Toyota racers captured victories across three racing disciplines over the weekend, including NASCAR stock car wins, a drag racing victory and four dirt midget triumphs.
Toyota drivers swept the Monster Energy Series NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) and XFINITY Series (NXS) races at Watkins Glen International over the weekend.
Martin Truex Jr. won his fourth MENCS race of the season Sunday at Watkins Glen International to earn his first victory at the track he grew up going to not far from his Mayetta, New Jersey hometown. The series points leader led a race-high 24 laps (of 90) and could save fuel in the closing laps to earn his 11th career victory. Truex held off Camry driver Matt Kenseth on the final lap and Kenseth finished runner-up.
Daniel Suárez (third) and Denny Hamlin (fourth) also finished in the top-five for Toyota on Sunday. The rookie Suárez won the second stage of the race, leading 11 laps around Watkins Glen, en route to his career-best Cup Series finish and his fourth straight top-10 finish. Kyle Busch started Sunday’s race from the pole and led the first 21 laps, winning the race’s first stage and went on to finish seventh. Rookie driver Erik Jones finished 10th at Watkins Glen to round out six Camry drivers who earned top-10 results at the second road course on the MENCS schedule.
Busch was victorious in Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) race at Watkins Glen. Busch led the field three times for a race-high 43 laps in the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) No. 18 Toyota Camry to earn his first Watkins Glen XFINITY Series win in 10 starts at the Upstate New York road course.
The victory was the 90th for Busch in the NXS, adding to his series record. And with Busch’s win on Saturday, Joe Gibbs Racing became the winningest XFINITY Series team having won a series record 139 total NXS races.
In Friday’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Watkins Glen, seven Toyota drivers finished in the top-10, including a runner-up result for Todd Gilliland. Harrison Burton finished third for Toyota and holds a four point lead over Gilliland in the East point standings.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and MENCS will race at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 12-13, while the NXS competes at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday, Aug. 12. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will compete at Evergreen Speedway in Washington on Saturday, Aug. 12.
Antron Brown defeated Terry McMillen on a hole-shot to win the NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in suburban Seattle and reclaim the Top Fuel point lead.
Brown defeated Ron Smith in the opening round and then escaped a problem on the light in the second round against Mike Salinas. He eliminated Clay Millican in the semi-finals to set up his final round match-up with McMillen where he had a 0.020 advantage on the tree to overcome a .004 deficit in elapsed time.
The NHRA next races at Minnesota’s Brainerd International Raceway from Thursday to Sunday, Aug. 17-20.
Fredric Aasbø claimed a second-place result in Formula Drift action at Evergreen Speedway outside Seattle as the top-Toyota entrant on Saturday night.
The Toyota Corolla iM driver continues to hold second in the series point standings and now sits 57 points behind leader James Deane, who won the Evergreen contest.
Toyota factory drivers Ryan Tuerck (ninth) and Jhonnattan Castro (16th) advanced to the round of 16 before being eliminated in Monroe, Washington, as did Toyota privateers ‘Rad Dan’ Burkett (14th) and Cameron Moore (15th).
Formula D next competes at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 8-9, the penultimate event of the 2017 season.
Spencer Bayston won Kansas’ Belleville Midget Nationals as Toyota-powered drivers dominated one of the most prestigious events on the USAC National Midget Championship schedule on Sunday.
Bayston’s win culminated a week that saw Toyota drivers win all four USAC national events as Tanner Thorson, Christopher Bell and Chad Boat also registered victories.
For more Toyota Racing coverage, go to www.toyotaracing.com/
Lisa Hughes Kennedy