Toyota Clinches Truck Title
November 1, 2008 | 1:05 P.M. EST
Toyota captured its first NCTS title in 2006 -- when Tundra driver Todd Bodine also won the driver's championship -- and won the manufacturer's title again in 2007.
Earlier this year, Toyota clinched the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series manufacturer's championship at Kansas Speedway in September.
Seven teams have campaigned Toyota Tundras in 2008 -- Bill Davis Racing, Billy Ballew Motorsports, Germain Racing, HT Motorsports, Red Horse Racing, Wyler Racing and Xpress Motorsports -- combining for 12 wins, 54 top-five finishes and 105 top-10 results in 23 races. In addition, Tundra drivers captured 10 poles and led 1,756 laps in NCTS competition this season.
"When we entered the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2004, we knew that our success would be a product of the teams and people we aligned ourselves with to carry the Toyota banner," said Lee White, president and general manager of TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development). "To win a third straight manufacturer’s championship in this highly-competitive series is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all our race teams and everyone at TRD and Triad. We came into this sport with a desire to compete for race wins and championships, and our talented Tundra drivers and teams have allowed us to accomplish those goals."
Bill Davis Racing and Billy Ballew Motorsports led the Tundra contingent in 2008, winning 10 of 12 races for Toyota. BDR drivers have combined for seven of the 12 victories, with Johnny Benson winning five times (Milwaukee, Kentucky, Indianapolis, Nashville and Martinsville), and Mike Skinner (Las Vegas) and Scott Speed (Dover) each recording one win.
Busch won three races (California, Atlanta and Bristol) for BBM, and Bodine -- driving for Germain Racing -- won the superspeedway events at Daytona and Talladega.
"Toyota is not immune to the challenges currently being faced by the automobile industry," says Ed Laukes, corporate manager of motorsports marketing at Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. "The market this year has been much more challenging than expected, and no automaker has been unaffected during these times. We are aware that the current economic situation is also having an impact on all our race teams, and we appreciate all their efforts to help us achieve this championship, as well as all the NASCAR race fans that support the series."
Benson has enjoyed the most success among Tundra drivers in 2008. The 45-year-old Grand Rapids, Mich.-native has won five races, scored 14 top-five finishes, and also captured three poles -- at Mansfield, Milwaukee and Memphis.
In addition, Benson has led 23 times for 508 laps in BDR’s No. 23 Tundra, and currently sits atop the NCTS championship point standings.
Since joining the NCTS in 2004, Toyota has won 50 races and captured 59 poles in 123 races.