Toyota NASCAR Darlington – CTMP Advance

by Official Release On Wed, Aug. 30, 2017

Toyota NASCAR Darlington and CTMP Advance
Week of August 28 – September 3

Camry Wins at Darlington: Toyota has won two-straight Southern 500s at Darlington Raceway and three of the last four with victories by Matt Kenseth (2013), former Camry driver Carl Edwards (2015) and defending race winner Martin Truex Jr. (2016). Toyota has five total Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) wins at Darlington with Kyle Busch claiming the Camry’s first Cup win at the historic track in 2008 and Denny Hamlin winning at the track in 2010. In the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS), Camry drivers have six victories at Darlington, including two by Hamlin, who has four total NXS wins at the 1.366-mile track, and will pilot the No. 18 Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing in South Carolina. With nine starts at the track and nine top-10 results, Hamlin has the highest average Darlington finish among active NXS drivers (2.8).

Toyota Triumphs in the Summer Months: Over the last three seasons, Toyota MENCS drivers have hit their stride in the summer months and collected multiple checkered flags each year. In July and August over the last few years, Camry drivers have won 13 races – five in 2015, three in 2016 and five again in 2017 – to give Toyota drivers’ wins in 13-of-24 races (54.17 percent) in the two months preceding the playoffs. This year, Camry drivers have led nearly 80 percent of all MENCS laps run en route to five victories in July and August. The Toyota contingent will look to turn this year’s summer momentum into another winning September for Toyota, as the manufacturer has won three-straight Cup races at Darlington, Richmond Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway each of the last two seasons.

Playoff Picture: With just two races remaining in the MENCS regular season, three Camry drivers – BuschHamlin and Truex – have secured their playoff position for a championship run, while others are fighting to make the postseason. Kenseth currently sits eighth in points and 15th in the MENCS playoff standings – one spot and just three points above 16th place, the last position to make the playoffs – but a victory in South Carolina would lock the former Cup champion into the postseason title hunt. In his last five appearances at Darlington, Kenseth has four top-10 results.  Camry drivers Erik Jones (16th in points) and Daniel Suárez (17th) need a victory to make a playoff run. Jones won his first-career MENCS pole at the last race at Bristol and has four-straight top-10 finishes, while Suarez recently finished a career-best third to cap his own string of four-straight top-10s.

North of the Border: The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) heads north to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park for its lone road course event of the year. Two years ago, Jones drove a Tundra to victory lane in Canada en route to earning the 2015 series championship. Matt Crafton is the only driver to earn two top-five and four top-10 finishes at the 2.459-mile road course. This year, Christopher Bell leads Tundra drivers with four triumphs and looks to earn his first-career road course victory after finishing fifth in last year’s Canada race.

Staying Connected: You can follow Toyota Racing on FacebookInstagramTwitter and online at www.toyotaracing.com. For media images, please visit www.toyotaracingmedia.com.

Toyota at Darlington – Notes & Numbers:

A few Camrys will feature nostalgic looks for Darlington’s throwback-themed race weekend … Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 Camry will pay tribute to ‘Mr. Modified’ Ray Hendrick with a throwback look at Darlington … MENCS rookie Erik Jones’s No. 77 Camry will honor Cup rookies from the 1980s, including Davey Allison, Alan Kulwicki and Rusty Wallace, among others, with a photographic paint scheme … Corey LaJoie’s No. 23 Camry for BK Racing will feature a paint scheme that also honors Allison and his No. 23 NXS Series paint scheme from 1984-85.

Toyota 2017 Statistics:

Series Races Starts (Drivers) Wins Stage Wins Top 5s Top 10s Poles Times Led Laps Led
Cup 24 207 (17) 7 31 39 72 9 179 3,516
XFINITY 23 159 (27) 9 11 30 42 9 81 1,314
Truck 14 143 (20) 8 19 36 74 8 72 1,378
** The opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the publisher. All comments other than website related problems need to be directed to the author. (c)SpeedwayMedia.com. **

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