Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Toyota Brickyard Notes & Quotes

Kyle Busch swept the weekend last year at Indy.
NEW HAMPSHIRE ADDS TO TOYOTA SWEEPS: Camry drivers Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) and NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS), respectively, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to tally the seventh weekend sweep for Toyota during the 2016 season. In the NSCS on Sunday, four Toyota drivers combined to lead 299 laps (of 301) – more than 99 percent of the race – as Kenseth tallied his second victory of the season. On Saturday, Busch led 190 laps (of 200) in New Hampshire to win his sixth NXS event of the season in 10 starts. With the victories, Toyota drivers have swept NASCAR race weekends at seven tracks during 2016, including Martinsville Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Dover International Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and New Hampshire.

Camry driver Busch captured his and Toyota’s first victory in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July 2015 en route to winning the NSCS driver’s championship. The milestone victory was the third in a stretch of three-consecutive victories by Busch that helped propel the Toyota pilot to the 2015 championship. Busch led the field three times for 19 circuits (of 164) and held off former Toyota driver Joey Logano during a late-race restart to control the final two laps to the checkered flag for the win. The Brickyard victory came during a stretch in which Toyota won all four of NASCAR’s ‘majors’ – the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, Coca-Cola 600 and Southern 500 – in a 10-month span. In May, Toyota defended its Coca-Cola 600 victory and has won five-straight ‘majors’ in the last 14 months.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) will compete at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway for the series’ only dirt-track event on Wednesday night. The Truck Series has competed at the half-mile clay oval three times with Toyota drivers winning the last two races. Former Tundra driver Darrell Wallace Jr. was victorious at Eldora in 2014 and Christopher Bell claimed his first-career NCWTS win at the track in 2015. Tundra driver Matt Crafton is one of three active NCWTS racers to finish in the top-10 in each Eldora race, and Toyota drivers Rico Abreu and Bell both have experience racing on dirt at Eldora in other racing series.


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS): Camry drivers Carl Edwards (fourth), Kyle Busch (sixth), Martin Truex Jr. (seventh), Matt Kenseth (eighth) and Denny Hamlin (10th) currently rank in the top-10 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) point standings … Busch has the third-best average finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway among active drivers (9.7) … Kenseth has recorded three consecutive top-10 finishes at Indianapolis since joining Joe Gibbs Racing in 2013.

MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

How did the test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway benefit you and your team?

“We tested Indy last week and the good thing about testing is that it gives you time to try things that you typically wouldn’t have time to try out in a normal weekend at the track. Indy is very unique, but I felt that the cars definitely drive differently with the low-downforce package than they did last year with the high-drag package. Indy is a rectangle with four 90-degree corners, while the rest are oval-shaped, so that makes it different than any other race track that we go to obviously. Even though Indy looks pretty symmetrical, all four corners are somewhat different and it’s always changing. That track seems to change pretty fast with the wind or the sun when it comes to the track temperature. The main things that are a focus at Indy are qualifying and then being able to keep your track position because it is a very difficult track to pass on since it has such a narrow groove.”

NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS): Camry drivers Daniel Suarez (first) and Erik Jones (fourth) currently rank in the top-10 in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) point standings … Camry driver Kyle Busch has won two-of-four NXS races held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2013 and 2015) … Busch has led the most laps in NXS history at the track with 233 circuits paced … The next-closest competitors (Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick) have led 33 laps in NXS competition at the track … Suarez started second and finished third at Indianapolis in his first start at the track in 2015 … Joe Gibbs Racing Camrys have won the pole position for 14-of-17 NXS races in 2016.

- GOLIN PR for Toyota Racing

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