Toyota Announces Contract Extensions With Three NASCAR Teams
Toyota Racing Development President Lee White yesterday announced that three NASCAR teams -- Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and JTG Daugherty Racing -- “will remain Toyota organizations with new contracts that ‘extend beyond two more years,’” according to Bob Pockrass of SPORTING NEWS. MWR has been with Toyota “since its entry into Cup racing" in '07, while JGR joined in '08 and JTG Daugherty in '09. White did not reveal the exact lengths of the extension, but “all of them will be Toyota teams at least through 2014.” White said that with “seven cars and the ability for these teams to expand, it was unlikely they would add more organizations.” The two-car Red Bull Racing operation closed after last season (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 5/22). ESPN.com’s David Newton noted 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.” But JGR Owner Joe Gibbs said that he “never had conversations with Dodge” (ESPN.com, 5/22).
COPY CATS: In Charlotte, Jim Utter reports TRD worked with Calty Design "to create an on-track Camry that closely resembles its production counterpart." The '13 Camry includes a "new front grille, character lines down the sides of the vehicle and updated rear bumper." Toyota VP/Marketing Communications & Motorsports Ed Laukes said, "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." Utter notes Toyota was the "last of the four manufacturers to unveil its 2013 entry in the Cup series," and only Chevy "has yet to showcase an on-track version of its car" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/23).