Toyota targeting Cup wins in 2008

Toyota officials are confident that they will win races next season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, saying the addition of Joe Gibbs Racing to their pool of teams has moved their goals one year ahead of schedule

Toyota targeting Cup wins in 2008

The Japanese manufacturer completed a difficult debut season in the Nextel Cup, which was affected by having most of their drivers outside the top-35 in the owner points, meaning that they often struggled to qualify for races. In fact, two of the three Toyota teams were new to the Nextel Cup this year.

Jim Aust, Toyota Motor Sales vice president of motorsports in the US, said their programme did not get as far they were hoping this year, admitting they expected to be further up the field by the middle of the season.

Dave Blaney, the best Toyota driver all season, finished 34th in the standings, getting a third place at Talladega in October as his best race result, and claiming Toyota's first Nextel Cup pole position at Loudon in July.

"I would probably give our first season a letter grade of a B-minus," Aust said. "We're probably about 14 races behind where I thought we would be. We expected to run in the top 15 by mid-season, and we moved in on that at the end of the season.

"Overall, the consistency picked up, but we still have plenty of work to do in order to compete with the Hendrick, Childress and Roush teams."

Aust is optimistic that next year Toyota will win not one but many races and even believes that they might be in a position to fight for the championship, a goal they had set for 2009 but one that looks closer now with Joe Gibbs Racing competing under their banner.

"I think our teams are setting themselves up for success next season," Aust added. "I don't think there is any question that we will get some wins next year and hopefully the first will come at Daytona.

"When we looked at our program we thought that by year three we would be in contention for a championship -- and that was before the addition of Joe Gibbs Racing. That's going to be moved ahead by a year now with the addition of that team."

Besides Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota will also add Hall of Fame Racing to their NASCAR Sprint Cup squad.

shares
comments
Papis to attempt two Cup races in '08

Previous article

Papis to attempt two Cup races in '08

Next article

Montoya to defend Rolex 24 victory

Montoya to defend Rolex 24 victory
Load comments
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020
Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy Plus

Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy

The last season of a retiring NASCAR great has shown promise, and may have resulted in another playoff push without small issues outside his control. 2020 won't be the year Jimmie Johnson would have wanted, but it won't be what he is remembered for

NASCAR
Sep 3, 2020
Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR Plus

Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR

Comparing Porsche's 919 HYBRID LMP1 to NASCAR is motorsport's equivalent of apples and oranges, but this weekend one of Weissach's top works aces will pit his skills against the regulars and revive the tradition of the 'road-course ringer'

NASCAR
Aug 13, 2020