Toyota Racing Engine Builder Puts Assets on Market

Triad Racing Technology is selling its racing engine-building arm but will continue providing parts to Toyota teams in NASCAR.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400
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Triad Racing Technologies, an engine builder and parts supplier for Toyota teams in NASCAR, is selling assets related to its engine program. The sale is being overseen by Gordon Brothers, a global restructuring and investment firm. Assets being sold include an engine shop, engines, and machinery equipment used by Triad for its engine building and research and development. Triad, though, will continue operations of its other divisions, including providing body parts for NASCAR’s Toyota teams.

“TRT has been a trusted partner to race teams in NASCAR for many years, providing industry-leading innovation and horsepower,” Gordon Brothers, Commercial and Industrial Director Jim Burke said in a release. "This is a very unique opportunity for anyone looking to purchase a turnkey engine shop located in the heart of the professional racing community, in addition to complete engines. We’re thrilled to partner with TRT and pleased to provide an orderly sale solution that allows the business to evolve and focus on its other racing activities.

Triad engines have powered Toyota entries in all three of NASCAR’s national series—Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, Xfinity, and Camping World Truck—as a primary vendor for Toyota Racing Development (TRD). TRT has been a partner of TRD since Toyota began NASCAR competition more than a decade ago. The manufacturer entered Cup Series competition at the start of the 2007 season.

While manufacturer-specific engines are still the norm in the Cup and Xfinity series, the Camping World Truck Series is transitioning to a spec engine built by Ilmor Engines, making the spec engine an option for 2018 with the expectation it will be mandatory in the series beginning next season. Most Truck Series teams are using the spec equipment this year, with one of the few exceptions being the multi-truck Kyle Busch Motorsports team that fields Toyotas.

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Kyle Busch Motorsports races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Although the spec engine built by Ilmor is based on a Chevrolet base which raced in the Truck Series, Toyota has expressed its continued support of the series.

“It is a little bit of a sensitive issue with all the manufactures,” TRD President David Wilson said during an interview on Sirius XM NASCAR. “Arguably, the biggest single piece of (intellectual property) in any car or truck is the engine, so certainly that’s important to us. By the same token, we understand the bigger picture. We have been working with NASCAR; all the OEMs have been working with NASCAR to make sure that we keep this series going, because here’s the bottom line—while our motivation to run in trucks has changed over the years, it remains an absolutely critical step in how we as an industry develop drivers." 

"The leap from ARCA or K&N or Super Late Models straight to Xfinity—that’s too big of a leap. You need a step and that Truck Series is a very important step. You look the drivers that have come through just in our camp—Erik Jones, Christopher Bell, Daniel Suarez—that experience in the Truck garage has been absolutely critical in preparing them to be successful in Xfinity and, ultimately, in Cup. We’re going to continue to take a big picture approach with the Truck Series and work with our friends at NASCAR. If there are some spec engines that have to be under a Tundra hood, so be it. We’ll be okay.”

The TRT and TRD partnership has led to 10 manufacturer championships, five driver championships, and over 100 race wins for Toyota across all NASCAR series.

Triad Racing Technologies President and CEO Marty Gaunt closed by saying, “We’re proud of our track record in NASCAR and the success of our clients over the years. The sale of our engine facility will allow us to concentrate on our body parts business and continue to support our racing clients going forward."