With NASCAR giving manufacturers the freedom to change their Camping World Truck Series bodies for the 2022 season, Toyota is the second to follow suit after Ford did so on Thursday. On Friday, Toyota unveiled the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, a new truck model that replaces the standard Tundra which had been used since Toyota’s entry in 2004.
“The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has always been extremely important to Toyota not only in our history, but our focus at our dealerships,” Toyota Motor North America motorsports group manager Paul Doleshal stated. “The launch of the new Tundra is a really exciting time for our entire organisation so to be able to reflect that new styling in our NASCAR Tundra with the TRD Pro design is a reflection of the importance of the series to all of us and allows us to continue ensuring our on-track production resembles its production counterparts that can be found in our Toyota showrooms.”
Toyota leads the manufacturer standings with race wins in all but five of the nineteen rounds so far, including Friday night’s event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Six full-time teams currently use the Tundra with Kyle Busch Motorsports leading the way. ThorSport Racing, which won two driver’s titles with Toyota and Matt Crafton in 2013 and 2014, fields four trucks while Halmar Friesen Racing, Hattori Racing Enterprises, McAnally-Hilgemann Racing, and On Point Motorsports are single-truck teams. Reaume Brothers Racing has sporadically used Toyotas in addition to other makes, while Clay Greenfield Racing is a part-time operation.
“All of us at Kyle Busch Motorsports are proud to have carried the Toyota Tundra badging since we started this race team,” commented KBM owner Kyle Busch. “Toyota and TRD are always working with us to ensure we’re as competitive as possible on the race track, but also ensuring that the body styling of our Tundras matches what fans can buy in their dealerships. The new Tundra is really aggressive looking and it’s great to see that reflected in our NASCAR Tundras with the TRD Pro badging for the 2022 season.”
Shortly after Ford revealed its new F-150, NASCAR announced the three manufacturers—Chevrolet being the third—could modify their trucks’ noses and tails to better emulate their street versions. Such changes allow the trio to break away from the uniform lower fascia in favour of appearances that look more like the production F-150, Tundra, and Chevrolet Silverado. Chevrolet has yet to reveal the 2022 Silverado.
“We’re always looking for ways to be more relevant for our OEMs,” NASCAR senior vice president of innovation and racing development John Probst told NASCAR.com. “One of the ways to do that is to have the products on the race track more accurately reflect what’s available in the showroom. I think you’ll see a lot more characteristics of the production trucks in the trucks that you see on track in 2022.”
Toyota fields three different vehicles across the three national series, the only manufacturer to do so. While the Cup Series has seen the Camry since its début in 2007, the Xfinity Series currently features the Supra.