Toyota not commenting on MWR penalties: Toyota has elected not to release a statement regarding the recent NASCAR sanctions against Michael Waltrip Racing stemming from what NASCAR vice president Robin Pemberton characterized as an attempt "to manipulate the outcome of the race" at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night. On Thursday, Ed Laukes, vice president for marketing communications and motorsports with Toyota Auto Sales, said the manufacturer's "focus was on the three drivers remaining in the Chase" — #20-Matt Kenseth, #18-Kyle Busch and #15-Clint Bowyer. "As far as the Waltrip organization goes, absolutely nothing's changed with us," Laukes said. "We're not going to really talk about it — we're just going to focus on exactly where we're at with our three guys. I think, at the end of the day, we have to look at how we support our teams, and what happened in this situation is really between Michael Waltrip Racing and NASCAR. It's unfortunate, but it's part of the sport. There's a long history, long before Toyota got into the sport, of things that happened, and it's really between Michael Waltrip racing and NASCAR. At this point we just have to stay focused on everything that's going on with the three guys and try to get a first Sprint Cup championship for Toyota."(Fox Sports)(9-12-2013)
TRD increases power in some engines: A week after decreasing power in favor of durability, Toyota Racing Development is adjusting engines on some of the six Sprint Cup cars it supplies to recapture speed. Joe Gibbs Racing's #11-Denny Hamlin, who needs to win races to become a Chase contender after missing four races with a back injury, in particular will get more power. "Hamlin will be a little more full blown," Jimmy Makar, vice president for race operations at JGR, told ESPN.com on Friday. TRD, which builds engines for JGR and Michael Waltrip Racing, took a more conservative path with its engines at Pocono after blowing two engines the week before at Dover and three in two weeks. MWR will stay with last week's engine package on the cars of #15-Clint Bowyer and #56-Martin Truex Jr., but Mark Martin's #55 will be "all out," according to crew chief Rodney Childers. Makar said JGR will use several packages between #18-Kyle Busch, Hamlin and #20-Matt Kenseth in an attempt to find the right mix before the Chase.(ESPN)(6-14-2013)
TRD Provides More Power For Michigan: Drivers for Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing should have a little more horsepower this weekend at Michigan International Speedway after suffering no issues with their toned-down engines at Pocono, a Toyota Racing Development official told Motor Racing Network on Tuesday. TRD reduced horsepower in its engines at Pocono Raceway after suffering three failures the previous two races. While all those engines made it to the end Sunday, Pocono marked the first time this season that a TRD engine did not place in the top five. Kyle Busch was the top finisher, in sixth place. "We may have been a bit too conservative at Pocono," said David Wilson, TRD's acting president and general manager. "We still need to look at some parts and pieces before we pull the trigger, but we certainly don’t anticipate stepping back any further. Our target is to start clawing back one weekend at a time." Wilson said preliminary inspections by TRD officials on the Pocono engines showed no valve train issues, which had been a concern. "Michigan will be another test, but the good news is we continue to make some headway back home in the shop," he said. "Any performance changes are going to be in the right direction."(see full report at Motor Racing Network)(6-12-2013)
Toyota dialing back its Sprint Cup engines for two races: Nearly all of Toyota's Sprint Cup crew chiefs and drivers gathered on leather couches in the back room of the manufacturer's mobile headquarters Friday morning at Pocono Raceway. It was the first meeting chaired by David Wilson since his appointment as acting president and general manager of Toyota Racing Development, yet this wasn't a perfunctory get-to-know-you affair. With Toyota's engines failing at an alarming rate, including those in the Camrys of Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr. last week at Dover International Speedway, the subject matter was serious: How to improve reliability without dialing back performance. Starting with Sunday at Pocono Raceway and continuing next week at Michigan International Speedway, Toyota will be more conservative with its tuning at two superspeedways known for putting heavy stress on engines.(USA Today)(6-8-2013)
TRD's President Lee White to Retire at End of Season UPDATE: TRD, USA (Toyota Racing Development) President Lee White announced that he has elected to retire at the end of the 2013 race season. Due to family health care needs, White will step down from his daily duties and will vacate the position of president and general manager of TRD, effective immediately. "I have been planning and working toward retirement at the end of this race season in December," he said. "I have been offered and accepted an opportunity to perform a reduced amount of duties from my home office. This generous arrangement afforded to us by the company will allow me to attend to personal family priorities."
White has been with TRD for over 15 years and held responsibility for all TRD activities in North America, including: engine development, manufacturing, chassis design and development, team and manufacturer relationships, manufacturer and sanctioning body relations as well as engineering support for Toyota teams participating in National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), United States Auto Club (USAC), National Hot Rod Association, Grand-Am and Off-Road competition.
Prior to joining Toyota in 1997, White began his career in racing with LeeCo Engineering as an owner, driver and engineer. He served as manager and engineer for Read Racing Engines and later became team manager and engineer for Herman Miller Porsche Racing. He has since held positions as general manager and engineer for Roush Racing, Rocketsports Racing and Newman Haas Racing.
Throughout his career, White has participated in programs totaling approximately 1000 individual race victories and 250 championships. He is also a private, instrument-rated pilot, aircraft tuner and holder of two U.S. National and World F.I.A. speed records. "Lee has contributed enormously to Toyota Motorsports in his 1 5 years with TRD. His leadership has resulted in victories and championships in a broad spectrum of racing series." said Toyota Group Vice President and General Manager Bill Fay. "He's had an impressive career and his day-to-day leadership will be missed. We offer Lee and Lynn our support and best wishes."
White will continue as a Special Advisor to TRD and Toyota Motorsports until his planned retirement at the end of the season. Assignment of his duties will be determined shortly.(Toyota Racing)(6-4-2013)
UPDATE: TRD, USA (Toyota Racing Development) announced that Senior Vice President David Wilson, is named acting president & general manager of TRD effective immediately. In this role, David will be responsible for all of TRD's day-to-day operations and activities. These include engineering, manufacturing, engine build and supply chain management. Wilson also will continue in his role as SVP for TRD's administration, finance and facilities department.(TRD)(6-6-2013)
TRD focuses on durability of parts: Toyota Racing Development will introduce upgraded engine parts and make adjustments in power for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway to ensure durability moving forward. TRD had engine failures in the cars of contending drivers Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr. last weekend at Dover International Speedway. That brought their total for the season to six, two more than the Ford engines and four more than the Chevrolet engines. TRD senior vice president David Wilson told ESPN.com on Tuesday that four of the failures -- including both at Dover and one the previous week at Charlotte -- were related to the valve train. "We probably pushed a little too hard and we need to put margin back into our engines," Wilson said by phone from TRD headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif. "What we're doing and focusing on is durability. I have the entire group at TRD putting performance stuff on the backburner and focusing on nothing but durability."(full story at ESPN.com)(6-5-2013)
TRD Racing SVP Talks Engine Trouble: David Wilson, Senior Vice President of Toyota Racing Development, joined co-host Danielle Trotta on tonight’s edition of NASCAR Race Hub on SPEED to talk about the recent engine trouble hampering Toyota’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race teams. He talked about some of the early season difficulties and how the manufacturer, working with the teams, is remedying the situation. Here is what Wilson had to say…
Danielle Trotta: You’ve described the problems that we’ve seen in the first two races as an emotionally charged issue, what has the past few weeks been like for you and TRD?
David Wilson: Certainly, the last thing you want to do is start off the season by digging a hole for any of your drivers. It’s our responsibility to give them enough trouble-free weekends and build that confidence back up. I feel the most for Kyle (Busch) because purely by circumstance, purely by misfortune, he’s suffered the most amongst all of our drivers in the past couple of years. We likely cost him (Kyle) a shot in The Chase last year. We all know how well he ran during those last 10 races, and we’ve all done the math there. First a foremost, is to first ‘man up’ and take responsibility, and try and give them the confidence that we are going to get this sorted, and we are going to put them in position to win races, which we know our equipment is capable of.
Trotta: When you experience problems like this in the first two weeks of the season, I know you are already at the track; do you increase personnel at the track or back in California in any way, when you’re going through something like this?
Wilson: Absolutely, it’s a great question. We typically do (have more people) at Daytona anyway because it is our Super Bowl. Coming there, with the new ‘Gen 6’ Toyota Camry, it is all hands on deck, so we staffed up specifically for that. Given the fact that we did have some issues at Daytona, we did bring out a couple more engineers, a couple more technicians, which was made a lot easier because we are out here on the West Coast. We have plenty of hands and plenty of resources at the race tracks to handle these issues as they come up.
Trotta: Moving forward to Vegas, you’ve said that you’ve got enough performance, but what (you) don’t have enough of is margin and safety. That’s where your focus is. Could you explain more about that?
Wilson: As we take our engines to the race track, one of the most important things that we do in developing those engines, is making sure that they do have the reliability and the durability because clearly, if we’re not seeing failures here at the shop, but we’re seeing them at the race track, then we’re not pushing the engines hard enough. Based on what we saw at Phoenix, our engine configuration heading to Vegas is essentially the same as we ran this past weekend. We’re quite comfortable that we’ll not just have some good performances, but good reliability for all of the Toyota teams in Vegas.(SPEED)(3-5-2013)
Windows 8 App Allows TRD to Set the Pace: TRD (Toyota Racing Development) worked with Microsoft Corp. to design a touch-enabled app for Windows 8 as the centerpiece of a new strategy to improve the performance of the Toyota teams competing in NASCAR. When drivers, crew chiefs and team engineers expressed the need for a more mobile computing platform to monitor real-time performance data, TRD answered with the Windows 8 Trackside app running on Surface Pro hardware.
During practice, drivers and crew chiefs previously had to record racing performance data with software on a laptop, or even with pencil and paper, requiring drivers to get out of their race cars to view information about the car’s performance, as well as to explain what was happening on the track.
“Microsoft is excited to work with TRD to design and architect a mobile platform on Windows 8 for Toyota’s NASCAR race teams,” said Jason Campbell, group product marketing manager at Microsoft. “The Trackside app for Windows 8 on Surface Pro allows Toyota teams to spend more time driving and less time in the garage reviewing performance data, with a touch-based mobile tablet that can go from portable note taker to a high-performance monitor in less time than it takes to change even one tire.”
Now with the Windows 8 Trackside app and Surface Pro, the race team can efficiently capture performance data through the touch-based app and share it with the crew in real time, enabling mechanics to immediately get to work fine-tuning the race car for enhanced performance. Trackside also offers touch-enabled data that gives the crew chief and driver insight and analysis on timing and scoring data versus competitors, allowing a team to determine if the right adjustments have been made to the car or what adjustments may need to be made.
“Trackside running on Surface Pro means more time is spent on the track and less time is spent talking,” said Steve Wickham, TRD’s vice president of chassis operations. “Teams are back on the track faster, allowing them more time to determine the optimum setup for the race car. Our mission is to take advantage of the latest innovation in technology to quickly get better data — which translates into faster cars on the track.”
Since 2007, TRD has been developing racing software on the Windows platform for teams to analyze and improve performance, enabling Toyota race teams to be frequent visitors to victory lane and annually compete for series championships. TRD differentiates itself within the hypercompetitive racing business through technology innovation. Today, RAB Racing with Brack Maggard is one of the first Toyota teams in the NASCAR Nationwide Series to use the new Trackside solution.
“For Toyota teams to finish first on the track, we must also be the first to innovate our technologies behind the scenes,” said Darren Jones, group lead for software development at TRD. “We chose Windows 8 because we get enterprise-ready security and management, the familiarity of the Windows development environment, and a fully capable touch-enabled interface.”
When it came to choosing a device, TRD wanted a high-performance, lightweight, touch-enabled computer to complement the fast-paced environment at the race track. Several tablets were tested during the pilot phase, but Surface Pro was ultimately chosen because it delivered the power and performance of a laptop PC in a tablet package, as well as the hardware benefits of its unique Touch Covers and durable VaporMg chassis to protect the tablet from hazardous track environments. Surface Pro allows drivers and crew to use the device as a tablet or laptop, and its excellent screen visibility in outdoor lighting is essential when working at the race track.
“Working together with TRD and Microsoft, RAB Racing tested the Windows 8 Trackside app at the end of last season and found it to be an extremely useful tool for our organization,” said Robbie Benton, owner, RAB Racing with Brack Maggard. “This year with a rookie driver Alex Bowman, we need to get him as much time as possible on the race track to make sure we prepare good race cars for him. The Trackside app will help us accomplish both of those goals, and help our race team be better.”
More information about how organizations are turning to Microsoft technology is available on the Microsoft Customer Spotlight newsroom.(more info at microsoft.com.(2-25-2013)
New Look Ready For “Sixth Generation” 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Car: NASCAR unveiled a new look for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car, an integral and exciting step in the rollout process of the sixth generation race car. “These changes are an extension of the unprecedented collaboration with the auto manufacturers on the 2013 car, great industry feedback and our focus on increasing fan affinity as part of NASCAR’s Industry Action Plan,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations, who introduced the new design at Homestead-Miami Speedway today. The sixth-generation car look will debut with the opening of the 2013 Speedweeks, highlighted by the 55th running of the Daytona 500 on February 24 at Daytona International Speedway. Among the updates:
· The driver’s last name featured on the windshield;
Sponsor decals will not be permitted on the headlights and taillights, two key distinguishing characteristics of the auto manufacturers’ brand;
Car numbers will be moved from the lights to the front and rear bumpers;
A single sponsor logo will be permitted on the roof under the number;
Team sponsor decals will be permitted to extend past the front edge of the b-post;
“Step and repeat” / background patterns will be permitted on the sides of the car;
Due to the slightly smaller car, the car number will be reduced by 10% and the contingency decals will be reduced to 26 square inches.
See larger color diagrams for the 2013 Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry on my 2013 car images page. The new Chevrolet will be unveiled on Thursday, Nov. 29, in Las Vegas during NASCAR Champion’s Week.(NASCAR)(11-17-2012)
Toyota not happy with Kyle Busch's Dover comments: UPDATE: After leading - by far - the most laps in Sunday's AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway, #18Kyle Busch was forced to make a late pit stop under green flag conditions in order to make it to the end of the race. The stop cost him the win and he finished seventh, one lap down. Only six cars, including winner Brad Keselowski, finished on the lead lap. As he crossed the finish line, Busch let loose a short, vulgarity-laced tirade over his team radio directed at Toyota Racing Development, claiming the in-house tuning shop for all Toyota cars had cost him and his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team "another one." On Wednesday, Lee White, TRD president, took issue with Busch's comments. "We're as frustrated as he was that he didn't win that race considering how many laps he led, considering he and Denny (Hamlin) both literally dominated the race. We're as disappointed as he was. However, we've got used to saying 'That's just Kyle, you know' But this is a bit of a special case," White said. "We're extremely disappointed in his negative comments and the tone of the comments after the event. It is under discussion as we move forward. We certainly are very disappointed, having said that, Kyle is an amazing talent in a race car and he takes it very personally when something goes wrong and he loses a race he thinks he should have won. I look forward to take it up with coach (Joe) Gibbs and see if we can't do something to sort it out so that we have a better working relationship in the future. I am confident that we will."(Charlotte Observer)(10-4-2012)
UPDATE: The following statements are from Kyle Busch, Lee White, Joe Gibbs, and Ed Laukes regarding the conclusion of last Sunday's NSACAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover:
Kyle Busch, Driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry: "I made some remarks out of frustration on my radio at the end of last weekend's race in Dover that were very misguided. I owe my friends at Toyota and TRD an apology. We have a great partnership with TRD and they built me a motor that helped me lead over 300 laps and nearly lap the field. It's just frustrating that the caution fell where it did and suddenly it became a fuel mileage race and we were set up for maximum horsepower. Obviously, that worked well for most of the day and you can't control when the cautions will fall. I think we have a great partnership with TRD and we will continue to communicate with them on what our team is looking for. I'm looking forward to getting down to Talladega this weekend and focusing on the race."
Lee White, President and General Manager, TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development): "We understand Kyle's passion for racing -- and winning. At TRD and Toyota, we have that same zeal for racing -- and winning. We were disappointed with Kyle's post-race comments from Dover -- a race that he dominated. Kyle's had a frustrating year with several car and engine mechanical failures which were not his responsibility, and we're working extremely hard on our end to improve our products and processes. We will continue to address these issues, but we're ready to put this behind us and move forward with the remainder of the season, including the Toyota drivers battling for the championship."
Joe Gibbs, Team Owner, Joe Gibbs Racing: "We have a great relationship with Toyota and obviously they are a major part of everything we do at Joe Gibbs Racing. Toyota is first class in every aspect of their company and they share our passion for winning. It has been a frustrating season for Kyle in many ways when you think about some of the issues we've had with that 18 team this year and obviously some of those frustrations carried over to his finish last week in Dover. We were able to lead over 300 laps, but unfortunately the cautions didn't fall our way and certainly you can understand the frustration of having to give up the lead late in the race. However, Kyle recognizes that his comments and the tone of his comments were misguided. We've been able to work through this issue and I think everyone is ready to get back to the focus being on racing and Talladega."
Ed Laukes, Vice President of Marketing Communications & Motorsports, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.: "We've had a fabulous relationship with Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing over the last five years. Kyle is a talented driver who wins races and can compete for championships, and he is a very important part of the Toyota brand. We look forward to a long-term relationship with Kyle and Joe Gibbs Racing for years to come."(Toyota/Gibbs PR)(10-4-2012)
Changes coming to roll cages in 2013: NASCAR has issued technical bulletins in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series that address a safety enhancement to the driver's roll cage and will take effect beginning in January 2013. The cars in both series will feature an additional forward roof bar and a center roof support bar that will intersect near the front center of the roll cage. This addition comes following extensive testing at the NASCAR Research & Development Center and is an effort to strengthen the roll cage and help make it an even safer compartment for the driver.(NASCAR)(9-15-2012)
Some planned 2013 car testing: Teams say Detroit car makers have yet to release any of the 2013 steel body sheet metal. So crew chiefs say the upcoming tests could be all but meaningless, since drivers will be driving cars with plastic-molded bodies, with much different center-of-gravity than the real race cars will have. "Detroit, and that whole 2013 project, is way behind," one top crew chief says. "So at those tests, we'll all be running just 'show cars'"
The test schedule for the 2013 cars:
-- Talladega SuperSpeedway will host a big 2013 car test Oct. 3rd, the day before that track opens for the Talladega 500 chase race. That will be a good look at what to expect in next season's Daytona 500 (Feb. 24th). Tires are not expected to be an issue at either Talladega or Daytona with the new 2013s.
-- Texas Motor Speedway will have a big two-day test Oct. 9th and 10th, which will be a key test for the sport's nine mid-sized tracks, a test of both tires and aerodynamics.
-- Phoenix International Raceway will have a big two-day test Oct. 24th and 25th, another test of both tires and aero.
-- And there will be a major tire design test at Charlotte Motor Speedway Nov. 6th and 7th. Goodyear will be testing 'fundamentals' at Charlotte, in a wide-ranging session.(MikeMulhern.net)(9-9-2012)
NASCAR schedules tests for 2013 cars - fans can watch: NASCAR Sprint Cup teams will have the 2013 model for an Aug. 7-8 test at Martinsville Speedway that is aimed at rules tweaks to make the cars lighter and help Goodyear develop tires with more grip to improve racing. The 2013 car also will be tested Oct. 4 at Talladega Superspeedway, Oct. 9-10 at Texas Motor Speedway and Oct. 18 at Kansas Speedway. Dodge is taking part in the tests. The manufacturer hasn't announced any replacements for Penske Racing, which will join Ford next year.(USA Today)(8-1-2012)
UPDATE: Martinsville Speedway's grandstands will be open to fans free-of-charge for an August 7 and 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup Goodyear tire test at the historic half-mile oval. The test will feature the new 2013 Sprint Cup cars. The test session will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, with an hour break at noon. Gates will open at 8 a.m. each of the two days and will remain open until 5 p.m. Restrooms will be open both days, but concession stands will not be operating. Fans may bring refreshments into the grandstands.(Martinsville Speedway)(8-4/7-2012)
UPDATE 2: drivers testing at Martinsville include Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick for Chevy; Martin Truex Jr, for Toyota; and Carl Edwards for Ford. With two cars from each manufacturer.(8-7-2012)
OEM meet targets for 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Car: Based upon the final aerodynamic test results from July 18, NASCAR has announced that all four of its Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have met the necessary targets for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race car. This represents another step forward in the new car process and means manufacturers can begin making parts and pieces for the new models. The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car is the result of more than two years of collaborative efforts between the manufacturers and NASCAR. With goals of enhancing product relevance, featuring race cars that more closely resemble their respective manufacturer models on the showroom floor, and building upon the highly competitive racing the series features, the roll out of the new car is highly anticipated by NASCAR fans.
The four new models – Chevrolet’s SS, Dodge’s Charger, Ford’s Fusion and Toyota’s Camry – will make their race debuts next February at Daytona International Speedway, with the first championship points event being the 55th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 24, 2013.
“We commend the manufacturers and our team at the R&D center on all the hard work they’ve put into this new car,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. “With all the designs and surface areas of the car now approved, manufacturers can now move forward with building the components needed to outfit their cars. The wind tunnel testing we’ve had with the manufacturers over the past several months has given us the timely and necessary data we needed to come to this confirmation. We believe the new car is going to be a milestone opportunity for our sport, one that our fans will embrace.”(NASCAR)(7-30-2012)
NASCAR to test new 2013 cars: NASCAR is closing in on approving the 2013 Sprint Cup cars. The sanctioning body could sign off on the new models as early as next week. NASCAR has a two-day wind tunnel test scheduled at AeroDyn in Mooresville, N.C., for July 2 and 3. All four manufacturers will put their body panels over a uniform chassis provided by NASCAR. Each of the manufacturers - Chevy, Ford, Dodge and Toyota - will be expected to hit the established target numbers for drag and downforce with their cars. "Hopefully, when we go there we'll be able to complete the (development) process and then the manufacturers can start building parts and teams can start building cars for 2013," said NASCAR template manager Billy Berkheimer. Pat Suhy, General Motors Racing NASCAR group manager, says the tooling process for the sheet metal will take about six weeks to complete. Teams are already working on the green area of the car or the area over the cockpit. Suhy added that the new cars will all participate in an upcoming Goodyear tire test in August. Going forward, only the new cars will be used during testing.(Fox Sports)(6-26-2012)
2013 NASCAR Toyota Camry Introduced, images posted: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) and TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development) formally introduced the new 2013 Toyota Camry that will compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) beginning next season at TRD's Salisbury, N.C. facility.
The introduction of the new 2013 Camry for NASCAR competition marked the culmination of an aggressive redesign to provide the 2013 Camry with an updated and more-unique identity. TRD worked together with Calty Design, part of Toyota's global network design team, to create an on-track Camry that incorporates design elements which give America's best-selling car its distinct character.
"We're thrilled to finally unveil our new 2013 Camry and we think NASCAR fans will really appreciate that our new on-track Camry looks like the one in their driveways," said Ed Laukes, TMS vice president of marketing communications and motorsports. "Our 2013 Camry looks more like the production vehicle than ever before, and we hope this helps revitalize the long- standing relationship between fans and manufacturers in NASCAR. Never before have we had a Camry competing in NASCAR that looked so similar to its production counterpart."
A new front grill-area that matches the production model, distinct character lines down the side of the vehicle and an updated rear bumper make the redesigned 2013 Camry stock car more relevant than ever before to its showroom sibling.
"We're extremely proud of the new Camry and the development of the car was truly a unique process," said Lee White, president and general manager of TRD. "NASCAR and all four manufacturers were brought together to guide the direction of the new cars. We all worked together to put the 'S' back in NASCAR -- we all wanted race cars that look more like our stock, production models -- and together we accomplished that. Our new Camry for 2013 is a great looking race car. Everyone at Toyota is eager to have our drivers in a race car that more resembles the street Camry."
For 10 straight years, and 14 of the past 15 years, the Toyota Camry has been the best-selling car in America. Built at Toyota manufacturing facilities in Georgetown, Kentucky and Lafayette, Indiana, the 2012 Toyota Camry was recently named the 'Best Redesigned Vehicle' by Kelley Blue Book. In addition, the Camry has been named the 'Most American Car' by Cars.com's American-Made Index for three consecutive years.
In an effort to create more distinct and stock vehicles for the race track, NASCAR worked together with the four series manufacturers to determine what areas were either 'locked in' or 'open' for unique design. NASCAR also allowed for the exchange of glass for solid body pieces.
"When everyone at Toyota first saw the design of the 2013 Camry, the first reaction was, 'They're actually going to let you race a car that looks like that?'," said Andy Graves, TRD's vice president of chassis engineering. "That just demonstrates how excited everyone was about the new design of the Camry stock car."
The new 2013 Toyota Camry will make its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at Daytona International Speedway's 'Speedweeks' in February.(Toyota Racing Development)(5-22-2012)
JTG & JGR also re-sign with Toyota: Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and JTG Daugherty Racing announced new multiyear extensions with Toyota on Tuesday. Lee White, the president of Toyota Racing Development, said all three teams will be with Toyota "for a long time to come." The announcement was made at TRD's Salisbury, N.C., shop where the re-designed 2013 Camry was introduced. It came amid speculation that Dodge, which loses anchor Penske Racing to Ford after this season, might target JGR. White admitted that one of Toyota's organizations was "ripe for the picking by one of our fellow manufacturers." "All have agreements with Toyota and TRD that extend beyond two more years," White said. "Rest assured, we enjoy our partners, we value our partners, and we expect to be competing with our partners on this dance floor for a long time." JGR owner Joe Gibbs said he never had conversations with Dodge.(ESPN)(5-23-2012)
Michael Waltrip Racing, Toyota Racing Extend Partnership: Michael Waltrip Racing announced a multi-year contract extension with TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development) to keep the organization in the Toyota camp for years to come. MWR and Toyota entered Sprint Cup Racing - NASCAR’s premier division - together in 2007. MWR currently fields three NASCAR Sprint Cup teams and is enjoying its best season with Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer in the top 10 in NASCAR Sprint Cup driver points and all three of its cars in the top 12 in owner points. MWR Toyotas have earned three poles and seven top-fives in the first 11 races in 2012.
“Toyota has been the cornerstone of MWR,” said co-owner Michael Waltrip. “They took a chance on us in 2007 and together we have matured into who we are today. It was an honor to be part of the freshman class. Knowing we will be with Toyota for the next several years gives our drivers, our team members and our sponsors a sense of stability and confidence. MWR will be able to continue its competitive rise because we are insured Toyota’s tier one level resources. Toyota is a partner in the truest sense of the word.”
“For us, this is a vote of confidence that we are making positive moves towards a championship,” said MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman. “There is more work to do and with Toyota’s long-term support, it helps us make longer term decisions for the betterment of the business.”
“We look forward to continuing our relationship with Michael Waltrip Racing -- a member of our ‘freshman class’ from 2007,” said Lee White, TRD’s president and general manager. "MWR has steadily grown into a championship-caliber race team, and the team is now stronger than it’s ever been. We’re extremely proud of all the team's accomplishments, and we look forward to much more success together.” TRD will continue to provide MWR engines from its facility in Costa Mesa, Calif., as well as chassis engineering support from its state-of-the-art facility in Salisbury, N.C.(MWR)(5-22-2012)
JGR close to extension with Toyota: Joe Gibbs Racing plans to sign a long-term extension with Toyota within the next month, ending any speculation it could move to Dodge. "We're working on that," JGR president J.D. Gibbs told ESPN.com on Sunday after Denny Hamlin's victory at Kansas Speedway. "We'll be with Toyota for a long time to come." Dodge has been looking for a team to anchor its 2013 program since Penske Racing announced earlier this year it would leave the manufacturer for Ford next season. JGR, since its contract with Toyota is up after this season and because the organization has the infrastructure to build its own engines, became a natural target. Gibbs said that is not a consideration (ESPN)(4-23-2012)
Toyota to unveil 2013 Camry: On May 22 at TRD (Toyota Racing Development) U.S.A. in Salisbury, N.C., reporters will get their first look at the new Camry to be raced by Toyota teams in 2013. Ford and Dodge already have revealed their 2013 Fusion and Charger, respectively. Chevrolet has yet to schedule the unveiling of its 2013 race car.(NASCAR Wire Service)(4-21-2012)
Toyota president takes laps around Daytona in 2013 Toyota: On Saturday morning, Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corporation and grandson of the company's founder (they changed the "d" to a "t" in the title for the sake of better sales), did some hot laps with Kyle Busch in an early version of what will become the overhauled 2013 Camry stock car. First he rode while Busch drove. Then they swapped spots. Over the next year Toyota is expected to roll out as many as a dozen new designs, as Toyoda says, "something we can get excited about, with some emotional value to it." The flagship of that fleet will be a revamped Camry, conveniently coinciding with the rollout of the new NASCAR Sprint Cup cars in 2013, cars much more akin to their street inspirations. "Although we didn't show it today," he explained through an interpreter, "our styling, we really want to make it look like a Camry. I really hope that the fans of NASCAR will love it."(ESPN.com)(2-28-2012)
2013 cars to be tested at Homestead: UPDATES: All four 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car models are scheduled to be tested at Homestead-Miami Speedway February 1st…in a test that will apparently be closed. That may be the first time crewmen get to see all four models. Why is NASCAR, and its big marketing operation, taking such seemingly a low-keyed approach? Apparently because the sanctioning body has not yet 'aero-matched' the four models in the wind tunnel. Ford is billing its new model as a Fusion (not Mustang, as once planned), and when the car maker officially unveiled its 2013 street version, it was then free to take the wraps off the NASCAR version – which is decidedly different from the current Sprint Cup model, the still controversial and not greatly liked by many car-of-tomorrow. Chevrolet, for example, still hasn't officially named its model for its 2013 NASCAR Cup racer.(MikeMulhern.net)(1-25-2012)
UPDATE: #5-Kasey Kahne tweeted that he will be participating in the test. No other drivers have been announced.(2-1-2012)
UPDATE 2: #18-Kyle Busch (Toyota), #17-Matt Kenseth (Ford), and Sam Hornish, Jr. (Dodge) are also participating.(PRN Garage Pass)(2-1-2012)
NASCAR moving forward with 2013 cars: The 2012 season hasn't even started, but the move toward new car models in 2013 is well under way. Manufacturers that compete in NASCAR's premier series have targeted next year to roll out new vehicles that will provide the carmakers with more brand identity on the race track. That process will gain speed during the next month or so, beginning with wind-tunnel tests and eventually an on-track session sometime later in 2012, according to the sanctioning body. "We'll be in the wind tunnel over the next 30, 45 days with the new prototypes as we do our evaluations on the submission cars, parts and pieces," Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president for competition, said Friday at Preseason Thunder. "Everybody seems to be pretty far along, and the changes that will come out of those will be based on parity due to the wind-tunnel numbers. We're optimistic that there will be some real race cars on race tracks probably in the second quarter this year doing some evaluation runs, if not before then. NASCAR president Mike Helton praised the cooperation between the carmakers, which decided with the sanctioning body's blessing to redesign the cars for next season.(NASCAR.com)(1-14-2012)
Toyota Racing announces Sponsafier winner: Toyota Racing awarded the grand prize to "AJBULOWSCAR" in the fourth round of its popular Sponsafier contest, where fans could design and enter their own NASCAR Sprint Cup car at www.ToyotaRacing.com from June 5 to Aug. 28 to win a visit from their favorite Toyota NASCAR driver. The winning artwork, created by David Bulow of San Jose, Calif., triumphed over more than 26,000 entries and will be brought to life at Phoenix International Raceway — a #18 Camry sporting the "AJBULOWSCAR" paint scheme was on display at the SPEED stage. Toyota Racing launched the inaugural Sponsafier contest at the 2010 Daytona 500. Since then, four rounds of the contest have resulted in more than 200,000 design submissions and over two million public votes. Artwork has ranged from marriage proposal cars and patriotic racers to cause-related designs. "AJUBLOWSCAR" joins the ranks of previous Sponsafier grand prize winners "Praying for Karson," "Lou Gehrig aka ALS" and "Chelsea's Hope."
Bulow created the paint scheme based on design input from his six-year-old son, AJ. The young NASCAR enthusiast instructed his dad on everything from the racing flames to the checkered flag on the car's rear bumper. The car features a photo of AJ piloting Kyle Busch's #18 Camry along each side. The Bulow family previously sent the photo to Busch and it was returned autographed. AJ has been hooked on NASCAR and an avid fan ever since.(more info at Toyota Racing)(11-14-2011)
Toyota shut out of championships: per SPEED's Tom Jensen, "This is the first time since 2005 that Toyota has been totally shut out in driver and manufacturer championships in NASCAR's top 3 series."(11-7-2011)
Toyota to announce new Camry: UPDATE: Toyota is scheduled to introduce the completely redesigned 2012 Camry on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 beginning at 1:00 pm/et. This first-of-its-kind webcast reveal for Toyota will include a presentation by Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager, live from Hollywood, and a visit to the Camry plant in Georgetown, Ky. to view the first vehicle coming off the assembly line. In addition, a special NASCAR-related announcement will be made as part of the program. Toyota is engaging the public in this unique event by offering consumers the opportunity to view the program live on Toyota.com and, following the webcast, Bob Carter will be hosting a TweetChat via Twitter at 4:00 pm/et.(Toyota)(8-22-2011)
UPDATE: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. and Daytona International Speedway announced the all-new 2012 Toyota Camry will serve as the official pace car for next year’s DAYTONA 500. Toyota will showcase the new Camry -- the best-selling car in America for nine years running -- at Daytona in ‘The Great American Race,’ Feb. 26, 2012.(Toyota PR)(8-23-2011)
Gibbs to close engine shop? UPDATE: hearing that Joe Gibbs Racing [#11, #18, #20] will lay off half their engine shop staff and get engines supplied, supposedly for free, from TRD - Toyota Racing Development. Hearing it is a three year deal, not sure if it starts soon or with the 2012 season. Employee's not laid off will be reassigned within the company, as there are reports that JGR will expand to a fourth team and are in the hunt for Carl Edwards to drive for them in 2012. Edwards is a free agent and currently drives for Roush Fenway Racing in the #99 Ford. Just last week, Toyota'a Lee White told FoxSports: "No, they're not shutting down their engine shop and no we will not be building their engines," White said. "Of course, hell can freeze over and pigs can fly, but not in this world." Currently, the JGR engines would not even fit in the other Toyota cars with their configuration.(7-15-2011)
UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota Research and Development announced Thursday that they are combining their engine efforts in 2012. Officials said there is a chance that JGR cars could use engines out of TRD headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif., before the end of this season, but that the focus is on next year. Economics in part drove the merger. As Lee White, the president of TRG said, "Building for three teams or less is extremely expensive and inefficient." JGR builds all of its engines while the other Toyota teams -- Michael Waltrip Racing and Red Bull Racing -- receive engines from TRD. With JGR looking to expand its Nationwide presence and add a Trucks program, the merger gives the organization more flexibility. With the future of Red Bull Racing in doubt, the addition of JGR also allows TRG to maintain a full workload if Red Bull's organization folds or is moved to another manufacturer with new investors. Gibbs said JGR will maintain its engine shop in Huntersville, N.C., so that it can make any tweaks to the engines it deems necessary and to work on other projects.(ESPN.com) See earlier updates on the #18 team page.(8-11-2011)
The winning car sent in by the Toyota Sponsafier 3 winner, Msgt. Tim Blankenship.
Toyota Racing kicks off Sponsafier 4: Toyota Racing recently announced the fourth round of its popular Sponsafier contest, where fans can design and enter their own Toyota NASCAR Sprint Cup car at toyotaracing.com beginning June 5 until Aug. 28, 2011. Similar to Sponsafier 3, the contest provides one lucky fan the chance at a visit from his or her favorite Toyota NASCAR driver.(Toyota)(6-10-2011)
Grand Prize winner announced for Toyota Sponsafier: Toyota Racing awarded the grand prize to “Chelsea’s Hope” in the third round of its popular Sponsafier contest— where fans could design and enter their own NASCAR Sprint Cup car at www.ToyotaRacing.com from Feb. 14 to March 20, 2011. The design, created by Tim Blankenship of Berkley Springs, W.Va., triumphed over more than 45,000 entries. A #11 Toyota Camry featuring the “Chelsea’s Hope” artwork was unveiled Friday in the Toyota PitPass area at Charlotte Motor Speedway and will be on display for the remainder of the All-Star Race weekend. Sponsafier 3 was introduced with the 60 second “Bromance” TV commercial featuring Kyle Busch during this year’s Daytona 500 broadcast. Two additional TV commercials included Toyota drivers Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin, with appearances by Joe Gibbs, Darrell Waltrip and Martin Truex Jr. After more than 220,000 votes were cast to narrow the field down to the top-10 finalists, a panel of Toyota executives and NASCAR personalities selected “Chelsea’s Hope” as the grand prize winner. The car design is named for the Chelsea’s Hope Organization which serves to raise awareness, promote education and provide emotional support for individuals and families affected by Lafora Disease. Lafora Disease is an inherited myoclonus epilepsy syndrome typically caused by mutations in one of two known genes: EMP2A and EMP2B. This rare disease affects children and young adults and is characterized by seizures, difficulty walking, cognitive decline and dementia. Currently there is no effective treatment, as therapy—including antiepilectic drugs—is supportive but symptomatic. Blakenship created the “Chelsea’s Hope” paint scheme to generate national awareness in honor of Jessica Ambroe, from Pittsburgh, Pa., who was diagnosed with Lafora Disease in Feb. 2009 at the age of 15. There are only 200 known cases of Lafora Disease in the world, 20 of which have been diagnosed in the United States, and research has yet to yield a cure. As the grand prize winner, Blankenship’s paint scheme was brought to life and will be showcased both at Toyota PitPass and on SPEED during the All-Star Weekend. He will also receive a prize pack of Toyota Racing gear and enjoy time with Denny Hamlin, his favorite Toyota NASCAR driver.(Toyota Racing)(5-24-2011)
NASCAR meets with manufacturers: NASCAR held a "town hall" style meeting with its manufacturers - Chevy, Dodge, Ford and Toyota - in Detroit on Tuesday. The five-hour summit, which was described by both sides as "very productive" with "an open exchange," is expected to be the first of many where marketing and competition ideas are shared between the sanctioning body and its automotive partners. NASCAR Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell and Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton offered a brief update on the 2013 Sprint Cup car models and the decision behind restructuring points. In addition, computer-aided design photos of one of the 2013 cars were compared to the 2012 street car for the same manufacturer, highlighting an effort to return to the showroom influence. But the focus was geared more toward the current state of the sport and building NASCAR through its new integrated marketing and communications department.(Fox Sports)(5-5-2011)
NASCAR, manufacturers schedule meeting: NASCAR officials and representatives of the four participating manufacturers plan to meet next week in Detroit. It's all informal, of course. NASCAR President Mike Helton likened the meeting with representatives from Dodge, Ford, General Motors and Toyota to the many town hall sessions with teams and drivers over the last few years. "The idea was for us to be better communicators with the stakeholders — the broadcast partners, the tracks, the teams, the drivers," Helton said.(Associated Press)(5-1-2011)
Toyota to race a Camry in 2013, but....: Toyota will race a Camry in the Sprint Cup Series in 2013, but it won’t be the same Camry you see on the track today, Toyota Racing Development president Lee White told Sporting News on Sunday at Daytona International Speedway. Expect Toyota to unveil a new-look Camry for the 2012 model year, one that will be incorporated into Cup racing for 2013, when all four manufacturers will introduce their new cars. “We’re right there, pushing ahead,” White said. “There’s potentially a new car coming, a new Camry -- it’s still going to be a Camry -- but at some point that look will be put into the new vehicle, and certainly for the ’13 car. I think it’s a ’12 model that you’ll see in the showrooms this fall, but the new car (for NASCAR) isn’t coming ’til ’13, so it’s really how we deal with that -- if we do it with a decal package on the current car for ’12 and then the whole new car which everyone’s looking out for ’13.” All four manufacturers have been working on their designs for the 2013 cars in consultation with NASCAR. As is the case with the other carmakers, White expects the 2013 Camry to display more brand identity as well as a new look. “It’s pretty sporty looking, I’ll give you that, in my opinion,” White said.(Sporting News)(2-14-2011)
Toyota announces Sponsafier 2 winner: Toyota Racing announced that the car design called “Lou Gehrig aka ALS” is the grand prize winner in the Sponsafier 2 contest. The design, created by Jeff Hallowell of Maize, Kan., beat out more than 52,000 entries. A #18 Toyota Camry wrapped in the “Lou Gehrig aka ALS” artwork was featured in the parade lap before the Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. The second round of Toyota’s “Sponsafy Your Ride Contest” -- Sponsafier 2 -- continued the quest to take one fan’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Camry masterpiece from online design to real sheet metal. Fans were invited to flaunt their artistic ingenuity at toyotaracing.com using pre-loaded graphics, paint brushes and even their own personal photos. They were then encouraged to share their work on social networking sites to rally votes from friends, family and admirers of their design. The submission period ran from June 20 through Aug. 20, followed by two rounds of vigorous voting to finally crown a grand prize winner. “For me, this is all about ALS awareness and creating family memories for my son Ethan,” said Hallowell, who designed the winning car with his eight-year-old son. “This is truly a dream come true.’” Together, Hallowell and his son created a dynamic masterpiece featuring American flags, baseballs and racing flames, along with messaging to support the fight against ALS. Hallowell was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) -- commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease -- in Aug. 2002.
For his efforts, Hallowell received a prize package for the weekend’s race festivities in Phoenix, including airfare, hotel accommodations, tickets to race weekend events, a meet and greet with Toyota driver Kyle Busch, exclusive Toyota Racing apparel and spending cash. In addition to the grand prize package, Toyota has donated a 2011 Sienna mobility van to the Hallowell family to help with transportation needs. More than 600,000 votes were cast during Sponsafier 2. A total of 10 finalists chosen by popular vote qualified to compete for the grand prize. A panel of judges selected the grand prize winner, along with two runners-up -- “CureHD” and “Buckle Up for Hannah”. “CureHD” was designed by Jason Mundy on behalf of his brother Daniel to support Huntington’s Disease research and awareness. “Buckle Up for Hannah” was designed by Robert and Sharon Clark in memory of their goddaughter Hannah, who lost her life in a car accident four-and-a-half years ago. Designing the car enabled Hannah’s family to keep her legacy alive and promote seatbelt safety.
In addition to the national Sponsafier contest, Toyota Racing held a team and driver challenge to encourage members of the Toyota racing community to take part in the fun. “Beaumobile,” created by Greg Wallace of Rusty Wallace Racing to promote pet adoption, earned the most votes and was awarded a first-place trophy. Toyota will also donate $2,500 in his name to the charity of his choice. To view the winning design “Lou Gehrig aka ALS,” Racing Team Challenge entries and all of the Sponsafier vehicle submissions, visit sponsafier.com.(Toyota PR)(11-14-2010)
Who loves love?.....Sponsafy Your Ride Contest named; Waltrip to run the colors: Toyota Racing announced the grand prize winner in the “Sponsafy Your Ride Contest,” the quest to take one fan’s NASCAR Cup car masterpiece from online design to real sheet metal. “Praying for Karson,” created by Fay Knape of Danbury, Texas, beat out more than 77,500 submissions. A Toyota Camry wrapped in the “Praying for Karson” artwork was featured in the parade lap before the green flag drops at the NASCAR Sprint All- Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Knape’s design “Praying for Karson” honors her one-year-old grandson, Karson, who suffers from a rare interstitial lung disease known as Neuroendocrine Cell Hyperplasia in Infancy (NEHI). Knape saw the contest as the perfect opportunity to raise NEHI awareness and potentially fund research. Knape’s car design illustrates her vision for Karson’s future. She hopes to see him playing outdoors and enjoying the beauty of nature, without being restricted by the oxygen tank he wears 90% of the time. In addition to the grand prize package, Toyota has donated $5,000 to Karson’s family to help offset the cost of his medical expenses. Knape received a prize package for the weekend’s race festivities in Charlotte, including airfare, hotel accommodations, tickets to the official 2010 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Week events, hospitality suite access, a driver meet and greet with #11-Denny Hamlin, exclusive Toyota racing apparel and spending cash. Knape is accompanied to the race by her husband, James; son, Patrick; daughter, Breah; and grandson and inspiration, Karson.
On June 20, two-time Daytona 500 winner, Michael Waltrip will attempt to qualify the #55 “Praying for Karson” Toyota Camry for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Infineon Raceway.
More than one million votes were cast in the contest. Nine of 10 crowd favorites chosen by popular vote qualified to compete for the grand prize. A panel of judges comprised of Toyota executives and NASCAR personalities Darrell Waltrip, Michael Waltrip and Joe Gibbs then narrowed the field of nine finalists down to five. Along with “Praying for Karson,” the panel selected four runners-up, including: First Runner-up: “Purple Heart” Second Runner-up: “Kaitlin’s Wish Black” Third Runner-up: “Shayden’s Race Car” Fourth Runner-up: “All-Star”.(Toyoya PR)(5-23-2010)
Toyota recall won't affect NASCAR: The head of Toyota's racing effort says the company's massive recall announced this month and subsequent losses won't affect the manufacturer's NASCAR teams. "Our program is pretty well set," Lee White, president of Toyota Racing Development, said Friday. "Our program involves technical support more so than writing checks. TRD is very good at managing our budgets. ... I honestly don't think there will be any impact on the motorsports program. But we, like everybody, have to be smart and keep our programs where they're success-oriented that reward winning, that reward good results and not just be out there for fun." On Jan. 21, Toyota recalled 2.3 million U.S. cars and trucks and halted production of eight models this week following reports of an accelerator pedal defect. Shares of Toyota stock have fallen 17 percent since the recall, according to a report on Bloomberg.com. And one industry insider familiar with inner workings of the manufacturer said Toyota was losing $500 million for every week assembly lines remain idle.(Fox Sports)(1-31-2010)
Mobil 1 and Toyota UPDATE: not quite sure what this is all about, have heard nor seen anything but......Mobil 1 Racing and Toyota Racing Development (TRD) U.S.A to make announcement about 2010 NASCAR season Friday at Phoenix International Raceway, scheduled to be attending the announcement are Brian Vickers, driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota; Michael Waltrip, owner of Michael Waltrip Racing and driver of the #55 NAPA Toyota; Lee White, President and General Manager, TRD; Harold Shablom, Global Motorsport Manager, ExxonMobil Lubricants & Specialties.(PR)(11-13-2009)
UPDATE: ExxonMobil and Toyota Racing Development (TRD) unveiled a new technological partnership in which ExxonMobil will provide its Mobil 1 racing oil technology and products to TRD- supported NASCAR teams. Kicking off at the start of the 2010 NASCAR season, TRD-supplied NASCAR engines will be filled with specially modified motor oil based on the same technology available to consumers in Mobil 1 Racing oils, which were unveiled in April. The TRD-specific motor oils will deliver outstanding power via unique low-friction synthetic lubricant technology combined with boosted levels of anti-wear additives to protect and extend the life of engine hardware. Formally announced before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, the collaboration will pair Mobil 1, the “Official Motor Oil of NASCAR,” with one of NASCAR’s top engine manufacturers. With this new partnership, ExxonMobil’s racing oil technology will now provide performance and protection for the TRD-supported Red Bull Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing NASCAR teams.(Toyota PR)(11-14-2009)
Toyota leaving F1: Toyota is pulling out of Formula One racing, the world's largest automaker announcing Wednesday that it needs to cut costs and focus on its core business. "Based on the current economic environment, we realize we have no choice but to withdraw from Formula One," Toyota president Akio Toyoda said at a news conference. "This has been a very painful decision for the company." Toyota follows Honda Motor Co. as the second major Japanese automaker to withdraw from the sport in the last 11 months. Toyota officials called the withdrawal from F1 complete, making a return to the sport when and if conditions improve unlikely. Toyota, the world's largest car manufacturer, is seeking to cut costs as it expects to post an operating loss for the six months ended Sept. 30. It is due to report earnings Thursday. The company posted its worst-ever loss in the financial year at the end of March.(Associated Press)(11-4-2009)
NASCAR providing value for Toyota: Toyota's presence in NASCAR has had a little different purpose than other manufacturers in the sport. Sure, the company wants to sell vehicles. But before Toyota could get NASCAR fans to buy its vehicles, the manufacturer had to get NASCAR fans to consider buying its vehicles. That's where NASCAR came in - just to be in the mind of a potential car-buyer to look up a Toyota vehicle on the Web site or come into the dealership. To that end, NASCAR is producing results, said Bob Carter, a Toyota vice president who oversees Toyota Racing Development as the general manager for Toyota Motor Sales USA. "NASCAR continues to deliver what our goals were when we entered the sport," Carter said. "We've been involved in racing for 30 years. NASCAR has certainly positioned itself as the premier series within the U.S. "It has a huge fan base. In 2004, for many of the NASCAR fans, we weren't necessarily on the short list when it came to buying a car. In fact, compared to Chevy and Ford among the [NASCAR] people who were shopping, we were 20 points behind Chevy and Ford. In our third year of Sprint Cup, we're virtually identical with Ford and Chevy. [NASCAR] has delivered more benefits quicker than we had originally had hoped for," Carter said. "Our goal being at the race track is to be top of mind among all these race fans when they're considering their next car purchase. This was a push on a market that we saw an opportunity to expose the product."(SceneDaily)(8-30-2009)