Charlotte: Toyota preview

THIS RACE: The Quaker Steak and Lube 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race at Lowe's Motor Speedway will be the fourth Craftsman Truck Series event at the 1.5-mile oval located just outside Charlotte. There will be nine Toyota Tundras in...

THIS RACE: The Quaker Steak and Lube 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race at Lowe's Motor Speedway will be the fourth Craftsman Truck Series event at the 1.5-mile oval located just outside Charlotte. There will be nine Toyota Tundras in the field at Lowe's.

LAST RACE: In the most recent race of the 2006 NCTS season at Gateway International Raceway (April 29), Tundra drivers took the top five finishing positions. Todd Bodine, driver of the No.30 Lumber Liquidators Tundra, crossed the finish line first at Gateway. Following Bodine to the checkered flag were Tundra racers Ted Musgrave (second), David Reutimann (third), Jack Sprague (fourth) and Johnny Benson (fifth).

TOYOTA TAKES 16th: The win by Todd Bodine was the 16th victory for a Tundra since Toyota began competing in the Craftsman Truck Series at the beginning of the 2004 season. Along with three wins this year, Tundras finished first nine times in 2005 and four times in 2004. Drivers who have recorded wins driving Tundras include Todd Bodine (nine), Travis Kvapil (two), Mike Skinner (two), David Reutimann (one), David Starr (one) and Brandon Whitt (one).

TODD TAKES NUMBER TWO: Todd Bodine's victory at Gateway was his second win of the year and his ninth career Craftsman Truck Series win. The Chemung, N.Y.-native started third and led a race-high 66 laps en route to the checkered flag. "We were definitely great on long runs, and I knew my truck would be good at the end," said Bodine, following the race. "I was just trying to get good restarts at the end -- without making a mistake. I knew we had a shot at getting to the front, especially with Teddy (Musgrave) running right behind me."

BODINE BY THE NUMBERS: In three seasons driving the No.30 Tundra for Germain Racing, Todd Bodine has recorded nine wins in just 28 starts. In 2004, Bodine visited the `Victory Lane' twice in eight starts and last season Bodine had five wins in 15 races with the Germain team. This year, the 42-year-old veteran has a pair of wins (St. Louis and Martinsville) in five starts.

TED'S TOP-FIVES: Ted Musgrave has guided his No.9 Team ASE Tundra to top-five finishes in all five races this year. In the first three races of the 2006 season -- at Daytona and California -- the Wisconsin-native finished third, and he was fourth at Atlanta. In each of the past two races at St. Louis (April 29) and Martinsville (April 1), Musgrave crossed the finish line second.

POINTS PACE: After the first five races of the 2006 season, five Toyota drivers are among the top-10 in the NCTS championship point standings. Todd Bodine sits atop the championship standings with 852 points. Trailing Bodine in the standings are second-place Ted Musgrave (840 points), third-place David Reutimann (746 points), fifth-place Jack Sprague (704 points) and eighth-place Johnny Benson (661 points).

LAST YEAR AT LOWE'S: A year ago at Lowe's Motor Speedway (May 20, 2005), Bill Davis Racing teammates Johnny Benson, Bill Lester and Mike Skinner were the top Tundra performers. Benson (fourth) and Lester (sixth) registered top-10 finishes, and Skinner started from the pole.

LESTER LIKES LOWE'S: Bill Lester, driver of the No.22 Bill Davis Racing Tundra, enjoys competing at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Lester captured his first career NCTS pole position at the track in 2003. "I love racing at that track," says Lester. "I've always said the faster the better. Everyone at Bill Davis Racing is excited about heading to Charlotte."

SUCCESS FOR SEVERAL: Several current Tundra drivers have found success at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Ted Musgrave, who is in his first season with Germain Racing, captured the checkered flag in the inaugural NCTS race at the track in 2003. Along with Bill Lester, two other current Tundra drivers have captured pole positions at the Charlotte-area track. David Starr, who will be making his sixth start in a Tundra at Lowe's, sat on the pole at the track in 2004. A year ago, Mike Skinner established the track qualifying mark (29.500 secs./183.051 mph) in his No.5 Bill Davis Racing Tundra.

MEMORY LANE: With 40 starts at Lowe's Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Cup and Busch Series, along with two NCTS races, Todd Bodine has many racing memories at the track. "I won the `Winston Open' a couple of times at Charlotte, which is a pretty good memory," says Bodine. "But, I think my best memory of Charlotte happened in my third year in the Busch Series in 1993. I was leading the race with about 20 laps to go and Dale (Earnhardt) was running right behind me. Dale bumped me to move into the lead, and then on the very next lap I tapped him and took the lead right back. When I did that though, I knocked my grill in and I struggled to hang onto the lead. I ended up finishing fifth -- just a couple spots behind Dale who ended up third."

ONE WITH GERMAIN: Although Todd Bodine has made two Craftsman Truck Series starts at Lowe's, this year marks the first time he will take the green flag sitting in the No.30 Germain Racing Tundra. His two previous starts at Lowe's were with the Fiddleback Racing team in 2004 and 2005.

HAS BEEN HERE: Although this will be Johnny Benson's second NCTS race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, the Grand Rapids, MI-native has plenty of experience at the race track. Benson has competed in 15 NASCAR Cup and 7 Busch Series events at the Charlotte track. He also has run an IROC race at Lowe's, finishing second in an IROC car in 1996.

PACE THE RACE: Toyota won't be competing in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series until 2007, but fans will not have to wait until then to see a Toyota leading the field of 43 stock cars in a NASCAR race. This year, Toyota became the "Official Vehicle, Car and Truck" of Lowe's Motor Speedway as part of a multi-year agreement between Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC (SET) and Lowe's Motor Speedway. The sponsorship calls for the California-based sales, marketing and distribution arm of the automobile manufacturer and the Florida-based Southeast distributor to partner in all major events at the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway. Toyota will serve as a pace vehicle for all events at the track.

-www.toyotamotorsports.com

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , David Starr , Johnny Benson , Ted Musgrave , Jack Sprague , Bill Lester , David Reutimann , Brandon Whitt , Travis Kvapil
Teams Germain Racing , Bill Davis Racing