Davis and Waltrip to field Toyota teams

Toyota’s entry to the NASCAR Nextel Cup series in 2007 will “have a significant impact on the sport," one car owner said Friday. Toyota is expected to announce Monday that it will field cars in the Cup and Busch series in ’07, according to a New York Times report that cites an unidentified source. Toyota, which has competed in NASCAR’s truck series since 2004, will reveal more details Tuesday night.

The company is expected to announce that Bill Davis Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing will field Toyotas in Cup, according to multiple unnamed racing industry sources. This week’s Autoweek reports that Toyota will field Camrys, which are made in the United States.

A Toyota spokesperson, who declined to be named, said that the company will “discuss expanding our relationship with NASCAR" on Monday. Speed Channel will broadcast the news conference at 12:15 p.m.

Car owner Cal Wells says Toyota will challenge Cup teams. Wells, who owns the Chevrolets driven by Travis Kvapil, partnered with Toyota for nearly 20 years in off-road and Indy car racing.

Wells says that stable senior management, learning from past experiences, and a passion for excellence will help lead Toyota to victories.

“I think where you’re really see them produce, I mean really be championship contenders, is three years down the road, which is quick," Wells said in a phone interview.

Wells said Toyota’s biggest impact might be how other manufactures respond.

“The DaimlerChryslers, the Chevrolet GMs and Ford Motor Company will refocus their efforts to ensure that they can continue to find success," Wells said.

That could mean more money, more support and more resources for teams. More at Roanoke Times

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