HISTORIC INDY SWEEP: Camry driver Kyle Busch became the first driver in NASCAR history to win both races from the pole position on the same weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after victories in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Brickyard 400 and the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) race at the historic track last weekend. Busch led the most laps ever in a Brickyard 400 – 149 circuits (of 170) – en route to his second-consecutive NSCS victory at the famed Indiana track. In the NXS race, Busch led 62 laps (of 63) from the pole to earn his third XFINITY Series win at the 2.5-mile track in five starts, including back-to-back victories.
MANUFACTURER MOMENTUM: Toyota currently leads all three NASCAR national series manufacturer point standings heading into this weekend’s races at Pocono Raceway and Iowa Speedway. In the NSCS, Toyota leads the point standings by 32 points with 10 wins in 20 races this year. Camry drivers have been victorious in 12-of-18 NXS events this season and Toyota leads the standings by 35 points. In NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) action, Toyota holds a 47-point advantage after eight wins in 11 races. Toyota drivers have won three NXS manufacturer championships (2008, 2009 and 2010) and eight manufacturer titles in the NCWTS (2006-2010 and 2013-2015).
COLLECTING MAJOR TROPHIES: With Busch’s win in this year’s Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis, Camry drivers now have six-straight victories in NASCAR’s ‘majors’ – the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, Coca-Cola 600 and Southern 500. The run of marquee wins for Toyota includes: Edwards winning the 2015 Coca-Cola 600; Busch in the 2015 Brickyard 400; Edwards taking the 2015 Southern 500; Hamlin winning Toyota’s first Daytona 500 in 2016; and Truex claiming the 2016 Coca-Cola 600, before Busch’s most-recent Brickyard triumph.
NOTES, QUOTES & NUMBERS
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS): Camry drivers Kyle Busch (fifth), Carl Edwards (sixth), Martin Truex Jr. (seventh), Matt Kenseth (ninth) and Denny Hamlin (10th) currently rank in the top-10 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) point standings … Camry drivers have four wins at Pocono, including victories by Hamlin (Aug. 2009 and June 2010), former Camry driver Joey Logano (June 2010) and Kenseth (Aug. 15) … Hamlin has four total NSCS wins at Pocono, the most among active NSCS drivers (June 2006, July 2006, Aug. 2009 and June 2010) … Pocono is one of only two NSCS tracks where Busch is yet to cross the finish line first.
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s 75th Anniversary Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Are you confident heading to Pocono Raceway this weekend after your Brickyard 400 win last Sunday?
“I’m looking forward to Pocono with our M&M’S 75th Anniversary Camry. It’s a place where you run similar setups to Indy, but it still has its own unique challenges with just three turns as opposed to four. I think there’s a good opportunity for us to excel. If we could bring home two in a row and our first-ever win at Pocono, that would be something special, especially at a place I have yet to win at, so I would love to cross that one off the list.”
Can the momentum from Indianapolis carry over to Pocono Raceway?
“Yeah, I thought last year the momentum did carry over. We won this race (Brickyard 400) and then we were running right behind Joey Logano for much of the last stint at Pocono and we thought we had just enough fuel to make it, but we didn’t. We ran out. Joey ran out first and then I got the lead and then we ran out. We ran a good race. We ran up front all day. Joey and I were kind of in a league of our own. We definitely need to look at that and see how we were last year and how we excelled from here to there and try to carry that momentum. Obviously Pocono is a place I haven’t won at yet, so I would certainly like to check that box and get that one off the list which only leaves Charlotte.”
MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What makes Pocono Raceway so unique?
“Pocono has three corners, so that alone makes it different than any other race track we go to. All three of the corners are also very different from each other, so it’s just a unique track on the circuit. The straightways are so long at Pocono that everybody always talks about how you need to be good in Turn 3 since the frontstretch is so long, but I think you have to be good everywhere honestly. Certainly getting off of Turn 3 is very important in order to be able to try to make a move for a pass or to not get passed on that long straightaway. Turn 1 is important as well though because there’s a little extra banking there plus it typically widens out a bit, so it’s a place where you need to look ahead to make your move in order to set up for the tunnel turn. Since the start/finish line is so far away from Turn 1, you’ll see the field fan out on restarts, but thankfully Turn 1 is the widest corner as well as the most forgiving, so we still have a decent corner to race through after restarts.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota Camry, Furniture Row Racing
What is the key to success at Pocono Raceway?
“Pocono’s tricky triangular shape is not the easiest to maneuver on. The tunnel turn at Pocono is one of the toughest – it’s definitely intimidating. The hardest thing about that turn is that it’s flat and you’re carrying so much speed. If you want to contend at Pocono, you better figure out that turn or it will be a long day.”
NASCAR XFINITY Series
Camry drivers Daniel Suarez
(first) and Erik Jones (fifth) currently rank in the top-10 in the
NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) point standings … Camry drivers have
three wins in the NXS at Iowa Speedway with Kyle Busch (2010) and Sam
Hornish Jr. in 2014 and June of this year … Jones and Suarez have
earned three-consecutive poles at Iowa Speedway … Dakoda Armstrong
will pilot the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Camry this weekend at Iowa.
DANIEL SUAREZ, No. 19 ARRIS Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Are you looking forward to racing at Iowa Speedway after finishing fourth there in June?
“I’m really excited about this weekend at Iowa and getting back behind the wheel of my ARRIS Camry. We had a great weekend there a couple of weeks back and I feel really confident heading into the weekend with my Joe Gibbs Racing team. Iowa is a very fun track to drive and one that I really enjoy every time we go there. This race will be a little different, as we will be running at night, but I know Scott (Graves, crew chief), our engineers and whole team will have a great game plan heading into the weekend. Hopefully we can come away a win on Saturday night and continue our momentum as we look forward to the Chase starting in a couple of weeks.”
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS): Tundra drivers William Byron (first), Matt Crafton (second), Timothy Peters (fifth), Christopher Bell (sixth) and Cameron Hayley (10th) currently rank in the top-10 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) point standings … Hayley finished fourth last year at Pocono in his first start at the track.
CAMERON HAYLEY, No. 13 Cabinets by Hayley Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing
What do you remember about the race at Pocono last year that you can apply this weekend?
“All I can remember is that practice and qualifying were terrible for us, I think I qualified like 16th - it was bad. We made a ton of adjustments for the race and I ended up working my way through the field. On that final restart, I found myself second, restarting next to Kyle Busch. I was like ‘Wow, we've come a long way.’ We had a good restart, held off Austin Dillon, but (Kevin) Harvick got by me. I mean, we were in the midst of all the Cup drivers and I think if there hadn’t been any Cup drivers there, I could’ve won it, but I think it was really cool to get that experience.”