Toyota has had a run of success recently, and hopes to build off it. Currently backing two major teams, the only foreign manufacturer in NASCAR hopes to add even more to its stable next season.
According to a report from NASCAR Talk, Toyota Racing Development president David Wilson is in talks to bring on several new teams. But the most important might be Furniture Row Racing, which is currently a single-car group hoping to expand to two teams in the future.
“We’d definitely be open to (adding Furniture Row),” Wilson told NASCAR Talk. “I’d said consistently, particularly with this new Chase format, we could use a couple more quality cars. It’s not about numbers. We’ve got to have quality. We could expand as early as next year if the circumstances present themselves.”
Furniture Row certainly brings quality in every department. Martin Truex Jr. has already clinched a spot in the 2015 Chase with Cole Pearn, a former engineer with Richard Childress Racing, as his crew chief. Truex is also a former driver with Michael Waltrip Racing, one of two teams currently under TRD’s umbrella.
Currently a thriving team looking to expand, FRR owner Barney Visser voiced his displeasure with the support he’s received from Chevrolet in the past.
“There just doesn’t seem to be any money out of General Motors (Chevrolet) and probably never will be for us,” Visser said. “Something’s got to give. We’ll see where it goes.”
While RCR has enjoyed a wealth of added success this season with Furniture Row, he said the team will move on without the fledgling team.
“Just like I tell all my people, we’ll find new revenue,” Childress told NASCAR Talk. “In business, you look for revenue. It’s a great alliance. Barney has a been a great customer, is a great customer. We’d like to see it go on, if for whatever reason he wants to go to Toyota or Ford or another Chevrolet manufacturer … then we’ll find other revenues somewhere else.”
Of its six drivers, Toyota currently has three drivers locked into the Chase with Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards all winning races for Joe Gibbs Racing. Kyle Busch, who has won three of the last four events, simply needs to get into the top 30 to make it two-thirds of the Toyota drivers into NASCAR’s postseason. Clint Bowyer is barely outside of the Chase Grid at 17th for Michael Waltrip Racing.
It remains to be seen who Furniture Row would build an alliance with if it departs from RCR, but Gibbs seems like a perfect fit. With all four drivers winning at a consistent rate each season, JGR can lock in with another flourishing team to add to its success in Sprint Cup.
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