Toyota to use redesigned Camry for 2013 season
By JENNA FRYER
SALISBURY, N.C. (AP) Toyota will use a re-designed Camry for NASCAR's 2013 Sprint Cup season.
Toyota Racing Development president Lee White also said at Tuesday's unveiling of the Camry that Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and JTG-Daugherty Racing will remain with the manufacturer with new contracts that "extend beyond two more years."
"We enjoy our partners, we value our partners and we expect to be on the dance floor with these partners for a long time and as long as they'll have us," White said.
MWR was an original Toyota team when the manufacturer moved into the Cup Series in 2007. JGR joined Toyota in 2008, and JTG a year later.
"Toyota has been the cornerstone of MWR," said MWR co-owner Michael Waltrip. "They took a chance on us in 2007 and together we have matured into who we are today. It was an honor to be part of the freshman class. Knowing we will be with Toyota for the next several years gives our drivers, our team members and our sponsors a sense of stability and confidence."
The new Camry, meanwhile, comes next year when all four NASCAR manufacturers will go to updated or new cars. Toyota is sticking with its Camry model, which has been the best-selling car in America the last 10 years. The Camry is built in Georgetown, Ky., and Lafayette, Ind.
The model used next season in competition will have a new front grill that matches the production model, and distinct character lines down the side of the car. The Camry will have an updated rear bumper, and will be closer than ever to its showroom sibling.
Toyota Racing Development worked with its global network design team to create the on-track model of the Camry. The race car is based on the Camry's SE model, and the car was designed to look like "an aggressive and intimidating Camry."
Toyota worked with NASCAR and the other three manufacturers, meeting weekly since the end of 2010 to design race cars that kept manufacturer identity.
"It's important for NASCAR's product to be relevant," said NASCAR President Mike Helton said. "We get the fact that it's important for Toyota to relate its involvement in motorsports to what they do and benefit what their business goals are. We have worked very hard to maintain the elements so they will maintain their excitement and be involved with us."
Updated May 22, 2012