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NASCAR Truck: Toyota continues series support, despite spec engine

Toyota driver Christopher Bell celebrates winning the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship after a second-place finish in the Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 17, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Toyota driver Christopher Bell celebrates winning the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship after a second-place finish in the Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 17, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

Toyota Racing Development President David Wilson told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Friday that Toyota will continue to support and compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, despite its recent balking of a spec engine for the series that will be an option to Truck Series teams this year and is expected to become the mandatory engine next year.

Since talk of a spec engine for the Truck Series intensified and the Ilmor-built engine based on the Chevrolet power plant was tested by Chevy’s GMS Racing drivers multiple times in 2017, the loudest criticism of the sanctioning body going to a spec engine for the series came from Toyota and at least a couple of its drivers. But, according to Wilson, the manufacturer recognizes the Camping World Truck Series as an important stepping stone in driver development not to be skipped.

“It is a little bit of a sensitive issue with all the manufactures,” Wilson said. “Arguably, the biggest single piece of (intellectual property) in any car or truck is the engine, so certainly that’s important to us. By the same token, we understand the bigger picture. We have been working with NASCAR; all the OEMs have been working with NASCAR to make sure that we keep this series going, because here’s the bottom line — while our motivation to run in trucks has changed over the years, it remains an absolute critical step in how we as an industry develop drivers. The leap from ARCA or K&N or Super Late Models straight to Xfinity — that’s too big of a leap. You need a step and that Truck Series is a very important step. You look the drivers that have come through just in our camp — Erik Jones, Christopher Bell, Daniel Suarez — that experience in the Truck garage has been absolutely critical in preparing them to be successful in Xfinity and, ultimately, in Cup. We’re going to continue to take a big picture approach with the Truck Series and work with our friends at NASCAR. If there are some spec engines that have to be under a Tundra hood, so be it, we’ll be okay.”

Three manufacturers are active in the Camping World Truck Series — Toyota, Chevrolet and Ford. Toyota was the 2017 manufacturers’ champion in the Truck Series, as Toyota driver and team Christopher Bell and Kyle Busch Motorsports were the series’ 2017 drivers’ and owners’ champions, respectively.

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Posted by on January 24, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,NASCAR Camping World Truck. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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