Toyota drivers competed in multiple racing series over the weekend, highlighted by a Camry Funny Car win at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte on Sunday.
Shawn Langdon came from behind to drive his Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry to his first-career Funny Car victory in Sunday’s NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte. With the win, the 2013 NHRA Top Fuel champion became just the 17th driver in NHRA history to triumph in both Top Fuel and Funny Car history. J.R. Todd also advanced to the second round on Sunday for Toyota. All four Kalitta Motorsports drivers have now claimed a victory in the first six NHRA events this season.
“To get this win is very gratifying,” said Langdon. “I went 0.069 in the final and left fourth. It just shows how good these guys are and how hungry they are to win. There’s so many things going on in my life, that I just sat in the car and closed my eyes and said just give me this one time right here, I need to use it. I don’t say that too often, but this time it worked.”
In Top Fuel, Doug Kalitta was the highest finishing Toyota driver as he advanced to the second round.
Kyle Busch was the highest finishing Toyota driver in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race at Talladega Superspeedway with a 10th-place finish on Sunday. Busch continues to lead the MENCS point standings and is the only MENCS driver to earn top-10 results in the first 10 races of the season.
“When you got older tires and cars started to ill-handle a little bit, it was interesting,” said Busch of the racing on Sunday. “It was just interesting how you could be all over the place and not just be stuck. Guys were moving a little bit, you could make some moves a little bit. There was a section of race where the bottom lane didn’t move anywhere, and the top lane didn’t move anywhere – we were stuck where we were at for like eight laps.”
Supra driver Christopher Bell finished third in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) event at Talladega. Bell led the race twice for 16 laps and qualified for the ‘Dash 4 Cash’ this Saturday at Dover International Speedway, competing for another $100,000 check.
“To get out of there with a top-four and be in the Dash 4 Cash next week is something I’m really proud of and that was what we had circled,” said Bell. “Obviously, we want to win, but to be able to get a top-four and know that we have a shot at $100,000 at Dover is something I’m smiling ear-to-ear about.”
Todd Gilliland earned his second-career ARCA Menards Series victory on Friday at Talladega. Gilliland took the lead on Lap 43 of the race and led the field to the checkered flag.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Gilliland. “We won in our first start at Toledo in 2015 and it seems like we’ve been so close every time we’ve raced in ARCA since then, but something would jump up and keep us out of victory lane. We were finally able to get the weight off our shoulders here today. It’s a huge relief and I think it’s exactly what I needed to get my confidence up over on the Truck side too.”
Gilliland held off a last lap charge from fellow Toyota driver Riley Herbst, who finished runner-up in the race, while Camry driver Brandon Lynn rounded out the top-three.
Three Toyota drivers advanced to the Round of 16 in Saturday’s Formula DRIFT, ‘Round 2: Scorched’ in Orlando, Florida. Toyota Corolla Hatchback driver Fredric Aasbø was the top qualifier and advanced to the Top 16 before he finished ninth. Toyota 86 drivers Ken Gushi and Ryan Tuerck also advanced to the Round of 16 on Saturday.
The POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League’s three scheduled weekend races in the Midwest were cancelled due to inclement weather.
Toyota racers will compete in multiple series this upcoming weekend. NASCAR heads to Delaware where the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS), NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) and NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series (NGOTS) are set to compete at Dover International Speedway. The MENCS race is on Sunday, May 5 at 2:00 p.m. EDT on Fox Sports 1. The Xfinity Series race takes place at Dover on Saturday, May 4 at 1:30 p.m. EDT on FS1, while the Truck Series competes on Friday, May 3 at 5:00 p.m. EDT on FS1.
NHRA travels to Georgia to compete at Atlanta Dragway with television coverage on Sunday, May 5 on FS1 beginning at 6:00 p.m. EDT.
Lexus and AIM VASSER SULLIVAN return to action in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with their first sprint race of the season at Mid-Ohio SportsCar Course on Sunday, May 5 with coverage on NBC Sports Network beginning at 1:30 p.m. EDT.
The ARCA Menards Series races in Tennessee at the Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville on Saturday at 9:00 p.m. EDT.