Daytona II: Toyota Motorsports preview

NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: This year, Toyota drivers have combined for seven wins, 19 top-five results, 37 top-10 finishes and four poles after 17 of 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races ... Five Camry drivers are currently in the top-20 in the...

NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: This year, Toyota drivers have combined for seven wins, 19 top-five results, 37 top-10 finishes and four poles after 17 of 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races ... Five Camry drivers are currently in the top-20 in the NSCS point standings -- Kyle Busch (third), Denny Hamlin (fourth), Joey Logano (16th), Martin Truex Jr. (18th) and David Reutimann (19th) ... Reutimann, who currently has nine consecutive top-20 finishes in NSCS action, is from Zephyrhills, Fla. ... Marcos Ambrose has posted three straight top-15 results for Toyota.

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

Are there differences in the superspeedway races at Daytona and Talladega? "Really, I don't even consider Daytona very much a superspeedway anymore -- it's gotten so rough. Handling is such a big thing. It's almost like Talladega is its own beast. It's much harder to get your setup right at Daytona versus Talladega. You go into the Talladega weekend and you pretty much consider it a weekend off for the crew guys. They never do much work on the cars. The driver is like, 'The car is handling fine.' At Daytona, it's more thrashing."

How do you think the racing will change once Daytona is repaved? "I think you'll see a better race with it repaved. You're going to see a race similar to what you did at Talladega. You'll see guys dicing it up. Daytona, over the last 10 years, you've really gotten strung out over the course of the race. I definitely think when they repave it you're not going to see that anymore -- you're going to see everyone back in a tight pack."

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Does your approach at Daytona change from the 500 to the 400? "Your strategy doesn't change a whole lot -- 40 laps is the distance change. It's not a lot, just one pit stop, so you have a little bit shorter time there. The other thing that you deal with is just the track conditions being the way they are and the summertime with it being so hot and slick. It tends to have the races kind of run a little bit more strung out than what's typical in February. This is the last race on that surface of the race track in Daytona -- I will miss it. Hopefully, some of the other drivers will too. We've got to make the racing surface right so we don't have another problem like we did in the 500. I'm looking forward to it and hopefully be able to win one final one before they repave it and turn it into Talladega."

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

Will you miss the current surface at Daytona? "I will probably miss this surface. It's going to go back to everybody running wide open like Talladega -- three and maybe four- wide all day long in the race. It will be a good race for the fans, it will be exciting for sure. It's going to be wild and crazy and lots of wrecks -- all the stuff that we hate. I like the old surface and I think it's just a lot more challenging as a driver. When you get the new surface, the only thing challenging is staying out of wrecks. We'll have to see."

DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing

What is it like to race at Daytona in July? "We all know as hot as it is in Florida, being born and raised down there and racing a lot -- that place just gets really, really slick. The surface is worn out and you slide around a lot so your car just has to handle. Just like any other race track you go to, with the exception of Talladega, the race car has to handle all day. You have to be able to keep the car to the point where you can run it almost wide open all the way around. Talladega -- it's a no brainer to do. At Daytona, after a couple laps you start sliding around and guys are lifting like they would on a mile-and-a-half."

-source: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Marcos Ambrose , David Reutimann , Denny Hamlin , Joey Logano , Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing