Toyota Motorsports notes, quotes 2008-11-05

TUNDRAS AT PIR: Toyota Tundras will make their fifth visit to PIR for Friday evening's event. Tundra drivers have won two NCTS races at Phoenix -- back-to-back wins in 2005 (Todd Bodine) and 2006 (Johnny Benson). Mike Skinner captured the pole ...

TUNDRAS AT PIR: Toyota Tundras will make their fifth visit to PIR for Friday evening's event. Tundra drivers have won two NCTS races at Phoenix -- back-to-back wins in 2005 (Todd Bodine) and 2006 (Johnny Benson). Mike Skinner captured the pole position in the 2007 NCTS race and has finished in the top-10 each of the past three years. Busch, who will drive a Billy Ballew Motorsports Tundra, is the defending NCTS race-winner at the Arizona oval.

SEVEN IN TOP-10: Seven Tundras finished among the top-10 in the NCTS event at Texas last Friday. Tundra drivers Busch (second), Benson (third), Bodine (fourth), Terry Cook (sixth), Skinner (eighth), Brian Scott (ninth) and Speed (10th) all registered top-10 finishes. Other Toyota drivers in the field included Texas-resident David Starr (12th), Jack Sprague (15th), Paul Tracy (20th), Texas-native Ryan Lawler (22nd) and Max Papis (29th).

NCTS TITLE THREE-PEAT: Toyota clinched the 2008 NCTS manufacturer's championship when Busch crossed the finish line second at Texas. It marks the third consecutive manufacturer's championship for Toyota in the series and the fourth manufacturer's title for Toyota since becoming a participant in NASCAR's upper levels of competition in 2004. Toyota captured its first NCTS title in 2006 -- when Tundra driver Bodine also won the driver's championship -- and won the manufacturer's honors again in 2007. In September, Toyota clinched the 2008 Nationwide Series manufacturer's championship at Kansas Speedway.

SMOKIN' TUNDRA: The No. 51 Tundra crew overcame misfortune in Texas to lead the field three times for 87 laps (of 147) en route to a second-place finish. The day before arriving in Texas, a fire destroyed the Billy Ballew Motorsports transporter en route to the track, severely damaging everything except a ‘smoked' race truck, a scorched pit box and a few tools. "I have to thank these guys," said Busch. "For as much adversity they've had this week and for sticking with us -- this just means so much to finish second. We wish we could have got a win. This is the best handling truck I've ever had at Texas. If it comes up that much short to (race-winner) Ron Hornaday, Jr., and those guys on that bunch than that's all we had for them. "

BENSON SPINS; WINS: Two years ago, Benson had a memorable NCTS race at Phoenix, starting on the pole and spinning on the first lap, before coming all the way through the field to earn the win. "At Phoenix, we've had some success," says Benson. "It's a neat, short track, and there's a lot of great racing there. I think that year that we started on the pole and spun and then came from the back to win -- those are far and few between races where that would even happen."

CHAMPIONSHIP CHASE: Benson was able to hang on to his NCTS point lead following Texas and now leads second- place Hornaday, Jr., by six points after 23 of 25 races. Tundra drivers Bodine (third), Skinner (sixth), Sprague (ninth) and Cook (10th) are also in the top-10 in points with only races at Phoenix and Homestead-Miami remaining this year.

TOYOTA IN ARIZONA: Four Toyota facilities are located in Arizona. Toyota's Arizona Proving Grounds are located in Wittman, Ariz. Toyota conducts vehicle performance evaluations for the North American market at this site. One of three Toyota Financial Services (TFS) national customer services centers is located in Chandler, Ariz., a suburb of Phoenix. Also located in Arizona are the TFS Tech Center Phoenix (TCP) and a Toyota Logistics Services facility, which is responsible for the transportation of vehicles in the region. There are almost 3,000 Toyota and dealer employees in Arizona with more than $450 million invested in the local economy.

-credit: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , David Starr , Max Papis , Paul Tracy , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jack Sprague , Terry Cook , Ryan Lawler