National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and
Toyota announced today the manufacturer’s plans to expand its
NASCAR program by competing in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and
the NASCAR Busch Series starting in 2007, fielding the Toyota
The expansion will follow three years of Toyota competing in the
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, and will result in all three of
NASCAR’s national series having four manufacturers competing, as
Toyota will join Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford.
“NASCAR welcomes Toyota to the greatest auto racing in the
world,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France, who made the
announcement on today at NASCAR’S Research and Development
Center in Concord, N.C.
"Toyota’s entry into the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and the NASCAR
Busch Series is good for drivers, teams and the fans. This move
provides for even more intense competition on the track between
drivers and manufacturers, which will provide more excitement
and fan interest. Toyota’s entry also provides more options for
drivers and teams, which will increase the competition between
a great pleasure to announce Toyota’s entry into the NASCAR
NEXTEL Cup and NASCAR Busch Series with the Toyota Camry,” said
Dave Illingworth, senior vice president and chief planning and
administrative officer for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
“Next year – 2007 – will be a special year for Toyota in more
ways than one. Toyota will be celebrating its 50th anniversary
in the United States, and we will be joining the NASCAR NEXTEL
Cup Series, America’s premier racing series. Toyota has been an
important part of the U.S. motorsports community for almost 25
years. We’ve competed and won in different series and on tracks
across America. Toyota drivers and teams have won championships
in a variety of different series. But, if you want to compete
against the best in America, that means NASCAR.
“We look forward to February of 2007 when the green flag waves
to start the Daytona 500 and the starting lineup features the
Illingworth, who joined France in making the announcement, said
more information – regarding possible sponsor and driver lineups
– will be released Tuesday night, during a media gathering at
Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord.
year, Toyota is celebrating its 24th year of participation in
American professional auto racing. Toyota drivers and teams have
won championships in IMSA, CART, IRL and off-road racing. They
have won such historic events as the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the 12
Hours of Sebring, the Baja 1000 and the Indianapolis 500.
Toyota moved into NASCAR in 2000, fielding the Celica model in
the NASCAR Goody’s Dash Series. The following season, Robert
Huffman gave Toyota its first NASCAR victory, at Kentucky
Speedway. In 2003, Huffman gave Toyota its first NASCAR
championship by capturing the NASCAR Goody’s Dash title.
In 2004, Toyota entered the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with
the Tundra – in the process becoming the first new manufacturer
in one of NASCAR’s top series in more than 50 years. In two
seasons of NASCAR Craftsman Truck competition, Tundra drivers
have recorded 13 victories and 18 poles.
Toyota, which has been doing business in America since 1957, now
has eight plants in the United States – 14 if you count all of
North America. Toyota will build approximately 1.6 million
vehicles this year, including production at its new Tundra
pickup plant in Texas. Toyota and its dealers now directly
employ approximately 142,000 Americans.
Since 1986, Toyota has built more than 12 million vehicles in
the United States. More than 6.5 million Camrys have been sold
in the United States and it has been the best-selling car in
America for eight of the past nine years. Camrys are built at
Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Georgetown, Ky.
The author can be contacted
Go to our
to discuss this article