NSCS/NXS: Toyota NASCAR Notes & Quotes Kansas Oct. 2015

October 12 – 18, 2015


CONTENDER ANALYSIS: Following the first ‘Contender 12’ round race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) championship playoff, Camry drivers Denny Hamlin (fourth, -8 points) and Carl Edwards (sixth, -9 points) are within the top-eight that can advance to the ‘Eliminator 8’ round following the Talladega Superspeedway race. Kyle Busch (10th) sustained damage at Charlotte and sits 10 points out of the eighth position headed to Kansas. Matt Kenseth (12th) is 32 points behind after finishing 42nd at Charlotte despite earning the pole position and leading 72 laps (of 334).

KANSAS CONNECTION: Camry drivers have two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) victories at Kansas with wins by both Hamlin (April 2012) and Kenseth (April 2013). A total of five (of the last seven) NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) wins have been tallied by Toyota drivers with Hamlin (2008), former Camry driver Joey Logano (2009 and 2010), Kenseth (2013) and Busch (2014) all winning at the 1.5-mile track.

HOMEFIELD ADVANTAGE: This weekend’s trip to Kansas Speedway is a homecoming for two Toyota drivers – Clint Bowyer of Emporia, Kansas and Edwards of Columbia, Missouri. Bowyer, who has five top-10 results at the 1.5-mile track, owns the Clint Bowyer Autoplex where Toyotas are sold and where he worked in the service department before making his break into NASCAR. Edwards has 11 top-10 finishes, but is still looking for his first NSCS win at his hometown track, although he did win an NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) event at the track in 2004.


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS): Camry drivers have won 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races this season, including victories in 10 of the last 14 races … Toyota needs one more victory in 2015 to tie its most wins in a single NSCS season (14 victories in 2013) … A win at Kansas by Kyle Busch would not only advance him to the next round in the Chase, but would add to his list of 11 different tracks where he has won in all three NASCAR national touring series during his career.

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

Does momentum help with how your team is racing?

“I think they carry a lot. We didn’t have a great Dover and a lot of it was self-inflicted on my point from getting two pit road penalties. We have momentum. Our cars are fast. We know that we can go to each race track and perform at and win. I feel like we have an advantage over the field, so that always helps on those last money pit stops. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be one of the guys that they have to beat when we get to Homestead.”

CARL EDWARDS, No. 19 Sport Clips Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Can you compare Charlotte Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway?

“Not really. Charlotte (Motor Speedway) and Kansas (Speedway) appear a lot alike, but they’re different and I’ve not mastered either one of them, so to me those are going to be tough races and then like we were just talking about I mean we’re going to have to go there and get every single position and qualifying – everything is going to have to be perfect. Restarts are going to have to be perfect because really you want to win.”

How has the track surface at Kansas changed?

“It will be interested to see if it’s aged a little bit. I don’t think they got a lot of rain or anything this summer. I don’t think it was a really harsh summer, so we’ll see. I have a feeling it will still be restarts, track position. It’s going to be a tough one.”

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Halloween Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Can you take what you learn in Chicagoland Speedway and use it at Kansas?

“I think maybe a little bit from Chicago. Chicago is probably the closest to Kansas, but now with the fresh pavement at Kansas, it is entirely different. All those mile-and-a-halves, you look at them from the top side and they all may look the same – cookie cutter – but I think they all race entirely different. You have to know what things work at every single one of those tracks differently.”

Why has Kansas been such a challenging track for you in the Cup Series?

“It’s not my fault I don’t run good there. The 18 car wrecked again [in the spring race], so I think it’s something to do with the 18. I’m not sure what it is, but (Erik) Jones was doing a fabulous job, he was really fast and looked good and then got caught up in a crash late in the going. I’m looking forward to getting back, especially with the speed that Erik Jones had with the limited experience he has in a Cup car. I felt like that was a positive for how Adam Stevens (crew chief) is and what he does with his race cars and then we went there and tested just a few weeks ago also for the single day test that we had as part of the NASCAR plan and things went well. I thought everything was pretty normal and look forward to getting back there.”

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

What is your outlook heading to Kansas this weekend?

“We’ve been taking these races one week at a time, and obviously we had a tough race at Charlotte but we just move on from that and focus on this weekend at Kansas. You want to go out there and get the best starting spot and finish that you can each and every week. We had really fast Toyotas so I’m confident that we’ll race as hard as we can this weekend and whatever happens, happens. Kansas has changed a lot over the last couple of years. It’s finally widening out since the repave. Kansas is a really fast mile-and-a-half track that’s actually very aero-sensitive as well. Track position is important at Kansas but you need a car that obviously handles well, but also has a lot of speed.”

NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS): Camry drivers Daniel Suarez (seventh) and JJ Yeley (12th) currently rank in the top-15 in the NXS point standings … Suarez has seven top-five finishes and 14 top-10 results in his rookie season … He finished sixth in the NCWTS race at Kansas in May, and will make his first NXS start at the 1.5-mile track this weekend … Kyle Busch will make his 200th NXS Toyota start this weekend … In his previous 199 starts Busch has won 63 races (of his record 74 career NXS victories), earned 35 poles, was the 2009 NXS champion and set several series records while behind the wheel of a Camry … Camry drivers have nine wins in 2015 – Busch (four), Denny Hamlin (three) and Erik Jones (two).

DANIEL SUAREZ, No. 18 ARRIS Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Are you looking forward to racing the Camry at Kansas based on your recent finishes?

“We’re at another 1.5-mile track this weekend and I think everyone on the team is excited for it. We’ve had some success at those tracks this year, and coming off a good race in Charlotte where we finished in the top-five only raises our expectations higher for this weekend. We’ve been working hard and improving on a lot of things compared to the beginning of the year and some of the previous races, but we know we still have a lot of work to do. It feels like we’re getting closer every weekend.”

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS):  Tundra drivers Erik Jones (first), Matt Crafton (second), Johnny Sauter (fourth), Timothy Peters (sixth), Cameron Hayley (seventh) and Ben Kennedy (ninth) are in the top-10 in the NCWTS point standings … Jones holds a four point lead over Crafton with five races remaining on the NCWTS schedule … The NCWTS returns to action next weekend at Alabama’s Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, Oct. 24.


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Camry

Clint Bowyer, No. 15 Camry
Kyle Busch, No. 18 Camry
Carl Edwards, No. 19 Camry

Matt Kenseth, No. 20 Camry

JJ Yeley, No. 23 Camry

Jeb Burton, No. 26 Camry

David Ragan, No. 55 Camry

Matt DiBenedetto, No. 83 Camry


Blake Koch, No. 8 Camry

Cale Conley, No. 14 Camry

Daniel Suarez, No. 18 Camry

Jeff Green, No. 19 Camry

Matt Kenseth, No. 20 Camry

Eric McClure, No. 24 Camry

TJ Bell, No. 26 Camry

JJ Yeley, No. 28 Camry

David Starr, No. 44 Camry

Kyle Busch, No. 54 Camry


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