Perfect Weekend for Toyota in Drift, POWRi and NASCAR K&N Series
May 13, 2019
Toyota drivers drove to victory lane in Georgia, Illinois and Arizona this past weekend as Frederic Aasbø scored his second perfect weekend in Formula Drift, while Austin Brown led wire-to-wire in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League and Derek Kraus swept the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Twin 100s.
Aasbø scored his second perfect weekend of his career with a win at Road Atlanta in his Toyota Corolla Hatchback on Saturday. With the victory, the Toyota driver has now won at every track on the series schedule.
"It feels great to finally come out on top at Road Atlanta," said Aasbø. "It has been my favorite stop since the first time I drove it: the track is challenging, the fans are die-hard and it has an incredible atmosphere. I love everything about this place."
After scoring a near-perfect 99-point score in qualifying for the second-straight event, Aasbø advanced through the field to the Finals where he defeated Toyota teammate Ryan Tuerck. Tuerck went on to finish in second place.
The winningest driver in Formula Drift history, Aasbø continues to add to his count. He has scored 13 career wins since joining Papadakis Racing in 2011.
Camry driver Erik Jones tied his season-best finish with a third-place result in Saturday night’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event at Kansas Speedway. It was Jones’ third-straight top-10 finish at the 1.5-mile track as he collected points at both stage breaks.
“It was a good night and it was nice to have a shot at the win,” said Jones. “Everybody did a great job, but it’s good momentum going on to two weeks now having good runs and having shots to run up front. It’s been nice after a rough month. Hopefully, we can keep it going.”
Kyle Busch’s 2019 top-10 streak came to an end at Kansas after the No. 18 Camry driver had a left-rear tire rub with less than 25 laps to go. Busch finished 30th after tying the series record for most consecutive top-10 finishes (11) last weekend at Dover International Speedway.
In the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, Todd Gilliland scored his best finish this season with a third-place result in Friday night’s event. Austin Hill (fourth) and Brandon Jones (fifth) also finished in the top five for Toyota.
“It’s definitely the best run we have had in a long time,” said Gilliland. “We just have to try and take this momentum into next week. I think my crew chief and whole team is very excited with the Tundra we are bringing to Charlotte.”
In addition, it was the first time this season that Kyle Busch Motorsports placed all four of its Toyota Tundras in the top 10 with Gilliland, Jones, Riley Herbst (ninth) and Harrison Burton (10th).
Derek Kraus continued on a roll in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series sweeping Tucson Speedway’s Twin 100s in the K&N Pro Series West. The pair of victories comes after Kraus, a West regular, scored a win in the second 100-lap K&N Pro Series East race last weekend at Virginia’s South Boston Speedway.
Kraus now holds the lead in the championship point standings for both series.
“That was the goal coming into this race,” said Kraus. “Now we have the points lead going into the next K&N West race. That was really good, and we’ll look to stay consistent the rest of the season. We just had to stay patient and it paid off at the end.”
Also making a notable performance was Toyota development driver Brittney Zamora, who in her first full-time season, scored back-to-back top-five finishes in addition to winning her first career-series pole award in the second race.
Austin Brown led all 30 laps to win the POWRi race at Belle-Clair Speedway on Friday night. Jesse Colwell placed second in a Toyota one-two finish. The victory was the fifth national midget feature win for Brown and marked the 12th for a Toyota-powered car in 2019.
Toyota driver Logan Seavey continues to lead the POWRi point standings with three wins while his teammate, Tucker Klaasmeyer is second.
NASCAR returns home to Charlotte Motor Speedway where the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races in its annual non-points event, the All-Star Race, on Saturday, May 18 at 8 p.m. EDT on FS1. Drivers who have not already qualified for the event will have the chance to race their way in earlier that evening in the Monster Energy Open at 6 p.m. EDT, also on FS1.
The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series will open Charlotte race weekend with a Friday night event on May 17 at 8:30 p.m. EDT on FS1.
Also racing on Friday and Saturday is the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series, which returns with double-header at Tri-City Speedway in Illinois.
Sunday, May 19 is headlined by both the NHRA and ARCA Menards Series. NHRA will compete at Virginia Motorsports Park on May 17-19 with finals airing on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. EDT on FS1.
In the ARCA Menards Series, Toyota drivers look to continue their five-win streak at the next stop on the schedule, Toledo Speedway on Sunday, May 19 at 2 p.m. EDT on MAVTV.