David Wilson, president of TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development), posted this on Twitter before the start of the final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race of the 2017 season: "It's not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters," Paul 'Bear' Bryant.
Toyota goes racing because the lessons learned on the race track help us build better cars, trucks and SUVs. Case in point, Toyota, TRD and Calty Design, Toyota's U.S. design studio, worked hand-in-hand to develop the new 2018 Toyota Camry that matches its production counterpart. The result was a new, radically-redesigned Toyota Camry for both the showroom and the race track and both cars were introduced together at the Detroit International Auto Show – and the Camry went on to have a championship-winning year on track.
With one of the most well-rounded racing programs in the industry, Toyota competes across both NASCAR's national series – the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – and regional series, in NHRA's Top Fuel and Funny Car classes, and Formula Drift, as well as midget racing and off-road events.
Camry driver Martin Truex Jr. captured the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series driver's championship and also led Toyota to the manufacturer’s title – marking the second time Toyota has claimed each trophy – and the manufacturer has also won championships in: the NASCAR XFINITY and Truck Series; NHRA; off-road racing and rally; Formula Drift; and USAC racing. Toyota has also won some of racing's biggest events, including the Baja 1000, Daytona 500, Indy 500 and Pike Peak International Hill Climb, among other marquee triumphs.
Toyota competes in all three NASCAR national series – the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – as well as NASCAR regional series, where Toyota has won championships in each series.
In the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series—the top level of racing—Toyota won the 2017 manufacturer's championship and driver's championship with Martin Truex Jr. at the wheel. At the Cup level, Toyota supports multiple teams, including Joe Gibbs Racing and Furniture Row Racing.
In the XFINITY Series, Joe Gibbs Racing fields Camrys along with a handful of additional Camry teams. Christopher Bell, who has won championships with Toyota in the Truck Series and in USAC midget racing, will pilot a Camry full-time in the XFINITY Series for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2018.
Bell won the 2017 Truck Series driver’s championship with five wins and four poles to lead Toyota to the manufacturer's championship for the fifth year in a row – and Toyota's 10th title in the last 14 years. Tundra drivers won 12-of-23 races in 2017, leading 2,041 laps—both more than 50 percent of the races and laps contested.
Drag racing is the purest form of racing: first one to cross the finish line wins! The traditional length of a race is a quarter mile—1,320 feet. The National Hot Rod Association, better known as NHRA, was formed with two goals: to take drag racing off the streets and to create a set of rules and regulations to make the racing safe.
In NHRA, Toyota drivers compete in Top Fuel and Funny Car. In the Top Fuel division, Toyota partners with Don Schumacher Racing, whose drivers include Antron Brown, a three-time World Champion (2012, 2015 and 2016). Kalitta Motorsports also fields Top Fuel and Funny Car teams under the Toyota banner with Doug Kalitta, Richie Crampton and Shawn Langdon in Top Fuel while JR Todd and Alexis DeJoria raced to wins in Camry Funny Cars in 2017.
Of all the forms of racing, Formula Drift is one of the newest. After starting in Japan, drifting came to America with an exhibition in California in 2003, and turned into a full-time, American-based series in 2004. Drifting is unique in that it's not a timed race or an endurance race, but rather drivers compete two at a time and are judged on line, angle and style as they match each other's controlled slides across a race track.
Longtime Toyota and Lexus driver Ken Gushi, who learned to drift as a teen in California, competed in that first exhibition event and is one of four diverse faces in Toyota's Formula D lineup. The Japanese-born driver joins New Hampshire's Ryan Tuerck and Jhonnattan Castro, a multi-time drifting champion in the Dominican Republic, fielding the Toyota 86 in Formula Drift. The 'Norwegian Hammer' Fredric Aasbø, the 2015 Formula Drift champion and all-time series wins leader, races the Toyota Corolla iM in Formula D competition.
Rally racing has been taking place for decades and these trail races can span a day, weekend or even weeks and cover different continents. There is a driver and navigator. The driver mans the wheel for the race, while the navigator alerts the driver of upcoming obstacles and the angles of the turns using verbal cues.
This year marked the inaugural season for the new American Rally Association (ARA), where the Rally RAV4 duo of Ryan Millen and navigator Rhianon Gelsomino won the ARA's 2WD championship, and came in fourth overall against AWD competition.
In addition to earning the ARA's 2WD championship, the pair went six-for-six in class in ARA competition, taking first place in every event while also winning the 2017 National NASA Rally Sport 2WD championship. The duo also competed in Rally America in 2017 and won eight-of-10 events entered. The automatic, 2WD Rally RAV4 has a number of advantages over its competitors – even AWD vehicles – especially in an event like the Ojibwe Forests Rally in Minnesota, where a substantial portion of the race over sand and clay that benefits the RAV4.
"The automatic transmission makes it easier to drive [when the surface is slippery], and not having a turbocharger makes it really easy to control the wheelspin better," explained Millen of the Toyota entry's advantages. "Sometimes manuals can make things more complicated. The RAV4 just lets us power through."
Straight line or racing through the woods, Toyota and TRD lead the way to the checkered flag.
A lot of people take their wheels for granted: they're round and made of aluminum, so what else is there? The truth is, a lot goes into wheel design to make sure they are not only compatible with the vehicle they're mounted on, but that they're made to stand up to the rigors of all the different styles of driving, from track to off-road.
That's what makes TRD Wheels so special. They utilize hot forged construction that is lighter than their cast counterparts and offer a higher strength-to-weight ratio. Among other benefits, they deliver the proper weight, offset and brake clearance to ensure proper fit, finish and reliability. So when you're in the market for new wheels, don't settle for anything less than TRD Wheels.