NASCAR heads to its first road course of the season as the Cup, Xfinity and Truck Series take on the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. The NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series is onto its second race of the season for its first stop at In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip in Pomona, California. The ARCA Menards Series East begins its 2024 season at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.

NASCAR National Series – NCS | NXS | NCTS

Toyota drivers continue strong opening to 2024 … Through five races of the NASCAR Cup Series season, multiple Toyota drivers find themselves towards the top of the series points standings. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. and Ty Gibbs lead the Toyota contingent, with Truex tied atop the standings and Gibbs in third just seven points behind after claiming his series-leading fourth top-10 finish of the season at Bristol. Denny Hamlin catapulted to sixth in the standings after his Bristol victory, followed by Christopher Bell (eighth)and Tyler Reddick (ninth), along with John Hunter Nemechek (15th) coming off his best career finish of sixth.

Hamlin closes in on 50 Toyota wins … Following his first win of 2024 and fourth at the famed Bristol Motor Speedway, Hamlin is now one away from 50 with Toyota in the NASCAR Cup Series. His first win with Toyota came at Martinsville in 2008 in just his sixth start in a Toyota Camry. At 52 total career wins, Hamlin sits just two back of tying Lee Petty for 12th on the NASCAR Cup Series all time wins list.

Kobayashi makes 2024 debut Team principal and driver for Toyota Gazoo Racing in the World Endurance Championship (WEC), Kamui Kobayashi, returns to the NASCAR Cup Series for his second career start this weekend. Kobayashi debuted in the series last year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. The two-time WEC champion will pilot the No. 50 Mobil 1 Toyota Camry XSE for 23XI Racing in honor of Mobil 1’s 50th anniversary this year.

Reddick seeks COTA repeat In only his sixth start in a Toyota Camry, Reddick claimed victory at COTA last year for the first of his two wins in 2023. The Californian led 41 of the race’s 75 laps in a dominating performance. He comes back to the Texas road course eager for another victory, which would be the sixth win of his career and the fifth for 23XI Racing.

Xfinity Series back on track … After a weekend off, the NASCAR Xfinity Series is back in action this weekend at COTA. Coming into the weekend, Chandler Smith of Joe Gibbs Racing is the current points leader after powering his Toyota GR Supra to victory at Phoenix two weekends ago. His teammate, Sheldon Creed, currently sits sixth after three top-five finishes to begin the year.

Jones makes Xfinity debut Emirati-British racing driver, Ed Jones, makes his season and Xfinity Series debut this weekend for Sam Hunt Racing in the No. 24 Toyota GR Supra. Jones, the 2016 Indy Lights Series champion and former IndyCar driver, made one start last season in the NASCAR CRAFTMSAN Truck Series at COTA as well. This will be the first of three starts for Jones with Sam Hunt Racing this season, also running at Portland and Sonoma this June.

Ty Gibbs returns to Xfinity Series While having a stellar start to his sophomore campaign in the NASCAR Cup Series, Gibbs makes his first Xfinity Series start of 2024, piloting the No. 19 GR Supra this weekend for Joe Gibbs Racing. The 2022 Xfinity Series champion made eight starts in a GR Supra last season, which included a victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course last August. Another triumph for the 21-year-old would mark his 13th career Xfinity Series win.

Heim and Gray lead Team Toyota … Following their top-10 finishes last weekend at Bristol, Corey Heim and Taylor Gray continue to be the lead Toyota Tundras in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series. Heim has finished in the top-10 in all four Truck races so far and sits second in the series points standings, while Gray has captured three top-10 finishes and is currently seventh.

Hawksworth makes Truck debut … IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship veteran and Lexus Racing factory driver, Jack Hawksworth, makes his first career Trucks Series start this weekend at COTA, piloting the No. 1 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro for TRICON Garage. The 33-year-old British racing driver and 2023 IMSA GTD PRO champion has one previous NASCAR start in the Xfinity Series at Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course in 2019 for Joe Gibbs Racing, where he qualified second, earned a stage win and went on to finish 15th. Hawksworth comes to COTA with momentum after capturing victory with Lexus Racing in IMSA’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring last weekend.

NASCAR Regional Series – ARCA East

Sawalich looks for repeat … In the ARCA Menards Series East opener, defending series champion, William Sawalich, is looking for two sets of repeat wins. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver will go for his second straight win at Five Flags Speedway, as he was victorious in the season opener a year ago – the first of his four wins in 2023. He’s also coming off a win in the ARCA Menards Series race at Phoenix two weeks ago, where he started from pole and led 66 laps on the way to victory.

NHRA – Top Fuel | Funny Car

Toyota racers lead the way … After the strong start to the 2024 season at Gainesville, which included the Toyota and Kalitta Motorsports sweep by Shawn Langdon and J.R. Todd, Toyota’s NHRA drivers head to Pomona eager to continue the momentum. Toyota owns the top four, and six of the top seven positions, in the Top Fuel points standings with Langdon leading Steve (second) and Billy Torrence (third),followed by Antron Brown (fourth), Doug Kalitta (sixth)and Justin Ashley (seventh).In Funny Car, Todd leads the points standings after his victory with Ron Capps in fifth and Alexis DeJoria in eighth. 

Toyota seeks Pomona three-peat … Should it claim another victory at In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip from any of its nine NHRA racers, Toyota will have three victories in-a-row at the California race track after a sweep in 2023. Kalitta won the fall race last November in claiming his first Top Fuel championship and Ashley was victorious in the Winternationals last April. Ashley is also seeking his own three-peat at the Winternationals after winning the event in February 2022 as well.

Toyota Racing PR