Three NASCAR Triumphs, Plus a POWRi Championship
PLANO, Texas (October 28, 2019) –Three Toyota drivers in three races celebrated in victory lane with NASCAR racing in California and Virginia, while POWRi race cancelations resulted in a Toyota driver being crowned champion.
It was lucky race win number seven for Martin Truex Jr., who dominated the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday by leading 464 laps (of 500). The victory automatically advances Truex to the Championship 4, where he will be one of four drivers contending for this year’s Cup Series title at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November.
“I can’t believe we just won Martinsville,” said Truex. “Miami is awesome, but we’ve wanted to win here for a long time. The guys have worked so hard, I’ve worked so hard. I used to just be terrible here, and just an awesome bunch of guys. What can I say, Auto Owners, Bass Pro, TRD, everybody back at the shop, brand new race car, and again, it still wants to keep going.”
Truex’ win also set a new Toyota record of 17 Cup Series wins in a single season, which is more than half of the 33 races so far this year. Hamlin also earned a top-five result at the half-mile race track, finishing fourth after starting from the pole position.
Todd Gilliland secured his first career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series win at Martinsville on Saturday, leading the final 11 laps (of 201) of the race. It was a tough day for most of the Playoff contenders, including Tyler Ankrum and Austin Hill who finished 25th and 26th, respectively.
“It feels amazing,” said Gilliland, of his first Truck Series win. “This place is really hard to win at. This Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra is not as pretty as we hoped it would be when we crossed the start-finish line, but man, it looks even better with water and Gatorade on it. I think that was a good finish.”
In California, Derek Kraus all but locked up the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship when he led flag-to-flag to win at Kern County Raceway Park on Saturday night. It was his series-leading fifth win of the season, and his fourth straight trip to victory lane at the Bakersfield short track.
“We had a really good NAPA Toyota,” said Kraus. “We unloaded on Friday and we were really fast right off the trailer. That really helps when you can unload at the race track and be fast. We just tweaked on it a little bit throughout the weekend.”
Kraus now leads the series standings by 47 points, and only needs to start the season-finale at ISM Raceway on November 9 to secure the series title.
Rain canceled the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League season finale in Oklahoma and Toyota driver, Jesse Colwell, captured the driver’s title. A year ago, Colwell won the KKM (Keith Kunz Motorsports) Giveback Classic presented by TRD (Toyota Racing Development). The win gave him an entry into midget racing’s biggest event, the Chili Bowl Nationals, which blossomed into a full-time ride with KKM for the 2019 POWRi season. The rest, as they say, is history.
“This is pretty amazing,” said 20-year-old Colwell. “I would never have thought I was going to win coming from Outlaw Kart. The midgets are a lot of fun – more fun than anything I’ve ever raced. I can’t thank Keith Kunz, Pete Willoughby and everyone at KKM and Toyota enough.”
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. The Xfinity Series kicks off the action on Saturday, November 2 at 8:30 p.m. EDT on NBCSN while the NASCAR Cup Series races on Sunday, November 3 at 3:00 p.m EDT on NBCSN.
NHRA heats up The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, with finals taking place on Sunday, November 3 at 4:00 p.m. EDT on FS1.
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