Rally RAV4 drivers Ryan Millen and Rhianon Gelsomino will look to finish a perfect season in Minnesota as Toyota racers prepare for a pair of dirt races and a NASCAR road course contest scheduled for the upcoming race weekend.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series have the weekend off, while the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) visits their third and final road course of the season in Wisconsin’s Road America on Sunday.
Camry drivers Christopher Bell and James Davison will join NXS full-timer Matt Tifft to fill the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) lineup on the 4.048-mile road course. Tifft and Bell, who is making just his third-career NXS start, will make their Road America debuts this weekend, while Davison made his NXS debut at the track in 2016 when he finished 19th.
“All of the road-course experience up to this point can only help as we prepare for a tough track in Road America,” said Tifft, who will also compete in the ARCA race at Road America this weekend. “Running double duty will help me get some track time to learn what the best lines are for racing and I think we will definitely compete at the top of the board on Sunday.”
Bell finished fourth in his NXS debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May before winning the pole for his second start at Iowa Speedway in June. The 22-year-old driver was leading at Iowa when an accident involving lap traffic collected the leader after he paced 162 laps (of 250), but finished 16th after the contact.
This weekend’s race marks Davison’s second race with JGR this year. Davison started 11th and finished fourth in his first race with the team at Mid-Ohio this year.
The NXS races on the Wisconsin road course on Sunday, Aug. 27 at 3:00 p.m. ET and the race will be broadcast live on NBC.
In NASCAR regional series action, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will visit Oregon’s Douglas County Speedway where a pair of Toyota teammates will continue their tight championship battle on Saturday night.
Bill McNally Racing’s David Gilliland carries a two-point lead to Oregon after his teammate Chris Eggleston has won three-of-the-last five races to close the gap. Eggleston has won four races this season to five for Gilliland, who is the defending West champion and is also battling to win the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East title.
The K&N West race will take place on Saturday, Aug. 27 at 11:00 p.m. ET and will be tape delayed for broadcast on NBCSN on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Toyota Rally RAV4 teammates Ryan Millen and Rhianon Gelsomino will look to finish a perfect season in the American Rally Association (ARA) with a 2WD class victory in this weekend’s Ojibwe Forests Rally in Minnesota on Friday and Saturday.
Millen and co-pilot Gelsomino won July’s New England Forest to clinch the 2WD class championship and now look to close out the season by claiming class wins in all six events on the inaugural ARA schedule.
“I had a dream the other day that we went six for six,” said Millen. “It’s on my mind. It’s in my dreams.”
The Ojibwe Forests Rally takes place over two days in the Detroit Lakes Region of Minnesota and features areas of sand and clay base, which may provide an advantage to the RAV4.
“The automatic transmission makes it easier to drive [when the road surface is slippery], and not having a turbocharger makes it really easy to control the wheelspin better,” explained Millen. “Sometimes manuals can make things more complicated. The RAV4 just lets us power through.”
The Ojiwbe Forests Rally takes place on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 25 and 26 in Minnesota.
Toyota’s Eric Barron enters this weekend's Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series (LOORRS) action in tenth place in the Pro 4 standings as the series heads to Nevada’s Wild West Motorsports Park for Rounds 9 & 10 on Saturday and Sunday.
Toyota development driver Hailie Deegan ranks third in the Pro Lite standings and enters the Nevada doubleheader coming off a runner-up result in Round 8 action in Missouri in July.
LOORRS competes in Nevada on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 26-27. The races will be taped for broadcast on CBS Sports Network in October with Round 9 airing on Sunday, October 15 at 10:00 p.m. ET and Round 10 on Sunday, October 29 at 10:00 p.m. ET.
Golin for Toyota Racing
Lisa Hughes Kennedy