Toyota is bringing the Supra to the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
David Wilson, Toyota Racing Development president, Ed Laukes, group vice president of Toyota Division Marketing, along with drivers Kyle Busch and Christopher Bell made the announcement Thursday inside the Toyota Injector exhibition area of the Daytona International Speedway grandstands. Supra will make its debut at the same track in February 2019 replacing the Camry, which has competed in the series since 2007.
The car was built for NASCAR competition through a collaborative effort between Toyota, Toyota Racing Development (TRD) and Calty Design Research, Inc.
“We’ve had tremendous success working with Calty to develop race cars that match the look, feel and excitement of their showroom counterparts,” said Wilson. “We’re confident Calty and TRD have developed another race car, Supra, that is capable of winning races and championships. For Supra to be racing in NASCAR just speaks to how important this vehicle is to us, and that we believe Supra can be a bona fide championship winner.”
Next year is the first season in its NASCAR history that Toyota will have a different model in all three series. The Supra joins its counterparts the Tundra in the Camping World Truck Series and Camry in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
The Camry has been wildly successful in the Xfinity Series, winning four manufacturer and two driver championships. To date, the Camry has gone to victory lane 142 times.
The Supra model has racing roots in both America and internationally. Supras have competed in Super GT competition in Japan and the IMSA Camel GT Series in the 1980s, in addition to having appearances in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the ’90s.
“When you talk Toyota and cool cars, Supra is the first thing that comes to mind for many auto enthusiasts,” said Laukes. “Supra’s return in production form is huge news, but now we’re also going to see this iconic sports car return to American motorsports.
“From a marketing perspective, it’s important to have a race car that evokes the dynamism and character of its showroom counterpart. We’re confident we’ve accomplished that with Supra and we hope racing fans the world over will proudly cheer its success on track.”
Said Busch, the winningest driver in Xfinity Series history at 92 wins and counting,
“When Ed told me they were bringing Supra back, I almost didn’t believe him. I figured he was messing with me, but Toyota did it and this is a big deal for the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Supra is an iconic cool car, and to have it racing in NASCAR to highlight Supra’s return speaks to how important this is.
“I’m hoping to be the first guy to get Supra to victory lane, but I’m sure there’s a few other Toyota drivers thinking the same thing.”