Since joining the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2007, Toyota has fielded the Camry. After eleven years, four manufacturer’s and two driver’s championships, and 142 race wins, its days in NASCAR’s second-tier series will come to an end as the Supra will assume its spot. The announcement was made on Thursday.
“When you talk Toyota and cool cars, the Supra is the first thing that comes to mind for many auto enthusiasts,” Toyota Division Marketing Group Vice President Ed Laukes stated. “The 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.”
Rumors of the swap began circulating in May as news of the Japanese manufacturer reviving the Supra surfaced. The Supra sports car was first introduced in 1978, with four generations of the car being created until its discontinuation in 2002. Over a decade later, Toyota will bring back the car for a fifth generation. The car has seen extensive success in other forms of racing, including four driver’s championships in Super GT, success in drifting and other sports car series, and even victories in drag racing.
Toyota will now field three different vehicles across NASCAR’s three national series. The Camry, which has remained Toyota’s car of choice in the Monster Energy Cup Series, will continue to be so for 2019 and beyond. In the Camping World Truck Series, Toyota will keep with the Tundra.
With the decision, all four major NASCAR manufacturers have introduced a new car in the last year. For the 2018 Cup season, Chevrolet replaced the discontinued SS with the Camaro ZL1. In April, Ford announced its Fusion Cup car would be succeeded by the Mustang starting in 2019.
Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Kyle Busch and Christopher Bell were present for the announcement in Daytona International Speedway‘s Toyota Injector area. The track will host the Supra’s debut Xfinity race at the PowerShares QQQ 300 on February 16, 2019.