Toyota racers will compete in three familiar series this weekend, as championship battles ramp up in the second half of the NASCAR, USAC and TORC seasons, while Toyota Racing will make its debut in the Pirelli World Challenge with the TMG 86 Cup Car.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series makes its second-annual trip to Michigan International Speedway this weekend and will bring the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series along with it, while the NASCAR XFINITY Series heads to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for a road racing battle and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West travels to Evergreen Speedway.
The Cup Series’ first visit to Michigan this season in June saw Toyota drivers claim three top-10 results with Denny Hamlin’s Camry leading the pack in fourth. Since entering Cup Series competition in 2007, Camry drivers have five wins at the two-mile track, including a pair of Toyota triumphs by Hamlin (2010 and 2011). Camry driver Martin Truex Jr. comes to Michigan with the Cup Series points lead and momentum after claiming his fourth win of 2017 at New York’s Watkins Glen International on Sunday.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Michigan on Sunday, Aug. 13 at 3:00 p.m. ET and the race will be broadcast live on NBCSN.
In the Truck Series, Tundra drivers have won three-straight races at Michigan and have six total wins. The current streak began when former Tundra driver Johnny Sauter won at the track in 2014, followed by Kyle Busch’s win in 2015 and a triumph by Brett Moffitt in 2016. Tundra driver Christopher Bell carries the Truck Series points lead into Michigan where he leads Sauter by 18 marks.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competes at Michigan on Saturday, Aug. 12 at 1:00 p.m. ET with the race broadcast on FS1.
With the XFINITY Series taking on another road course, Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) regular Matt Tifft will be joined by a road course ringer and a six-time XFINITY winner in the Camry camp. Australian Jamie Davison will make his JGR debut piloting the No. 20 Camry and brings road course experience from past contests in IMSA, the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and Pirelli World Challenge, among other racing disciplines. Familiar NASCAR regular Regan Smith will jump into the No. 18 Camry to race at a track where he won in 2015. The NASCAR veteran has won six times in the XFINITY Series in his career.
The XFINITY Series visits the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio track on Saturday, Aug. 12 at 3:30 p.m. ET with a TV broadcast on NBCSN.
Todd Gilliland continues to defend his current NASCAR K&N Pro Series West points lead as the series heads to Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington on Saturday, Aug. 12. The 17-year-old is the defending race winner at Evergreen Speedway and has totaled five wins this season including the most recent event at Iowa Speedway.
The NASCAR K&N Pros Series West will be taped for television broadcast on NBCSN to air on Thursday, Aug. 17 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Pirelli World Challenge
Toyota will enter the TMG 86 Cup Car, a Toyota 86 prepared for racing competition by Toyota Motorsports GmbH (TMG) in Germany, in this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) races at Utah Motorsport Complex on Saturday.
The TMG 86 Cup Car will be piloted by road racing veteran Craig Stanton in the doubleheader sprint races and will be entered in PWC’s TCA class. Stanton, a GRAND-AM champion, enters the event having recently worked with former Toyota NASCAR driver Carl Edwards to set a land speed record for a SUV in the Toyota Land Speed Cruiser, and he was also part of the Toyota Sienna R-Tuned team that won One Lap of America in 2016.
The TMG-prepped 86 is being entered by DG-Spec Racing for a one-time appearance in PWC to highlight the capabilities of the Toyota 86, as well as the Toyota 86 customer racing program supported by TMG in Europe.
The PWC contest will be taped for television broadcast on CBS Sports Network to air on Wednesday, Aug. 23 at 8:00 p.m. ET.
The father-son duo of Johnny and CJ Greaves will compete in their Tundras as TORC: The Off-Road Championship returns to Michigan’s Red Bud MX course for the first time since 2013 this Saturday and Sunday.
Both Tundra drivers are tied for the PRO 4 point lead with CJ registering four victories and Johnny three through the season’s first seven races.
Fresh off a victory at the prestigious Belleville Midget Nationals, USAC National Midget Championship points leader Spencer Bayston will lead the Toyota contingent into ‘Pennsylvania Midget Week,’ with the first of four races set for Sunday at the Susquehanna Speedway before heading to Path Valley Speedway Park on Monday.
To date, nine different Toyota-powered drivers have combined to win 23 national midget feature events in 2017.
Lisa Hughes Kennedy