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Apr 25, 2013 - 06:37 PM
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2013 Richmond: Toyota NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Tidbits
Posted by: ASkyler on Apr 25, 2013 - 06:30 PM
NASCAR News
2013 Richmond: Toyota NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Tidbits


TOYOTA TAKES TITLES: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) and NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) races at Richmond International Raceway mark the first title sponsorships for Toyota at the three-quarter-mile raceway. Friday night's NNS race -- the Toyota Care 250 -- is the first-ever Nationwide Series race sponsorship for Toyota. Saturday night's NSCS race -- the Toyota Owners 400 -- marks the first time Toyota has served as the primary sponsor of a Sprint Cup Series race. Toyota continues to be the co-sponsor of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at California's Sonoma Raceway.

CAMRYS CLAIM CHECKERS: Camry drivers have captured 52 wins on 22 different tracks since joining NSCS competition in 2007, and Toyota drivers have most frequently visited victory lane at Richmond International Raceway where they have claimed seven first-place finishes. JGR drivers Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin have combined for six victories at Richmond from 2009 through the 2012 spring race, and Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) driver Bowyer claimed the most recent win in Sept. 2012. Busch has finished first in four consecutive spring NSCS races at Richmond (2009-2012) -- including the most recent race in April. Virginia-native Hamlin won back-to-back fall events (2009 and 2010) between Busch's victories.

 

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THREE IN A ROW: Camry drivers claimed three consecutive victories in the NNS at Richmond International Raceway. Hamlin and Kyle Busch swept the 2011 NNS races at the 0.75-mile track for JGR. In the spring of 2012, Kurt Busch earned the first NNS victory for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) when he crossed the finish line first. Hamlin, who was also victorious in the May 2008 NNS race, won the spring 2011 event in dominant fashion by leading 199 laps (of 250), including the final 115 laps en route to the checkered flag. Kyle Busch's fall victory in 2011, which included leading 74 laps (of 250) over four stints, was his fourth NNS win in Richmond -- he also won in a Camry in May 2009.


NOTES, QUOTES & NUMBERS NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS): Through eight 2013 races, Kyle Busch is seventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) point standings, trailing leader Jimmie Johnson by 54 points … This weekend's NSCS race at Richmond marks the 225th start for the Camry in the NSCS since Toyota joined the series in 2007 … Virginia Tech graduate Darian Grubb, crew chief for the JGR No. 11 Camry, is a native of Floyd, Va. … Brad Donaghy, the front tire carrier on the JGR No. 18 Camry, hails from Orange County, Va. … On Wednesday, Denny Hamlin visited the American Red Cross Disaster Operations Center in Washington D.C., for an event with FedEx to help small businesses be prepared for disasters.

CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing What type of track is Richmond? "Richmond is an awesome race track and I'd definitely say it's a 'racer's track.' It just means you can pass, you can control your destiny a little bit more than these bigger race tracks we've been on here lately. It's a lot of fun to climb up on the wheel and make things happen."

Why is Richmond a unique short track? "Richmond is a little bit bigger -- it's the perfect size race track. It's just big enough you get that sensation of speed as a fan and short enough that we can still beat and bang and rip and gouge on one another and try to win that thing. I think it makes for a good atmosphere of racing."

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Is Richmond a track you enter with confidence? "It always seems to be a race kind of between Denny (Hamlin) and myself. We'll see how Richmond goes, but I love going to Richmond -- for some reason I've just kind of taken to that place. I know what I need in my car to run well there. The guys have done a good job making good adjustments through practice and sometimes we try to dial ourselves out, but we get honed back in on what we know works there. By having a good notebook I think that really helps. A couple guys have been there testing -- the speeds seem to be fast. Should be exciting when we get back there with this new 2013 Camry."

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing (continued) Do you expect speeds to be up at Richmond? "I think the new Gen-6 race car with the 2013 Camry that I'm driving be a little bit faster. We've seen the testing speeds from Richmond being quicker than in years past and I think that's just these new cars being a little bit lighter. They are also carrying a little more downforce than what they had in years past. That's good though and that's fun when the cars drive well and you can run side-by-side a little bit more and race a little bit more and put on a good show."

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Brakes Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing How much momentum does your team have after two consecutive top-five finishes? "A lot of momentum for this whole team right now. We are really strong at Richmond every time and I think our package for the race there is going to be really good. Coming off these two top-five finishes gives us a good head of steam for the race and hopefully we can finally get this NAPA Toyota to victory lane."

MARK MARTIN, No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Will driving the No. 55 in your 55th race at Richmond prove lucky? "This is my 55th race at Richmond and I am driving the No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine, plus Toyota is sponsoring the race so we have all that going for us. We were fortunate enough to win the pole here last year and MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) has done really well here of late. Clint (Bowyer) won this race in the fall and we finished third. Martin Truex has been on fire the last two weeks. So, we are pretty optimistic Saturday night is going to be a lot of fun. Richmond is one of the best places we race and it seems like it's always a great show for the fans."

NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS): After six 2013 races, Parker Kligerman is sixth in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) point standings, trailing leader Sam Hornish Jr. by 35 points … Bowman is currently the top rookie in the standings … Toyota has led 672 laps (of 1,170) -- 57 percent of this season's NNS laps … Kevin Kidd, the crew chief for the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) No. 20, is from Tazewell, Va., and graduated from Virginia Tech … JGR No. 11 team members Joel Wiedman (Richmond) and Chris Jones (Glade Hill) also hail from Virginia … Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) engineer Joey Cohen of Chesapeake, Va., and engine tuner Jason Watkins of Ridgeway, Va., both work on the No. 77 Camry.

ERIC PHILLIPS, crew chief, No. 77 Toyota Camry, Kyle Busch Motorsports Are you able to use any notes from last year's win with Kurt Busch for this race? "You definitely can. We are actually bringing the same Camry that Kurt (Busch) won with last year with a similar setup that has a lot of the same pieces and parts -- it's a base setup from our Truck Series program that we have had a lot of success with on the short tracks the last few years. Last year's team ran really well in both Richmond races, so we just tweaked on a few little things where we thought they had a few minor issues and could use a little improvement. Hopefully, that will allow us to be a little bit better. We've had a couple weeks off, so all the guys have put a lot of hard work into this car."

ELLIOTT SADLER, No. 11 SportClips Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing What do you enjoy most about racing at Richmond? "The coolest thing about racing so close to home is having all of my family and friends there the entire weekend. As a kid, I remember making the trip to Richmond International Raceway to watch my dad's cars, my uncle race, and even my brother, Hermie (Sadler), race the late models and the then-Busch Series cars. There are still a lot of friends, neighbors and family that have tickets to come and watch all the events here at Richmond. It's a pretty cool feeling to be on one side of the fence as a young fan growing up, and then be on the other side of the fence as a competitor. Richmond is very special to all of us, and it's hard to believe that I will be making my 20th start at the track I grew up going around."

KENNY WALLACE, No. 29 Toyota Care Toyota Camry, RAB Racing Are you excited to get back behind the wheel at Richmond? "I am just so excited to be returning to the NASCAR Nationwide series this weekend at a race track that I love at Richmond International Raceway, with a sponsor that has been with me for years in Toyota and Toyota Care, and with an amazing race team in RAB Racing. Richmond will be the first of many races with RAB Racing this season, and it's great to run for Robby Benton again, who will actually be my crew chief this weekend. I truly can't wait to get out on the track Thursday and start practicing and get back to stock car racing, we've had such a great year going so far with my JEGS dirt team, but there's no feeling like short track racing under the lights at Richmond International Raceway."

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS): The NCWTS will enjoy three weeks off before returning to action at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday, May 17.


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