This Week in Motorsports – August 5 – 11, 2019
Toyota Racing On-Track this Week
· MENCS/NGOTS: Michigan International Speedway (Brooklyn, Mich.) – August 10-11
· NXS: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Lexington, Ohio) – August 10
· Formula Drift: World Wide Technology Raceway (Madison, Illinois) – August 10
· Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League: Bark River International Raceway (Bark River, Mich.) – August 9-11
NASCAR National Series – MENCS | NXS | NGOTS
Milestone Martin… Martin Truex Jr. makes his 500th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) start on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway (MIS). Since rejoining the Toyota family in 2016, Truex has 20 wins, 56 top-fives and 78 top-10 finishes. Truex scored Toyota its second-ever Cup Series driver’s championship in 2017.
Toyota Drivers Running Strong… All five full-time MENCS Toyota drivers are running strong in recent events, riding impressive streaks heading into MIS. Kyle Busch retook the points lead after an 11th-place finish in Watkins Glen on Sunday. Busch has four more top-10 finishes (18 total) than any other driver in the series this season. Denny Hamlin is riding a streak of three-straight top-three finishes, while Erik Jones has had four top-four finishes in a row. Truex is tied for most wins in the series with four and has three straight top-six finishes. After scoring four top-10 finishes in his first 155 Cup starts, Matt DiBenedetto has had four top-10s in the last seven events.
Victories in the Motor City… Toyota has five MENCS victories at MIS. Former Toyota driver, Brian Vickers, scored the first win in the fall of 2009, starting a streak of four Toyota wins in five Michigan events, including two wins by Hamlin and an additional win by Busch. Former Cup champion, Matt Kenseth, scored Toyota’s most recent win at this race four years ago.
Looking for the First… Toyota is looking for its first win at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, one of three tracks on the current NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) tour that the manufacturer has yet to score a victory (Road America and the Charlotte Roval being the other two). Former Toyota driver Michael McDowell holds Toyota’s track-best result of second at Mid-Ohio’s first NXS race in 2013.
Bell on the Podium…Christopher Bell has finished first or second at the last four events on the Xfinity Series calendar, including earning his fifth win of the season at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Bell has finished in the top three 12 times in 20 NXS events this season.
Familiar Territory for Tundras … Tundra drivers have won four of the last five races at Michigan International Speedway including last season with former Toyota driver Brett Moffitt. Moffitt took the lead on the final lap to notch the second win for Toyota at MIS. Busch and Johnny Sauter add one win each to complete the recent Toyota success in Michigan.
Positioning for Playoffs… On the strength of wins earlier this season, Austin Hill (Daytona) and Tyler Ankrum (Kentucky) have officially clinched spots in the eight-driver NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series playoffs. Both Todd Gilliland and Harrison Burton are looking to score victories this week to earn positions in the playoff field. Gilliland finished fifth in his MIS debut one year ago, while Burton makes his first start at the two-mile oval.
Looking for the Title… With just three races remaining on the Formula Drift schedule, Fredric Aasbø has a slim two-point lead atop the point standings. One year ago, Aasbø had a clean sweep at World Wide Technology Raceway – earning the pole position and taking the race win.
Greaves Family Duo Leading the Pack… The Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League has a three-race show this weekend at Bark River International Raceway. Reigning champion, CJ Greaves, holds down the points lead on the strength of two wins, while his father, Johnny Greaves, is coming off his first victory of the season and sits in third in the standings, just 17 points behind his son.