qualified for four NASCAR Cup races (2001-04) at the circuit.

TOYOTA HAS 24: Mike Skinner's pole position at Michigan was the 24th NCTS pole position for a Tundra since Toyota began competing in the Craftsman Truck Series at the beginning of the 2004 season. Along with Skinner (12), Tundra drivers who have recorded poles include David Reutimann (six), Bill Lester (two), Brandon Whitt (two), Todd Bodine (one) and Travis Kvapil (one).

-toyota-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , David Starr , Johnny Benson , Ted Musgrave , Jack Sprague , Bill Lester , David Reutimann , Brandon Whitt , Travis Kvapil
Teams Germain Racing , Bill Davis Racing