Atlanta: Toyota preview

THIS RACE: The John Deere 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be the fourth Craftsman Truck Series event at the 1.5-mile track -- and the third spring race at the track. There will be nine Toyota Tundras in...

THIS RACE: The John Deere 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be the fourth Craftsman Truck Series event at the 1.5-mile track -- and the third spring race at the track. There will be nine Toyota Tundras in the field at Atlanta.

LAST RACE: In the second race of the 2006 NCTS season at California Speedway (Feb.24), five Tundra drivers finished among the top-10 in the final results. Chasing race-winner Mark Martin to the California checkered flag were Tundra drivers Todd Bodine (second), Ted Musgrave (third), David Reutimann (fourth), Jack Sprague (fifth) and Johnny Benson (sixth).

FIRST RACE: In the 2006 NCTS season-opener at Daytona International Speedway (Feb.17), five Tundra drivers also finished among the top-10. Following Daytona race-wi ner Mark Martin to the checkered flag were n Tundra drivers Todd Bodine (second), Ted Musgrave (third), Mike Skinner (fourth), Jack Sprague (fifth) and David Reutimann (ninth).

OFF THE MARK: Despite finishing second to Mark Martin in the first two races of the 2006 Craftsman Truck Series, Todd Bodine is unhappy that Martin is not scheduled to run in the series every week. "I'd love to have Mark run every week," says Bodine, driver of the No.30 Germain Motor Company Tundra. "He's a great competitor and a good guy -- and if you beat Mark you know you really accomplished something."

POINTS PACE: After the first two races of the 2006 season, six Toyota drivers are among the top-10 in the NCTS championship point standings. Todd Bodine (350 points) sits second in the NCTS championship standings, just 30 points behind first-place Mark Martin. Toyota drivers trailing Bodine in the standings are third- place Ted Musgrave (335 points), fourth-place Jack Sprague (320 points) and fifth-place David Reutimann (303 points). Other Toyota racers in the top-10 are Mike Skinner (282 points) in seventh-place and Johnny Benson (268 points) in ninth-place in the standings.

LAST SPRING HERE: In last year's Spring NCTS race at Atlanta, Tundra drivers Chad Chaffin and Robert Huffman were the first Toyota racers to cross the finish line. Chaffin, started 13th and led 11 laps en route to a seventh-place finish in the No.30 Germain Racing Tundra. Huffman drove the No.12 Darrell Waltrip Motorsports Tundra to a 10th-place finish. Mike Skinner, driver of the No.5 Bill Davis Racing Tundra, qualified third at Atlanta and led the field for 29 laps (9-37) before brushingthe wall.

FIRST RACE IN ATLANTA: In the 2004 debut of the Craftsman Truck Series at Atlanta, Toyota driver Mike Skinner crossed the finish line just .330 seconds behind race-winner Bobby Hamilton. Along with Skinner's second-place finish, other Tundra drivers in the top-five were third-place David Reutimann and fourth-place Travis Kvapil.

POLE NO.1: In 2004 at Atlanta, a Toyota Tundra captured the NCTS pole position for the very first time. Rookie David Reutimann, driver of the No.17 Darrell Waltrip Motorsports Tundra, earned his first career NCTS pole position.

RECORD RUN FOR REUTIMANN: In capturing the pole position at Atlanta, Reutimann established a NCTS record by winning a pole position in just his second career series start. It made the Zephyrhills, FL-native the fastest official NCTS rookie to ever be the quickest qualifier. The previous record was established by Greg Biffle in 1998 when he earned a pole in his third career NCTS start.

REUTIMANN REMEMBERS: "There were so many firsts for Toyota in the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series," says Reutimann, driver of the No.17 Team Tundra Racing Toyota. "Each Toyota driver set out to get the first pole, lead the first lap and get the first win. To be able to capture Toyota's first pole in the Craftsman Truck Series was really special. It was a nice surprise because I don't think anyone was expecting it to happen so soon."

ALL-TUNDRA ROW ONE: Starting alongside Reutimann at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2004 was fellow rookie Tundra driver Robert Huffman, who recorded a speed of 179.145 MPH (30.947 seconds) to start on the outside of row one. It was the first-time in NCTS history that two rookies started on the front row.

HOME RUN: Although he was born in California and attended college in Berkeley, Bill Lester now makes his home in Atlanta, and he is keeping busy with the upcoming NCTS race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "It's a very busy time for me, between family and friends needing race tickets, and the local media wanting to conduct interviews," says Lester, driver of the No.22 Bill Davis Racing Tundra. "I'm really looking forward to the race and think it represents another excellent chance to get a victory."

CENTURY MARK: Bill Lester made his 100th career NCTS start at Atlanta Motor Speedway in last season's fall race. Lester, who is in his fifth full season in the Craftsman Truck Series and his third year driving the No.22 Bill Davis Racing Tundra, started seventh and finished 19th in his 100th career NCTS start.

LONE TOP-10: Rookie Joey Miller, driver of the No.12 Curb Records Tundra, recorded his only NCTS top-10 finish at Atlanta last fall. The Minnesota-native started 15th and crossed the finish line 10th. Miller made five starts last year to prepare for a full-season of competition in 2006.

ON TRACK IN CALIFORNIA: Even though there was no Craftsman Truck Series race this past weekend, both Todd Bodine and David Reutimann kept busy at a race track last weekend. Bodine and Reutimann were at California's Willow Springs Raceway preparing for the April 8 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race in Long Beach, CA. Both NCTS regulars will drive Scion tCs in the 10-lap charity race through the 1.97-mile Long Beach street circuit. Joining Bodine and Reutimann at the Rosamond, Calif. track over the weekend were the participants in the 30th annual Pro/Celebrity race, including William Shatner, Frankie Muniz, John Elway and Martina Navratilova.


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Darrell Waltrip , Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , Greg Biffle , Johnny Benson , Ted Musgrave , Jack Sprague , Bill Lester , Chad Chaffin , David Reutimann , Robert Huffman , Joey Miller , William Shatner , John Elway , Mark Martin , Travis Kvapil , Frankie Muniz
Teams Germain Racing , Bill Davis Racing