Confirmed: Toyota Supra Will Contest NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2019
The upcoming two-door sports car will replace the Camry in the American stock car racing championship.
Toyota confirmed that its all-new sports car, the long-awaited Toyota Supra, will debut in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at the beginning of the 2019 racing season. The announcement was made Thursday night at the Daytona International Speedway.
NASCAR drivers Christopher Bell and Kyle Busch were present at the unveiling of what the automaker dubs the "Red Devil," which was developed by Toyota Motor Sales, Toyota Racing Development, and the automaker's California-based design studio Calty Design Research, Inc. Toyota and Calty have previously developed several championship-winning race cars including the eighth-generation Camry for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and Monster Energy NASCAR Series, the seventh-generation Camry for NASCAR Xfinity Series, and the Toyota Tundra for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
“We’ve had tremendous success working with Calty to develop race cars that match the look, feel and excitement of their showroom counterparts,” said David Wilson, president of TRD. “We’re confident Calty and TRD have developed another race car, Supra, that is capable of winning races and championships. For Supra to be racing in NASCAR just speaks to how important this vehicle is to us, and that we believe Supra can be a bona fide championship winner.”
The decision to replace the iconic Camry, which has been featured in the stock car racing championship since Toyota joined in 2007, may appear a bit unorthodox but it's not a complete surprise given what its competitors have done in recent years. Chevrolet's once-iconic Impala was replaced by its newest two-door Camaro sports car, and Ford also introduced the Mustang a few years back.
“When you talk Toyota and cool cars, Supra is the first thing that comes to mind for many auto enthusiasts,” said Ed Laukes, group vice president of Toyota Division Marketing. “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,” Laukes concluded. “We’re confident we’ve accomplished that with Supra, and we hope racing fans the world over will proudly cheer its success on track.”
The photographs published by Toyota reveal the car's main focal points such as the grille, headlights, and taillights, but don't give away more than that. We can only imagine that we will see official liveries, sponsors, and more of the new NASCAR Toyota Supra as its official debut date of February 16, 2019 nears.