Four Toyota Drivers Set to Contend in Cup Series Playoffs
PLANO, Texas(September 9, 2019) – Two Toyota drivers accounted for three wins over the weekend in NASCAR, USAC and POWRi racing action. Four Camry drivers are set to compete in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
Sunday’s race marked the conclusion of the regular season for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and Toyota Racing’s Kyle Busch was awarded the regular-season championship. He leads the charge among the four Toyota drivers in the Playoffs – Busch (first), Denny Hamlin (second), Martin Truex Jr. (third) and Erik Jones (10th).
In Sunday’s race, Hamlin persevered during a crash-filled Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to finish sixth as the top-finishing Toyota driver.
“It was all about the restarts,” said Hamlin. “That’s why you saw the wrecks that you did in turns one and two. Passing was just not that easy. It’s part of it. It’s part of this race track, the challenge that comes into it. Got a bad restart on that last restart and went back to 10th or so, so I was happy to rebound to sixth. Wish we would have had a shot to get up front at some point. Just couldn’t overcome the traffic.”
His Toyota teammates – Busch, Matt DiBenedetto, Jones and Truex – ran within the top 10 at different points of the race. However, all suffered damage after various incidents on pit road and the track which took them out of race contention.
Earlier in the weekend, Busch found himself in familiar territory – in victory lane at the Brickyard. After starting from the pole position in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Busch led 46 laps (of 100) en route to his fourth win in his seven NXS appearances at the 2.5-mile oval. He’s the only repeat winner at the track in the Xfinity Series.
“Anybody that was behind you, you had to rely on them,” said Busch. “You can’t win these races by yourself anymore, you have to rely on those that are around you. Jeb (Burton) obviously did a really good job with the restart coming up through the gears. He actually timed the push really well and it helped us. It propelled us to where we were able to score the victory.”
The win was also Busch’s fourth of the season in only seven starts and marks his 96thNXS career triumph. This was also Toyota’s series-leading 10thvictory of the year.
After winning the event’s first stage, Brandon Jones finished sixth for his 12thtop-10 result of the season. NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series competitor, Austin Hill, finished ninth in his NXS debut.
Logan Seavey swept a pair of POWRi events in Illinois over the weekend, winning at Jacksonville Speedway on Friday and then earning top honors at Spoon River Speedway on Saturday. Toyota drivers swept all three podium positions on both nights.
In USAC action, Chad Boat placed fourth as the top-finishing Toyota driver at the Driven2SaveLives BC39 at the Dirt Track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The NASCAR Cup Series kicks off the 10-race Playoffs at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, September 15 at 7 p.m. EDT on NBCSN. The NASCAR Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoors Truck Series also compete in Las Vegas with the Truck Series on Friday, September 13 at 9 p.m. EDT on FS1 and Xfinity Series on Saturday, September 14 at 7:30 p.m. EDT on NBCSN.
The NHRA also begins their Countdown to the Championship this weekend in Reading, Pennsylvania with the finals broadcast on Sunday, September 15 at 2 p.m. EDT on FS1.
Formula DRIFT rolls into Texas for the Round 7: Showdown on Saturday, September 14 at 3:45 p.m. CDT with livestreaming at www.formulad.com/live.
The ARCA Racing Series is set to compete at Indiana’s Salem Speedway on Saturday, September 14 at 7 p.m. EDT on MAVTV.
The POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League competes in two races with the first feature at Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville, Illinois, on Friday, September 13. They also compete at Illinois’ Macon Speedway on Saturday, September 14.
Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of TNC Network.