Milwaukee: Toyota preview

THIS RACE: The Toyota Tundra Milwaukee 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race at the Milwaukee Mile will be the 12th Craftsman Truck Series event at the track. There will be nine Toyota Tundras in the field at the one-mile Wisconsin ...

THIS RACE: The Toyota Tundra Milwaukee 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race at the Milwaukee Mile will be the 12th Craftsman Truck Series event at the track. There will be nine Toyota Tundras in the field at the one-mile Wisconsin oval.

LAST RACE: In the most recent race of the 2006 NCTS season at Michigan International Speedway (June 17), Johnny Benson recorded his first career Craftsman Truck Series victory when he guided the No.23 Exide Batteries Tundra to `Victory Lane.' Benson held off charging veterans Mark Martin and Bobby Labonte en route to the checkered flag. Following Benson to the finish line were Tundra drivers Todd Bodine (fourth) and Jack Sprague (10th).

BENSON'S BEST: Johnny Benson's first-place finish at Michigan was a pleasant homecoming present for the Grand Rapids, Michigan-native. "Two years ago (2004) at Michigan, Bill Davis gave me a chance to drive his Toyota truck and it was an awesome opportunity," said Benson, following the race. "We had to start last that day and made it to fourth. Today, we started fifth and fell to the back -- and then had to come back up through the field. I'm pretty excited to win here at Michigan because we have a lot of great fans here -- and that's the best part."

DEJA VU: At Michigan, Johnny Benson crossed the finish line ahead of Mark Martin to register his inaugural NCTS victory. "It gave me some flashbacks from Rockingham -- I can tell you that," said Benson, who earned his only NASCAR Cup win at Rockingham in 2002. "When you have the best guy behind you -- that's the best place to have him. Mark was quick -- probably had I not got ahead of him early on that one restart, I might not have been able to get him. Once we got out front -- the clean air was pretty good."

HE IS NO.17: His victory at Michigan enabled Johnny Benson to become the 17th driver to win a race in NASCAR Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series competition.

TOYOTA NOW HAS 18: Toyota now has 18 NCTS wins since the Tundra began competing in the Craftsman Truck Series at the beginning of the 2004 season. Along with five wins this year -- one by Johnny Benson (Michigan), three by Todd Bodine (Texas, St. Louis and Atlanta) and one by David Starr (Martinsville) -- Tundras finished first nine times in 2005 and four times in 2004. Drivers who have recorded wins driving Tundras include Bodine (10), Travis Kvapil (two), Mike Skinner (two), Benson (one) David Reutimann (one), Starr (one) and Brandon Whitt (one).

POINTS PACE: After the first 10 races of the 2006 season, Toyota drivers hold down the top-five positions in the NCTS championship point standings. Todd Bodine sits atop the championship standings with 1,650 points. Trailing Bodine in the standings are second-place David Reutimann (1,472 points), third-place Ted Musgrave (1,469 points), fourth-place Johnny Benson (1,443 points) and fifth-place Jack Sprague (1,337 points).

LAST YEAR HERE: A year ago at Milwaukee, Brandon Whitt was the top finishing Toyota when he recorded a 13th-place result in the Red Horse Racing Tundra.

TWO YEARS BACK: Two years ago in Milwaukee, Travis Kvapil was the lone Toyota driver to finish among the top-10 at the Wisconsin-oval when he crossed the finish line fifth.

TED'S RETURN: Wisconsin native Ted Musgrave will be returning home for the next race on the Craftsman Truck Series schedule -- the Toyota Tundra Milwaukee 200. "I guess my home track would have to be the Milwaukee Mile," says Musgrave, who is from Franklin, Wis. "I raced up there quite often when I was `cutting my teeth' in racing, more or less. I ran a lot in the Wisconsin-area and when I go back to Milwaukee there are a lot of fans, a lot of friends and some family that come out to the races."

MORE FROM MUSGRAVE: "When I go to Milwaukee I try to put a little extra effort into that race," says Musgrave, who has a pair of NCTS wins at the track (2001 and 2004). "I have won there a few times and sat on the pole (2004) there as well. Actually, I've run really decent there each and ever year, so I'd have to say that it's definitely my `home' track."

MINNESOTA MAN: Minnesota native Joey Miller, driver of the No.12 Curb Records Tundra, gets many questions about his racing background. "In North Carolina, when I tell people I'm from Minnesota, they say; `You don't really race cars up there -- maybe snowmobiles,'" says Miller. "Actually, we have about three or four pretty good tracks up in Minnesota and there's a lot of Late Model racing going on there."

MIKE IN MILWAUKEE: During the 1995 debut season of the NCTS, Mike Skinner won the inaugural event at the Milwaukee Mile. Skinner captured the pole position and led 56 laps en route to capturing the Milwaukee checkered flag. The following year (1996), Skinner started on the outside of row one at Milwaukee and led 92 laps on his way to a seventh-place finish.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TODD: Last year at Milwaukee, Todd Bodine returned to the driver's seat of the No.30 Germain Racing Tundra, after running the first 10 races of 2005 with Fiddleback Racing. In 2004, Bodine recorded two NCTS wins in eight starts for the Germain team. Since returning to the driver's seat of the No.30 Toyota at Milwaukee in 2005, Bodine has registered eight wins and 18 top-five finishes in 25 race starts.

BACK ON TRACK AT MILWAUKEE: "I'm looking forward to returning to Milwaukee," says Benson, who retired early from last year's race with mechanical problems. "Last year was the first truck race for me at the track, and our day ended early. It's a pretty neat place to race. I raced there a few times in my ASA (American Speed Association) car and was fortunate to win some of the races there. I know the track is a little bit different now from those days -- they repaved some areas -- but all in all, it's pretty much the same."

TOYOTA HAS 24: Mike Skinner's pole position at Michigan was the 24th NCTS pole position for a Tundra since Toyota began competing in the Craftsman Truck Series at the beginning of the 2004 season. Along with Skinner (12), Tundra drivers who have recorded poles include David Reutimann (six), Bill Lester (two), Brandon Whitt (two), Todd Bodine (one) and Travis Kvapil (one).

BROADCAST TIME: SPEED Channel coverage of the NCTS race at the Milwaukee Mile will begin at 9:00 PM (Eastern) on Friday, June 23. The race is tentatively scheduled to start at 9:15 PM (Eastern).

-www.toyotamotorsports.com

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , David Starr , Johnny Benson , Ted Musgrave , Jack Sprague , Bill Lester , David Reutimann , Brandon Whitt , Joey Miller , Mark Martin , Travis Kvapil
Teams Germain Racing , Red Horse Racing