Toyota Racing – Weekly Preview – 10.11.23

NASCAR opens the Round of 8 for the Cup and Xfinity Series Playoffs at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, while ARCA West races at the Bullring at Las Vegas. NHRA heads to Texas as the back half of the Countdown begins.

NASCAR National Series – NCS | NXS

Four Toyota drivers advance to Round of 8 … After a chaotic and action-packed race at the Charlotte ROVAL, four of the five Toyota Cup Series playoff drivers advanced to the Round of 8. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex, Jr., Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell, along with 23XI Racing’s Tyler Reddick, are still alive for the championship. Truex and Hamlin start the round above the cutline, while Bell and Reddick are below.

Inching closer to 500 … With Reddick’s pole at the ROVAL last weekend, Toyota is now two poles away from 500 in NASCAR competition. Toyota has also captured five of the last six poles in the Cup Series and leads all manufacturers with 13 this season.

Opportunity for Truex Jr. at a favorite track … Truex has many favorable tracks across the Cup Series schedule, which includes Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 20-year Cup veteran has 11 top-10s in the last 12 races in Las Vegas, including two wins in 2017 and 2019. Another top-10 would provide a major boost to his chances at a second championship.

Nemechek and Smith continue in the Playoffs … Both Toyota Xfinity Series playoff drivers, John Hunter Nemechek and Sammy Smith, made it through to the Round of 8 after last weekend’s Charlotte ROVAL race. Nemechek leads the points standings and starts the round 37 points above the cutline, while Smith is 14 below heading into Las Vegas.

Nemechek happy to return to Las Vegas … Heading back to Las Vegas Motor Speedway puts a smile on Nemechek’s face. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has three top-fives in five Xfinity Series starts and has completed 99% of the laps run in those races. The 26-year-old is also on a five-race top-10 streak, gaining momentum at the right time with four races remaining.

Grala looking to continue hot streak … After a fifth-place finish at the ROVAL last weekend, Sam Hunt Racing’s Kaz Grala has three top-10s in the last four races. Another top-10 this weekend would be Grala’s best finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

NASCAR Regional Series – ARCA West

Hingorani looks to further championship lead … With three races remaining in the 2023 NASCAR ARCA West season, Toyota’s Sean Hingorani is currently 37 points ahead in the championship standings going into the Las Vegas Bullring. This is Hingorani’s second start at the Bullring as he looks for his fifth win of the season, and third in the last four races.

NHRA – Top Fuel | Funny Car

Toyota leading Top Fuel with three races to go … Beginning the final three races of NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship, Toyota drivers make up four of the top five in the Top Fuel points standings. Doug Kalitta currently leads the standings by 47 points, followed by Steve Torrence in third, Justin Ashley in fourth and Antron Brown in fifth.

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including Toyota’s Top Fuel performances … Texas Motorplex has been a second home for Toyota Top Fuel drivers, who are looking for a fourth consecutive triumph this weekend and the seventh win in nine races. Ashley has won the last two seasons (2022, 2021); Texas native Torrence won at the Ennis, Texas, drag strip in 2020 and 2018; and Brown topped in 2016.

Texas is also a favorable track for Capps … While Toyota’s Top Fuel teams have dominated Texas, so has Ron Capps in Funny Car. The 2022 Funny Car champion is going for his third straight at Texas Motorplex as he tries to reel in the leaders for another season title. Currently, he sits in fourth position, 33 points behind.


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