Toyota Racing – Weekly Preview – 07.26.23

Toyota has another busy weekend in motorsports with five races across the country.  


NASCAR National Series – NCS | NXS | NCTS

Hamlin is milestone man… Denny Hamlin crossed off two major milestones on Sunday – one for himself and one for Toyota. For Hamlin, he was the 15th driver in NASCAR history to earn 50 NASCAR Cup Series wins, while for Toyota, it was the 600th NASCAR national series victory. After hitting these major milestones, Hamlin returns to his home track this weekend – Richmond Raceway. Hamlin has had a ton of success at home with four wins at the track, including the spring race last season.  


Truex continues to lead… Martin Truex Jr. added to his Cup Series points lead with another strong run at Pocono Raceway. Truex comes into Richmond with a 30-point advantage with five races to go in the regular season. Truex has three wins at Richmond, including a sweep of the races in 2019. Truex led 56 laps and finished 11th in the spring race at Richmond earlier this season.


Bell strong at Richmond… Christopher Bell is looking for his first Cup Series win at Richmond Raceway, but it has been a strong track for the Oklahoma-native. He has run six races in the Cup Series at Richmond with four top-fives and five top-10 finishes. Bell’s best result, a runner-up finish, came in this race one season ago. Bell also owns three Xfinity Series wins at Richmond. 


Smith adds to top-10 streak… Sammy Smith added to his top-10 streak with a sixth-place finish at Pocono Raceway on Saturday. Smith has now finished in the top-10 four consecutive races, and heads to Road America where he made his Xfinity Series debut one season ago. The 19-year-old continues to hold down a playoff berth on the strength of his race win at Phoenix earlier this season. 


Heim making history… Corey Heim looks to make history on Saturday evening at Richmond Raceway. Heim has a 42-point advantage in the regular season standings heading to the finale at Richmond Raceway. If he’s able to clinch the title, it would be the first time in the Playoff-era that a driver has won the regular season title despite not competing in every event. Heim, who missed Gateway due to illness, received a NASCAR playoff waiver and has maintained the points lead on the strength of 12 top-10 finishes in 14 races and an incredible 7.1 average finish. His top-10 total is a series-best, and he also leads the series in average finish by over two positions.


Friesen looks to earn Playoff berth… Stewart Friesen comes into Richmond Raceway just nine points out of the Playoffs. Friesen looked like he was headed above the cutline in Pocono before he was taken out in a late-race incident. Friesen has three starts at Richmond Raceway and has finished in the top-15 in every event.


NHRA – Top Fuel | Funny Car

200 for Torrence… Steve Torrence was the guy who got it done for Toyota, earning the manufacturer its 200th NHRA victory. For Torrence, it was his first win of the season and vaulted him into the Top Fuel points lead, just four points ahead of fellow Toyota driver Justin Ashley.


Todd continues to roll… J.R. Todd advanced to the final round in Seattle on Sunday for the first time since Gainesville. The former champion now has finished in the semi-finals or better four of the last five events and heads to a special place for him as he owns a Top Fuel and Funny Car victory at Sonoma Raceway. 


Team Funny Car closing in on Supra Showdown season-long win… Team Toyota Funny Car will try to clinch the season-long Supra Showdown crown this weekend as they hold a 6-4 advantage over Team Toyota Top Fuel heading into this weekend with three races remaining. Alexis DeJoria will try to win the challenge for Team Funny Car as she battles Antron Brown on Friday, before Justin Ashley and J.R. Todd race on Saturday.


NASCAR Regional Series – ARCA West

Hingorani looks to take points lead… Sean Hingorani looks to close in on the ARCA West championship points lead this weekend at Shasta Speedway. Hingorani, a two-time winner this season, sits in second – just 14 points out of the lead heading into the race at Shasta this weekend.