Nashville: Toyota Motorsports preview

THIS RACE: The Toyota Tundra 200 will be the sixth NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race at Nashville Superspeedway. There will be eight Toyota Tundras in the field at the Tennessee oval -- the 16th NCTS race of the 2006 season. LAST RACE:...

THIS RACE: The Toyota Tundra 200 will be the sixth NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race at Nashville Superspeedway. There will be eight Toyota Tundras in the field at the Tennessee oval -- the 16th NCTS race of the 2006 season.

LAST RACE: In the most recent race of the 2006 NCTS season at O'ReillyRaceway Park at Indianapolis (August 4), David Starr was the top-finishing Toyota when he crossed the finish line fourth. Starr started fourth and led a pair of laps (60 and 128) en route to his fourth-place result in the No.11 Red Horse Racing Tundra. Tundra drivers following Starr to the finish line were Todd Bodine (seventh) and Ted Musgrave (eighth).

STARR SHINES: David Starr's fourth-place at Indianapolis was his best career NCTS finish at the Indiana short track. "We were a little `tight' during the race and we tried to `free-it-up' in the center -- and we just didn't get enough," said Starr, following the race. "It just wouldn't quite rotate the way we needed it to, but we're happy to come home with a top-five finish. Indianapolis has been a tough place for me, so it was a good night."

DAVID DOES IT ON SHORT TRACKS: This year, in his first season driving the No.11 Red Horse Racing Tundra, David Starr has registered three top-five finishes -- and all three have come at short tracks. In addition to his third-place finish at Indianapolis, Starr finished first at Martinsville and ended up third at Mansfield.

POINTS PACE: After the first 15 races of the 2006 season, Toyota drivers hold down four of the top-six positions in the NCTS championship point standings. Todd Bodine continues to sit atop the championship standings with 2,307 points. Trailing Bodine in the standings are second-place Johnny Benson (2,125 points), and fourth-place David Reutimann (2,110 points). In addition, Tundra driver Ted Musgrave (2,055 points) holds down the sixth spot in the standings.

TODD ON TOP: Although Todd Bodine battled handling problems at Indianapolis, he still recorded another top-10 finish and maintained his position atop the NCTS championship standings. "We didn't have a good truck, so to go from 29th to seventh is just like a win," said Bodine, after the race. "We did what we had to do for the points. Our short track program has struggled a bit this year, and this race was a good change."

ENGINE CHASE: Toyota holds onto the top spot in the NCTS manufacturer's championship through the first 15 races of the 2006 season. Toyota has 102 points in the standings, five more points than second-place Ford and 27 points ahead of third-place Chevrolet.

LAST YEAR HERE: In last year's Toyota Tundra 200 at Nashville (Aug.13, 2005), Tundra driver David Reutimann was the race-winner and four other Toyota racers finished among the top-10. Following Reutimann across the finish line were Tundra racers Todd Bodine (third), Mike Skinner (fourth), Bill Lester (seventh) and Johnny Benson (eighth).

WIN ONE: David Reutimann's win in last year's Toyota Tundra 200 was the first victory of his NCTS career and the fourth career NCTS triumph for team owner Darrell Waltrip. Reutimann, driver of the No.17 Darrell Waltrip Motorsports Tundra, started sixth and led 41 laps en route to the checkered flag.

HOW BIG WAS WIN ONE: "The win at Nashville was by far the biggest thing that has ever happened to me in my life," says David Reutimann. "Other than getting called at home by Darrell Waltrip one night and being asked to drive his truck. Although, the Nashville win ranks right up there with that."

DAVID NEEDED DIRECTIONS: "The timing was right -- with Darrell (Waltrip) being at the track and it being Toyota's race," says Reutimann, talking about his win a year ago. "But, I didn't even know how to get to `victory lane,' and I hadn't even done a `burn-out' before. I've seen guys on TV do it, but I said to myself: `How do I actually do this?' Then I thought I could figure it out. I had some of my family in a motorcoach on the back straight, so I did a burn-out in front of them."

LEADERS OF THE PACK: One year ago, Toyota drivers led 149 of the 150 laps in the Toyota Tundra 200 at Nashville. Race-winner David Reutimann led the field three times for 41 laps and pole-winner Mike Skinner led the race four times for 98 laps. Other Tundra drivers who led the race at Nashville were Todd Bodine (three laps) and Bill Lester (seven laps).

TWO YEARS BACK: In 2004, Johnny Benson was the top finishing Toyota driver at Nashville when he crossed the finish line sixth in his No.23 Bill Davis Racing Tundra. Toyota drivers Robert Huffman (eighth), David Reutimann (ninth) and Mike Skinner (10th) followed Benson across the finish line.

TED IN TOP-THREE: "I don't think I've ever finished out of the top-three at Nashville," says Ted Musgrave, driver of the No.9 Team ASE Tundra. "It's always been a really, really good race track for me. I'm not sure if it's because of the concrete surface, or if it's something else. I haven't won one of those guitars that you get for winning the race, and I really want one of those." Musgrave has finished second (2001, 2003 and 2005) and third (2002 and 2004) in five starts at Nashville."

TUNDRA 200 TRACK TALK: "The Nashville track is pretty neat, although it's a tough place to pass," says Johnny Benson, driver of the No.23 Tundra. "It's a finesse-type of race track where you really have to concentrate to hold your truck down at the bottom of the track. It also requires a lot of discipline to make sure you don't go into the corner too hard. If you can hold your truck down on the bottom of the track, it will allow you to get by some of the guys in the corners."

LESTER LIKES NASHVILLE: "I like Nashville because it's like the 1.5-mile tracks we race at -- although a little shorter -- and I'm really comfortable at those types of tracks," says Lester. "I also like the consistency of a concrete surface -- so I like the track from that perspective as well. Nashville is like Kansas and Kentucky, where we qualified on the pole last year. Those things, and the fact that I know my crew chief Doug Wolcott is going to give me a good truck, make me feel pretty good about Nashville."

LESTER HERE IN 2004: "We had a terrific run going at Nashville two years ago and had the misfortune of having a tire problem with about 30 laps remaining in the race," explains Lester. "I was running in the top-five most of the day. It felt good running up front with the race leaders. It was just disappointing we had the tire problem -- with no warning whatsoever -- and next thing you know I was trying to knock down the wall in turn one."

TOYOTA TAKES TENNESSEE: Last year, Toyota drivers swept the three Craftsman Truck Series races in Tennessee. Tundra drivers David Reutimann (Nashville), Mike Skinner (Bristol) and Brandon Whitt (Memphis) recorded wins in each of the races in the `Volunteer State.' Jack Sprague's victory earlier this season in Memphis extended the streak to four straight wins for Toyota in Tennessee.

TOP STARTS IN TENNESSEE: In addition to Toyota drivers having won four straight Craftsman Truck Series races in Tennessee, Tundra drivers have also captured four straight pole positions in the state. Brandon Whitt (Memphis), Mike Skinner (Nashville) and David Reutimann (Bristol) earned pole positions in Tennessee a year ago. Earlier this year, Jack Sprague started first at Memphis.

$6 MILLION MAN: Jack Sprague, driver of the No.60 Con-way Freight Tundra, will become the first Craftsman Truck Series driver to pass six million dollars in career winnings with a finish of third or higher at Nashville Superspeedway. His current career total is $5,982,645 - which makes him $17,355 short. Last year, a third-place in the Toyota Tundra 200 was worth $21,665.

MILLION DOLLAR MAN: Johnny Benson, driver of the No.23 Tundra, will reach one million dollars in career Craftsman Truck Series winnings by starting the Toyota Tundra 200. He will become the 33rd NCTS competitor to reach the one million dollar mark. Benson's current total winnings are $995,581. When the Grand Rapids, Mich.-native passes the mark, it will mean all three Bill Davis Racing drivers -- Mike Skinner ($2,306,097), Bill Lester ($1,296,763) and Benson - will be `million dollar men,' a series first.

TOYOTA NOW HAS 20: Toyota has 20 NCTS wins since the Tundra began competing in the Craftsman Truck Series at the beginning of the 2004 season. Along with seven wins this year -- three by Todd Bodine (Texas, St. Louis and Atlanta), two by Johnny Benson (Milwaukee and Michigan), one by Jack Sprague (Memphis) and one by David Starr (Martinsville) -- Toyota had four wins in 2004 and nine wins in 2005.

TOYOTA HAS 26: Toyota has 26 NCTS pole positions since the Tundra began competing in the Craftsman Truck Series at the beginning of the 2004 season. Tundra drivers who have recorded poles include Mike Skinner (13), David Reutimann (six), Bill Lester (two), Brandon Whitt (two), Todd Bodine (one), Travis Kvapil (one) and Jack Sprague (one).

-credit: toyota motorsports

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