Toyota drivers will compete in the final regular-season event of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Virginia’s Richmond Raceway on Saturday night, while the NASCAR XFINITY Series, POWRi and Formula Drift racers will also see action this weekend.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) and NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) head to Richmond Raceway where Toyota’s Cup drivers will compete in their final event before the Playoffs.
Thus far, Toyota Camry drivers Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Truex have all captured wins this season to solidify their spot in the Playoffs. With only one race remaining, Matt Kenseth currently sits 15th in playoff standings, just one point ahead of the final 16th playoff position, while Erik Jones and Daniel Suárez must win to get in. Jones is coming off his fifth-straight top-10 finish and third-consecutive top-five result following a fifth-place result at Darlington Raceway as he eyes victory lane at Richmond on Saturday night.
In the Cup Series, Toyota drivers have found much success in the last two Richmond fall races, capturing wins in 2015 (Kenseth) and 2016 (Hamlin), while combining to lead 92 percent of total laps run. Kenseth will run a special Hurricane Harvey Relief Toyota Camry paint scheme this weekend to continue raising awareness of Toyota’s relief efforts while encouraging fans to donate.
Toyota is supporting Hurricane recovery efforts and is encouraging race fans to help those affected by supporting organizations that are part of the Toyota4Good and Toyota’s Mother of Invention (MOI) programs that share a common mission to provide immediate response and long-term rebuilding of communities. In addition, Toyota Motor North America is partnering with Toyota Financial Services, The Friedkin Group, Gulf States Toyota and Toyota and Lexus dealers nationwide to provide a combined relief effort of over $3 million.
The Cup race will air live on NBCSN on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
In addition to his Southern 500 win, Hamlin swept the weekend at Darlington, capturing the NXS race win too. Toyota drivers look to continue the success at Richmond Raceway where Toyota racers have captured eight NXS wins at Richmond with Busch winning four of those races.
Christopher Bell will make his fourth-career NXS start at Richmond on Friday, joining Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Busch and Matt Tifft in the race.
The NXS event will broadcast live on NBCSN on Friday, Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Following a month-long hiatus, Formula Drift returns to action at Texas Motor Speedway for Round 7: Showdown, the penultimate event of the season. With just two races remaining, Toyota Racing drivers Fredric Aasbø and Ryan Tuerck sit second and sixth, respectively, in the point standings as they try to make a late-season championship push.
Aasbø most-recently claimed a second-place result in Formula Drift action at Evergreen Speedway outside Seattle, but points leader James Deane won the West Coast event. With the result, Aasbø now trails Deane by 57 points and will look to best his rival in a home race for Toyota to tighten the points battle.
This weekend’s Texas Motor Speedway event marks the first Formula D event in Texas since Toyota moved its North American headquarters to Plano, located about 40 miles from the race track.
Earlier this year, Aasbø claimed the first victory for the Toyota Corolla iM in Formula D competition in Orlando.
Formula D competes at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 8-9. The race will be tape delayed for television broadcast on CBS Sports Network on Sunday, Oct. 22 at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Toyota driver Zach Daum will take a 280-point championship lead into a pair of POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League races in Illinois this weekend.
The series heads to Jacksonville Speedway on Friday night before moving to Spoon River Speedway in Canton on Saturday with just eight races remain in the 2017 season.
Lisa Hughes Kennedy