Toyota Drivers Win POWRi, K&N Pro
October 15, 2018
It was a first time win for Cole Rouse and the eighth win this season for Logan Seavey as both Toyota drivers were victorious over the weekend.
Denny Hamlin (fourth) recorded his second-consecutive top-five finish and was the top-finishing Toyota driver in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) event at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday afternoon. Teammate Erik Jones (eighth) also scored a top-10 finish.
“I thought we were the next best in line today,” said Hamlin. “They seemed to have a little more speed than us. We stayed disciplined and in line there. We chose the right line when the lines came. Got a great top-five finish today. We were almost the best in class there.”
Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch remain in the top eight in the championship standings as both Toyota drivers look to advance to the third round of the MENCS playoffs in next weekend’s event at Kansas Speedway.
In Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race, Noah Gragson and Brett Moffitt advanced to the Round of 6 following top-20 finishes at Talladega.
“I am just thankful we made it through,” said Moffitt. “It was a stressful day and I am not a big fan of restrictor-plate races. I am looking forward to going to some tracks where we have some more confidence. I am proud of this Hattori Racing team.”
David Gilliland (third) was the highest-finishing Tundra driver at the superspeedway after starting from the pole position. It was his son, Todd, however, that led a total of 13 laps in his first superspeedway appearance.
Two weeks after Hailie Deegan scored her first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series West victory, it was her teammate Cole Rouse that captured his first win on Saturday night. After starting from the pole, Rouse led 58 laps (of 200) to cross the finish line 0.506 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher at All American Speedway (Roseville, California).
“I’m glad we pulled it off for all these guys who have worked so hard all year and been so close,” Rouse said. “A little luck came my way tonight. It’s the craziest race I’ve ever been a part of.”
With his win, Rouse remains second in the point standings while his teammates Derek Kraus and Hailie Deegan are fourth and fifth, respectively.
The NKNPSW will next race in the season-finale at Kern County Raceway Park on October 27.
J.R. Todd drove his Camry Funny Car to the final round of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event at zMAX Dragway (Charlotte, North Carolina) on Sunday. It was the third time in four playoff races that he’s made the finals.
Following the final round showing, Todd closed to within 11 points of the championship lead with two races remaining in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs. In addition, he’s registered a 16-3 round record over the last five races.
“It would have been nice to leave here with the points lead, but at least we’ve cut it down to less than a round,” said Todd. “It’s definitely a battle. We’ve got a really good hot rod right now.”
In Top Fuel, Doug Kalitta advanced to the second round with a 3.718-second pass in a win over Scott Palmer before being eliminated.
Fredric Aasbø concluded the 2018 Formula Drift season in second in the championship standings following a runner-up finish in the season-finale at Irwindale Speedway. Aasbø has finished first or second in the Formula DRIFT points standings in every season since 2014.
Toyota 86 driver Ken Gushi finished sixth in the event at Irwindale – collecting his fifth finish inside the ‘Great 8’.
The 2018 season saw Toyota drivers earn two wins, seven podium finishes and 27 top-16 showings as the manufacturer captured its fifth-consecutive Formula Drift Manufacturer’s Championship title.
After a rain out at Jacksonville Speedway on Friday, Logan Seavey captured his eighth win of the season in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League feature at Belle-Clair Speedway on Saturday night. Seavey led all 30 laps as Toyota-powered cars swept the top five positions with Zach Daum in second and Jerry Coons in third.
“That was a lot of fun,” said Seavey. “I’m glad the rain stopped and we were able to get the race track going. The big hole in one, early on, I really tried to get above it, but then later I played it a little safer and moved down and I actually think I got better. I still was just lacking a little bit in three and four. I felt like I fell back a little bit and really had to pick the pace up. I can’t thank all the guys enough at KKM and TRD that let me do this.”
Toyota drivers have now won 35 national midget events in 2018.
The NASCAR playoffs continue at Kansas Speedway where the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will headline a three-race weekend with the ARCA Racing Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series. ARCA will compete in its season finale event on Friday, October 19 at 8:30 p.m. ET on FS2. The Xfinity Series will follow on Saturday, October 20 at 3 p.m. on NBC. Finally, the Cup Series concludes the weekend in the final cutoff race before the Round of 8 on Sunday, October 21 at 2:30 p.m. on NBC.