PLANO, Texas (August 12, 2019) – The NASCAR Playoffs are just around the corner and two young Toyota standouts are set to compete for this year’s Truck Series title.
Toyota driver, Austin Hill, bookended the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series regular season by winning Saturday’s race at Michigan International Speedway after also opening the year with a victory at Daytona in February. Hill, along with Tyler Ankrum who was victorious at Kentucky last month in a Tundra, will compete in the eight-driver Playoffs which will begin later this week.
“Man, I am ready for it,” said Hill, of this year’s Playoffs. “Especially what we did (on Saturday). We are still one of the top teams. We are really fast. We just had to get this monkey off our back. It has been bad, so to get it off our back is awesome. Can’t thank TRD enough for all those guys and what they do for me.”
Denny Hamlin finished runner-up in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race in Michigan after leading six laps (of 200), but couldn’t hold off race winner, Kevin Harvick. The event looked to become one of mathematics with fuel-mileage becoming the key strategy as the laps wound down.
“We finished,” said Hamlin. “We had enough. I was happy that we were able to keep up, but certainly needed a long, long run for our car to come in. Proud of the FedEx team for making great adjustments from the last time we were here. Another good finish.”
Earlier in the race, Martin Truex Jr. won the first stage and led 43 laps before finishing fourth. The race was his 500thcareer MENCS start. His Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) Toyota teammate, Kyle Busch, led three laps and won the second stage en route to a sixth-place result.
Another Toyota driver, Christopher Bell, finished second over the weekend in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. This was Bell’s fifth straight result of second or better. His JGR teammate, Brandon Jones, also earned his 10thtop-10 result of the season.
“Really thankful to be able to drive for this Rheem group,” said Bell.“They bring really, really fast Supras to the race track every single time. They make me look good, that’s for sure.”
Toyota driver, Fredrick Aasbø, finished runner-up in the Formula DRIFT (FD) event at World Wide Technology Raceway on Saturday night. This was the Toyota Corolla Hatchback driver’s third final round appearance in six FD races this season.
The event, on a highly competitive and technical track configuration, put on a great show.
“What an incredible weekend of competition,” said Aasbø. “I wasn’t sure how I felt about this new course layout at first, but the more I drove the track, the more I started loving it. And going into Top 8, and Top 4 and then the Finals, I had some of the most fun I’ve had behind the wheel in years.”
Aasbocontinues to lead the series point standings.
Toyota driver, Ryan Tuerck, finished fourth after being eliminated by his Toyota teammate Aasbøin the semifinals.
The Greaves – son CJ on Saturday and father Johnny on Sunday – won both PRO4 Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League events at Bark River International Raceway over the weekend.
After six of eight rounds this season, CJ leads his father in the PRO4 standings by 16 points as they sit first and second and have combined to win five of this year’s events.
All three NASCAR national series head to Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series kick off the 2019 Playoffs on Thursday, August 15 at 8:30 p.m. EDT on FS1. The NASCAR Xfinity Series event takes place on Friday, August 16 at 7:30 p.m. EDT on NBCSN while the Cup Series races on Saturday, August 17 at 7:30 p.m. EDT, also on NBCSN. NHRA roars back to action at Brainerd International Raceway with eliminations airing on FS1 on Sunday, August 18 at 2 p.m. EDT.