HOMETOWN HERO: Kyle Busch earned Toyota's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) victory of the 2009 season Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 23 -year-old Las Vegas-native qualified on the pole, but was forced to start from the rear after a...
HOMETOWN HERO: Kyle Busch earned Toyota's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) victory of the 2009 season Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 23 -year-old Las Vegas-native qualified on the pole, but was forced to start from the rear after a pre-race engine change. Busch charged through the field in his Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) No. 18 M&M's Camry, leading three times for 51 laps in the 285-lap event on the 1.5-mile desert oval. He pulled away from the field on a pair of late-race restarts to claim his 13th-career NSCS win. The victory was the 11th for a Camry driver since Toyota joined the series in 2007.
CAREER DAYS FOR CAMRY DRIVERS: Busch ultimately got to celebrate in victory lane, but he wasn't the only Camry driver with reason to smile following Sunday's Las Vegas race. David Reutimann, driving Michael Waltrip Racing's (MWR) No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Camry, recorded his career-best NSCS finish (fourth), as did rookie Joey Logano, who wound up 13th in JGR's No. 20 Home Depot Camry. Brian Vickers also posted a top-10 result, crossing the finish line eighth in the No. 83 Red Bull Racing Team Camry.
WIN NUMBER ONE: Toyota heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend, the site of the first Camry NSCS victory in March 2008 where Busch crossed the finish line first. Busch led 173 of 325 laps in the No. 18 Camry en route to victory lane last year, which marked Toyota's inaugural NSCS win in the 40th race for the Camry since joining the series at the start of the 2007 season. Busch also won the 2008 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Atlanta, becoming the first driver to sweep both the NSCS and NCWTS races on the same weekend.
TIME TO SHINE: Atlanta is home to many of the country's top businesses, including a variety that are involved in sponsoring NASCAR teams and drivers. For a few Toyota Camry teams, the Atlanta race will bring the added pressure of performing in front of those sponsors. MWR has a pair of Atlanta-based sponsors, including NAPA AUTO PARTS, the primary sponsor on Michael Waltrip's No. 55 Camry, and Aaron's, which backs Reutimann's No. 00 Camry. Atlanta is also the headquarters of The Home Depot, which supports the No. 20 JGR Camry for Logano. Additionally, Coca-Cola is based in Atlanta, and has affiliations with a variety of NASCAR drivers, including Camry pilots Hamlin, Logano and Waltrip, among others.
Dejvu: The 2009 NCWTS season has had an identical start through two races as the 2008 campaign, with Toyota Tundra driver Todd Bodine winning the season-opener at Daytona, and Busch following in second-place, while Bodine finished runner-up to Busch in the second race at California's Auto Club Speedway. The series will make its third start of the season this weekend at Atlanta, a place where Tundra drivers have won three of the last six races, including Busch in March 2008, who led five times for 39 laps to claim the victory. Mike Skinner (2007) and Bodine (2006) have also driven Tundras to victory lane at the 1.5-mile Georgia oval.
-credit: toyoto motorsports