Texas: Toyota preview

This will be the 13th visit to Texas Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck THIS RACE: Series (NCTS). Seven Toyota Tundras are entered in the O'Reilly 400K in Texas. LAST RACE: In the most recent NCTS race at Dover...

This will be the 13th visit to Texas Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck THIS RACE: Series (NCTS). Seven Toyota Tundras are entered in the O'Reilly 400K in Texas.

LAST RACE: In the most recent NCTS race at Dover (DE) International Speedway (June 4), three Toyota Tundras finished in the top-six. Hank Parker Jr. finished third in the No.21 Innovative Motorsports Tundra, and Mike Skinner finished fourth in the No.42 Bang Racing Tundra. Dave Blaney, who was substituting for Shelby Howard in the No.23 Bill Davis Racing Tundra, crossed the finish line sixth.

POINTS PACE: After six NCTS races, three Toyota drivers are among the top-12 in the NCTS championship standings. Mike Skinner is fourth in the standings (847 points) and Travis Kvapil is sixth in the standings (788 points). Rookie David Reutimann sits 12th in the standings (743 points), as well as first in the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year standings (62 points).

HANK'S HOT:Hank Parker Jr.'s third-place at Dover was his best finish of the season, as well as his best finish in 10 career NCTS starts. "We began the day pretty slowly and fell back at the start of the race," said Parker Jr. "When we came into the pits the first time we made some pretty big adjustments. I didn't think the changes were going to work. But, my Tundra just took off. I said to the guys, `Whatever you did, do a little more.' My Tundra was just `hooked up' after that and we were as fast as anyone."

MORE HANK: "The team has really been working hard all year and unfortunately we've just had some bad breaks," said Parker. "We're just trying to figure things out because this team is new to the Truck series and Toyota's new to the series too. But, I couldn't be any happier to be where I am with Innovative Motorsports, and with Toyota. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the season."

MIKE LEADS 5: At Dover, Mike Skinner led 85 laps (50-134), more than any other driver. It was the fifth race this season in which Skinner has led the field in his No.42 Tundra. He has led the field at Charlotte (2 laps), Daytona (6 laps), Atlanta (68 laps) and Martinsville (38 laps).

MOVING UP: Rookie Robert Huffman recorded his best career finish at Dover when he was 11th in the No. 12 Innovative Motorsports Tundra. Huffman was also the first rookie to take the checkered flag. In the race before Dover at Lowe's Motor Speedway (May 21), Huffman was 16th -- his previous best result of the year. "We've been running good all year and have been qualifying good all year," said Huffman. "We came to Dover and didn't qualify as well as we have been, but we definitely ran better in the race. To be the top Raybestos Rookie two races in a row is awful good. We've just got to keep missing the little `bug' in the race that's costing us some even better finishes."

SUBSTITUTE:At Dover, Dave Blaney substituted for Shelby Howard as the driver of the Bill Davis Racing No.23 Tundra. It was his first career NCTS start. "Overall, I'm really impressed with how these little trucks handle," said Blaney. "The Tundra handled great -- I was definitely impressed with the Toyota engine, the chassis, and the whole package."

TK TOPS TX:Travis Kvapil recorded his first career NCTS victory at Texas Motor Speedway (10/05/01). Although he doesn't make many predictions, Kvapil believes Toyota's first NCTS win will happen soon. "I think a win is right around the corner," said Kvapil, following the Dover race. "I thought the horsepower we had at Dover was great. The Tundra really pulled off the corner well -- and was really able to pull all the way down the straightaway. Our finish (16th) definitely didn't represent the type of truck we had."

SECOND BEST: The best finish by a Toyota Tundra driver this season has been second-place. Bang Racing teammates Travis Kvapil (Daytona) and Mike Skinner (Atlanta) have both finished second.

TUNDRA TOPS: Toyota Tundra drivers have recorded seven top-five finishes, and 11 top-10 finishes, in 42 combined appearances. Along with the two second-place finishes by Bang Racing (Daytona and Atlanta), David Reutimann crossed the finish line third in Atlanta, and Hank Parker Jr. was third in Dover. In addition, Travis Kvapil has a fourth-place finish (Atlanta), and Mike Skinner has finished fourth (Dover) and fifth (Martinsville).

3 MORE: In addition to Mike Skinner, three other Toyota Tundra drivers have been race leaders this season. Travis Kvapil led 15 laps at Daytona and one lap in Atlanta, and rookie David Reutimann has also led laps at Daytona (7) and Atlanta (8 laps). In addition, Bill Lester led 19 laps at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

POLE NO.1:In Atlanta, a Tundra captured the NCTS pole position for the first time. David Reutimann recorded a speed of 179.452 MPH (30.894 seconds) to earn his first NCTS pole, and Toyota's inaugural pole. He set a new NCTS record by winning the pole in just his second Series start.

BUILD IT: The Toyota Racing Development R&D and production facility is located in High Point, NC. It takes seven workers working between eight and nine hours a day five days to build a NCTS Toyota Tundra. It takes about 20 hours from start-to-finish to build a production Tundra at Toyota's Princeton, Indiana facility, where 5,004 associates work and where a new Tundra rolls off the assembly line every 74 seconds. Princeton, Indiana is the only place in the world where production Tundras are built.

-toyota motorsports-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Skinner , Hank Parker Jr. , Shelby Howard , Bill Lester , David Reutimann , Robert Huffman , Dave Blaney , Travis Kvapil
Teams Bill Davis Racing , Toyota Racing