HAMLIN HOLDS LEAD: Camry driver Denny Hamlin remains the leader in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Chase championship point standings following Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway. Hamlin's 12th-place finish enabled him to hold a 15-point advantage over second-place Jimmie Johnson, and is 46 points ahead of third-place Kevin Harvick heading to the season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 29 -year-old Chesterfield, Va.-native led the most laps (190 of 312) at the one- mile Arizona oval. However, Hamlin pitted for fuel and two tires with 14 laps remaining and returned to the track in the 19th position before making up seven spots to finish 12th.
HOMESTEAD HIGHLIGHTS: Last year, Hamlin earned the first NSCS win at Homestead-Miami Speedway for a Toyota driver, leading the field thre e times for a race-high 71 laps, including the final 45 circuits. Hamlin has three top-three finishes in five starts at Homestead. Last November, Kyle Busch also recorded a top-10 finish at Homestead with an eighth-place result.
LOGANO LOOKING GOOD: Camry driver Joey Logano earned a pair of third-place results at Phoenix. Logano was the highest- finishing Toyota driver in the NSCS race with a third-place effort. In the past five starts, the 20-year-old has recorded five consecutive top-10 finishes, including three straight top-fives. Logano has finished seventh (Charlotte), sixth (Martinsville), fifth (Talladega), fourth (Texas) and most recently third at Phoenix. In Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Phoenix, Logano started from the pole and led 23 (of 200) laps en route to a third-place finish -- his 23rd top-10 in 24 series starts this year.
BODINE CLINCHES TRUCK CHAMPIONSHIP: Todd Bodine earned his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) driver's championship Friday in Phoenix. Bodine finished 12th to take a 202-point lead over second-place Aric Almirola in the point standings after Phoenix -- 195 points are the maximum available at this weekend's race at Homestead. Bodine won the first driver's championship for Toyota in NASCAR's three premier series with his inaugural NCWTS title in 2006. This season, the 46-year-old driver has tallied four wins, 16 top-fives and 19 top-10 results in 24 starts.
PHOENIX FLASHBACK: Tundra drivers earned five top-10 finishes in Friday's NCWTS race at Phoenix. Busch was Toyota's highest-finishing driver with a runner-up result to race-winner Clint Bowyer, and helped Kyle Busch Motorsports increase its lead to 120 points over Germain Racing in the NCWTS owner's point standings with just one race remaining. Tundra drivers Almirola (fifth), Mike Skinner (sixth), David Starr (eighth) and Justin Lofton (ninth) also earned top-10 results at Phoenix.
HOLMES NOTCHES WEST CHAMPIONSHIP: Camry driver Eric Holmes won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West (NKNPSW) championship Saturday with a 16th-place finish in the season-finale at Phoenix to help Toyota drivers sweep the NASCAR regional series titles in 2010. Driving the Bill McAnally Racing No. 20 Camry, Holmes won five of 12 events in 2010 en route to his third series title. The 36-year-old Escalon, Calif., native previously won the NKNPSW championship in 2006 and 2008. Holmes joins two-time defending NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) champion Ryan Truex to become the first Camry drivers to sweep the NASCAR regional series titles in the same season since Toyota joined each series in 2007.
AND THE WINNER IS...: The Toyota 'Sponsafier 2' contest-winner was unveiled at Phoenix and the car design called 'Lou Gehrig aka ALS' was the grand prize winner. The design, created by Jeff Hallowell of Maize, Kan., beat out more than 52,000 entries. Hallowell, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2002, and his son, Ethan, designed a No. 18 Toyota Camry wrapped with the 'Lou Gehrig aka ALS' artwork that featured American flags, baseballs and racing flames, along with messaging to support the fight against ALS.
-source: toyota motorsports