TOYOTA TIDBITS -- August 31 - September 6, 2009 Here Are the Headlines: 'Chase' Chances Down to Two Races Heartbreak North of the Border Busch Beats Bodine in Chicagoland Tundras Prep for Maiden Iowa Voyage CHARTING THE 'CHASE': Just two races...
TOYOTA TIDBITS -- August 31 - September 6, 2009
Here Are the Headlines:
'Chase' Chances Down to Two Races
Heartbreak North of the Border
Busch Beats Bodine in Chicagoland
Tundras Prep for Maiden Iowa Voyage
CHARTING THE 'CHASE': Just two races remain before the 'Chase for the Sprint Cup' championship begins, and three Toyota Camry drivers are still vying for one of the 12 coveted spots in the playoffs. Joe Gibbs Racing's (JGR) Denny Hamlin secured his place in the 10-race playoff with a fifth-place finish two weeks ago at Bristol. Hamlin's JGR teammate, Kyle Busch, is currently 13th in the standings and just 34 points out of the 12th and final 'Chase' spot. Fellow Camry drivers Brian Vickers (14th, -39 points) and David Reutimann (16th, -160 points) have Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Atlanta and next weekend's race at Richmond (Va.) to make the 'Chase' field.
STREAKING TO 'CHASE' SPOT: A couple of Camry drivers are streaking toward securing a spot in the 'Chase.' In addition to winning the most recent race on the Sprint Cup schedule at Bristol Motor Speedway (August 23), Busch also finished third in the road course race at Watkins Glen (August 9). Vickers has seven consecutive top-12 finishes, including a win at Michigan (August 16) and a fifth-place at Indianapolis (July 26), as well as one sixth and a pair of sevenths.
GEORGIA ON MY MIND: Sunday's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway marks the sixth visit to the one-and-a-half-mile oval for the Toyota Camry, but NASCAR's first Labor Day weekend trip and the Cup Series' first night race at the Georgia track. Earlier this season, Vickers was the highest-finishing Camry driver at Atlanta with a fifth-place result in the No. 83 Red Bull Racing Team Camry. Busch recorded Toyota's inaugural Sprint Cup Series victory at Atlanta in March of 2008.
MARCOS JUST MISSES: Marcos Ambrose dominated Sunday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, leading 60 of 76 laps on the Canadian road course. However, a slip in the final turn allowed Carl Edwards to sneak by for the victory in the caution-filled event. It relegated Ambrose -- who won the season's other road course race at Watkins Glen -- to a runner-up result. Canadians Andrew Ranger (third) and Jacques Villeneuve (fourth) also scored top-fives for Toyota, while Busch finished 10th and now leads Edwards by 192 points in the NNS driver standings. 'WINDY CITY' WONDER: Busch was victorious in Friday evening's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Chicagoland Speedway -- the series' inaugural visit to the one-and-a-half-mile Illinois oval. The 24-year-old Las Vegas-native led 79 of 150 laps in the Billy Ballew Motorsports No. 51 Miccosukee Resorts Tundra. The victory marked Busch's 56th win across all three national NASCAR series, moving him into sole possession of ninth-place on the all-time win list. Tundra drivers Aric Almirola (eighth), Timothy Peters (ninth) and Terry Cook (10th) also posted top-10 finishes at Chicagoland.
IF YOU BUILD IT ... : Just one week after making its first-ever trip to Chicagoland Speedway, the NCWTS will make another inaugural trip to a track -- on Saturday at Iowa Speedway. Brian Ickler, who will drive the No. 51 Tundra this weekend, has one win (2008) and a runner-up finish (2009) at the 0.875-mile oval in the NASCAR Camping World East Series, as well as a fifth- place finish earlier this year at Iowa in the ARCA RE/MAX Series.
-credit: toyota motorsports