Toyota Takes The Weekend
Toyota enjoyed a victorious weekend across several racing series, including a sweep of the NASCAR Toyota entitlement races at Virginia’s Richmond Raceway.
April 23, 2018
Camry driver Kyle Busch capped off a successful Toyota Owners 400 weekend at Richmond Raceway by earning his third-consecutive Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) victory Saturday night.
Busch started from the 32nd position, before making his way through the field early to lead 32 laps (of 402) en route to his fifth-career Richmond MENCS victory. Busch is currently the winningest active MENCS driver at Richmond.
“It’s definitely cool we’ve won three in a row,” Busch said of his current streak of three consecutive wins this season. “We did it a couple years ago and now I don’t know if you can shoot for four in a row. It’s hard to go to Talladega with that much of a winning streak and think that you can go to victory lane, but we’re going to go there anyway and give it a shot. Our guys are amazing. They’re awesome every week and I love racing with these guys and Joe Gibbs Racing. Everybody at TRD (Toyota Racing Development) Costa Mesa, I appreciate you guys.”
Busch also won three-consecutive MENCS races in 2015 and went on win the Cup Series championship for the first time in his career and for Toyota that year. Along with his three victories this season, Busch has also registered seven-straight top-three results in Cup Series action.
Camry drivers Denny Hamlin (third) and Daniel Suárez (10th) also earned top-10 results in Saturday’s Toyota Owners 400.
Martin Truex Jr. led the Toyota Owners 400 field to green and led a race-high 141 laps in the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Camry.
Christopher Bell was victorious for the first time this season in Friday’s ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond, leading a race-high 120 laps (of 250) in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) event at the Virginia short track.
“That was pretty special there,” Bell said, following the race. “I had to work for it. My teammate (Noah Gragson) was really good. I knew throughout both practices that both of our cars were going to be really strong. Joe Gibbs Racing has been producing really, really fast Camrys for the last couple weeks and it’s really shown.”
Nineteen-year-old Noah Gragson followed Bell to the finish line in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Camry, recording a runner-up result in his first career NXS start. Gragson led the race twice for 10 laps and became just the 12th driver in Xfinity Series history to finish first or second in his series debut.
Camry racer Brandon Jones also finished 10th in Friday’s ToyotaCare 250.
J.R. Todd drove his DHL Toyota Camry to victory over Robert Hight in the Funny Car finals at Sunday’s NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston to earn his second-straight victory, and his fourth in the last 15 races.
"I just want to keep riding the wave,” Todd said of the first back-to-back victories in his career. “I don’t think I’ve even been in back-to-back Funny Car final rounds before this. To come here and win, that just shows that winning the Four-Wide wasn’t a fluke and that we’re capable of winning races.”
The win also marks Kalitta Motorsports’ fourth triumph this season in the first five events.
“I knew coming here that the track was going to be a factor and that could play into our hands,” Todd added. “Our competitors got their stuff running well early, while we were struggling a bit, but I wasn’t doubting our DHL Toyota in the final by any means. I thought if I could leave on him, or even with him, that we could run with him and that if we just ran like we have been that we had a pretty good shot of winning."
Toyota driver Tucker Klaasmeyer swept a pair of POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League races over the weekend with victories at Belle-Clair Speedway Friday and I-55 Raceway on Saturday. His Keith Kunz Motorsports Toyota teammate Ryan Robinson continues to lead the championship race with a 30-point advantage over Klaasmeyer.
Christian Eckes won his first career ARCA Racing Series race Sunday at Indiana’s Salem Speedway. Toyota Camrys took four of the top-five finishing positions with Zane Smith (second), Sheldon Creed (third) and Chase Purdy (fifth) following Eckes to the finish line.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series will compete at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. The Cup Series will race on Sunday, April 29 at 2:00 p.m. ET on FOX, while the Xfinity Series event will take place on Saturday, April 28 at 3:00 p.m. on FOX.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series heads to Charlotte, North Carolina, this weekend for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway, April 27 to 29. The finals will be broadcast Sunday, April 29 on FS1 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. ET.
Formula Drift will host Round 2: Uncharted Territory in Orlando at Orlando Speed World on April 27 and 28.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will race at Virginia’s Langley Speedway on Saturday, April 28.
The ARCA Racing Series will also compete at Talladega Superspeedway on Friday, April 27 at 5 p.m. ET and the race will air live on FS1.