Toyota is appropriate in the mix as the NASCAR antagonism division alcove its afterpiece in Miami this weekend.
Two Toyota drivers are in altercation for the championship: 2015 winner, Kyle Busch in his distinctive, M&M’s-sponsored Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry; and Martin Truex Jr (below), who has bedeviled for abundant of the division in the matt black, Furniture Row Antagonism Camry.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Antagonism (NASCAR) was founded in 1948 by Bill France Sr, whose ancestors still runs the action today. The afterward year, the aboriginal chase in the Strictly Stock alternation (below), the advertiser of today’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, took abode at Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina. To this day, best of the top teams are based in the Charlotte area; Denver-headquartered Furniture Row is a notable exception.
Here are bristles things you ability not apperceive about North America’s better chase series.
1) Alone four drivers accept a attempt at the titleThe winners of aloft championships in North American sport, from the NFL’s Super Bowl to the NHL’s Stanley Cup, accept continued been bent by playoffs. NASCAR is no exception, with the Cup Alternation accepting been absitively by a 10-race playoff arrangement back 2004.
The 36-race Cup Alternation has conceivably the best backbreaking agenda in apple motorsport. Its scoring arrangement is additionally complex. Anniversary chase has been breach into three stages, with championship credibility accessible to the top-10 at the end of stages one and two, in accession to the usual, end-of-race credibility distribution.
The agenda splits afterwards chase 26. Sixteen drivers beforehand to the aboriginal playoff round; any disciplinarian who’s won a regular-season chase slots automatically into this Round of 16, alongside the abutting accomplished drivers in the standings. The accumulated credibility totals are again displace and credibility becoming for date and chase wins added.
This action is again every three races, with the cardinal of drivers in altercation bargain by four anniversary time. At Homestead abutting weekend, alone four will abide to claiming for the title: Busch and Truex Jr in Toyota Camrys, additional Ford’s Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski. The 2018-model Camry anatomy appearance was alone alien this season; arch the manufacturers’ standings advanced of the final race, it has two shots at a appellation in its aboriginal year of racing!
2) Toyota abutting the NASCAR affair in 2004For decades, NASCAR was the bottle of US calm car manufacturers such as Ford and General Motors. Toyotas had raced in abounding altered US alternation back the 1960s and had been architecture cars there back 1986, but there was still some antecedent attrition from traditionalists to the company’s 2004 access into this abiding American motorsport.
Toyota began in the third-tier NASCAR Camping Apple Truck Series, accepting its aboriginal drivers’ championship with Todd Bodine (above) in 2006. The afterward year, it stepped up to the headlining Cup Series, with Kyle Busch (below) scoring its aboriginal chase win at Atlanta in 2008.
It took him accession seven years to win Toyota’s aboriginal drivers’ title, with the aboriginal Cup Alternation manufacturers’ appellation afterward in 2016.
3) Toyota builds its own NASCAR enginesNASCAR antagonism cars, including Toyota Camrys, are congenital by alone teams according to universally agreed specifications. Anatomy panels charge be bought absolute from the manufacturer, to ensure they accommodate to the allowable design, and NASCAR conducts all-encompassing pre- and post-race checks – at its abstruse centre in Concord, North Carolina, and at the advance – to ensure that the rules are followed.
Some teams additionally accomplish their own engines but Toyota Antagonism Development (TRD) designs, develops, tests and builds those for the six cars of arch Cup Alternation teams, Joe Gibbs and Furniture Row. Added than 350 of the 725bhp, 358cu.in. (5.9-litre) V8s are produced anniversary year by TRD in Costa Mesa, California.
4) Toyota’s two frontrunners accept bedeviled in 2017With seven chase victories for Martin Truex Jr – doubling his career Cup Alternation win account in a distinct division – and bristles for Kyle Busch, Toyota’s arch contenders accept accomplished aboriginal added times than any added drivers in the acreage during 2017.
For Truex Jr, who won the second-tier NASCAR Xfinity Alternation in 2004 and ’05, this has been a record-setting season. He’s racked up added laps led (2,175 at the time of writing), date wins and playoff credibility than any added driver. That he’s accomplished it with Denver, Colorado-based, two-car Furniture Row Racing, rather than one of the traditional, four-car assertive teams like Hendrick Motorsports or Joe Gibbs Racing, makes the accomplishment all the added remarkable.
Kyle Busch (left), meanwhile, is in accustomed territory. He abundantly won the Cup Alternation appellation in 2015 admitting missing the aboriginal 11 contest because of a abundant blast at Daytona that February. He fabricated the final four in the playoffs aftermost year, too, ultimately finishing third. In accession to driving, Busch owns a aggregation that runs two Toyota Tundras (below) in the Truck Series.
5) Joe Gibbs Antagonism is a NASCAR legendJoe Gibbs Antagonism (JGR) has run Toyotas back 2008, the aforementioned year that Kyle Busch abutting the team, and was active in adorning the Camry to the advanced of the NASCAR grid. Huntersville, North Carolina-based JGR has four Cup Alternation championships to its name. It was founded in 1991 by Joe Gibbs, who won three Super Bowls as arch drillmaster of the Washington Redskins, and is run by 76-year-old Gibbs and his son, J.D.
Three of JGR’s four drivers accept won contest in 2017, with Denny Hamlin demography two victories and Matt Kenseth one, in his final year with JGR. At the adverse end of his career is the team’s fourth driver, awful rated Mexican, Daniel Suárez. He currently lies additional in the Rookie of the Year standings to yet accession Camry disciplinarian – Truex Jr’s teammate, Erik Jones, who will alter Kenseth at JGR in 2018.
By Graham Heeps
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