Kentucky: Toyota preview

THIS RACE: This will be the sixth NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race tat Kentucky Speedway. There will be nine Toyota Tundras in the field at the 1.5-mile Kentucky oval -- the 13 h NCTS race of the 2005 season. LAST RACE: In the most...

THIS RACE: This will be the sixth NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race tat Kentucky Speedway. There will be nine Toyota Tundras in the field at the 1.5-mile Kentucky oval -- the 13 h NCTS race of the 2005 season.

LAST RACE: In the most recent NCTS race at Kansas Speedway (July 2), Todd Bodine guided the No.30 Allman Brothers Band Tundra to Toyota's first win of the 2005 NCTS season, as well as the manufacturer's fifth overall win in the series. Bodine started 10th and led the race three times for a total of 81 laps en route to the checkered flag -- and his third career NCTS victory.

TOYOTA TRIUMPH: Todd Bodine's victory at Kansas Speedway was the first win for Toyota in 2005. Toyota's last victory in the NCTS came at Texas Motor Speedway in October 2004. This season, Toyota earned its first win in the 12th race of the season. A year ago, Toyota earned its inaugural NCTS win in the 13th race at Michigan International Speedway.


"We struggled a little bit during practice," said Bodine, following the race. "But, before qualifying we made a shock change -- and it was absolutely the right change to make. My Tundra was just awesome during the race and the horsepower was incredible. The truck was just a little `free' all day -- but that's what you've got to have to go fast with these trucks."


"It seems whenever I have a big lead there always seem to be cautions at the end of the race, and I end up racing somebody to the finish," added Bodine. "Most of the times you dread having a yellow flag. But, I wasn't worried about that because the first few laps after the yellow I could run wide open all the way around."

MORE RACE RECAP: At Kansas Speedway (July 2), four Toyota Tundra drivers were among the top-five finishers. Following Bodine to the Kansas finish line were third-place David Reutimann, driver of the No.17 NTN Bearings Tundra, and fourth-place Mike Skinner, pilot of the No.5 Bill Davis Racing Tundra. Skinner's teammate, Bill Lester guided his No.22 U.S. Army Tundra to a fifth-place result in Kansas.

MAJOR MARKS: At Kansas, both Bill Lester and David Reutimann established individual records. Lester's fifth-place finish at Kansas was the best outcome of his NCTS career. His previous best result came earlier this season when he finished sixth at Charlotte. Reutimann's third-place result at Kansas equaled his best career NCTS finish. Last year, the 2004 NCTS Rookie-of-the-Year finished third at Atlanta and Texas.

POTENT PAIR: Driver Todd Bodine and team manager Mike Hillman make a potent combination at Germain Racing. In 10 NCTS starts driving the No.30 Tundra -- eight races in 2004 and two starts in 2005 -- Bodine has registered three wins, five top-fives and six top-10 finishes. In addition to his win at Kansas Speedway, Bodine picked up victories at California Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway a year ago.

POINTS PACE: After the first 12 races of the 2005 season, several Toyota drivers are among the top-15 in the NCTS championship point standings. Mike Skinner is ninth in the standings with 1,479 points, 265 points behind leader Dennis Setzer. Following Skinner in the standings are Tundra racers David Reutimannh (1,454 points) in 12th-place, Todd Bodine (1,409 points) in 14th-place, and Johnny Benson (1,361 points) in 15t -place.

LAST YEAR HERE: A year ago, David Reutimann (ninth) and Robert Huffman (10th) were the only Toyota drivers to finish among the top-10 at the Kentucky-oval.

MIKE IS MOVING: In the past five races, Mike Skinner has recorded three top-fives and four top-10 finishes, and is now ninth in the championship standings, 265 points behind current leader Dennis Setzer.thThe driver of the No.5 Bill Davis Racing Tundra has finished fourth (Kansas and Texas), fifth (Michigan) and 10 (Dover), and led a total of 179 laps in the last five events. In all five races, Skinner has qualified among the top-10, including a pole (Texas) and on the outside of row one (Kansas and Michigan).

ONE FOR TOYOTA: Robert Huffman, driver of the No.12 Toyota Tundra, captured Toyota's inaugural win in NASCAR competition when he captured the checkered flag in the Dash Series race at Kentucky Speedway in 2001. Huffman, a five-time Dash Series champion (1990, 1998-2000, 2003), returned to `Victory Lane' at the Kentucky oval following a Dash Series win in 2003.


"I've never raced a Craftsman truck at Kentucky," says Johnny Benson, driver of the No.23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Tundra. "As a matter of fact, I've only been to the track twice. I went there once for a Cup test where we got in about eight laps before it rained and ended the day. Then, last year I ran a Busch car and it looked like we were going to get a top-five finish when I hit the wall with about 20 laps left."

TODD TAKES KY WIN: Although he has never driven a Craftsman Truck at Kentucky Speedway, Todd Bodine has raced in two Busch Series events at the track (2002-03). "I won the first Busch race at Kentucky, but I almost blew it," says Bodine. "I was leading the race and we had a restart with eight laps to go. Greg Biffle got by me on the restart and I couldn't pass him. Finally, I passed him on the outside on the last corner of the last lap for the win."

MILLION DOLLAR BILL: Bill Lester should reach one million dollars in NASCAR career winnings at Kentucky Speedway. Now in his fourth season in the NCTS, Lester has totaled $993,586 in earnings during his career.

MIKE HELPS MAKE MONEY: Mike Skinner recently hosted the 11th annual Race Week Celebrity Golf tournament at the LPGA course in Daytona Beach, Fla. The charity event raised more than $102,000, which will be donated to the Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital in Orlando and the Victory Junction Gang Camp in North Carolina. Skinner, who has hosted the event for the past three years, was joined on the links by NASCAR drivers Dale Jarrett and Elliott Sadler, as well as NASCAR TV announcers Benny Parsons and Allen Bestwick.

2005 LINE-UP: The Toyota Tundra NCTS line-up at Kentucky: Driver Truck Team Johnny Benson No.23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Tundra Bill Davis Racing Bill Lester No.22 Waste Management Tundra Bill Davis Racing Mike Skinner No.5 Toyota Tundra Bill Davis Racing Robert Huffman No.12 Toyota Tundra Darrell Waltrip Motorsports David Reutimann No.17 NTN Bearings Tundra Darrell Waltrip Motorsports Todd Bodine No.30 Allman Brothers Band Tundra Germain Racing Shige Hattori No.9 AISIN/AISIN AW Tundra Germain Racing Brandon Whitt No.38 McMillin Homes/Cure Autism Now Tundra Red Horse Racing Chad Chaffin No.60 Wyler Automotive Family Tundra Wyler Racing

BROADCAST TIME: SPEED Channel coverage of the NCTS race at Kansas Speedway will begin at 8:00 PM (Eastern) on Saturday, July 9. The race is tentatively scheduled to start at 8:15 PM (Eastern).


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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Dale Jarrett , Darrell Waltrip , Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , Greg Biffle , Johnny Benson , Dennis Setzer , Bill Lester , Chad Chaffin , David Reutimann , Brandon Whitt , Robert Huffman , Elliott Sadler
Teams Germain Racing , Bill Davis Racing , Red Horse Racing