Toyota Scores Wins Across the Country
June 11, 2019
Toyota Racing had success across the country this week with wins in five states including Michigan, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana and Colorado.
In the rain-delayed Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, Martin Truex Jr. was the highest-finishing Camry driver as he crossed the finish line in third place.
Truex was strong throughout the day, finishing in the top 10 at the conclusion of each stage. He was second in the final laps of the race when his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Erik Jones suffered a flat tire and spun to bring out the caution, giving Truex a shot at the win on the green, white, checkered restart. Truex wasn’t able to jump to the lead, however, and settled for third.
“(Joey Logano) was just really fast. I don’t know if we could have done anything with him,” said Truex. “We were going to need one heck of a push from behind – a shove down the straightaway. I could get a little bit of a run, but never enough to get next to him and surely not enough to get next to him and clear him getting in the corner. His car was really good. They were really fast obviously qualifying first and then as good as they raced. Hats off to those guys.”
Kyle Busch also finished in the top 10, scoring fifth to earn a series-leading ninth top-five finish of the season.
In the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Michigan, Brandon Jones was the highest-finishing Supra driver with a sixth-place finish, his best finish since the second race of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“We started out not being a top-10 car most of the day, but we continued to work on it,” said Jones. “The biggest issue we fought was just being loose-in all day. We just kept after it and I think this is what the 19 team does really well, just adjust on the car all race. We’re running first-place lap times at the end of these races and just need some track position there at the end.”
Christopher Bell led 36 laps and won the second stage before having to stop late in the race under green for fuel. He finished 13th.
The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Series took on Texas Motor Speedway and Tundra driver Greg Biffle was victorious in his first truck start since 2004. In a race filled with caution flags and pit strategy, a decision by crew chief Rudy Fugle to leave Biffle out on a late-race caution proved to be the winning call as Biffle drove away from the pack in his Toyota on the restart.
“It means a lot to me that Kyle (Busch) gave me this opportunity to come back and drive this truck,” said Biffle. “This Gander Outdoors Truck Series has a lot of competitive trucks, and these guys make the difference. These guys are a great group of guys that Kyle assembled. TRD - this Toyota ran great today. I am just excited to be here.”
This was the sixth win for the No. 51 Toyota Tundra in nine truck races this season, and seventh overall for Toyota.
Antron Brown continued his strong mid-season surge with his second-consecutive semifinal result at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, Kansas, while J.R. Todd scored his first No. 1 qualifier of the season and 100th overall for Kalitta Motorsports before bowing out in the second round.
For the second consecutive race, the Formula Drift final came down to an all-Toyota battle. This time, Ryan Tuerck got the best of Atlanta winner and fellow Toyota driver Fredric Aasbø. Tuerck scored his first win since 2015 as he claimed victory at Wall Stadium Speedway in New Jersey on Saturday.
Aasbø took over the points lead with his second-place finish while Tuerck jumped from eighth to third overall with the win.
Michael Self scored a dominating victory in Michigan as late-race pit strategy worked in his favor and he was able to make a pass for the lead in the final turn. Self started on the pole and led 86 laps (of 100) on the way to his third win of the season. Tanner Gray scored his first career ARCA Menards Series top-five finish in his fifth start.
Self continues to lead the point standings and Toyota Racing development driver Christian Eckes is fourth.
Hailie Deegan scored her second win this season, and third NASCAR K&N Pro Series West victory of her career, with a late race bump-and-run move at Colorado National Speedway. Deegan took the lead on Lap 89 and looked to be headed to an easy win, but a late race spin by teammate Brittney Zamora meant a green-white-checkered finish. On the restart, points leader Derek Kraus got to the inside of Deegan and made the pass, but Deegan was not going to be denied as she passed Kraus to score the victory. Zamora bounced back to finish fourth, her third-straight top-five finish.
“That was probably the scrappiest race I’ve ever run,” said Deegan. “In the end, we went out there, ran our hardest race. Everything I’ve been practicing, all the hard racing I’ve been running. Derek (Kraus) ran me hard right there (Turn 2), so I was going to run him hard back (Turn 4). And that’s racing. I got the win and that’s all that matters.”
Logan Seavey won the week-long Indiana Midget Week on Saturday after the final race at Kokomo Speedway was cancelled due to rain. Seavey won the title on the strength of an opening night win at Montpelier Speedway and four podium finishes in five races. This is the second-consecutive Indiana Midget Week title for Keith Kunz Motorsports.
“We had a good car every night,” said Seavey. “To be on the podium four out of five races in USAC is really good. It’s as competitive as it’s ever been. There are a lot of great drivers who have won Indiana Midget Week, so it was pretty special just to win a race, let alone the whole thing. We’re starting to hit our stride. Hopefully, we can carry this momentum for the rest of the year and win a second-consecutive USAC championship.”
Fellow Toyota driver Tanner Thorson scored a win at Lincoln Park Speedway in his first start since suffering injuries due to a non-racing car accident. He finished second in the overall points tally to his teammate Seavey.
The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series takes the weekend off, but the Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoors Truck Series head to Iowa Speedway. The Truck Series will compete on Saturday, June 15 at 8:30 p.m. EDT on FS1 and the Xfinity Series will close the weekend on Sunday, June 16 at 5:30 p.m. EDT on FS1.
The NHRA takes on Thunder Valley as they compete at Bristol Dragway with final round coverage on Sunday, June 16 at 2 p.m. EDT on FS1.
The ARCA Menards Series will make the short drive from Michigan to Wisconsin and compete at Madison International Speedway on Friday, June 14 at 8 p.m. EDT on MAVTV.
The POWRi series starts its annual Illinois SPEED Week at Belle-Clair Speedway on Wednesday, June 12.