PLANO, Texas (August 5, 2019) – Max McLaughlin scored his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win and Toyota drivers also added four dirt wins in Pennsylvania and Missouri.
Martin Truex Jr. earned his second-consecutive runner-up finish at Watkins Glen International as Toyota placed four drivers in the top-six finishing positions.
After starting in fourth, Truex ran second most of the day, closing in on the top spot several times, but was unable to make the pass.
“I tried to do all I could. Chase (Elliott), he did an excellent job just not making mistakes,” said Truex. “All I could do was get to within two car lengths or one-and-a-half at the closest in braking. Just couldn’t get a run on him and was just kind of stuck there. Unfortunate, but our Bass Pro Camry was really, really fast today. We passed quite a few cars and finished up front, just couldn’t pass that last one.”
Last week’s winner, Denny Hamlin, was scored in third and Erik Jones finished in the top four for the fourth-consecutive event.
“I was just a third-place car all weekend and it showed up by finishing third,” said Hamlin. “We optimized the most we were going to get out of our Camry right there. Good day for JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) as a whole – two, three, four — 18 (Kyle Busch) we know was fast but had issues. This keeps momentum for us, but just wish we were a little better. Overall, not bad.”
Matt DiBenedetto also continued his recent performance surge. After having only four top-10 finishes in his first 155 career-series starts, DiBenedetto finished sixth – his fourth top-10 finish in the last seven events. Kyle Busch crossed the line in 11th and took over the points lead.
For the second-straight NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) event, Christopher Bell finished in the runner-up position. Bell had a master-level save on the final restart and was able to right his car and hold onto his eighth top-two finish this season.
“We had a really good Rheem Supra,” said Bell. “It was really fast and obviously, with Kyle (Busch) being as good as he was, we knew our package was really good here so it was just a matter of me figuring it out. If I could have just been a little bit better, I think we could have got them.”
Busch earned his first career NXS road-course pole on Saturday. He led a race-high 21 laps before a suspension issue ended his afternoon.
On Thursday, the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) made its annual stop on the dirt of Eldora Speedway. In his Truck Series debut, Mike Marlar was the highest-finishing Tundra driver in fourth. The 2018 World of Outlaws Late Model champion ran amongst the top-10 drivers most of the night. Kyle Busch Motorsports drivers, Todd Gilliland and Christian Eckes, followed Marlar to the line in fifth and sixth, respectively.
Four of the five Toyota teams advanced to the quarterfinals in the Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways, just outside of Seattle, Washington.
All five Toyota teams – Antron Brown, Richie Crampton and Doug Kalitta in Top Fuel, along with Shawn Langdon and J.R. Todd in Funny Car – are in position to make the NHRA Countdown for the Championship, which resets the top-10 drivers in points in two events.
Max McLaughlin earned his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win in the rain-shortened race at Watkins Glen International on Friday. For his team, Hattori Racing Enterprises, it was their second-consecutive win in this event.
McLaughlin dominated the afternoon. He started from the pole position and was never passed, leading all 34 laps. Derek Kraus continued his strong performance and earned his series-leading eighth top-10 finish of the season. He is just 12 points out of the championship lead in his quest to earn championships in both divisions of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series.
During the week-long Pennsylvania Midget Week, Toyota drivers scored two victories. On Thursday, Chad Boat led 25 of the 30 laps to score the win at Path Valley Speedway. Then, on the Saturday evening event at Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway, Logan Seavey took the lead on lap nine and never relinquished it, scoring his 11th national midget car feature event win this season.
Rico Abreu swept the weekend, winning both races at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Missouri. On Friday, Abreu started from 14th but was able to move into the top 10 within the first five laps. He would take the lead less than 10 laps later and would lead to the finish from there. On Saturday, Abreu took the lead with seven laps to go and survived a late-race restart to earn his third race win of the season. Toyota driver, Jesse Colwell, continues to lead the season-long point standings.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series return to Michigan International Speedway. The Cup Series closes the weekend at 3 p.m EDT on Sunday, August 11 on NBCSN, while the Truck Series will run on Saturday, August 10 at 1 p.m. EDT on FS1. The NASCAR Xfinity Series makes its second road course stop of the season at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday, August 10 at 3 p.m. EDT on NBCSN.
Golin for Toyota Racing