Richmond II: Toyota Motorsports preview

NEWS, NOTES & NUMBERS: This year, Toyota drivers have combined for nine wins, 26 top-five results, 54 top-10 finishes and five poles after 25 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 nine wins, 26 top-five results, 54 top-10 finishes and five poles after 25 of 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races ... Four Camry drivers are in the top-20 in the NSCS point standings -- Kyle Busch (third), Denny Hamlin (10th), David Reutimann (16th) and Martin Truex Jr. (20th) ... Busch and Hamlin both clinched spots in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship playoff Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway ... Busch has recorded nine top-five finishes in 11 starts at Richmond, including wins in May 2009 and 2010 at the three-quarter mile speedway ... Hamlin, a Chesterfield, Va., native, has earned five top-10 finishes, and is the defending fall race-winner (Sept. 2009) at the Virginia short track ... Hamlin has led laps in eight of nine career starts at Richmond for a total of 899 laps led ... Hamlin's spotter, Curtis Markham, was born in Richmond, Va., and calls Fredericksburg, Va., home.

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

Are you looking forward to returning to Richmond after your performance there in the spring? "We ran so poorly there in May compared to what we usually do. We're excited to go back there. We feel like we've learned a lot since then. I've got an open mind when I go back there -- I can't rely on stuff from the past. It's going to be the first time that we go back there that we really don't have any notes to go back on. We're just going to come with a new setup and see how it works."

What does it take to run well at Richmond? "The biggest thing is staying off the brakes. You have to have a car that's extremely good to stay off the brakes. I told Mike (Ford, crew chief) the entire time there in May that I'm running the car like I know I shouldn't be simply because the car wasn't handling well, and I had to rely on brakes to slow it down. Everything gets worse with brakes so for me, I just have to work on staying disciplined and make sure I have a good car."

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Do you enjoy racing at Richmond? "I like going to Richmond. It's a fun race track. It's a nice short track that we get to go and run at. For me, the success I've had there, I'm not sure why, but it's just been a good place for me to run. I'm excited about getting back there with not a lot of pressure this year. Hopefully, we will get another run in the top-five and try to go after a win with our M&M's Camry like we did there in the spring."

What does it take to be successful at that track? "At Richmond, you try to be easy on the brakes getting in, so you don't lock up getting into the corner, or get too loose getting into the corner. The center (of the corner) always seems to be a little tight with these cars. And the exit has been so loose. Nobody has any forward bite coming up off the corner, so it's pretty bad. That should make for a pretty interesting race. It's a fun short track. It's pretty fast and it usually spreads out, and you'll get a lot of grooves to choose from. You can pretty much count on the usual exciting short-track racing when you go there."

-source: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers David Reutimann , Martin Truex Jr. , Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing