Toyota Sweeps Bristol
Toyota Camrys swept the weekend’s NASCAR races at Bristol Motor Speedway with wins in three series at the half-mile Tennessee short track after racing action finished Monday due to inclement weather.
April 17, 2018
Camry driver Kyle Busch won his second-consecutive Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) event with a triumph in Monday’s weather-delayed race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Busch started from the pole on Sunday and led 117 laps (of 500) across two days of action to become the winningest active driver in Cup Series competition at Bristol with seven victories at the track. He and Kyle Larson traded the top-two positions coming down the stretch with Busch making the final pass for the lead with six laps to go in the race.
“I was breathing hard there those last 20 laps,” Busch said in victory lane. “That was a heck of a run right there with the 42 (Kyle Larson) – chasing him down, being able to get to him, being able to get by him and then trying to hold him off with some lap traffic ahead of us. I can’t say enough about this Skittles Toyota Camry. Adam Stevens (Crew chief) and my guys, they continue to impress and do an amazing job for me and give me great race cars week in and week out.”
The 32-year-old Las Vegas native continues to lead the MENCS standings by 59 points after his 41st win behind the wheel of a Camry in the Cup Series.
“I certainly appreciate the fans that were all out here in Bristol, Tennessee this weekend. Whether through 80-degree weather on Friday and Saturday to snowy and sleety here today,” Busch added.
Camry drivers Daniel Suárez (11th) and Denny Hamlin (14th) also finished in the top-20 on Monday and led laps at Bristol with Suárez leading five circuits and Hamlin was out front of the field for four laps.
Ryan Preece was victorious in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) race at Bristol, leading 39 laps (of 300) en route to the first win for the Camry in NXS competition this season.
“It’s Bristol, it’s the last great colosseum. To win here, it’s unreal,” Preece said following the race. “It’s one of those races that when you grow up as a short track racer, you want to win at. We came here today and unloaded for practice and I was really happy with the race car. We didn’t qualify where we thought we would, but I knew we had a good race car. We got where we needed to be and the caution fell where we needed it to happen and we got the restart we needed and Eric Phillips (crew chief) made the right adjustments there to get us out front.”
Toyota drivers led a combined 180 laps and won both stages with Christopher Bell earning the first stage win and Preece taking the second stage. Brandon Jones led a race-high 106 laps and finished sixth.
Four Camrys finished in the top-four spots in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Bristol with Todd Gilliland taking the checkered flag followed by Harrison Burton (second), Noah Gragson (third) and Tyler Ankrum (fourth). Toyota drivers led all 150 laps with Gilliland (64 laps), Gragson (54 laps) and Ankrum (32 laps) each taking turns running in front of the field.
Chad Boat finished second, followed by Brady Bacon and Spencer Bayston as Toyota drivers captured three of the top four finishing positions in the USAC P1 Insurance National Midget Series’ Kokomo Grand Prix at the Kokomo Speedway in Kokomo, Indiana, on Friday night. Fellow Toyota driver Logan Seavey continues to lead the championship standings.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series will compete at Richmond Raceway in the upcoming Toyota Owners 400 race weekend. The Toyota Owners 400 Cup Series race is Saturday, April 21 at 6:30 p.m. ET on FOX while the Xfinity Series Toyota Care 250 event will take place Friday, April 20 at 7:00 p.m. on FS1.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series returns to action this weekend at the NHRA Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas, April 20-22.
The ARCA Racing Series competes at Indiana’s Salem Speedway on Sunday, April 21.
POWRi National Midgets compete at Southern Illinois’ Belle-Clair Speedway Friday, April 20 and again on Saturday, April 21 at Federated Auto Parts Raceway in Pevely, Missouri.