HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Nov. 15, 2019) – Toyota ended the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) season in familiar fashion at Homestead-Miami Speedway, earning the 11th manufacturer’s championship – a high for any manufacturer in the series. It marked the manufacturer’s sixth title in the last seven years as Tundra drivers captured wins in 12 of 23 races in 2019.
"The success Toyota has had this year is just another testament to the hard work and dedication of our teams and drivers – whether it’s our young, up-and-coming drivers or veterans like Kyle Busch," said Paul Doleshal, group manager of motorsports and asset management for Toyota Motor North America (TMNA). "The Truck Series has a long history of producing some of the best racing in NASCAR and we’re proud to be able to continue to showcase the Tundra and to add another manufacturer’s championship to its name."
Five Tundra drivers contributed victories en route to this year’s NGOTS manufacturer’s championship with Toyota drivers combining to win 12 races and lead 1,164 laps in 2019. In five Truck Series appearances, Kyle Busch went undefeated while former Cup Series driver, Greg Biffle, made his first Truck Series start in nearly 15 years, driving his Tundra to Victory Lane in Texas. Three Tundra drivers also collected their first career Truck Series victories, including Austin Hill (four wins), Todd Gilliland (one), and NGOTS Rookie of the Year Tyler Ankrum (one), adding to Toyota’s winning tradition.
Since joining the series in 2004, Toyota has won 191 Truck Series races and captured 152 poles in 381 races. In addition to this year’s title, Toyota also claimed manufacturer championships in 2006 (12 wins); 2007 (13 wins); 2008 (13 wins); 2009 (14 wins); 2010 (15 wins); 2013 (13 wins); 2014 (18 wins), 2015 (14 wins), 2016 (14 wins) and 2017 (12 wins).
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (November 15, 2019) – Tundra driver Austin Hill was victorious in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday evening. Toyota also captured its 11th manufacturer’s championship while Kyle Busch Motorsports claims the seventh owner’s championship.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series
Race 23 of 23 – 134 Laps, 201 Miles
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, AUSTIN HILL
2nd, Matt Crafton*
3rd, CHRISTIAN ECKES
4th, Ross Chastain*
5th, Brett Moffitt*
8th, TODD GILLILAND
13th, HARRISON BURTON
16th, TANNER GRAY
20th, NATALIE DECKER
22nd, TYLER ANKRUM
25th, DANNY BOHN
32nd, ANTHONY ALFREDO
- Austin Hill captured his fourth career Truck Series victory as the Tundra driver led a race-high 56 laps (of 134) in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
- Christian Eckes (third) and Todd Gilliland (eighth) also finished in the top 10 in Friday evening’s race.
- Toyota earned its 11th manufacturer’s championship and its sixth title in the last seven years as Tundra drivers captured wins in 12 of 23 races in 2019.
- Since joining the series in 2004, Toyota has won 191 Truck Series races and captured 152 poles in 381 races.
- Tundra driver Tyler Ankrum earned 2019 NGOTS Rookie of the Year honors with one win, three top fives and eight top-10 finishes.
- Eckes secured the seventh owner’s championship for Kyle Busch Motorsports as the No. 51 Tundra finished in third.
AUSTIN HILL, No. 16 Chiba Toyopet Toyota Tundra, Hattori Racing Enterprises
Finishing Position: 1st
How special is this win?
"I just have to give it all to my guys. This is probably the best truck that I’ve had. I know we were really good at Vegas, but man, this thing was good. At Vegas we were on a different tire strategy than other guys, but we weren’t this time and we just showed then how good we actually were. I’m excited for the win, but at the same time it stings a little bit because I know if we would have been a little better in the Round of 6, we could be celebrating a win and a championship. I can’t thank everybody on this team enough. Can’t thank Chiba Toyopet, Toyota, TRD enough. With this win we locked up the manufacturer’s championship for Toyota so I’m really glad that I could be a part of that and help that out. Awesome way to end the season."
How strong was your truck in tonight’s race?
"This truck was on rails all night. Just a little on the tight side. Scott (Zipadelli, crew chief) made some awesome adjustments there and got the truck a little bit better. We were good all night. That pit stop, I kind of took it a little too easy coming down the pit road and I think that kind of hurt us a little bit on coming out third. I had to work extra hard to get back up there and get back to the lead. Can’t thank Toyota enough. Chiba Toyotapet – this Toyota Tundra was really good all night long. TRD and United Rentals – can’t thank those guys enough. To be able to win this race and lock down the Toyota manufacturer championship means a lot to me so I’m glad I could help Toyota out with that."
What is it like to have a truck so strong that no one can get around you?
"That’s what we focused on all practice long. Last year they were pretty good running the bottom with Brett (Moffitt). That’s all we focused on. We moved up to the top a few times throughout practice just to see what it would do up there, but it didn’t fire off the best for like five laps and then all of the sudden whenever the tire wear started coming in, everybody else was dropping like flies and we could just keep wrapping that bottom. Anytime I wanted to roll the bottom or roll the very top, I could and make speed. And run the same times on the top or bottom. This truck was really good tonight, that’s all I can say."
CHRISTIAN ECKES, No. 51 Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 3rd
You locked up the owner’s championship for Kyle Busch with a third-place finish. Talk about your run.
"I struggled for most of the race honestly. This place is really tough. It got a little better there out front. Rudy (Fugle, crew chief) made a great call. We were able to lead some laps and come home third. It’s awesome to get another championship for these guys. I’m just ready for 2020.
You will be full-time with Kyle Busch Motorsports. Talk about what you are most looking forward to.
"Hopefully this. It is a lot of fun with these guys. It’s always fun when you have fast trucks. I’m just looking forward to being able to celebrate with my guys."
TYLER ANKRUM, No. 17 RAILBLAZA Toyota Tundra, DGR-Crosley
Finishing Position: 26th
Congrats on the Rookie of the Year season. Talk about your season as a whole.
"It was an up-and-down season. We had a lot of great success. We ran top five a handful of times, and we won at Kentucky, which was huge for DGR-Crosley. Huge for Toyota and huge for myself."
— Toyota —