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Race Recap

Sep 8 - 2020
Read Time 6 Min

Winning Weekend for Toyota

Supra driver Brandon Jones wins the race at Darlington Raceway in his Toyota throwback paint scheme.Winning Weekend for Toyota

Brandon Jones drove his Supra to victory lane in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Darlington while Fredric Aasbo drove his GR Supra to a win at the Formula Drift season kickoff at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway just outside St. Louis. Toyota Top Fuel driver Shawn Langdon won the NHRA U.S. Nationals, while TRD development drivers Cannon McIntosh and Buddy Kofoid found victory lane in USAC competition.

Erik Jones (fourth) drove to a top-five finish to lead Toyota in the NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington Raceway on Sunday evening. Kevin Harvick was the race winner. Kyle Busch led the Toyota Playoff contenders with a seventh-place finish after running in the top-three early in the race, while Denny Hamlin was scored in 13th after also running in the top-three with his JGR teammates much of the race. Martin Truex Jr. led a race-high 196 laps (of 367) and won the first two stages, but was involved in a late-race incident costing him the lead and resulting in a cut down tire. He was forced to pit and finished 22nd.

Martin Truex Jr. won two stages in Sunday night’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway.

“We did almost everything that we went there to do and obviously proud of the guys for bringing a strong Bass Pro Toyota and the execution that we had all night long,” said Truex, following the race. “Everything was rolling along there, and we were in position to have a shot at winning it. Just two guys going for the same spot and that stuff happens in racing. Really proud of the effort and look forward to carrying that speed forward.”

Martin Truex Jr.
Brandon Jones is quickly becoming ‘Mr. Where’d he come from’ in the NASCAR Xfinity Series as he won Saturday afternoon’s annual Throwback race in dramatic fashion at Darlington. Jones was followed to the line by Toyota teammates Riley Herbst, Hamlin and Harrison Burton who finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. 
Brandon Jones passes for the lead and ultimately the victory at Darlington Raceway

“This was an amazing experience for me,” said Jones, following the race. “This is a really big race for us drivers with Throwback Weekend with Robert Huffman’s Toyota scheme. I know that scheme has won a bunch of races, so I’m happy to add to that. It’s really big for the whole group. What a fun day for sure. This was crazy. I never thought that we would be beating Denny Hamlin at Darlington. We just executed this race really well, I felt like. I think that’s what kind of paid off for us.”

Brandon Jones
In Sunday afternoon’s NASCAR Truck Series race, Derek Kraus (second0 not only earned a career-best finish at the track ‘Too Tough to Tame,’ but closed the gap in the Playoff Standings to 10 markers as the series heads to the regular season finale next week. Ben Rhodes was the race winner. Kraus was followed to the line by Toyota Tundra teammates Austin Hill who finished third, Christian Eckes in fifth, Raphaël Lessard in sixth and Stewart Friesen in eighth.
Tundra driver Derek Kraus earned his career-best finish of second in Sunday afternoon’s Truck Series race at Darlington.

“Kind of struggled all day and couldn’t get very good track position,” said Kraus, following the race. “Then at the end, we finally got a little bit of track position. Kevin (Bellicourt, crew chief) and the guys worked on the truck really good. We got a good restart and did everything we needed to do. Then I just got really loose off of two and it was kind of my fault, but we’ll move onto Richmond.”

Derek Kraus
The ARCA Menards Series competed at I-44 Speedway in Missouri where Ty Gibbs finished fourth in the 200-lap race. Sam Mayer drove to the win. 
Langdon capped a dominating weekend by defeating Leah Pruett in the Top Fuel finals to win the 66th annual NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway. Kalitta Motorsports has now won four consecutive U.S. Nationals. J.R. Todd also made it to the final round in Funny Car. Doug Kalitta continues to lead the Top Fuel point standings with five races remaining.
Shawn Langdon wins in Top Fuel at the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.

“When I hit the gas initially, I saw his car shoot out on me and I was letting my car calm down a little bit because it was still smoking the tires,” said Langdon, following the race. “I was reaching over to grab the brake handle to help slow wheel speed down and then I saw him getting in trouble. At that point was when I started to get back on the gas. It was going for a second and I think it dropped a cylinder and it went back up in smoke. At that time, I was waiting for it to calm down again and I could hear him having trouble as he was still trying to get it to recover. At that point, I’m doing anything I can. I’m trying to be easy on the gas because when you smoke the tires, you have to try to treat the gas pedal like it has an egg underneath it, so I was trying to do it, but it was just having none of it. I was just trying to do what I could to get it to the finish line. Luckily, I was able to manage it someway, somehow. It was an exciting one for sure.”

Shawn Langdon

In the season kickoff for Formula Drift, the series competed in a doubleheader at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. New Papadakis Racing teammates, Fredric Aasbo and Ryan Tuerck finished 1-2 in the first night’s races. Tuerck followed his second-place run on Saturday with a third-place finish on Sunday to give him the points lead. 

Fredric Aasbo wins the Formula Drift season kickoff race in St. Louis behind the wheel of his GR Supra.

Toyota-powered drivers swept the weekend’s two USAC events in Sweet Springs, Missouri. On Friday, Cannon McIntosh made a thrilling last-lap pass to win. On Saturday, it was Buddy Kofoid taking top honors.

What’s Next
NASCAR is headed to Richmond Raceway for three races this weekend. The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series will compete in the ToyotaCare 250 Thursday, Sept. 10 at 8 p.m. ET on FS1. The NASCAR Xfinity Series races on Friday at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN. On Saturday night, the Xfinity Series competes for a second time at Richmond Raceway at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, while the NASCAR Cup Series will take center stage at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN to continue the NASCAR Playoffs. 

The ARCA Menards Series is also racing at Toledo Speedway on Saturday, September 12, live on MAVTV at 5 p.m. ET.