Toyota, Chevy teams feel role reversal with Ford's dominance

Image by Jarrett/LAT

Toyota, Chevy teams feel role reversal with Ford's dominance

Cup Series

Toyota, Chevy teams feel role reversal with Ford's dominance


Kyle Busch used the same word Toyota teammate Martin Truex Jr. did a week ago to describe the gap between the Fords and the rest of the field. It’s a familiar word to Toyota drivers, as it was tossed their way a few times a season ago.


While Truex said it in jest last weekend, Busch spoke Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway about his No. 18 team’s search for speed. Although he has three wins, the Ford camp has been on fire, led by Kevin Harvick’s five wins in 12 races. There are seven Ford drivers in the top 10 in points.

“I think our Toyotas are close, but seems the blue ovals got a little bit of an advantage this year. You see it weekly, you look at the rundown of the pylon, and there are a lot of Fords lined up in the top 12 spots,” said Busch. “It’s pretty obvious based off last year and looking at the pylon and seeing little bit more spread there between Chevy, Ford and Toyota.”

Aero is the difference, as Busch said some of the aero changes for this season have benefited Ford teams.

Kyle Busch’s Toyota and Jimmie Johnson’s Chevy are surrounded by Fords. (Image by Harrelson/LAT)

“We’re trying to work through some of those things as we go throughout the season,” Busch said.

Speaking specifically about Harvick, Busch said the No. 4 team is the “better group right now. I don’t think anybody should not say they’re the better group right now.” Harvick started the year by winning three of the first four races. He enters the All-Star Race on another streak having won at Dover and Kansas.

It’s been Harvick and Busch who most see as the best in the series. Busch is the point leader, and he won three straight races at Texas, Bristol and Richmond.

“I’m not saying we feel bad not being the better group right now; we just know we got to go to work and get ourselves to that point. And we’re not quite there yet,” Busch continued. “We’ll fight hard for a race win if we can get one. And if it’s for a million bucks [Saturday night], we’ll go get it.”

Kyle’s older brother Kurt noted that success in the Stewart-Haas Racing camp is a continuation of what took place last year during the team’s switch to Ford. Clint Bowyer has also been to Victory Lane for the company, and at Team Penske, Joey Logano scored a win at Talladega.

“Now we have all those questions answered [from ‘17], and we’re pushing those Penske guys that may have been talking about how they were at a disadvantage, and we have made them stronger, and they have made us stronger in an indirect way with track performance,” Kurt Busch said.

“So I feel like the aerodynamic balance is way better, the engine balance is better, and we have just perfected all the different categories and thrown them into a perfect recipe.”