A Toyota Supra NASCAR Cup Car Still Isn’t Out of the Question: TRD Boss
In an interview at the Daytona 500, TRD’s president said a Next Gen MK5 Cup Car could still happen if Toyota wants it.
The Daytona 500 was this past weekend, and it marked the first superspeedway competition with the newest "Next Gen" NASCAR racer. Austin Cindric won the race for Team Penske, and while it was not a completely flawless showing, it was still an intense race. Our own Caleb Jacobs was on scene and was able to sit down with Toyota TRD president David Wilson, where he discussed the likelihood of racing the Toyota Supra as the New Gen NASCAR Cup race car. Currently, Toyota fields a Camry-styled NASCAR race car in the Cup Series.
“So the great news is we came out with the Supra a couple of years ago and it looks great. We’ve been fielding questions about this ever since we brought out Supras. To be perfectly candid, we’ve done some off-the-record design studies, so if the powers that be decide one day that we should race a Supra [in the Cup series], we’ll go race a Supra. TRD doesn’t make that decision," he laughed.
Wilson explained that the reasoning for the current choice of the Camry as the Cup Car, despite its relatively mundane street image, "...is kinda obvious in that the Camry has been the best selling car in the country for two decades roughly." He further explained that he believes that the current road-going Camry has been made vastly more interesting explicitly because of its racing counterpart: "My inference is that there has absolutely been an influence on the styling of our production car because of the car we’re racing.”
Clearly, the decision is out of TRD's hands for the time being, but those hoping to see a Supra bump-drafting with Mustangs and Camaros still have some hope.
While the NASCAR field still runs standardized powertrains (no BMW-sourced inline-six will be tearing up Daytona next to the V8 cars, sadly), with the increased stylistic freedom the next-gen cars have offered, fans could potentially see a much more Supra-looking NASCAR race car than Toyota's previous attempt at one, which was the Xfinity series' previous-generation entrant.
Time will tell if Toyota decides to make the jump from the Camry, or if their volume leader will continue to be the inspiration for the Cup field's entrant, but for those of us who love Supras, at least we can still hold our collective breath.
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