While it is only at NASCAR's second level—the Xfinity Series— Toyota is changing car packages from the Camry to the Supra.
This might seem like relatively boring and small news, but this is certainly big for fans of Toyota cars. This move means that the much beloved Toyota Supra will be making its way to roads very soon.
The Supra has an interesting history in the world of automobiles. The original line ran from 1978 to 2002, as a package for the Toyota Celica, becoming its own model for the 1986 model year. This was spread across four generations.
The news of the Supra heading to NASCAR comes after months of rumors, though many experts said wouldn't happen at all. According to Speed Society, the timeline to launch the vehicle will be very tight as the car will debut on the track for the 2019 Xfinity season.
It's not all that surprising that Toyota is changing models as the Camry is very long in the tooth— it debuted 2007 and went through some facelifts since then. By NASCAR standards, this platform is old and was likely to fall behind both Chevrolet and Ford who switched over to the Camaro and the Mustang respectively. Chevy made the change this season and struggled in the early to mid going, while Ford will jump to the Mustang next season.
This will more or less mean that by 2020 all manufacturers will run new platforms and the competitive edge that Toyota had in the last few seasons will be gone, at least in the early going as Crew Chiefs learn the Supra platform. Though it will be likely Chevrolet who dominates that season as they'll have a few years to tinker with the platform at the top level. It's just a good thing that Toyota will more or less be ending the Camry's time in NASCAR at or near the top of its game as it brought Toyota two championships with Kyle Busch in the 2015 season and Martin Truex Jr. last year. Toyota is currently atop the NASCAR standings, with Busch presently leading the field in terms of points.
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