DENNY DELIVERED: Denny Hamlin scored his seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) victory of the year Sunday at Virginia's Martinsville Speedway, moving to within six points of Jimmie Johnson for the top spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup ...
DENNY DELIVERED: Denny Hamlin scored his seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) victory of the year Sunday at Virginia's Martinsville Speedway, moving to within six points of Jimmie Johnson for the top spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship playoff. Hamlin passed Kevin Harvick for the lead on lap 471 (of 500) and led the final 30 laps in the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) No. 11 FedEx Express Camry to cross the finish line 2.318 seconds ahead of runner-up Mark Martin. The 29-year- old Chesterfield, Va.-native started on the pole and led the first 10 laps before his car turned sour and he fell out of the top-10. Crew chief Mike Ford and the No. 11 team worked to make changes on pit road and the car came back to life, allowing Hamlin to work his way back through traffic and withstand 15 cautions for the win. Hamlin swept the season's races at Martinsville Speedway, also winning at the half-mile oval in March.
RACE REVIEWS: Jason Leffler (fourth) was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at the 1.25-mile Gateway International Raceway located outside of St. Louis. Leffler started 26th in the Braun Racing No. 38 Great Clips Camry. Despite battling brake issues throughout the race, the Long Beach, Calif.-native recorded his sixth top- five finish of the season. In Saturday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) event at Martinsville Speedway, Kyle Busch (second) was the highest-finishing Tundra driver in the field at the half-mile Virginia paper clip.' Busch started on the pole in the No. 18 Z-Line Tundra and led twice for 28 (of 206) laps. After Ron Hornaday Jr. passed Busch on a late-race restart, the Las Vegas-native couldn't regain the lead in the two-lap green-white-checkered' overtime finish. Tundra drivers Todd Bodine (third), Jason White (fourth), Aric Almirola (sixth), Mike Skinner (sixth) and David Starr (seventh) also posted top-10 finishes at Martinsville.
TOYOTA TALLADEGA TRIUMPHS: Alabama's 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway has been the site of much success for Camry and Tundra drivers with a total of six NASCAR wins across the three national touring series -- two NSCS wins in 2008, one NNS victory (2008) and three NCWTS first-place finishes (2007, 2008 and 2009). In 2008, Toyota drivers swept all four NASCAR races that were held at Talladega. Busch led 12 of the 188 laps in the spring race to earn the first Camry Sprint Cup Series points win at a superspeedway. Former Toyota driver Tony Stewart led the most laps (81 of 117) in the spring Nationwide Series race on his way to victory lane. Stewart was again dominant in the fall NSCS race -- leading the most laps (24 of 190) -- en route to registering Toyota's 10th Cup win of 2008. In the Camping World Truck Series race at the Alabama superspeedway, Bodine has earned two wins (2007 and 2008) while Busch captured the victory in last year's NCWTS race at Talladega.
THREE FOR THREE: This year, Toyota driver Busch is involved in three championship battles. If the 25-year-old driver manages to win all three, it would be the first time in NASCAR history one driver has been associated with championships across all three national touring series. Busch is currently in fourth-place after six of the 10 races in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship playoff, 172 points behind leader Johnson. The JGR No. 18 Camry is leading the NNS owner's championship standings by 71 points over the Penske Racing No. 22. In addition, in its first season of competition, Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) is in a heated battle with Germain Racing for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner's championship. KBM currently sits 39 points behind Germain with four races remaining this season.
-source: toyota motorsports