NASCAR Cup: Toyota takes manufacturers’ title
The No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Kyle Busch on tack at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 20, 2016 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).
By AMANDA VINCENT
Toyota claimed its first-ever NASCAR Sprint Cup Series manufacturers’ championship in 2016, with that title locked-up Sunday at the conclusion of the Ford Eco-Boost 400 Sprint Cup Series season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. While it was the manufacturer’s first title at the Cup level, it completed a sweep of manufacturers’ championships across NASCAR’s three national series — Sprint Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck — in 2016.
The Xfinity Series manufacturers’ title also was claimed in that series season-finale at Homestead-Miami the previous day. The championship in the Truck Series, though, was clinched a week earlier at Phoenix International Speedway. Toyota has multiple manufacturers’ titles in those two series.
“Capturing our first Cup Series manufacturers’ title is a tremendous accomplishment and one that has been a goal for Toyota since entering the series 10 years ago as underdogs in this ultra-competitive series,” Toyota Motor Sales USA Vice President of Integrated Marketing and Operations Ed Laukes said. “With the partnership of great teams like Joe Gibbs Racing and Furniture Row Racing, Toyota has been able to break through and become the first different manufacturer to earn this championship in 13 seasons. Toyota has now won manufacturers’ championships in all three NASCAR national touring series, and to have reached this amazing milestone really speaks to Toyota’s commitment to, not only NASCAR, but also to motorsports endeavors around the globe. We’re proud of the effort put forth by each of our Toyota teams and all of the Toyota team members that have allowed us to reach this goal.”
Toyota’s win of the 2016 manufacturers’ title ended a Chevrolet stranglehold on the award, as Chevy had been the manufacturers’ champion each season since 2003.
Five Toyota drivers — Furniture Row Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing — combined to win 16 of the 36 points-paying races that made up the 2016 Sprint Cup Series season. Busch and Truex led the way with four wins apiece, while Edwards won three times and Hamlin and Kenseth each made two trips to victory lane.