Toyota has confirmed that it will run a version of its new Supra sports car in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, with the US arm of the Japanese automaker confirming that the Supra will make its on-track debut at Daytona on February 16, 2019.
“When you talk Toyota and cool cars, Supra is the first thing that comes to mind for many auto enthusiasts,” said Ed Laukes, group vice president of Toyota Division Marketing.
“Supra’s return in production form is huge news, but now we’re also going to see this iconic sports car return to American motorsport. 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.”
Toyota subsidiaries TRD USA and Calty Design Research (both based in California) worked together to develop a Supra for the competition, scaling the vehicle to “fit within NASCAR’s specifications for race vehicle entries” in the NXS.
“We’ve had tremendous success working with Calty to develop race cars that match the look, feel and excitement of their showroom counterparts,” said David Wilson, president of TRD USA.
“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.”
Toyota has fielded the Camry in NXS competition since 2007, grabbing four manufacturer championships, with two driver championships and 143 wins overall.
The 2019 season will mark the first year Toyota will field a different model in all three of NASCAR’s national series: Camry at the NASCAR Cup Series level, Supra in the NXS and Tundra in the NASCAR Truck Series.
“When Ed [Laukes] 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,” said driver Kyle Busch, who won the 2009 NXS championship in the Camry.
“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.”