PLANO, Texas (July 22, 2019) – Toyota drivers continued their winning ways at both Iowa Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend.
All five full-time Toyota drivers finished in the top 10 for the second time this season at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday.
Denny Hamlin was the highest-finishing Camry driver after a late-race duel with race winner, Kevin Harvick. After starting from the rear due to going to a backup car, Hamlin was dominant during stretches of the event and led 113 (of 301) laps.
“We had a strong FedEx Camry,” said Hamlin. “We came in to take tires there and the 4 (Kevin Harvick) stayed out. We were so good up front. He made one decision to go low coming to the white (flag) and I was able to get a really good run off the corner and get right to him. I just wanted to kind of get him up a groove and get myself in position and then wanted to give us a fair shot into Turn 3. He protected the bottom and my objective then was to run the outside and pass him on the outside and just didn’t get that chance off the corner. Fun race, nonetheless. We’ll move on to the next one.”
Erik Jones recorded his second straight third-place finish, while Matt DiBenedetto (fifth) established a career-best season for both himself and Leavine Family Racing with his third top-10 finish of the season – all in the last five races.
“It’s a great run for the team,” said DiBenedetto. “You always want to get more, but we’re growing as a team. This just shows our strength. These types of tracks are kind of in our wheelhouse and this just shows how good of people we have. It’s not just me driving the car. It’s all these guys. I’m nothing without them. Younger team that’s showing our strength and what we’re here to do.”
Martin Truex Jr. crossed the line in sixth, with Kyle Busch – who led a race-high 118 laps – closing out the Toyota contingent in eighth.
In Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event, Supra driver Christopher Bell was victorious as he led 186 of the 200 laps to earn his second straight win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It was the fifth win of the season for Bell, which is tied for the series lead.
“I just had a really good race car,” said Bell. “I’m very thankful to be able to drive these Supras for Joe Gibbs Racing and all of our partners at Rheem, Ruud, Toyota, Toyota Racing Development, man, they just provide really fast race cars and I’m the lucky guy who gets to drive them.”
Bell’s win was the fifth straight for Toyota at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Toyota also swept all three stages of the event with Bell’s teammate, Brandon Jones, scoring his first playoff point of the season with an opening stage win before Bell took both stage two and the win. Jones would finish ninth.
Top Fuel drivers Antron Brown and Richie Crampton, along with Funny Car’s Shawn Langdon, scored opening round wins at the Mile-High Nationals in Denver.
All five Toyota drivers (Brown, Crampton and Doug Kalitta in Top Fuel; Langdon and J.R. Todd in Funny Car) are currently holding down playoff berths with four races remaining before the point reset.
Toyota driver, Ken Gushi, earned his top result of the season as he advanced to the quarterfinals and finished fifth overall at Washington’s Evergreen Speedway, the fifth of eight races on the Formula Drift schedule. Fredric Aasbø and Ryan Tuerck also advanced to the top 16.
Aasbø continues to lead the point standings with Tuerck sitting right outside the top five in sixth.
Toyota Racing development drivers, Chandler Smith and Christian Eckes, led every lap of Friday’s ARCA Menards Series event at Iowa Speedway with Smith picking up his second straight win. Smith started from the pole, and took the lead back from Eckes with 35 laps to go to earn his fourth win in eight ARCA starts this season. Eckes finished in second.
Toyota has now won two straight events in the ARCA Menards Series, and 11 of the 14 races competed this season.
Smith and Eckes’ teammate, Michael Self, finished a Venturini Motorsports sweep of the top three positions and expanded his series points lead to 90.
Chase Cabre won his second straight NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Cabre, who scored his first career win at the series’ last stop in Memphis, Tennessee, took the lead from fellow Toyota driver, Derek Kraus, after a restart on lap 35, and led the rest of the way to earn Toyota’s fifth win in six NKNPSE races this season.
Kraus finished third and maintains the championship lead in both K&N Pro Series heading into the combination race at Iowa Speedway.
The NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series head to Pocono Raceway this coming week. The Truck Series races on Saturday, July 27 at 1 p.m. EDT on FOX while the Cup Series competes on Sunday, July 28 at 3 p.m. EDT on NBCSN. The ARCA Menards Series starts the weekend on Friday, July 26 at 4 p.m. EDT on FS1.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series travels to Iowa Speedway on Saturday, July 27 at 5 p.m. EDT on NBCSN. They are joined by the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West, which run a combined event for the first of two times this season. The tape-delayed coverage will air on Wednesday, July 31 at 7 p.m. EDT on NBCSN.
NHRA continues its run on the West Coast as they compete at Sonoma Raceway with the finals on Sunday, July 28 at 5 p.m. EDT on FOX.