This Week in Motorsports: March 9 – 15, 2020
· NCS/NXS/NGROTS: Atlanta Motor Speedway (Hampton, Georgia) – March 14-15
· NHRA: Gainesville Raceway (Gainesville, Florida) – March 15
· ARCA East: Five Flags Speedway (Pensacola, Florida) – March 14
PLANO, Texas (March 11, 2020) – NASCAR’s top three series return from the West Coast for races at Atlanta Motor Speedway, while both NHRA and ARCA East are back in action this weekend in Florida.
NASCAR National Series – NCS | NXS | NGROTS
Milestone Victories… Toyota heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway – the site of Toyota’s first Cup Series victory in March 2008 when Kyle Busch led the last 40 laps to earn the win. The winning ways have continued since with NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) driver Brandon Jones scoring the 500th NASCAR national series win for Toyota last Saturday at Phoenix Raceway.
Supra Victory for Bell… One year ago, NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) rookie Christopher Bell earned the first NASCAR victory for the Toyota Supra when he crossed the finish line first in the Xfinity Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Bell led 142 laps (of 163) to earn the NXS win – his first of eight victories last season – before moving up to the Cup Series where he’ll make his first NCS start at the track this weekend.
Top Five Finishes in Every Race… Nineteen-year-old Xfinity Series rookie Harrison Burton is the only driver in NASCAR’s top three series who has scored top-five finishes in every race they have competed in this season. Burton earned his first NASCAR victory at Auto Club Speedway on February 29, along with two runner-up finishes at Daytona International Speedway and Phoenix Raceway and a fifth-place showing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Burton continues to lead the NXS point standings.
Podium Sweep… For the first time in four years, Toyota swept the top three spots in the Xfinity Series race at Phoenix Raceway. Jones drove to victory, followed by Burton and Busch. It was the fifth time in Toyota’s history that Toyota swept the top three positions in an NXS race, and the first time since 2016.
Truck Series Points Leader… Austin Hill heads to his home track with the points lead on the strength of two top-10 finishes to start the season. Hill, who qualified for the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series (NGROTS) Playoffs one season ago with four wins, is coming off a third-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Last Time in Atlanta… Busch proved his No. 51 Toyota Tundra was strong in last year’s Truck Series appearance at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He led 92 laps (of 130) on his way to victory lane. This year, Busch has already scored one win in the Truck Series at his home track – Las Vegas Motor Speedway and looks to increase his record performance in the series.
NHRA – Top Fuel | Funny Car
Doug Kalitta Eyes Pair of Milestones at Gainesville…Toyota Top Fuel driver, Doug Kalitta, could reach a pair of historic NHRA milestones at this weekend’s Gatornationals. If he can win three rounds to advance to Sunday’s finals, he would become the second Top Fuel driver in history to earn 700 career round wins. He is also in position to become just the second Top Fuel driver in history to consecutively win drag racing’s four biggest races, Winternationals, Gatornationals, U.S. Nationals and NHRA Finals. The current Top Fuel points leader won last year’s U.S. Nationals and the NHRA Finals, then added his third consecutive Winternationals crown in February. If he can accomplish the feat, it would also mark the third consecutive Gatornationals win for Kalitta Motorsports after winning the prestigious event in both 2018 and 2019 with Richie Crampton.
Regional Stock Car Racing – ARCA East
ARCA East Back on Track… The ARCA Menards Series East is back on track this weekend for the second race of its eight-race season at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida on Saturday evening. Venturini Motorsports – which already has two wins in the ARCA Menards Series this season – looks to add its first East win of the year with Camry drivers Mason Diaz or Corey Heim.