TOYOTA TIDBITS -- October 19 - 25, 2009 Here Are the Headlines: Camry Chase Drivers Challenged at Charlotte Hamlin's Virginia String of Success Reutimann Returns to Nationwide at Memphis Milestone for Mike at Martinsville CHASE RACE: For the two...
TOYOTA TIDBITS -- October 19 - 25, 2009
Here Are the Headlines:
Camry Chase Drivers Challenged at Charlotte
Hamlin's Virginia String of Success
Reutimann Returns to Nationwide at Memphis
Milestone for Mike at Martinsville
CHASE RACE: For the two Toyota drivers competing in the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship playoff, their title hopes took another blow at Charlotte. Denny Hamlin, who entered the race ninth in the standings, experienced an engine failure on lap 192 after leading 54 laps. His 42nd-place finish dropped him to 11th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) points after five of 10 Chase races, and he now sits 372 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson. Brian Vickers remains 12th in the standings, 485 points behind the leader, after a 34th-place finish at Charlotte.
STRING OF SUCCESS: Hamlin has seen a string of success at the half-mile Martinsville Speedway. In the past three races on the Virginia short track, Hamlin has earned one win and three top-five finishes, including the runner-up spot in March. In March 2008, Hamlin -- who hails from Chesterfield, Va., -- led 82 of 500 laps around the half-mile 'paper clip.' It was Hamlin's first points-race win in a Camry, and the first Cup win in his home state. Hamlin earned his second NSCS win in Virginia at Richmond International Raceway in September.
BUSCH IS BACK: Busch won his seventh NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race of the 2009 season Friday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway, leading 137 (of 200) laps en route to victory lane in the JGR No. 18 Z-Line Designs Camry. Three more Camrys followed Busch to the checkered flag -- Mike Bliss (second), Dave Blaney (third) and Vickers (fourth). The victory enabled Busch to extend his lead in the unofficial NNS point standings. He now sits 195 points ahead of second-place Carl Edwards.
REUTIMANN RETURNS: David Reutimann has found his way around the Memphis Motorsports Park oval and he will return to the three-quarter-mile track this week looking for more 'magic' in Memphis. The Zephyrhills, Fla., native earned his first career Nationwide Series pole at Memphis while qualifying Greg Biffle's race car in 2003. He returned in 2007 to pick up his first career series victory at the track. Last year, Reutimann attempted to add another Memphis win to his racing resume, but finished runner- up to Edwards. In three NNS races at the Tennessee facility, he has an average starting position of third and average finishing position of fifth.
MILESTONE FOR MIKE: Mike Skinner will make his 200th career NCWTS start Saturday at Martinsville Speedway -- where he has made the most series starts (13). At the Virginia short track, Skinner has three wins, six top-fives and nine top-10 finishes. Skinner's first start in the series came in the inaugural series race at Phoenix International Raceway in 1995 where he earned his first win. He went on to claim the inaugural NCWTS title that year.
WINNING WAYS: Tundra drivers won five consecutive NCWTS races -- Bristol (August 19), Chicagoland (August 28), Iowa (Sept. 5), Gateway (Sept. 12) and New Hampshire (Sept. 19) -- marking the first time Toyota drivers have won five in a row since joining the series in 2004. In 20 NCWTS races in 2009, Toyota Tundra drivers have combined for 11 wins (Todd Bodine -- Daytona and Texas; Busch -- California, Atlanta, Bristol, Chicagoland and New Hampshire; Skinner -- Kansas, Iowa and Gateway; and Brian Scott -- Dover), 51 top-fives and 108 top-10 finishes.
-credit: toyota motorsports