HUFFMAN LOOKS FOR NEW BEGINNING AT MICHIGAN BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 15, 2005) -- The first half of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season has been challenging for Robert Huffman. This weekend Huffman expects better results in his No. 12...
HUFFMAN LOOKS FOR NEW BEGINNING AT MICHIGAN
BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 15, 2005) -- The first half of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season has been challenging for Robert Huffman. This weekend Huffman expects better results in his No. 12 Toyota Tundra at Michigan International Speedway since collecting a top-10 finish there last year.
"Last year was the first time that I had ever been to Michigan," said Huffman, who finished in ninth-place. "Michigan was a place where qualifying was rained out. We had to start in the rear of the field. We had a really good truck and we were able to race our way into the top-10. I had watched some of the races at Michigan on television. I was at least able to get an idea of how wide it is. There are a lot of different variations and grooves, which makes for great racing. Michigan should be a good track for us. We still need a solid finish to help us get things turned in the right direction."
Repeated misfortune has overshadowed great performances by the No. 12 Toyota Tundra team, which has two top-10 finishes and is 23rd in the points standings.
"Starting at Daytona, we were involved in an accident that we couldn't avoid," said Huffman. "Even though we finished in the top-10 at Atlanta we still had a truck run into the left front fender of our truck that hurt our performance. At Martinsville, two lap trucks got together in front of us and we didn't have anywhere to go. We knocked the cool down unit fittings off of the radiator. We had run as high as third and thought we'd come out of their with a top-five finish until that happened. At Gateway, we had engine trouble when a valve retainer broke, which put us out of the race. At Mansfield, we had a right rear tire go flat and then transmission trouble. Then at Lowe's we had an air gun go bad on a pit stop and ended up having a loose wheel. Dover was driver error."
In the most recent event at Texas Motor Speedway, problems for Huffman continued.
"At Texas, a valve core was busted on one of our tires, which forced us to pit under green to change tires," said Huffman, who finished 28th. "Since we were not on the lead lap, we were trying to stay out of everybody's way and we just got run over. We were sandwiched between two trucks down the front stretch and there was not much I could do. Michigan has to be a turning point for us. It's a place where Toyota has had much success, which makes us more optimistic about our chances."
Toyota captured their first win at Michigan last year.
"Toyota won their very first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series raceat MISand four Toyotas finished in the top-10," said Huffman. "I'm very excited about going back there. I feel like it will be another good place for Toyota. Hopefully, we can get our program turned around."
Live race coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, June 18th begins at 3:15 EDT on SPEED Channel. MRN Radio will broadcast the event.
ABOUT TOYOTA IN AMERICA:
Toyota has eight manufacturing plants in the United States, with two more currently under construction in Texas and Tennessee. With a strong manufacturing presence in the country, it's no surprise that more than half the Toyota vehicles sold in the United States are built here -- using many American-sourced parts. Toyota's overall commitment translates into manufacturing plants, sales and marketing operations, and research and design facilities throughout the United States, where Toyota directly employs more than 31,000. Since 1986, the company has built more than 11 million cars and trucks in the U.S. As one of the world's leading automakers, Toyota offers a full range of models from mini-vehicles to sedans to large trucks. For more information on Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., please visit www.toyota.com.
ABOUT TRD, U.S.A., Inc.:
Powering all of Toyota's American racing programs is TRD in Costa Mesa, Calif., and High Point, N.C. A subsidiary of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., TRD serves as the North American racing arm for design, development and assembly of Toyota's factory racing engines. In addition, the organization is also the source of high-performance aftermarket products for both street performance and grassroots racing Toyotas. From the racetrack to the aftermarket product segment, TRD plays a key role in providing Toyota with an enhanced performance image.