Darlington: Toyota Motorsports preview

NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: This year, Toyota drivers have combined for three wins, nine top-five results, 21 top-10 finishes and two poles after 10 of 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races ... Four Camry drivers are in the top-20 in the NSCS point...

NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: This year, Toyota drivers have combined for three wins, nine top-five results, 21 top-10 finishes and two poles after 10 of 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races ... Four Camry drivers are in the top-20 in the NSCS point standings heading into Darlington -- Kyle Busch (third), Denny Hamlin (seventh), Martin Truex Jr. (14th) and Joey Logano (17th) ... Logano will make his 50th career NSCS start Saturday night ... Busch has five of Toyota's eight victories across all three NASCAR national series in 2010 -- one in NSCS (Richmond), three in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (California, Phoenix and Texas) and one in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (Nashville) ... Busch will sport the green Doublemint colors on his No. 18 Camry this weekend for the first time.

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Doublemint Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

What challenges do you face at Darlington? "The toughest thing now is it's so hard to pass there. It's really a one-lane race track. The lane that everyone runs in is the fastest lane. It's hard to get the air on your nose in order to make your car turn without being too loose or setting your car up too loose and slapping the wall there. Once you get out there in a run, you pretty much start running around in traffic and you're almost stuck."

What do drivers mean when they say you have to 'race the track' at Darlington? "You can't really pass there, it's so difficult, so you run your laps until you get to a pit stop and try to get your guys to have a good stop for you so you can jump a couple guys. Pit stops become really important there."

What does it take to win at Darlington? "I won the first year there (in the new car), and I think it was just because everyone was new to the car. Last year, a lot of people got a lot smarter, and for us, we fell a little bit behind. You just have to be patient. You just gotta bide your time, and I wasn't very good at that last year. You gotta make sure you keep working on your car."

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing

Do you enjoy racing at Darlington? "Darlington is one of my favorite race tracks. I really look forward to it. The last two years there, we've led the most laps and it felt like we had the best car and had a shot to win both of them. Pit strategy didn't really work out for us so that was disappointing. It's really one of my favorite tracks. The challenge is really cool. I feel comfortable there and a lot of guys don't, but I really enjoy it."

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Do you save your equipment knowing a 'green-white-checkered' finish is likely? "If you're in the top-eight with 20 (laps) to go, you still got a fighting chance, where before, if you could somehow get to the top- five, that was going to be a win for you at that point. That was your goal. Now, if it's top-eight with 20 to go and you feel like a caution is coming out, you know you have a good shot to win. We've had, not necessarily the 'green-white-checkered' at the end, or overtime, it's that we've had a long run leading up to it every single week. So everyone has had to pit. So then it's made teams make the adjustments. Are you going to take two or four tires? If we would've just had a bunch of short runs, 'green-white-checkereds' would be no issue because everybody would be on the same tire schedule. But it seems like we always have that perfect segment of 30 laps, 40 laps of green flag racing, then a caution with 10 to go and everyone has to make a decision to stay out or pit for two tires or four tires. I think it's crazy that situation has worked out more than the overtime, because we see cautions a lot, but it used to be it ended under caution, instead of the exciting finishes we've had this year."

-source: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Martin Truex Jr. , Denny Hamlin , Joey Logano , Kyle Busch
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing