Friday, August 5, 2016

Toyota Notes & Quotes for Watkins Glen: 2016 Cheez-it 355

Kyle Busch tested at Watkins Glen last week.
TOYOTA’S GLEN WINS: Toyota has four combined NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) and NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) victories at New York’s Watkins Glen International. Camry driver Kyle Busch has claimed two Cup Series trophies in New York and former Camry driver Marcos Ambrose won twice on the 2.45-mile road course in the NXS. Busch earned the first Watkins Glen victory for Toyota in 2008 at the upstate New York road course when he started from the pole and led 52 (of 90) laps in the event. Ambrose was victorious in the NXS in 2009 and 2010, and Busch again visited The Glen’s victory lane in 2013 with another NSCS win.

ONE OF THE BEST AT WATKINS GLEN: Along with his two NSCS victories at Watkins Glen International, Busch has registered nine top-10 finishes in 11 career starts and currently has the third-best average finish at Watkins Glen among drivers with more than 10 starts at the track (10.5). The Las Vegas native also has the third best average starting position at The Glen (8.3) among active drivers and he started from the front of the field in 2008 and 2011.


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS): Camry drivers Kyle Busch (fourth), Carl Edwards (fifth), Martin Truex Jr. (eighth), Denny Hamlin (ninth) and Matt Kenseth (10th) currently rank in the top-10 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) point standings … Kenseth will make his 600th career NSCS startSunday at Watkins Glen … Kenseth finished fourth at Watkins Glen last year, marking his best finish at the Upstate New York road course … Andy Graves, group vice president and technical director at TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development), is from Mexico, New York … Graves has been with Toyota since the manufacturer joined the NSCS prior to the 2007 season.

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Snickers Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

What does it take to be successful at Watkins Glen?

“At Watkins Glen, the biggest thing is pit strategy. Obviously, you’ve got to pick and choose when you’re going to pit and stick to your plan. Whether or not we can still do it on two stops, I’m unsure of because Sonoma turned into a three-stop race for us all because the new fuel mileage is a little bit off from where we were last year. At Watkins Glen though, you definitely have to be good at being able to carry speed through the esses and down the long backstretch – that seems to be the key part of the racetrack.”

What did you learn with your No. 18 Camry at the Watkins Glen test session?

“We learned a lot of things I feel like at the Watkins Glen test, – that the track isn’t quite as fast as we had expected it to be, it’s probably tire limited, you get a chance to slide around a little bit still. It seems like the slip of the cars is still the same as what it was last year, but speeds we’ll see if they increase more when we get back there with getting more rubber down on the race track having more cars, more series there and seeing what all of that lays out for all of us for the weekend.”

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

What makes the racing at Watkins Glen unique?

“You turn both ways. I think with it being a road course it makes it unique. We only race at two road courses a year with Sonoma and Watkins Glen, and they are greatly different. It’s like comparing Martinsville to Michigan really. It’s really fast for a road course – it’s really flowy. It’s got quite a bit of room compared to Sonoma. They repaved it, so I’m really not sure, but typically on repaves it’s hard to pass and it’s already hard to pass there so you always work on getting balance and speed out of your car, but you also work on fuel mileage and strategy to try and be upfront after your last pit stop.”

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

How can your success at Sonoma Raceway carry over to Watkins Glen this weekend?

“Obviously, the two road courses are very different. Sonoma is a technical track and Watkins Glen is very fast and sweeping. It’ll be interesting to get up there on the new surface to see the grip level in these cars, but certainly running up front at Sonoma gives us a boost of confidence heading into Watkins Glen this weekend. I’m still looking for that first road course win in the Cup Series and hopefully we can close the deal on Sunday.”

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