History Sets Up Another Toyota Win at Kansas

Denny Hamlin

Getty Denny Hamlin climbs into the No. 11 at Darlington Raceway.

The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs continue at Kansas Speedway on September 11. None of the playoff drivers reached Victory Lane at Darlington Raceway, but history sets up another win by Toyota Racing Development.

The Cup Series has visited Kansas Speedway 33 times with several drivers securing multiple wins. This history includes Toyota Racing drivers winning four of the past six races and five of the past 10. Denny Hamlin has two of these wins, which he secured in 2019 and 2020.

Hamlin actually stands out as the top Toyota option to reach Victory Lane at Kansas Speedway on September 11 for multiple reasons. The first is that he is fresh off a strong performance at Darlington Raceway. He kicked off his playoff schedule by finishing second overall at The Lady in Black after securing nine points in Stage 1.

The other reason is Hamlin’s success at Kansas. He has three wins in 28 starts along with 11 total top-10 finishes. This run includes six top-five finishes since the 2017 season and a fourth-place finish during the AdventHealth 400 on May 15, 2022.

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Other Toyota Racing Development Drivers Can Add Another Win

Kyle Busch

GettyKyle Busch has previous wins at Kansas Speedway.

Hamlin will enter the weekend as one of the favorites to win, especially with Toyota’s strength at intermediate tracks. He won’t be the only member of TRD in the hunt for another win at Kansas Speedway.

This list also includes Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. Both are multi-time winners at Kansas Speedway. The driver of the No. 18 won races in 2016 and 2021 while the driver of the No. 19 swept the 2017 season en route to his first championship.

A win would be massive for both Busch and Truex, albeit for different reasons. Reaching Victory Lane would send Busch to the Round of 12 and add bonus points to his total while moving him one step closer to the championship four.

Truex is not in the playoffs, but a win would help ease some of the pain from a frustrating season full of near-misses and mechanical issues. This includes a mechanical issue that ended his day late in the Southern 500.

Neither Christopher Bell nor Bubba Wallace has won at Kansas Speedway. Though they both have top-10 finishes at the intermediate track. Wallace finished 10th during the AdventHealth 400 in May while Bell finished fifth after winning the pole. Bell also has two other top-10 finishes at Kansas during his career.

The TRD Drivers Will Have 1 Lingering Concern

GettyMartin Truex Jr. experienced a mechanical issue at Darlington Raceway.

While the members of the TRD family will sit near the top of favorites entering the Kansas Speedway weekend, they will still have concerns about one problem that surfaced at Darlington Raceway.

Both Busch and Truex saw their days come to an early end during the final stage of the Southern 500. The No. 19 Toyota Camry first fell off the pace from the lead with 40 laps remaining. The stock car began overheating after it lost the water pump belt, which sent Truex to the garage.

Busch took over the lead, but he experienced problems of his own during the caution laps. Smoke began billowing out from under the No. 18 with fewer than 30 laps remaining, which sent Busch to the garage. The issue was a valve train failure.

Toyota does not know the cause of these issues, but the OEM is on a mission to figure out the problem. Officials have taken the No. 18 and the No. 19 to the Toyota Racing Development USA headquarters in Costa Mesa, Cali., to examine the vehicles further.

The mechanical issues will be a lingering concern as the playoffs continue, but the drivers will have to put them out of their minds and focus on the task at hand until Toyota Racing Development can provide some concrete answers.

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