TRD submits Tundra truck to NASCAR

Toyota Racing Development USA formally submitted its Tundra race truck to NASCAR technical officials yesterday (on the deadline) for approval to contest the 2004 Craftsman Truck Series. The Tundra race truck will now undergo final aerodynamic evaluation by the sanctioning body along with the 2004 trucks from the other manufacturers. TRD's track-test programme will begin shortly and continue into the autumn

TRD submits Tundra truck to NASCAR

Toyota Motor Sales USA announced its intention to race in the Craftsman Truck Series at the Chicago Auto Show in February, and a Toyota Tundra prototype race truck was unveiled at Daytona International Speedway during 500 race weekend. However the project was initiated over over a year ago when TRD had an optical scan created of a production Tundra. TRD then utilized Swift Engineering, the aerodynamics development company in San Clemente, CA, to help create the Tundra race truck body design.

"From the beginning, the Tundra race truck's creation utilized the talents of a number of knowledgeable people within TRD and several other well-known companies," said Jim Aust, president and CEO of TRD USA. "We have a wealth of experience and talent at TRD in creating an engine from scratch but, in developing the Tundra chassis and body, we went to industry experts with the knowhow in NASCAR-type equipment."

TRD and Swift took the Tundra body scan and digitally morphed it over 2004 body templates provided by NASCAR, which were also scanned into a design computer. Once the Tundra body shape digitally complied with what the common 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series templates, the digital surface information was translated to create a high-density urethane foam model. This model was ultimately used in creating the first set of Tundra body parts.

Once the Tundra race truck's basic shape was determined, the construction of the first-generation chassis and body began at the TRD Tundra Race Truck Center in North Carolina. A team of experienced NASCAR fabricators began creating a prototype racing truck.

With feedback from NASCAR technical staff, the Tundra was refined in the wind tunnel with the goal of presenting a first-generation Tundra race truck for preliminary evaluation by NASCAR in the autumn of 2002. Following additional restyling changes and further wind-tunnel testing, the first Tundra was revealed in Chicago on February 12, 2003, and a second truck was unveiled the next day at Daytona.

After Daytona, NASCAR made changes to the 2004 truck templates. Along with the other manufacturers competing in the Craftsman Truck Series, TRD's Tundra Race Truck Center reconfigured the Tundra to meet the new template requirements. Following a comparative evaluation of all proposed 2004 trucks, each manufacturer began to create its truck of record for the scheduled July 15 submission to the NASCAR Technical Center in Concord, NC.

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