Toyota Racing Weekly Preview – 09.14.22

NASCAR’s top three series take on Bristol Motor Speedway, while ARCA is set to crown a champion. In Pennsylvania, the NHRA begins its post-season with the kickoff event at Maple Grove Raceway.

NASCAR National Series – NCS | NXS | NCWTS

Wallace continues recent hot streak… Bubba Wallace earned his second career NASCAR Cup Series victory on Sunday at Kansas Speedway. Wallace, who has earned career-highs in top-fives, top-10s and laps led this season, has recorded top-10 finishes in six of the last nine events with four of them in the top-five. Wallace scored a top-10 finish in Bristol in 2020.

Bell Cup Series points leader… Christopher Bell drove to his second straight top-five finish to start the 2022 Playoffs as the Oklahoma-native drove to an opening stage win and a third-place finish. With the results, Bell took over the NCS points lead for the first time in his career and is the only driver locked in to the Round of 12 heading into the cutoff race at Bristol.

Hamlin on podium streak… Denny Hamlin has started his Playoff run with back-to-back second place finishes to give the multi-time Championship 4 driver a healthy 47-point advantage over the Playoff cutoff line heading into Bristol. Hamlin has multiple wins at Bristol, including a triumph in the Bristol night race in 2019.

Busch heading to one of his best tracks… Kyle Busch is headed to Bristol Motor Speedway with a two-point deficit to make the Round of 12, but his winning history at Bristol is unmatched. The Las Vegas-native has eight Cup Series wins at the track, including Toyota’s first four wins at ‘The Last Great Coliseum.’

Jones ready for another strong run at Bristol… Brandon Jones has had multiple strong runs at Bristol Motor Speedway, including back-to-back top-five finishes. He earned a track-best third-place finish in 2020 and added a fifth-place finish at this race one year ago.

Earnhardt back-to-back with SHR… Jeffrey Earnhardt returns to Sam Hunt Racing for back-to-back races at Bristol Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway to close his season with the team. Earnhardt has earned a top-10 finish and five top-20 finishes in seven NXS starts with the team this season.

Rhodes looks to sweep Bristol… Ben Rhodes won the Truck Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway earlier this season – but that was when the event was run on dirt. The reigning Truck Series champion led 95 of 150 laps in the spring, and he now looks to score his first win on the pavement at Bristol. Rhodes earned a top-five finish at the track in 2017. 

Toyota drivers fill Truck field… Toyota has filled the Round of 8 in the Truck Series field as six Tundra drivers will be competing for the championship – Chandler Smith, John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Stewart Friesen, Ty Majeski and Christian Eckes. Toyota looks to become the first manufacturer to sweep the Championship 4 spots in the Truck Series.

NASCAR Regional Series – ARCA

Smith plans to clinch two titles in Bristol… With another impressive run in Kansas, Sammy Smith is on track to clinch two championships in Bristol on Thursday evening. Smith leads the ARCA Menards Series East standings by 33 points and the Sioux Chief Showdown championship by 26 points. He has earned top-five finishes in every ARCA East and Sioux Chief Showdown event this season.

NHRA – Top Fuel | Funny Car

Toyota Top Fuel teams look to continue streak… Toyota’s Top Fuel teams have won the last three events on tour with multi-time champions Antron Brown and Steve Torrence claiming victories. Brown has won two of the last three points-paying events at Topeka, Kansas, and the historic U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, while Torrence scored his first win of the season in Brainerd, Minnesota, before adding the all-star callout win in Indianapolis.  

Ashley plans to keep consistency… Toyota’s top-ranked Top Fuel driver is Justin Ashley, who in his debut season with Toyota, is in the third season competing in the Countdown. Since his Bristol victory on Father’s Day weekend, Ashley has gone to the semi-finals or better six times in eight events, including the past three events.

Reigning champion looks for another crown… Ron Capps earned the second victory for the Toyota GR Supra Funny Car in Indianapolis, delivering Toyota’s third win in the historic race in the past six U.S. Nationals. With the win, Capps moved to the second seed in the standings as he looks to earn his second consecutive, and third overall, Funny Car title.