TUNDRA TIME IN TALLADEGA: Following an off-weekend, Toyota Tundra teams will return to track this weekend for the third start at Talladega in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS). In two previous races at Talladega, Toyota has captured one ...
TUNDRA TIME IN TALLADEGA: Following an off-weekend, Toyota Tundra teams will return to track this weekend for the third start at Talladega in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS). In two previous races at Talladega, Toyota has captured one victory (Todd Bodine in 2007) and seven top-five finishes.
BODINE BACK TO DEFEND: Bodine started on the pole and led a race-high 46 of 94 laps en route to victory lane in the Germain Racing No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Tundra last fall. Bodine finished fourth at Talladega in his 2006 NCTS championship season and was victorious earlier this year in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway, the only other superspeedway on the NCTS schedule.
TODD TALKS: "We've got the truck that has won the last two speedway races," says Bodine. "The Lumber Liquidators crew didn't just sit on the truck and wait for the next race. They've worked on it to make it better and the crew is really pumped up to go to Talladega. I love speedway racing and I'm looking forward to getting there." LOGANO'S LEAP: Logano will make his NCTS debut this weekend, driving the No. 59 HT Motorsports Tundra. The 18-year-old -- who will drive the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Home Depot Camry in the NSCS in 2009 -- will compete in Saturday's NCTS race to gain experience for next year's season-opening Daytona 500.
WALLACE IN AT 'DEGA: With the Nationwide Series off this weekend, series regular Wallace will strap into the Germain Racing No. 9 GEICO Tundra for Saturday's NCTS race. Wallace drove a Tundra for the Germain team last season at Talladega, starting fourth and finishing 17th. He will also serve as the spotter for his daughter, Chrissy, in Friday's ARCA Series race at the track.
SUPERSPEEDWAY SMART: "For some reason, I seem to have some extra knowledge of racing at the superspeedways," says Mike Wallace. "Last year at Talladega, with the track repaved and smooth, we had a blast. We had a truck that could have won the race, and I am very confident heading into the weekend. We want to win, and if we can't win, then we'll do all we can to help our teammate (Bodine) win." TRIUMPHANT 10: Tundra drivers have registered 10 NCTS wins through 19 races in 2008. Johnny Benson (Milwaukee, Kentucky, Indianapolis and Nashville) and Busch (California, Atlanta and Bristol) each have multiple race wins, while Tundra racers Bodine (Daytona), Scott Speed (Dover) and Mike Skinner (Las Vegas) each have one NCTS victory so far this season.
BENSON THE BEST: Benson currently sits atop the NCTS point standings, holding a one-point advantage over second- place Ron Hornaday, Jr. In 19 starts this year, Benson has four wins, three poles, 12 top-fives and 14 top-10 finishes. The 45-year-old driver has won four of the last 10 races in 2008, and finished third in last year's race at Talladega.
FOLLOW THE LEADER: In addition to Benson, three other Tundra drivers are currently ranked in the top-10 in points with six races remaining. Skinner (fifth), Bodine (seventh) and Terry Cook (10th) are chasing Benson in the standings after 19 of 25 races.
DOUBLE DUTY: Busch will be the only driver competing in both NASCAR races at Talladega this weekend. In addition to driving the No. 18 Camry in Sunday's NSCS race, the 23-year-old Las Vegas native will first look to extend his NASCAR record 19 victories in 2008 with a win in Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race. Scott Speed will drive the No. 22 Bill Davis Racing Tundra in the NCTS race, and is looking to build on his lead in the ARCA Series championship Friday in an Eddie Sharp Racing Camry.
HEADING HOME: Three crew members from Toyota NCTS teams will make a homecoming when they travel to Talladega. Kevin Ray, spotter for the No. 11 Red Horse Racing entry, is from Eastaboga, Ala., located approximately 15 miles from the superspeedway. J.R. Norris, truck chief for the No. 15 Billy Ballew Tundra, is from Mulga, Ala., located about 65 miles west of Talladega. Greg Passen, tire specialist for the No. 51 Billy Ballew Motorsports Tundra, hails from Birmingham, Ala.
BIRMINGHAM BOY: "It feels good going back home," says Norris, who practiced and qualified the No. 51 Tundra at Texas in April, which Busch raced. "It's great to see my old friends and folks I've raced against since I was a kid. I wish that I was going to be in a driver's seat, but it's still a feeling of accomplishment to know that I'm with a successful race team and we are one of the teams to watch out for this weekend. I hope we can put on a show for everyone this weekend."
ON ITS OWN TRACK: One Toyota Tundra competing in Saturday's NCTS race should know which 'groove' will be the fastest. Ergon, a sponsor on the No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Tundra, supplied the asphalt used to pave Talladega when the track was resurfaced in 2006. John Andretti will pilot the No. 15 Tundra on Saturday. He finished fourth at Las Vegas in his first NCTS start for the team.
-credit: toyota motorsports