Report: Toyota on the Brink of Extending Its Portfolio From NASCAR to IndyCar

Published 12/31/2021, 3:00 AM EST


Motorsports and automobile companies have a symbiotic relationship. Both parties need each other in order to prosper and progress. So for Toyota, one of the biggest automobile companies in the world, to dive into IndyCar, one of the biggest racing leagues in the world, makes complete sense.

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As per the latest reports, Toyota could very well enter, or rather, re-enter IndyCar in 2022 as a third OEM.

According to Adam Stern, Roger Penske has said that the process of getting a new OEM is in the “late stages”. And that OEM could very well be Toyota not only because of the heavy rumors of its return but also because of a statement by the company itself.

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In November, Toyota Racing Development Executive Engineer and Technical Director Andy Graves had said, “We always keep our fingers on the pulse of all motorsports garages and activity in North America. Obviously having Roger take over IndyCar was great and you’re going to see huge growth. Of course we have those discussions in other garages because we have a lot of friends in all forms of racing.”

So it’s not wrong to assume that the third OEM in Penske’s comments could indeed be Toyota.

But Graves also added, “Right now, our focus is on NASCAR, GTD, SRO, NHRA, Formula Drift, USAC, World of Outlaws and off-road racing, so we’ve got a lot on our plate right now and are excited for all those forms we represent.”

2022 could be a big year for Toyota in American motorsports landscape

While Toyota could enter IndyCar next year, it is very well drenched to the nose in NASCAR, and a little worried as well. Toyota Racing President David Wilson had expressed concerns with the difficult task that is the Next Gen car.

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Wilson had said, “This isn’t just an evolution – we’re taking the seat out of the current car and throwing the rest away and we can’t minimize that. The reality is we’re going to be working on this airplane while we’re flying it.”

“We’re going to be working on this car while we’re racing it next year.”

Nov 7, 2021; Avondale, Arizona, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin (11) during Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

So let’s see how the coming year fares for Toyota. The stakes are high in NASCAR and the opportunity is there in IndyCar. Question is, will the Japanese giant be able to conquer the American motorsports landscape?

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Shaharyar

466 articles

Shaharyar is a Formula 1 & NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Journalism from Amity University, he has been a passionate follower of motorsports for better part of the decade. A Max Verstappen and Ferrari supporter, he dreams of a pairing of the two in future.

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