Toyota Supra is back at the track! Beginning in 2019, the globally-recognized iconic sports car will prove its championship mettle in the hotly contested NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS). Supra will make its on-track debut in the NXS race at Daytona on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019.
Toyota has fielded Camry in NXS competition since 2007, tallying four manufacturer championships while Camry has earned two driver championships and 143 wins. The 2019 season marks the first year Toyota will field a different model in all three of NASCAR’s national series – Camry at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) level, Supra in the NXS, and Tundra in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS).
“When you talk Toyota and cool cars, Supra is the first thing that comes to mind for many auto enthusiasts,” said Ed Laukes, group vice president of Toyota Division Marketing. “Supra’s return in production form is huge news, but now we’re also going to see this iconic sports car return to American motorsport. From a marketing perspective, it’s important to have a race car that evokes the dynamism and character of its showroom counterpart. We’re confident we’ve accomplished that with Supra, and we hope racing fans the world over will proudly cheer its success on track.”
Toyota worked with its subsidiaries, TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development) in Costa Mesa, California, and Calty Design Research, Inc. (Calty) in Newport Beach, California, to develop a Supra for NASCAR competition. The two teams applied key learnings from their prior collaborative efforts in NASCAR, which included the 2018 Toyota Camry that clinched the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.
To build the Supra for NASCAR, TRD and Calty scaled Supra to fit within NASCAR’s specifications for race vehicle entries in the NXS.
“We’ve had tremendous success working with Calty to develop race cars that match the look, feel and excitement of their showroom counterparts,” said David Wilson, president of TRD. “We’re confident Calty and TRD have developed another race car, Supra, that is capable of winning races and championships. For Supra to be racing in NASCAR just speaks to how important this vehicle is to us, and that we believe Supra can be a bona fide championship winner.”
Supra previously raced in both America and Japan, where it was a dominant force in Super GT competition and a contender in the IMSA Camel GT Series in the 1980s. It also made two appearances in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in the 1990s.