NASCAR Regular Season Champ Crowned
September 11, 2018
A rain-soaked Indianapolis – which pushed the NASCAR races to a Monday double-header – couldn’t dampen the racing-action at the Brickyard which delivered a Toyota-powered Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) regular season champion and a historic victory in the first-ever dirt USAC race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Camry driver Kyle Busch was crowned the 2018 MENCS regular season champion after leading 27 laps (of 160) at Indy – where he finished eighth in Monday’s rain-delayed race.
En route to the regular season title, Busch claimed six victories and 17 top-five finishes in the season’s first 26 races. He enters the Cup Playoffs tied for the points lead with Kevin Harvick, and 15 points ahead of Toyota teammate and third-place Martin Truex Jr.
“They give away a trophy and we were able to go out and get it,” Busch said of the regular season title. “Everybody on this team, they work so hard all year long and to get us to where we’re at here today, it was certainly hard fought. Overall it’s pretty good to be in this spot with having those extra bonus points and having some new hardware to go home with us.”
Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Erik Jones (second) and Denny Hamlin (third) tried to hold off race-winner Brad Keselowski but settled for their career-best finishes at the 2.5-mile race track. For Hamlin, it was the third time he collected a third-place finish at the Brickyard in 13 track Cup starts.
Truex (third), Jones (10th) and Hamlin (13th) will accompany Busch in the Cup Playoffs, which are set to begin this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
In Monday’s rain-delayed NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) race at Indy, Toyota drivers Christopher Bell (seventh) and Brandon Jones (10th) earned top-10 finishes behind Xfinity race winner Justin Allgaier.
The series also heads to Vegas later this week to close out their regular season where Toyota drivers Bell and B. Jones are locked into the NXS Playoffs, which begin in two weeks at Richmond Raceway.
Brady Bacon led the final nine laps and held off fellow Toyota driver Chad Boat to win the USAC National Midget series’ inaugural feature race at the Dirt Track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in an event that included more than 100 cars.
Toyota-powered entries have now won 33 national midget features in 2018, with 14 different drivers scoring at least one win.
It’s a quadruple-header NASCAR race weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this week as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series kicks off their playoffs on September 16 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN. NASCAR Xfinity Series races on September 15 at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN while the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series continues their playoffs on September 14 at 9 p.m. ET on FS1. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will compete at Las Vegas’ dirt track on September 13, which will be broadcast on NBCSN on September 21 at 2:30 p.m. ET.
ARCA will races at Salem Speedway on September 15 at 7:15 p.m. ET on MAVTV.
Formula Drift takes on Texas Motor Speedway this Friday and Saturday, September 14-15 with a live stream available through their website and app.
NHRA kicks off their Countdown to the Championship at Maple Grove Raceway with Finals on September 16 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1.