TOYOTA TIDBITS -- February 2-14, 2010 LEADING LAPS: Camry drivers have combined to lead the most laps in each of the last two Daytona 500s. Last year, Kyle Busch led 88 of 152 laps in the rain-shortened Daytona 500 before his Joe Gibbs Racing ...
TOYOTA TIDBITS -- February 2-14, 2010
LEADING LAPS: Camry drivers have combined to lead the most laps in each of the last two Daytona 500s. Last year, Kyle Busch led 88 of 152 laps in the rain-shortened Daytona 500 before his Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) No. 18 M&M's Camry was caught up in an accident on lap 125 that ended his day early. In 2008, five Camry drivers combined to lead 138 of 200 laps in the 'Great American Race.' Busch topped the Camry contingent with 86 laps led, followed by JGR teammate Denny Hamlin (32 laps), former Camry driver Tony Stewart (16), Michael Waltrip (three) and Dave Blaney (one).
SUPERSPEEDWAY SUCCESS: Current Camry drivers have experienced great success in restrictor-plate races, including Kyle Busch's wins in a Camry in 2008 at Daytona International Speedway (summer) and Talladega Superspeedway (spring). Michael Waltrip has three wins at the legendary Daytona superspeedway. He took home the first-place trophy from two Daytona 500s (2001 and 2003) and the 2002 Daytona summer race, as well as starting on the outside of the front row at Daytona in 2008. In addition, Waltrip (2003) and Brian Vickers (2006) have also won at Talladega.
2009 TOTALS: Toyota drivers combined for 11 wins, 10 poles, 42 top-five results and 75 top-10 finishes in 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races last season. JGR teammates Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin each had four NSCS wins, while Joey Logano, David Reutimann and Brian Vickers each drove to victory lane once. Hamlin and Vickers qualified for the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship playoff, finishing fifth and 12th, respectively.
HAMLIN HAS HOPES: Camry driver Denny Hamlin is looking to start the 2010 season where he left off last season, after finishing fifth in the 2009 NSCS championship point standings. Hamlin, driver of the JGR No. 11 FedEx Camry, won a career best four races last season and recorded 15 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes in 36 races. The 29-year-old Virginia native, who will compete in 2010 with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee, won races last season at Pocono Raceway, Richmond International Raceway, Martinsville Speedway and the season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
TIME FOR A CHANGE: Two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip will compete in his 24th Daytona 500 this February, but will only run a limited 2010 schedule in the No. 51 NAPA AUTO PARTS Camry. Waltrip will step away from full-time Sprint Cup competition to concentrate on his management role at Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR). Martin Truex Jr. will run full-time in the MWR No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Camry. The 29-year-old New Jersey native, who was last year's Daytona 500 pole-sitter, will team up with new MWR crew chief Pat Tryson for his first season in a Camry.
TOYOTA TAKES TWO NNS TITLES: Toyota clinched its second consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) manufacturer's championship last year in its third season of series competition. Camry driver Kyle Busch gave Toyota its first NNS driver's title last year when he combined for nine wins, 25 top-five and 30 top-10 finishes during the 35-race schedule.
NATIONWIDE NUMBERS: Camry drivers combined for 15 wins, 13 poles, 68 top-five and 127 top-10 finishes in 35 NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2009. In addition to Busch's nine wins, Joey Logano won five NNS races and Marcos Ambrose took the checkered flag at Watkins Glen in August.
NATIONWIDE NEWCOMERS: Toyota will have some newcomers to its NNS roster when competition begins at Daytona. Rusty Wallace Racing (RWR) will field two full-time Toyotas in 2010 for Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 Camry) and Steve Wallace (No. 66 Camry). Brian Scott, who ran a Tundra in 2009, will move to NNS competition full-time and run the Braun Racing No. 11 Camry. Eighteen-year-old Trevor Bayne will return to the Camry line-up for his first full season in the No. 99 entry with newly created Diamond-Waltrip Racing.
SIX STRAIGHT: Tundra drivers have won six consecutive superspeedway races in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) competition. Jack Sprague started the streak with his win at Daytona in 2007. Todd Bodine won the next four superspeedway races -- twice at Daytona (2008 and 2009) and twice at Talladega (2007 and 2008). Kyle Busch broke Bodine's streak last fall with his victory at Talladega.
TUNDRA TRIUMPHS: Tundra drivers combined for 14 wins, eight poles, 64 top-five and 135 top-10 finishes in 25 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) last season to win a fourth consecutive manufacturer's championship (2006-09). Kyle Busch won a series-high seven NCWTS races in just 15 starts for Billy Ballew Motorsports, while fellow Tundra drivers Mike Skinner (three) and Todd Bodine (two) each won multiple races. Tundra drivers Timothy Peters and Brian Scott won their first-career NCWTS races in 2009.
BUSCH ENTERS OWNERSHIP: Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM), owned by Toyota driver Kyle Busch, will enter two Tundras full-time in the NCWTS in 2010. Busch will pilot the No. 18 Tundra whenever the series runs in conjunction with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. For the non-companion races, the No. 18 Tundra will be driven by 24-year-old Brian Ickler. Twenty-year-old Tayler Malsam will run the full schedule for KBM in the No. 56 Toyota Tundra.
FLORIDA FAMILY TIES: Multiple Toyota NASCAR teams and drivers have connections in the state of Florida. David Reutimann, driver of the Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) No. 00 Aaron's Camry, and his family hail from Zephyrhills, Fla. Thomasville, N.C., native Brian Vickers, driver of the Red Bull Racing Team No. 83 Camry, is a resident of Palm Beach, Fla. Tundra driver Aric Almirola, who will return to Billy Ballew Motorsports in the No. 15 Tundra, is from Tampa, Fla. The Germain family, owners of Germain Racing that fields a Camry in the NNS and two Tundras in the NCWTS, have multiple car dealerships in Naples, Fla., including Toyota and Lexus dealerships.
-source: toyota motorsports