Toyota keeping NASCAR in the dark

UPDATE Chevrolet and Ford are seeking approval for new models to race in the 2006 Nextel Cup Series, while Toyota has satisfied all requirements to submit a car to compete in Nextel Cup or the Busch Series next season. NASCAR vice president for competition Robin Pemberton on Friday said the sanctioning body had already looked at Chevrolet's new Monte Carlo and Ford's new model, which will be revealed to the media in Charlotte, N.C., on July 14. "We've had conversations with Toyota all along, even though they haven't officially thrown their hat in the ring," Pemberton said. "We've had good conversations with them and they're evaluating the Busch and Cup Series now — though no decisions been made (on proceeding). They have done what they need to do by the (deadline), but they've made no official request to participate in 2006." Pemberton said the deadline for getting a vehicle through the approval process — which includes wind tunnel and track testing — to race in either Nextel Cup or the Busch Series next season is Sept. 1. 07/01/05 Brian France said on this weeks media teleconference that he has not had formal discussions with Toyota about the car manufacturer entering the Nextel Cup Series. Toyota, which will abandon its IRL program in 2007, has several teams that compete at the Craftsman Truck Series level. "What their plans are beyond that (truck series), I don't know and I don't know what the IRL's departure means or doesn't mean," France said. "It's really their call."

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