The Frontstretch: Matt McLaughlin Mouths Off : Toyota's Here .. And There Goes The Neighborhood by Matt McLaughlin -- Thursday February 28, 2008

Go to site navigation Go to article

Kudzu, a Japanese import, was introduced to the United States in 1876 during the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. The fast growing vine with its massive root structure was said to be a valuable ally in preventing soil erosion, particularly in the Southeast portion of the United States where the climate was perfect for the plant. In fact, the U.S. government spent a lot of money planting Kudzu down South; and in one of the classic cases of the Law of Unintended Consequences, it did, in fact, flourish in the United States. But Kudzu hasn’t exactly done what it’s supposed to; with no natural enemies, the vine took over its habitat, eliminating native plants in many areas and making a perfect, if seemingly undefeatable, enemy for Southern farmers. Tens of millions of dollars have been spent on trying to eradicate Kudzu — but it still flourishes in many areas, even to this day.

OK, I don't write about botany; and my only real experience with gardening came back during my long ago ill-spent youth, when another non-indigenous weed (said to have been imported to keep railroad ties from rotting in wet climates) was part of daily life.

So, where am I going with this?

It’s to point out an eerie similarity of sorts. Another non-native species has become part of NASCAR's culture over the past five years, threatening to eradicate all those competing against it — and that's Toyota. Say what you will about Toyotas produced here in the United States, but they are still a foreign car company nonetheless. The fact some Toyotas are built in the U.S. doesn't make them an American car company any more than the fact that I can get somewhat serviceable General Tsao's Chicken here in the sleepy burg of Guthriesville, PA. The food might be made in an American town… but that still doesn’t make it American cuisine.

Denny Hamlin’s and Tony Stewart’s early push has positioned Toyota to make a splash in their second season in Cup.

Like Kudzu, Toyota has flourished in a non-native environment, and threatens to eliminate domestic competition not only in NASCAR racing, but in the auto market. Perhaps you feel I'm being alarmist. As this is written, Toyota hasn't won a single points-paying Cup race, its best finish to date just third place — although if you watched the last lap at Daytona, you know they didn't miss by much.

When you look at history, though, Toyota’s success rate is well in line with how they’ve performed in the past. The manufacturer's first foray into NASCAR racing came in the Craftsman Truck Series back in 2004. After a surprise second place finish at Daytona with Travis Kvapil, Toyota struggled through a series of misadventures that saw them facing teething problems, often paired with circumstances that seemed to conspire to keep them from winning races. It wasn't until September of that year when Kvapil managed to put Toyota into Victory Lane for the first time at NHIS; within a month, Todd Bodine, at the wheel of another Toyota, won back-to-back races at California and Texas. But at the end of the season, it was Dodge's Bobby Hamilton edging out Chevy's Dennis Setzer, Ted Musgrave in another Dodge, and Ford's Carl Edwards for the series title. Stasis was maintained at the top; the best finishing Toyota pilot was Kvapil, coming home a distant eighth in the final standings.

Things went a bit better for Toyota in the Truck Series in 2005, particularly in the second half of the season. Tundra drivers won nine of 25 races, including the last three, with Todd Bodine scoring the Trifecta. Five total victories allowed Bodine to finish fourth in points; but that was merely a precursor of what was to come. In 2006, the manufacturer took control of the series, scoring 12 wins in 25 races as Bodine took home his first Truck title. Behind him, Toyota pilots swept the top six finishing positions in the standings, a shocking turnaround in just their third season. In contrast, the Dodges — once the powerhouses of the CTS — went without a single win. The following year, Toyotas won 13 of 25 races, but Ron Hornaday upheld the home team's honor, bringing home the title in a Chevrolet. Still, Toyota drivers took positions two through four in the series; and despite Hornaday's points trophy, the Trucks had in effect transitioned into the Toyota Invitational — for the second straight year, the manufacturer's championship was theirs.

In their first assault on what was then the Busch Series last year, Toyota managed to score two victories. While Carl Edwards ran away with the title in a Ford, David Reutimann, at the wheel of a Toyota, finished second in the standings. Just one year later, Camrys have already swept the first two races this season, with Tony Stewart dominating both Daytona and California in his JGR Camry.

Toyota also began competing in the Cup Series last year; but over on that side of the fence, even the kindest critic couldn't label their first-year performance as anything but a debacle. Starting with the Michael Waltrip fuel scandal at Daytona (and his subsequent failure to even qualify for the next 12 races) missteps continued throughout a forgettable season; the best Toyota could manage was a 31st place finish in the standings with Dave Blaney.

In off-track action towards the end of that year, Toyota made headlines by signing Joe Gibbs’ three Cup teams — once stalwarts of the GM campaign — to compete in Camrys for 2008. The result? An immediate step up from mediocrity to respectability. On the last lap of the Daytona 500, Toyotas were running 1-2, and it took the pairing of Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch to rain on a Toyota parade that threatened to march right through the Great American Race.

In other major news, last year Toyota came up a few thousand vehicles short of taking the title of most prolific car manufacturer from GM. This year, analysts predict that Toyota will take over that top spot at last; and for the first time ever, the leader in the industry won’t be headquartered within the heart of Detroit.

As the transition of power continues, there’s an interesting correlation that’s been made throughout it all. It seems that interest in the Truck Series has declined in proportion to Toyota’s success; and my guess is as Toyota begins winning races in the Nationwide and Cup Series, a lot of longtime fans will head for the exits.

Why? Simple; in a sport founded on the slogan “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday,” it is impossible to separate Toyota the car manufacturer from Toyota the NASCAR Cup entrant. Toyota (and Honda) have the American Big Three on the ropes, and a lot of good paying blue collar jobs in the auto industry and in satellite industries to the auto industry are gone, perhaps for good. Trying to decide why is launching into a thorny thicket; I'll leave that to others for the most part. But even as a fan of the “home teams,” I won't deny that executive arrogance and union greed have helped land us in this unholy mess, to the point wherein GM wants to buy out all its hourly employees. As the Big Three continue to hemorrhage red ink, it is impossible not to consider a future where one or even all of them cut NASCAR racing programs from their marketing budgets. Right now, the party line is that when the chips are down, there's a need to market and promote the brand; and as far as bang for the buck, NASCAR is the big arena. But that trend will continue only as long as their cars keep winning; to continue to spend millions — only to have a foreign rival start kicking their butts in a very public forum — isn't going to sit well with even the most liberal shareholders of Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge.

I realize some of you reading this are thinking the free market economy is one of the things that makes America great. If Toyota can provide a better product at a comparable price, you say, there's no reason they shouldn't take over the market. But my faction might liken this life or death struggle to the stick and ball sports. Being from the Philadelphia market, I am all too used to our teams providing a substandard product. But even during the worst seasons (and there have been lots of them) if the Eagles can just beat those despised Dallas Cowboys twice, then 14 other losses are acceptable. I'm not sure what makes so many Eagles diehards despise the Cowboys, unless it's the fact the Boys were once the all-dominating team in the NFL East — just as Toyota is now a dominant player in the auto marketplace. And just like Eagles fans can endure countless losing seasons without a title as long as the Eagles beat the Cowboys, GM, Ford, and Chrysler fans can accept the new reality in the marketplace — just as long as Blue Ovals, Bowties, and Rams continue to dominate in NASCAR racing.

So, with the very real chance (I'd say near certainty) that Toyota drivers will win races this season and compete for titles, it behooves NASCAR to address the situation head on. After all, they say they are trying to win back and maintain longtime fans, many of whom have an attitude of "Better a sister in a whorehouse than a brother in a Toyota." While the France family has taken millions of yen to allow Toyota to get a foot in the door, there is also a way to ease them back out of the picture. As I've stated before, I think the quickest way to revitalize the series is have Ford Mustangs, Chevy Camaros, and Dodge Challengers as the mounts of choice in Cup racing. All three nameplates have a solid performance history, and legions of rabidly loyal fans. The Mustang, in particular, is a performance icon, having endured while the Camaro and Challenger went on hiatus. Back in the ’80s, I owned a succession of 5.0 Mustangs, and in that era, at the wheel of a Mustang you owned the streets. There was no need to fear an IROC or a Corvette, much less a 944 Turbo or Supra. Yes, there were still 911 Turbos and ZR1s out there; but by and large, the buyers of such ludicrously expensive machines tended to be older and less prone to show up at the street drags in South Philly to run.

But what about Toyota? They don't have a pony car, and even if they were to start producing one next year, it would take a generation to make it an icon. There would be no Hemi Challengers, Shelby Mustangs, or Yenko Camaros to back up the nameplate; and by risking introducing a V-8 powered, gas hungry wild into the streets, Toyota would risk alienating the Prius-owning, fuel-sipping, sustainable transportation crowd that have become their champions. That's thin ice my gut tells me that company would be too smart to tread out on.

And for all their seemingly inexhaustible financial resources, technical expertise, and determination, Toyota is not unconquerable. After a few good seasons in open wheel racing, when the Hondas began dominating the series, Toyota took their ball and went home, saying they chose to marshal their resources to compete in the worldwide arena of Formula One. Their success rate since doing so? Not much to speak of; to date, their best efforts have hardly produced a ripple in the pond.

Call me a xenophobe, but I cannot stand the idea of a foreign auto manufacturer winning a Cup title; and I know there's a lot of others like me out there, too, despite the fact some of them might have a Camry or Tundra parked in the driveway. I'd like to think the spiritual descendants of those Captains of Industry in Detroit from the early 1940s — who marshaled their efforts to win World War II, can once again rally to defeat foreign invaders — but I am no longer certain, just hopeful. In the meantime, until Detroit, our home teams, get their acts back together, at least let fans in this country have our sweet little victories on Sunday afternoons.

Author’s Note: Because of deeply held religious beliefs, I don't want the above article to be construed as implying that I don't like folks of Asian descent. Over the years, I have had many Asian friends who have made my life that much richer. At car shows and flea markets, I regularly deal with Asian buyers and enthusiasts who love the same cars and motorcycles that I do. Because of our common interests, we can form a bond even when language is a barrier. Late last Fall, when I was riding my Harley through Amish country up 322, I happened across a group of Japanese tourists clearly enamored of my Nightster. One of them shyly asked if he could have a friend take a picture of him sitting astride my bike. Naturally, I agreed, and everyone left our encounter grinning after much shaking of hands and good-natured, if not entirely successful, attempts at conversation. I have no problems with Asians or any other ethnic group; I just don't care much for the Japanese companies' methods of doing business.

Drivers to Watch at Las Vegas

Jimmie Johnson: Johnson has won the last three Vegas Cup races, and the sport’s betting odds at Vegas are for him to make it four in a row. It's hard to win betting against the House.

Matt Kenseth: Prior to Johnson's three wins, Kenseth won two Cup events in a row at Vegas. This track has traditionally been a strong venue for the Roush Fords, too.

Kyle Busch: As hot as he's running right now, the next win could occur anytime, anywhere.

Mark Martin: Martin won the first Cup race run at Vegas, and has won here twice in the Busch Series. The sentimentalist's pick.

Frontstretch faithful, don’t miss out — now is the time to sign up for your favorite fantasy games before it’s too late! Click here to become an Ultimate Frontstretch Fantasy Player for just $10, making yourself eligible to win our season-ending Grand Prize Pack! From the Game of Tomorrow to our new NASCAR Knockout Pool, we have all your fantasy needs right here on FS … so don’t wait another second!

Still not signed up for the Frontstretch Newsletter? Now’s your chance to be a part of a growing list of subscribers yearning for even more news, information, and commentary from Frontstretch you can’t find anywhere on the website. Click here to sign up today — getting all your Frontstretch info delivered straight to your email inbox!

NASCAR NEWS, RIGHT TO YOUR INBOXAND IT’S FREE.
The Frontstretch Newsletter, back in 2014 gives you more of the daily news, commentary, and racing features from your favorite writers you know and love. Don’t waste another minute – click here to sign up now. We’re here to make sure you stay informed … so make sure you jump on for the ride!

Today on the Frontstretch:
NASCAR Easter Eggs: A Few Off-Week Nuggets to Chew On
Five Points To Ponder: NASCAR’s Take-A-Breath Moment
Truckin’ Thursdays: Top Five All-Time Truck Series Drivers
Going By the Numbers: A Week Without Racing Can Bring Relief But Kill Momentum
FREE NEWSLETTER! CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

 

©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

marc
02/28/2008 01:45 AM
permalink

“It seems that interest in the Truck Series has declined in proportion to Toyotas success, and my guess is as Toyota begins winning races in the Nationwide and Cup series, a lot of longtime fans like myself will head for the exits.”

By what criteria are you judging a loss of interest in NCTS?

The Oct 2007 event at Martinsville TV ratings were up 18 percent from 2006 and men in the 18-49 age group saw the most dramatic growth, up 92 percent from the previous year.

This Years NCTS Daytona event was up just short of 100% over the 2007 TV ratings.

Sooo.. what gage are you using? Damn sure isn’t butts in front of the idiot box. And I doubt you could prove it by an accurate count of butts in the stands either.

Douglas
02/28/2008 07:17 AM
permalink

RE: TOYOTA in NA$CAR!

Well, you simply cannot have it both ways! NA$CAR sells itself to the highest bidders, year in and year out! In NA$CAR, money is the goal, not “pure” stock car racing!

NA$CAR is more than happy to take money from the “INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY”, therefore having “foreign” products on their tracks is appropriate!

If NA$CAR had maintained it’s roots in the south,
kept the old historic tracks open, not ventured into areas like that (sick) California track, then a manufacturer like Toyota maybe would not find NA$CAR an attractive place to showcase their cars!

Nope, when NA$CAR thought it was the high and mighty answer to the entertainment of the cheese and wine crowd, all thing changed!

NA$CAR is betting the kitchen sink on the fact that having a Toyota or two in the field, will attract more of the wine & cheese crowd than the numbers of old faithful that are leaving the sport!

The die is cast!

Johnboy60
02/28/2008 10:43 AM
permalink

Great story!! Kind of gets the point out to the newbies liberals that will watch and wonder why things are going down hill. It really galls me that the “California gang” is sooooo vocal but when it comes to spending and attending they fall far short of even the most unattended east coast race. I thing they should keep their mouths shut until they start backing it up with sell outs. I own some property in Nevada and hope some day it is coastal!!

Kurt Smith
02/28/2008 11:30 AM
permalink

Part of the reason that American cars are built far, far better than they used to be is because of foreign competition…not Toyota necessarily, but the Japanese certainly.

Toyota in NASCAR will make the competition tougher, and by extension, improve the racing. I’d rather see 43 good cars fighting it out for the win than 20 cars going for the win and 10 cars that are just there to run laps or even just park.

Janice
02/28/2008 11:46 AM
permalink

I hate kudzu. Got a ton of it all over the place in Georiga, and it chokes the trees. Looks ugly in the winter when it turns brown.

Change is going to happen. I don’t like change very much. I don’t like what I see in NA$CAR very much either. It’s just all about the money and who can shovel the most to Brian.

Bill Z
02/28/2008 12:04 PM
permalink

Wow, wish I could get that 5 minutes back, what an ignorant article. And for what it’s worth Matt, that disclaimer you added at the end equates to someone using a racial slur and then trying to make amends by reminding everyone that they have african american friends.

Steve Cloyd
02/28/2008 12:14 PM
permalink

NASCAR is doing everything it can to be a spec series. It’s inevitable really in all forms of racing as the costs of not being a spec series have risen too high. The car of tomorrow was not created to fix the racing (obviously since f’ing aero push still exists). It was created to be Cup’s version of the IROC of yesterday, with a “too fast, too furious” look to attract the younger kids.

Even though they’ve stopped current work on it, I’m sure there will be a common engine soon too. There will be no real incentive for multiple manufacturers to be involved after that, if there even is now. It won’t be about who makes the best equipment any longer. It will be about who can buy the best people.

My prediction is NASCAR will then sell the “official car of NASCAR” rights to the highest bidder. The only companies that could afford to pay wild Brian’s legal bills would be Toyota or Honda.

Then you’ll see the highest bidder sell similar street cars at dealerships with that stupid wing and NASCAR decals all over it to the too fast and too furious crowd they were designed to attract.

This is no longer your fathers NASCAR. It’s not a sport or a show. It’s a make-as-much-money-as-you-can-today-and-to-hell-with-tomorrow business modeled after so many American companies today. The only difference is Brian won’t ever be fired and given a multi-million dollar severance package after failing the company, its employees, and its customers.

bob
02/28/2008 12:17 PM
permalink

thank god finally somebody speaks up about the invasion of toyota. i watch thousands of people lose jobs in michigan every year because of toyota, honda and the others. the same people that complain about thier kids can’t find jobs are the ones driving those imports. you also mention the greed of the unions, stop and look at the salaries and bennys of the salary folks that make the union wage look small by comparision. if nascar had a lick of common sense they would tell the non domestic brands to go away and return as nascar says to the way it used to be. i no longer watch racing on tv because of the invasion and will continue to boycott until they are gone.

Margo L
02/28/2008 12:25 PM
permalink

I don’t see anyone calling this column well thought out . You’re right, there are plenty of Camrys ,and Tundras in driveways across America . They are also the dominant make in the parking lot at every NASCAR venue . Toyota didn’t force people to buy their products , people willingly laid out the money to buy what they feel was the best value in automobiles . A column this ridiculous could only have been written to get response from readers . At least i hope that was your motivation . Otherwise , the village of Guthriesville knows where it’s idiot is .

Steve Cloyd
02/28/2008 12:44 PM
permalink

“They are also the dominant make in the parking lot at every NASCAR venue . “

You’ve counted cars at every NASCAR venue?

Like it or not, agree with it or not, Matt’s column reflects the blue collar attitude toward Toyota and Honda. I’d wager a fair majority of NASCAR fans are those same blue collar type people, although I can’t say it as if it is fact because I haven’t done the research. ;)

C in VA
02/28/2008 12:52 PM
permalink

Well said Bill Z. I commented on an article last week this guy wrote and it was removed. Clowns like this are why are what’s wrong with America. This country was built on the premise of free speech and open minded thinking. Not being xenophobic and waxing poetic about the good ole’ days. And I’m sick of people blaming Toyota and Honda for the US auto industry problems. Why don’t the look at the unions and the manufacturers themselves? If they would have taken time to develop decent, fuel efficient cars and not just gas guzzling SUVs, maybe they wouldn’t have as many problems. You want to know why no one wants to buy a Ford Fusion, because the interior looks like the old 94 Escort. How about something new!

HankZ
02/28/2008 12:58 PM
permalink

Yeah! Alrighty then! It makes ya wonder what the Japanesae were thinking when Nascar brought over American iron to their track with Skinner winning the race a few years back. Sure, the locals were all smiles but I bet they had conversations like this article.

The only way to stop the onslaught of foreigners (in any medium) is for Americans to stop screwing each other. In todays “me first” society, it ain’t gonna happen any time soon.

Shorty
02/28/2008 12:59 PM
permalink

There’s a reason Toyota does so well and is the richest manufacturer in the world.It has the most effecient manufacturing process in the world that everybody else likes to use except for the big three and and the Japenese in general have focused on making cars and trucks that don’t break down all the time.That’s the big reason the big three are drowning in a sea of red ink.A lot of people that used to drive the big three have jumped ship to more reliable Japenese vehicles and rightly so.

Kenneth
02/28/2008 01:08 PM
permalink

I don’t understand the whole ‘Toyota is killing American jobs!’ stance. It’s not Toyota that is opening plants in Hermosillo, Mexico to make Fusions, or expanding a plant in Thailand to manufacture Colorado pickup trucks (which will in turn close a Chevy plant in Shreveport, LA)…while at the same time Toyota opened a Camry plant in Georgetown, KY and Nissan opened a 500,000 unit/yr. plant in Smyrna, TN. In other words, the Japanese companies are creating jobs here, while American companies are outsourcing jobs elsewhere.

Sure, you could argue that the profits are ultimately going overseas, but I would expect any blue collar American to prefer more Americans with jobs than having extra dollars in GM/Ford’s bottom line.

Steve Cloyd
02/28/2008 01:09 PM
permalink

“And I’m sick of people blaming Toyota and Honda for the US auto industry problems. Why don’t the look at the unions and the manufacturers themselves? “

Hey C in VA, did you read the whole article?

“But even as a fan of the “home teams,” I won’t deny that executive arrogance and union greed have helped land us in this unholy mess, to the point wherein GM wants to buy out all its hourly employees.”

Being xenophobic and waxing poetic about the good ole’ days is also allowed under the costitution as well I think.

C in VA
02/28/2008 01:21 PM
permalink

I wasn’t necessarily referring to the article when I wrote that. I was speaking of other posters on this site and other NASCAR fans I speak to. If the founding fathers waxed poetic about the good ole’ days, we would still be part of the British Empire. Without forward thinking we become a backward society.

Douglas
02/28/2008 01:33 PM
permalink

More thoughts on the TOYOTA revolution in NA$CAR!

Well, stated simply I grew up in the Detroit area, my family has worked most of their lives in the Auto Industry, have two son’s employed by the “BIG THREE” as we used to call it! And guess what my friends????

I got tired of buying Detroit’s JUNK! They thought it was my privilege to buy their crap and treated me like a “stupid customer” when it came time for warranty work!

And heaven knows there was a lot of warranty work to be done on that crap!

The domestic auto industry WAS NOT LOYAL TO US! WHY THEN SHOULD WE BE LOYAL TO THEM?

But, with the CoT, who can tell the difference between makes anyway! Only thing different is the labeling on those very sick cookie cutter cars!

Steve Cloyd
02/28/2008 01:35 PM
permalink

C in VA, I tend to agree with that to a point.

However, without considering our past, we’re doomed to many mistakes that could be avoided.

That’s my problem with NASCAR and most American business today. They’re milking it for all it’s worth in the moment and not worrying at all about the future, and with no respect toward the past that made them what they were in the first place.

You mention our forefathers. There was indeed much waxing poetic about the past. Our government is modeled after Roman and Greek governments from the past which they considered a better alternative to what they had at the moment. They just improved it using their fore-site mixed with lessons from history.

Kevin in SoCal
02/28/2008 01:36 PM
permalink

Kenneth, our wonderful federal government has been giving incentives and benefits for foreign companies to invest in and do business on American soil for quite some time now. At the same time, they are taxing and ruling to death the American companies that are already here. The American companies have been forced by these taxes and rules, along with union greed, to open manufacturing plants in other countries to compete pricewise. Too many people will buy a car for $25,000 from a foreign company, instead of spending $26,000 for an American car, without realizing the future consequences of their actions. Just look at how popular Wal-Mart is. Wal-Mart constantly forces their suppliers to sell to them cheaply, so the products get made in other countries with fewer laws and lower priced non-union workers.

Ginger
02/28/2008 02:25 PM
permalink

“I cannot stand the idea of a foreign auto manufacturer winning a Cup title; and I know there’s a lot of others like me out there, too,”

Great article. I was a young girl when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. I had family members killed and one imprisoned in Japan who later died of a heart attack at 35. While the people in the US were doing without, our taxes were re-building Japan. Now we are borrowing money from Japan (and China) to fight in Iraq. We owe our souls to the company store.
WTH is going on with this country? Don’t we learn anything from history?

Toyota is not an American company and has no place in Nascar. I have no idea how we got here from there.

Bill Z
02/28/2008 02:52 PM
permalink

Why be loyal to the big three when they’ve been taking customers for granted and sending ‘our’ jobs out of the country for decades? Pretty obvious that they are out to make a buck through any means necessary just like France and NASCAR. Go rent Roger & Me (Michael Moore’s best documentary, circa 1989)and see how warm and fuzzy you feel towards them. Trying to blame Japanese automakers for this is a total cop out. If US automakers want customers back, all they have to do is be better in tune with the market and develop a superior product.

mike
02/28/2008 03:19 PM
permalink

One of the reasons I gave up nascar for a few yrs was because of the bias toward chevy. When chevy wins half or more of the races I’m bored.

Thank God for toyota coming in to shake things up. And I’m hoping that this will give a kick to ford and dodge who need to step up or get out.

Now I’m just waiting to see if nascar will do anything to toyota if toyota starts winning lots of races. Because they didn’t do squat with chevy winning more than half last year.

Matt
02/28/2008 03:31 PM
permalink

While anyone is entitled to disagree with what I wrote or how I feel for the record no article I’ve written has been removed from this site

HOOSIERHUSTLER
02/28/2008 03:33 PM
permalink

what it all boils down to is the fact that NASCAR is being sold down the tube just like the USA!

sparxmoore
02/28/2008 03:39 PM
permalink

LETS SEE NA$CAR started development on the CAR OF TERRIBLE just about the time TOYOTA came to NA$CAR with a few BILLION dollars to spend . DOES even one true fan believe that the majority of the development was designed to allow toyota to compete ? All of the cars were virtually identical before but there were very distinct areas that TOYOTA just coulnt match and stay true to their identity ..
SO na$car rewrote the rulebook . We dont need to look any further than series sponsorship deals to KNOW that NA$CAR will sell out teams AND team sponsors in order to line THEIR OWN pockets …im just glad VOLKSWAGON didnt have a few billion to buy in TOO !!

Mike
02/28/2008 04:11 PM
permalink

The original Car of Tedium design looked like an over-sized version of last year’s car with some of the usual manufacturer identifiers (grill openings, hood, trunk,and roof line). Bumpers were off-set so there wouldn’t be any bump drafting. Pictures were published of it and then all went quiet. This was about the time Toyota was nosing around the garage area along with Honda and Nissan. Then we hear the first rumors of Toyota coming into NASCAR and get PR releases from Toyota denying they are. Then lo and behold, there’s Toyota. When the change of the Car of Tedium design came, it was being referred to by the folks at TRD as the Camry of Tomorrow.

Long story short, Toyota paid the Frances a huge some of money to get into NASCAR after repeteadly denying they were. Honda has done the same thing despite the fact that they’ve been issued templates for the Truck Series and pictures existing of a Honda truck being developed for the Craftsman Truck Series. Why do the Japanese manufacturers keep denying their interests when clearly they’re interested?

The France family has a “fine” tradition of bending the rules or rewriting them in favor of a manufacturer if it’ll make them a buck. Just a France family tradition at work folks.

Douglas
02/28/2008 05:09 PM
permalink

Hey Kevin in SoCal, (I’m back), a small tidbit of information re: Wal-Mart!

It’s a true quandary! When Wal-Mart was first getting going, it had a huge advertising campaign about ALL the American made products they featured in their stores, including big American Flag banners in their store windows touting American made goods!

BUT! The average customer was not going to pay a buck more for a pair of American made jeans when it could get the off-shore produced jeans for a buck less!

They (Wal-Mart) tried, but the fickle American customer wanted cheap! That is what drove Wal-Mart, and now all the others off-shore!

When you talk autos, the auto worker in the USA makes (effectively) over $100,000/year. And they, the auto industry, expects the $6.50 McDonalds worker, or the now mostly part time Sears work-force to pay $25,000 for a car!

It’s a topsy-turvy world for sure!

Now, lets discuss NAFTA!!

LOL!

marc
02/28/2008 05:56 PM
permalink

Douglas “If NA$CAR had maintained it’s roots in the south, kept the old historic tracks open, not ventured into areas like that (sick) California track, then a manufacturer like Toyota maybe would not find NA$CAR an attractive place to showcase their cars.”

If as you say NASCAR had remained in the south they not only wouldn’t have Toyota that so many xenophobes hate but you wouldn’t see Mome Depot, Lowes and so many other national brands on the sides of cars.

Without national exposure they would have never entered and the sides would still read “North Carolina Ford Dealers” and other strickly regional sponsers.

And BTW, you more than likely would only catch a televised race on tape delay and then only excepts.

Your argument is poppycock, pure and simple.

Steve Cloyd
02/28/2008 06:17 PM
permalink

No, your argument is “poppycock” in my eyes.

TV is what drives the market. The actual on track racing, which was better than open wheel in the late 90’s coupled with the change to network TV is what drove growth to the point they expanded out as far as California.

The tracks could be in Alaska and if the races were entertaining enough, people would watch and thus sponsors would sponsor.

I have no problem with racing in California. I have a problem with them pulling races from tracks that provide good racing and giving their dates to ones that don’t like California.

California just happens to be the symbol of the main problem with NASCAR; “grow the sport” until it’s dead.

And no, I’m not from the south. I’m in central Indiana.

martin forchamp
02/28/2008 06:36 PM
permalink

AMEN! I agree Jap cars have increased the quality of US cars, but the lousy Japs couldn’t beat us in a war so they back up and attack at the back door. My understanding is the majority of the money paid for an American made Jap car still goes back to Japan. The same @#$%^ that brought you the Bataan death march and many, many atrocities to China, the Phillipines and others. Read your history…these are ruthless, self serving,raping,murdering tyrants.

dave
02/28/2008 07:00 PM
permalink

Congrats Matt,you used to be the best read on the net about nascar.But your constant whining about toyota,culminating with todays piece of crap will have me tuning out for good.I’m sure that won’t bother you though seeing as how your responses have plenty of other like-minded bigots and morons eating up the garbage you now write about.

cop502
02/28/2008 07:01 PM
permalink

You know, one has to wonder, if Ford, GM, and Dodge are the end all of be all, then why are you all so worried about Toyota????

It seems to me that if the “American” brands are the greatest and best, then why worry about “upstart” Toyota?

Just a thought.

By-the-way, the next time any of you out there go to climb in to your “All American“Dodge Ram Pickup, you may want to take a look at the manufacture’s plate on it, see where it’s built, and then brush up on your Spanish.

I know where my Toyota was built. It’s in Indiana, and the last time I checked that is a long way from Mexico.

That just makes me wonder about the term “American Made” and what does that really mean???

Just some thoughts……..

Matt
02/28/2008 07:23 PM
permalink

I didn’t want to get into the economic debate,but i want to dispel some myths here. I had a bunch of Ford pick ups (everything from Rangers to F250s) and many 5.0 Mustangs back in the 80s and early 90s. In over a quarter million miles of service the only warranty repair done on any of those vehicles was a seeping valve cover gasket on a 83 Mustang. Americans can and have built high qaulity cars. Then again I had an 84 Z28 for about two years. it spent more time in the shop than on the road and went through five engines, nine transmissions, three rear ends, countless window lift motors, and the t-tops leaked from day one. As intrigued as I am by the new G6 Pontiac (built in Austrailia in interest of full disclosure) I doubt I will ever by a new GM again. Now as for that Challenger….

One can not discuss the issue of “Free trade” without noting the Japanese government’s flaming hoops foreign car makers must leap through to get thier cars imported. Yes, many Japanses consumers feel our cars are crap (Xenophobes?) but certain models have huge followings in Japan including the Mustang and the departed Chevy Caprice Wagon and Astro van which were huge with customizers over there. (Look an original Scion Xb beside an Astro van. Flattery is the highest form of compliment, right?) To import American cars a Japanese Consumer needs to be rich. The Japanese government had thier auto makers back. Ours doesn’t. If we treated imports the same way they do you’d be paying 50 g for your next Accord.

And for those who think the situation is hopeless and there is no way the big 3 can bounce back, a look at Harley Davidson is instructive.

Harley was an early pioneer in the motorcycle industry and for years Harley was the Rolls Royce of Motorcycles. Then AMF (the sports equipment manufacturer) bought out Harley and the bikes they built were sheer unandulatarated crap, unreliable, poor performning over priced and in many cases butt ugly. In the same era Japanese companies were sending high quality, cheap, motorcycles with stunning performance to the States. Harley’s market share eroded to the point it’s very future was uncertain.

Then senior company officials including Willy G decided to buy the company back from AMF. They had big plans for the brand but needed some breathing room. They were able to prove to Congress that the Japanese bike makers were engaged in predatory pricing, to whit they were “dumping” bikes over here or selling them at a loss to eliminate competition. Congress enacted a temporary tariff on imported Japanese bikes over 700ccs to give Harley the room it needed to revamp its line and still sell bikes at a profit. The rest is history. Harley now dominates the over 700cc class despite all the Harley clones Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki have built in an attempt to reverse the tide. They have failed and failed miserably. Harley Davidsons are the most coveted motorcycle not just here but around the globe in the large bore cruiser class. In fact Harley went back to Congress and said to end the tariffs early. They were ready to compete head to head with the imports.

I’m not here to bad mouth your import bike if you own one. I own a Harley and I am damn proud of my bike. It is a fine machine and I would recommend my bike to anyone. But I’m not going to spend your hard earned bucks for you. If you decide to buy an imported bike, I wish you a lot of fun and safe miles on it as long as you realize that the resale of the bike is going to be pennies on the dollar and once it is seven years old you won’t be able to get parts for it. That’s your headache. I own a Harley and I scrimped and saved to get back in the saddle of a bike after some lean years. I also own Japanses bikes…dirt bikes and classic XR75s. Nice bikes but one machine rule the roost.

It wasn’t that long ago the Ford Taurus was the top selling car in America and the Tempo, Ranger, Explorer, Escort and other models were in the top 10. The Ford F series remains the top selling truck in Ameica by a wide margin over any imported brand despite Toyotas concerted and high dollar assault on the venerable F series. (Oh, by the way did you hear about all the Tundras recalled due to soft cam lobes? As Toyota has grown it’s quality has dropped sharply….who knew?) Ford made some misteps but if the car guys can win over the bean counters they can rise again. So can GM and Chrysler. It just takes passion and fair trade practices.

marc
02/28/2008 08:44 PM
permalink

Matt “Yes, many Japanses consumers feel our cars are crap (Xenophobes?) but certain models have huge followings in Japan including the Mustang and the departed Chevy Caprice Wagon and Astro van which were huge with customizers over there.”

Horsecrap.

I lived in Japan for seven years. Your alleged Japanese “xenophobia” in relation to U.S. made cars is nonsense, very plain and very simple.

Are there certain models they like, certainly. But note two the those you mention, both the Mustang and the Astro Van fit the market.

The market being SMALL as in vehicle size not market share.

The vast majority of residential Japanese roads are much too small to let two Chargers, Caprices, Crown Vics etc pass each other.

In addition are you aware those in the Tokyo metropolis and other cities like Osaka won’t even license your car withour written documented proof of a garage or parking space for it regardless of size?

Somehow I doubt if you are.

Just as you’re woefully ignorant about what drives the Japanese auto market.

marc
02/28/2008 08:58 PM
permalink

martin forchamp “My understanding is the majority of the money paid for an American made Jap car still goes back to Japan. The same @#$%^ that brought you the Bataan death march and many, many atrocities to China, the Phillipines and others. Read your history…these are ruthless, self serving,raping,murdering tyrants.”

Lets start here… You’re “understanding” is lacking to say the least. But it raises a good question, using your logic (or lack thereof) shouldn’t it also by fair that any and all profits generated by Ford, GM, and Chrysler from any and all vehicle sales and manufacturing planrs located outside the U’S. stay in the country they were generated in?

Is that “fair” to you?

In other words, and for example, you purchased a brand new Ford Fusion at “Xenophobe Motors” located on Main Street USA any and all profits YOU generated for Ford would be sent back to Mexico.

Are you down with that Martian forchamp?

And BTW, just how do you watch NASCAR? There haven’t been any televisions built in America for decades.

Aren’t you sending profits to China, Japan, Mexico and Taiwan?

And that goes for the PC you wrote the idoitic, racist, xenophobic diatribe you pucked out.

Matt
02/28/2008 09:24 PM
permalink

Yes, I know all about the parking regulation

My experience with the Japanese importation process relates to many cars my side buisness or those of my friends, selling cool and classic cars to Japanese buyers. While I normally frown on selling classic American iron overseas (they’re part of our cultural heritage) sometimes financial realites mean you sell that classic to the highest bidder. What one buyer my friend Danny sold a 69 Boss 302 to just to get it street legal in Japan was criminal and we’re talking a limited usage collectible not a daily driver. What the same buyer had to go through to licence a 1987 5.0 LX Mustang for road use in Japan was even more incredible. He was one determined SOB, I’d have given up and sold the cars. But he dug Mustangs so despite our difference in ancestry that buyer was more like me than another Caucasian Irish middle aged dude willing to settle for a soulless appliance like a Corolla or a Prius. Different strokes for different folks (As the Kawasaki ads used to read) but then I’m a car guy. No apologies offered. If you’re happy with a Yaris or Fit more power to you but look both ways before entering that instersection. My 88 Town Car will barely feel the bump if you run that stop sign.

Oh, and for the record the rural roads here in Guthriesville will barely allow two Chagers, two Clown Vics, or Caprices (which haven’t been built in quite a few years) to pass by each other either, but the Ford F350 Dually and Mack Triaxles are the rides of choice in Chester County. You just have to put down the damn cell phone and swerve a little.

Kaizan
02/28/2008 10:04 PM
permalink

Ever have to replace front rotors on a mid ’90s Honda? Ever wonder why so many Dodge Intrepids with the Japanese 2.6 DOHC V6 are found dead on the roadway. Ever do body repairs on a Japanese make and wonder if the sheetmetal is made of Gold Pressed Latinum when you get the invoice?

Robert
02/28/2008 10:20 PM
permalink

Remember “so goes GM so goes the Nation” and we know where the nation is going

marc
02/28/2008 10:32 PM
permalink

Matt “Yes, I know all about the parking regulation”

Well good for you, you score one point, assuming it’s true.

“If you’re happy with a Yaris or Fit more power to you but look both ways before entering that instersection. My 88 Town Car will barely feel the bump if you run that stop sign.”

Just as ignorant about physics I see.

Here’s a short lesson big heavy land yacht hits small ecco cruiser, ecco cruiser takes the largest amount of damage.

True whether a Yaris, an Audi S3 or OMG an American made (Belvedere Ill.) Dodge Caliber.

BTW, are you ever going to correct your “NCTS is losing fans BS”, or perhaps post some relevant data that shows your correct?

Anything? something? Or ignore it and launch another mostly off point rant.

Keith
02/28/2008 10:40 PM
permalink

From all the things that I heard Toyota say they were going to do when they were lobbying to get in to Na$car were lies. They stated they were going to do things the same way everyone else was doing it. You tell me of any other manufacturer that supplies complete engines to their teams. They also supply complete bodies and chassis to truck teams. When a friend of mine was in Charlotte in OCT 2006 race week when Toyota first started cup racing he walked into the team Red Bull shop there were 2 complete cars and some tools but no engine shop or car building equipment so where did the cars come from. They have 200 engineers working on their Na$car program that is more than the others combined. When Jgr sold their soul for the $ Toyota also bought all the inside information on the Chevy R07 engine program that JGR was privilege to. If Na$car lets Toyota continue to operate this way they will outspend all the other teams combined. Na$car can’t possibly police all they spending and doing. If they do the same things as everyone else and win so be it but this is B.S.

Richard
02/28/2008 11:15 PM
permalink

So you think a Ford or Chevy made by Mexicans and Canadians is “American” while a Toyota made by Americans is not. The imported Chevys and Fords line the pockets of Amerian CEOs but does little for the working man – NA$CAR’s roots. I’ll bet you have a “SAupprot the Troops” bumper sticker yet never intend to help at www.haliburton. or www.kbr.com

J. Meyer
02/28/2008 11:21 PM
permalink

They are all spec cars in NASCAR anyway, just different decals! Who gives a crap!
Where was all the outrage when Dodge was sold to the Germans?!?
Should they have been made to leave NASCAR too.
After all, lots of Americans died at the hands of the Germans in WW2.
Who frickin cares!
They could sponsor painted horses and run them on the track, put Chevy, Dodge, Ford and Toyota decals on them and people would still bitch.
“The toyota horses are getting special oats from japan!” Oh waaaahhhhh.
Any resemblance of the big 3 or Toyota that is on the track compared to the street is pure BS.
There is no more ‘win on sunday sell on Monday”
I’ve been trying to get a V8 rear wheel drive Monte Carlo for years now and GM wont even let me special order one!
Wake up people!

marc
02/28/2008 11:38 PM
permalink

Keith “They stated they were going to do things the same way everyone else was doing it. You tell me of any other manufacturer that supplies complete engines to their teams.”

Geebus… the nonsensical factless insanity never stops in this thread does it.

Just who do you suppose built and supplied the new Chevy R07 NASCAR engine, the Man in the Moon?

Excuse me Keith while I get out my cluebat: GM introduces its first-ever purpose-built NASCAR engine

You can’t get past two sentences without spouting another Bovine Excrement, excrement: “When a friend of mine was in Charlotte in OCT 2006 race week when Toyota first started cup racing”

2006 huh… lets roll tape shall we. Do you see any Toyotas in this finishing order from Charlotte in Oct 2006?

Nah, I didn’t either, becuae Toyota didn’t get a sniff of Cup action ‘til 2007.

Question: Have you ever come close to writing something that relates to factual?

Kevin in SoCal
02/29/2008 03:01 AM
permalink

For those that complain about American cars built elsewhere and Japanese cars built here, re-read my post at 2:36pm. The Detroit three were forced to build plants in Canada and Mexico to get away from the union labor which was driving up prices and driving down quality. While Toyota and Honda plants have no unions and were turning out lower priced and higher quality product. Japan has beaten us at our own game by offering lower priced products with a higher perceived quality. You ever realize how little you hear about Toyota or Honda recalls, but the nightly news covers the Detroit 3’s recalls with headline stories? How strange.

Larry Burton
02/29/2008 09:38 AM
permalink

The problem with Toyota will be the unlimited money they will spend to dominate the sport. The other companys-GM, Ford, Dodge, will never be able to match the money that they will spend to buy drivers, teams, and technology to win. That’s the problem. They will dominate all the series just like they’ve started to do already with the trucks, Nationwide Series, and soon the Sprint Cup Series. When you take the other makes of cars out of the series you will lose a lot of old school fans I for one. Maybe they can replace them with a lot of Toyota Fans but I have my doubts. As far as Toyota supplying engines and technology, that is true. While Chevrolet may supply engines, most of their work on the engines is done by the teams-Hendrick, DEI, Childress. Toyota built their Nascar Engine from scratch since they never had a two valve, cam in block, v-8 engine. Most of the other brands were using modify designs which have been in use for years. Recently though GM has come out with the RO-7 Engine which is their first purpose built racing engine. I know the season is early but look at the results. Toyota has won all the truck races and both Nationwide Races I believe. With just a little teamwork they would have won the 50th Anniversery “Great American Race”. I may be wrong but I just can’t believe the stands will be full each week to watch Toyota win another race. American Cars have come a long way as far as quality and reliability. Fact is, I’ve had very american cars over the years that haven’t gave me good service. My wife’s Buick Lesabre has 172,000 miles on it and still runs good with one of the best engines ever built-the 3.8 liter v-6. Toyota is not done yet. I look for them to buy more teams and drivers to where they dominate all Nascar Racing. At Daytona, rear wheel dyno tests confirmed 30 more horsepower than some of the RCR Chevys and it was evident in the race that they were the strongest cars. Money buys horsepower and with their unlimited funds they will spend I’m afraid the other brands won’t be able to keep up. So, if your idea is twenty five or thirty Toyotas dominating the sport, then you certainly have something to look forward to. And I agree with another statement-you need different makes to be competitive because a lof of fans or brand fans as well. When you take that out of it you will lose a lot of fans in my opinion.

Matt
02/29/2008 11:14 AM
permalink

So let’s see. I’m the Guthriesville Villiage idiot and I’m a bigot.

It wasn’t my intent to tell you what kind of car ro buy, to debate outsourcing, unions, or CEO bonuses.

The gist of what I wrote is that Toyota is poised to start winning Cup races and that will alienate some fans. How many? 50%. No I don’t think it will be that many. 10%. Possibly. Even if its just 5% that’s 1 in 20 fans. a whole lot of folks, less butts in the granstands and less eyes on the TV.
Based on some above comments I’d say my premise SOME fans will be alieniated is accurate. What I haven’t heard anyone say is “I didn’t watch stock car racing but now that Toyoya is racing in NASCAR I’m a big fan.”

Kenneth
02/29/2008 11:42 AM
permalink

And how many fans have been alienated due to the dominance of Hendrick? Ratings declined drastically last year when Toyota cars were flailing about in 36th place every week, so we already know that a NASCAR world in which domination by Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, in American-built Chevys, also turns off viewers, so what then? If anything, I would think that American car diehards would welcome the challenge from Toyota, as it provides the ‘hated rival’ aspect the sport has sorely lacked in recent years.

I’ve always been a huge NASCAR fan, but the entry of Toyota has dramatically spiked my interest in the sport. Sure, I’m an Asian (by the way, the article doesn’t offend me, even though I vehemently disagree with it) college student that drives a Honda, so I don’t fit the ‘white American car-loving blue collar worker living in Dearborn’ description of people who are being ‘alienated’ by Toyota’s NASCAR efforts, but I don’t see how that doesn’t make me just as diehard of a NASCAR fan as someone who is. It’s just tough for me to understand the hatred of a foreign company (and let’s be honest, companies like GM and Toyota are more global corporations than anything) participating in a motorsport; maybe there’s residual hostility from a family member being laid off from an American auto plant, or something, but run Toyota out of the country and you leave the 386,000 people who have jobs attributable to Toyota unemployed.

A part of me wonders what would happen if a non-Asian auto manufacturer were to enter NASCAR, such as BMW or Renault. Personally, I don’t think there would be NEARLY the amount of hatred and vitriol (if any at all), and THAT is what bothers me the most.

Matt
02/29/2008 12:06 PM
permalink

No trust me if BMW, the ultimate overrated status symbol of yuppies who chat on the cell phone while driving with a Starbucks latte in the other hand ever tries to enter NASCAR, I’ll be back on my bully pulpit. But BMW doesn’t engage in predatory pricing policies. If anything they overcharge for what they sell but they’ve found a nice little niche producing four door sports sedans, a genre the big 3 pretty much haven’t essed with unless you want to count the late and lamented SHO.

Bill Z
02/29/2008 12:36 PM
permalink

“The same @#$%^ that brought you the Bataan death march and many, many atrocities to China, the Phillipines and others. Read your history…these are ruthless, self serving,raping,murdering tyrants.”

Martin, you may want to brush up on some early US history yourself. “Ruthless, self serving,raping,murdering tyrants” is a spot on description of the treatment of Native Americans and slaves by European settlers.

marc
02/29/2008 12:38 PM
permalink

Larry Burton “At Daytona, rear wheel dyno tests confirmed 30 more horsepower than some of the RCR Chevys”

And yet another crap peddler has arrived on scene. And not surprisingly the odds are good you read this junk at Jayskis who was hot on pushing this crap.

"Most of the engines tested varied by less than 10 horsepower, multiple sources told SPEEDTV.com, with all but two of the engines within 7-8 horsepower of each other. And none of the four brands tested had a consistent advantage over the others. Media reports on Saturday that Toyotas had a 30-horsepower advantage over the Chevrolets were, to say the least, erroneous.

Had that actually been the case, Chevrolet teams would have been raising a ruckus with NASCAR and complaining bitterly to the media about being at a competitive disadvantage. Nothing of the sort has happened."

Umm… hello Matt…

I see you still haven’t corrected, and or updated your NCTS “facts” on that series losing fans, why is that, not interested in posting something close to reality?

Larry Burton
02/29/2008 01:01 PM
permalink

Marc, I never saw that report about all the engines being that close but it sure did appear to me that the Toyotas could pass by themselves a lot more than the other makes especially Kyle Busch. Can’t remember where the thirty horsepower number came from, it may have been on one of the tv shows on Speed, Fox, or whatever but I did see it somewhere. Kyle sure did lead a ton of laps and the favorite Jr. barely led except for not pitting and leading for awhile. If the cars were so equal how come Busch had no trouble getting the lead and maintaining it for much of the race? The race was Kyle and Tony’s to lose and thats what they did. Had they worked together they could have easily won the race. Nascar did a dyno test last year after Atlanta and Toyota had the most horsepower in Dale Jarrett’s Car. They tested several cars including the winner Jimmy Johnson who had one of the lowest horsepower numbers of cars tested. It’s not always just about horsepower but it helps everything else be the same. But, it also takes setups, pit stops, drivers also to win races. That’s where a lot of Hendrix Wins have come from.

Matt
02/29/2008 01:04 PM
permalink

Here ya go Marc.

www.thatsracin.com/161/story/9627.html

I think we can both agree a .4 rating is approaching infomercial level.
And for the record several Chevy drivers (including Gordon and Harvick) and Jack Roush are in fact complaining about the hp advantage Toyota enjoys.

Kenneth
02/29/2008 01:17 PM
permalink

But ratings for all of NASCAR’s series were down significantly last year, so you can’t say it’s the Toyota factor that’s doing it. In fact, after Toyota’s CTS debut in 2004, ratings went up in 2004 and 2005. The 2005 Nielson ratings for Speed-televised NCTS events were up 32% over the Toyota-free 2003 season.

marc
02/29/2008 03:40 PM
permalink

Matt “I think we can both agree a .4 rating is approaching infomercial level.”

Umm not we can’t. The NCTS has never approached the same ratings level as NASCAR’s top two series’.

And your citation of ratings of a single NCTS event hardly equates to your original contention of “interest in the Truck Series has declined in proportion to Toyota’s success”

Nice, but pitiful, try though.

“And for the record several Chevy drivers (including Gordon and Harvick) and Jack Roush are in fact complaining about the hp advantage Toyota enjoys.”

Show it to me.

I give you a link to a story that debunks the myth that was perpetrated by some members of the media and you give me What, nothing but innuendo and speculation by drivers who wouldn’t have valuable knowledge unless they had seen the dyno tests of others engines themselves.

That aside, drivers/team owners have complained about alleged advantages of others since the days of Tim Flock. What they say and what they know for fact is an entirely different matter.

Again… another nice try Matt.

Matt
02/29/2008 06:33 PM
permalink

Here’s the average viewership for the CTS series for 03,04, 05, and 06. Haven’t been able to find them for 07 yet.

2003 – 483,000
2004 – 581,000
2005 – 672,000
2006 – 659,000

Let’s see, up 98,000 in 2004. The Big 3 are kicking Toyota’s butt.

2005 still up but the growth slows to 91,000 new fans. Toyota starts taking charge.

2006- Toyota dominates the series. 13,000 viewers check out. Where’d they go? Why’d they go. I don’t know.

Today at random i asked ten fans with NASCAR style stickers on the windows of their cars in a lot who won last year’s CTS title. Two knew the answer, one guessed incorrectly, the rest said they didn’t know and at least half of them said they don’t care about the truck races. Nine of the ten could identify Carl Edwards as last year’s Busch champion, and everybody knew Johson won the Cup title. Don’t believe me. Go conduct your own survey.

marc
02/29/2008 07:01 PM
permalink

Here’s you 2007 figures: “The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series was seen by more total viewers in 2007 than in any other season since moving to SPEED in 2003 according to Nielsen Media Research. With an average Total Viewer count of 686,000, the Truck Series also saw impressive growth in younger demos, posting its best numbers in men ages 18-34, men ages 18-49 and men ages 25-54.”

And BTW… I absolutely LOVE your self admission you haven’t a clue where those 13,000 “lost viewers” went.

They could be anywhere up to and including the explosion of DVR usage by not only fans of racing but in general.

Newsflash, DVR recordings aren’t counted by Nielsen Media Research.

As for your “survey,” yeah… whatever guy. IT means about as much as the proverbial bear in the woods.

Does coming to a gun fight armed with a knife mean anything to you?

Kaizan
02/29/2008 07:31 PM
permalink

From the Feb. 7 edition of Machine Design magazine, page 42. “New manufacturers coming into Nascar pushed the envelope with engines that had no link to production powerplants, while our engines were based on the 1955 architecture of the first small-block V8” explains Jim Covey, Nascar engine development manager for GM Racing. When Toyota came in, it had to develop a new engine because it didn’t have a production two valve pushrod engine. Nascar Nextel Cup leveled the field with new parameters for all manufacturers, which let Chevy develop the R07.

So you see, the only reason we now have non stock based engines in Nascar is because Toyota could not build a stock based pushrod V8 and Nascar bent over backwards for them after all that Toyota money was thrown their way.

marc
02/29/2008 08:56 PM
permalink

Kaisan “So you see, the only reason we now have non stock based engines in Nascar is because Toyota could not build a stock based pushrod V8 and Nascar bent over backwards for them after all that Toyota money was thrown their way.”

Guess you missed the part that says NASCAR “leveled the field with new parameters for all manufacturers.”

NASCAR has done the same with many parts, the most obvious example being the CoT itself.

And which money would that be? Are you suggesting Toyota bought their way in? That BF or any other NASCAR official has benefited financially?

If so… show me.

If not drop that line of porcine excrement.

Matt
02/29/2008 09:42 PM
permalink

Hmmm…wasn’t Brian France driving a Lexus when he got into that little jam driving home drunk from Happy Hour? Lexus….what car company produces Lexus? I forget.

Kaizan
03/01/2008 01:33 AM
permalink

No Marc, I did not miss anything. Because Nascar let Toyota come in and design an engine from the ground up, and did not make them base it off of a stock production powerplant TRD had a green light to go all out with a strictly race peice with only race performance in mind. Because of the inherant advantage of such a design Nascar had no other choice but to change the rules for the rest of the competition and let them also design a new engine from a clean sheet of paper. Now the engine in a “stock” car has no resemblance to the one under my hood. And before you go spouting off about the design of the old SBII being based off the 1955 architecture, and therefor nothing like todays engines let me tell you I have a late model Blazer in the shop right now and the 4.3 V6 is still based of that same package.

I also believe that if it were not for Toyota we would not have the Car of Tomorrow. In my opinion this was a long term deal to let Toyota in as they had no car that could in any way be configured for Nascar without the spec car we are now saddled with. Granted, the old cars were far from stock but had evovled over the years from stock. If it was up to me they would go back to a more stock condition, and I would let the manufacturers run whatever they wanted as long as they produced and sold at least 500 copies in any given year just like in the good old days.

One more thing Marc, Seems to me that your bread is full of Toyota butter. Or put another way, seems like you have a dog in this hunt. Do you work for Toyota, have a dealership, or are you a paid shill for TRD?

marc
03/01/2008 01:40 AM
permalink

Matt “Hmmm…wasn’t Brian France driving a Lexus when he got into that little jam driving home drunk from Happy Hour? Lexus….what car company produces Lexus? I forget.”

Now that’s funny (no not BF’s Lexus) and fits perfectly with about 90 plus percent of all your comment responses.

Ignore the reality and wander off into some far off topic crapola.

As for your nonsensical and off topic Lexus crack, yes I knew about his choice of private vehicle, in fact I’ve written a note about it, and given your track record very possibly before you knew of his Lexus.

But thanks for the reminder anyway.

marc
03/01/2008 02:06 AM
permalink

Kaizan “No Marc, I did not miss anything. Because Nascar let Toyota come in and design an engine from the ground up, and did not make them base it off of a stock production powerplant TRD had a green light to go all out with a strictly race peice with only race performance in mind.”

And NASCAR had a choice? How so? As you well know Toyota had no V8 in production that fits the NASCAR model. That hardly classifies as selling the farm, or grabbing the proceeds from the sale, to let them in.

More Kaizan spin “Now the engine in a “stock” car has no resemblance to the one under my hood. And before you go spouting off about the design of the old SBII being based off the 1955 architecture”

First, I could care less what’s in “your shop” it could be a Stanley Steamer for all the relevance it has to the topic at hand.

Let’s see, whether it be a ’55 ver or the latest R07 it’s made of cast-iron, in 90-degree pushrod V-8 configuration, single cammed and with an ancient Holley four-barrel carburetor sitting on top.

Are the internals different? Sure all the current engines are restricted for example, pistons that weigh no less than 400 grams, connecting rods no less than 525 grams etc.

Those restrictions are to cut costs btw, by effectively banning F1 type exotic materials.

As a side note both Dodge and Toyota started with a clean slate in building their respective engines, I fail to see you whining about Dodge.

Funny how that works.

Here’s a bit of Chevy engine history for ya, and note the dates they all proceed Toyotas entry into Cup competition:

“As soon as GM Racing introduced its previous NASCAR engine, the SB2 (small-block, generation 2) in 1998, the company went straight to work designing its replacement. The R99 (racing engine, ’99) and R03 engines were successfully developed and submitted to NASCAR for competition, but never approved by the sanctioning body. While GM Racing was working on its R05 engine, talks were under way between NASCAR and the manufacturers regarding a proposed “engine of the future” to parallel the chassis program that produced the NASCAR Car of Tomorrow. While those discussions never completely came to fruition, they did generate an “engine parameters list”: a set of min/max dimensions and specifications that define the box in which NASCAR’s manufacturers are allowed to compete.”

Finally, as you seem want to do, your out to lunch in your feckless allegation.

I’ve never worked for or owned a Toyota. Did work for Ford but cut that short to spend 20 yrs in the Navy.

So again, your frickin’ clueless.

BTW… where’s the links proving your implied corruption of the system and France or others gaining financially by Toyota’s largess?

Google fail to work for you?

Matt
03/01/2008 03:50 PM
permalink

And for the record several Chevy drivers (including Gordon and Harvick) and Jack Roush are in fact complaining about the hp advantage Toyota enjoys.”

Show it to me.

All right then. Try this. Of course I’ve been talking to sources about this issue, sources I am sure you share. But since you need to Google to be convinced, try this.

http://www.nascar.com/2008/news/headlines/cup/03/01/kharvick.jroush.toyota.horsepower/index.html

Put down that knife son before you poke yourself in the eye,

Back to the barn, There’s Chevys that need fixing.

M

marc
03/01/2008 07:38 PM
permalink

Matt “Put down that knife son before you poke yourself in the eye, Back to the barn, There’s Chevys that need fixing.”

And so… do any of those have access to dyno data on Toyotas to back up was is opinion not fact.

As for your aledged “sources” I hope they are better than those you used to state NCTS has lost fans or anything related to the Japanese car market,‘cause if they are as accurate, they are crapola on a stick.

Matt
03/01/2008 07:51 PM
permalink

Yes, as a matter of fact they have seen the numbers. As you well know from your time in the garage and your soucrces in the garage area info travels like wildfire.

Once again, a point to ponder for anyone else but Marc .4 rating. Infomercial level. Toyota dominance is killing interest in an American sport.

I’ll leave Marc to have the last word on this because we all really need to see the educated term “Crapola on a stick” used again (Me, frankly I had a steak for dinner. I don’t even eat Corndogs on a stick)

See you back here next week, Same Matt Time, Same Matt Channel.

jimmyd
03/01/2008 09:06 PM
permalink

This has to be to the most interesting thresd to date. But i have to set the record straight i ( i should say the wife and i) own over 70000 shares of toyota stock, i drive a chevy 2500 z the wife drives a Kia suv , i personaly hope that jimmy johnson and jeff gordon hit the wall every week on the first lap, now that being said i do like and pull for the old guys Jarrett, Waltrip, Martin, Klye Petty. Now the old fans might not understand how I might not only pull for a “american made car” but its funny that the wifes Kia has more american parts like Delco electronics than my Z71, go figure>

marc
03/02/2008 12:55 AM
permalink

Matt “Once again, a point to ponder for anyone else but Marc .4 rating. Infomercial level. Toyota dominance is killing interest in an American sport.”

Here’s a clue… no matter how many times you state your .4 figure it won’t disqualify of alter the fact the sport gained audience (686,000 to be exact) over the previous year and is in direct conflict to what your premise was.

And the point, for most reasonable people except you, is you were flat out incorrect and unwilling to cut your losses and move on.

“See you back here next week, Same Matt Time, Same Matt Channel.”

Good, I’ll be waiting and hope you can gin up something that closely resembles having a factual basis.

Larry Burton
03/02/2008 08:34 AM
permalink

On Nascar’s Web Page, there’s an article about Harvick and Roush saying that Toyota’s have a horsepower advantage. Of course Nascar is denying this saying their dyno tests show the cars to be close in power. My question is if that’s true, why are the Toyotas dominating all the series with Steward and Busch? Both of these drivers were with Chevys and good teams last year but were not so dominant as I recall so something is making them run so good. You know, the Japanese are very smart people, reckon they have some kind of remote control to retard the timing via the ignition box so a car won’t show it’s true horsepower when dyno tested? Take Kyle Busch yesterday, started in the rear and was leading in how many laps. I’ve been watching Nascar for as long as its been on TV and anyone who can’t see that the Toyotas don’t have some kind of advantage are either blind are have no clue about Nascar Racing. Again, I don’t remember Steward and Busch being this dominate last year in all the series like they are now and the biggest change has been the car make. I’ll give it a few more races before I come to my final conclusion but it definitely appears at this time that Toyota has an obvious advantage in all three series. With the cars being the same especially the COT then a lot of it has to come down to horsepower. If what Nascar is saying is true about the Horsepower then they ought to allow teams to observe the testing and publish the results so everyone could see if they were indeed that close in horsepower. And they need to verify that the timing and other things on the car haven’t been tampered with somehow to reduce horsepower readings. Again, if Toyota doesn’t have some kind of advantage then why are they dominating all three series. Had it not been for Tony’s wreck and Busch’s blown tire yesterday they probably would have won again. Marc, what’s your reason for Toyota dominating if they don’t have some kind of advantage?

Kaizan
03/03/2008 12:51 AM
permalink

When is a Cup sellout not really a cup sellout? Answer; When over 10,000 temporary seats are not put up and the lower sections of permenant seats are empty on raceday. Looks like a lot of “fans” stayed home today, and I can’t wait for the ratings to come out for the Vegas race. My thoughts were that Daytona ratings were up a whopping 1% this year because the weather pretty much sucked across a wide section of the US that day and most people were stuck inside with nothing to do.

On a positive note, I got a lot of work done in the shop today since I no longer sit in front of the TV on raceday with the advent of the COT, spec engine package, Toyota and the lame coverage from Faux Sports. I do have the tv on in the background but the way things are going pretty soon I’ll be turning it off and putting on Sirius 23 instead.

marc
03/03/2008 01:41 PM
permalink

Larry Burton “My question is if that’s true, why are the Toyotas dominating all the series with Steward and Busch?”

My question is, why haven’t you looked at the Cup standings that has only has 3 of the top 12 in Toyotas?

So much for that meme huh?

marc
03/03/2008 02:02 PM
permalink

Ya know Burton… I should have read the rest of your garbage but didn’t when it when it started out making the false allegation how “dominate the Toyotas were in “ALL” three series.

Nut after glancing thru the rest I feel I didn’t do your trash justice, as a result I’ll start here:

“ You know, the Japanese are very smart people, reckon they have some kind of remote control to retard the timing via the ignition box so a car won’t show it’s true horsepower when dyno tested?”

Do you have clue one what it takes to remotely control anything? At minimum ti takes a receiver for the incoming radio signals and a servo to turn the signal into mechanical movement.

And your trying, with a straight face, to claim none of that would be seen on a dyno that is located within the Charlotte R&D shops of NASCAR!

You are out of your frickin mind! Did you recently get a foil hat in your box of Captain Crunch cereal?

“Had it not been for Tony’s wreck and Busch’s blown tire yesterday they probably would have won again.”

Woulda, coulda, shoulda, but they didnt’ and the single reason you try to believe that is it fits your agenda.

You have ZERO way to know the outcome, and secondly, if Tony was so “dominate” why did he only lead 6 laps of the 108 he finished?

And Kyle? Well he only led 30 laps less than that poor little underpowered Ford of Edwards and 16 laps less than the Ford of Kenseth.

Put down that foil hat guy, it’s warped your brain.

Larry Burton
03/04/2008 09:51 AM
permalink

Marc, the reason you have only three in the top twelve is because Tony and Kyle are really the only great drivers they have right now and it shows. When it was announced that Michael Waldrip was going to Toyota I knew then they wouldn’t have much success with him because he’s really only won restrictor plate races. And I don’t beleive you need a servo to mechanical move anything. Your tv doesn’t have a servo that changes volume or channels or whatever so It can be done. Were talking about an electronic ignition box. And according to the dyno results after Atlanta last year as reported on Jayskis I believe the Toyotas had more horsepower than any car tested. With the drivers they have right now and only their second year in cup racing, three in the top twelve is pretty darn good.

Kenneth
03/04/2008 10:21 AM
permalink

So much for people tuning out because of Toyota.

“Overnight TV Ratings up for Las Vegas: NASCAR ON FOX earned a major victory Sunday with a 6.2/12 for Sprint Cup Racing from Las Vegas. That 6.2/12 is a 13% gain over last year’s 5.5/11 for the same race. This year’s 13% growth for the Las Vegas race matches FOX’s best gain for any single race in almost four years, since the 2004 California race posted a 14% increase. Sunday’s 6.2/12 is FOX’s best rating for the Las Vegas race since 2003 (6.3/13), which not coincidentally is also the last year that FOX’s Vegas race was not preceded by a bye week. For the season-to-date, NASCAR On FOX is averaging a 7.2/14 for the Sprint Cup, up +3% over last year’s 7.0/14. So far this season, FOX has aired four Sprint Cup events that were not impacted by weather (Bud Shootout, Daytona qualifying, Daytona 500, Las Vegas 400) and all four have either matched or beaten last year’s metered market rating.(Fox PR), have not seen any ratings on Monday’s rain-delayed Cup race.”

marc
03/04/2008 03:52 PM
permalink

Larry Burton “And I don’t beleive you need a servo to mechanical move anything. Your tv doesn’t have a servo that changes volume or channels or whatever so It can be done.”

Sorry to say you’re only partially correct.

Your tV has a specifically designed reciever to capture your remotes signal.

So… Mr. Conspiracy Theory,” why do you think NASCAR is so stupid to either not find such a purpose only receiver as they dyno an engine or dumb enough to cover up the fact it’s there?

I’ll restate the obvious, you’re out of your mind with bias you couldn’t see the issue clearly no matter what anyone has offered.

And BTW, NASCAR is slated to dyno engines after Atlanta. Not that it would matter, the Deniers like you and others will point to more croc tears uttered by some drivers as to the “overwhelming” HP advantage Toyota has regardless of what is found… ‘cause DAMNNASCAR is nothing more than a bunch of shills and liars!

Right?

Special note to Kenneth Don’t confuse some here with facts that disprove their tightly held belief system. IT will send them into posting long winded “rebuttals” that contain little to no relavant points to the facts on the table.

You know like… “I got this car in my garage see…” and ignorant comparisons like…

“well they have large cars pass on small roads in BumFu#k Georgia so DAMMN it must work in Japan!”

Matt
03/04/2008 07:20 PM
permalink

All hail the great Marc. Let us now acknowledge if he can’t Google it, it must not be true.

It should be obvious you peons that Jack Roush and Kevin Harvick don’t know what they’re talking about. If they want to know what they are talking about they need to contact Marc who will Google the topic and find out the truth.

Large cars do not exist in Japan. I guess the triple throwdown custom 95 Caprice wagon altered to a two door sedan delivery my buddy built and sold to a Japanese businessman just sits still since it couldn’t possibly fit down a Japanese road. The odd thing is the owner claims he’s put more then 20,000 Km on the flamed monster since finally getting it street legal. That includes the little chime that sounds at 100 Km all street cars in Japan must feature.

I guess I must have been dreaming when a traction control system operated via remote and hidden within a Delco Remy alternator was demonstrated to me. Thankfully Marc has saved me the 300 bucks I was planning to spend to have that system added to my Trans Am (without the remote since I’m not running in a class that excludes TC) before racing season this year.

NASCAR would never lie to us. They are an honorable, benevolent and omnipotent organization. It’s not like they threw Bill Simpson under the bus in the wake of the Dale Earnhardt tragedy then went ahead and required SAFER barriers and HANS devices within a year of the tragedy after having labeled them “a cure worse than the sickness that wasn’t technically feasible.”

But there’s no sense in posting a long-winded rebuttal here. After all I have this car in the garage…..

marc
03/04/2008 10:04 PM
permalink

Matt “Large cars do not exist in Japan. I guess the triple throwdown custom 95 Caprice wagon altered to a two door sedan delivery my buddy built and sold to a Japanese businessman just sits still since it couldn’t possibly fit down a Japanese road.”

That my friend is called a strawman argument. For the record they are defined as “An informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position.”

Your misrepresentation in this case is claiming I said there isn’t or ever was large cars in Japan.

Can you quote where I explicitly said that or even implied it?

So again you have failed to not only support your own argument but totally misrepresented mine.

Now, and again for the record, large cars in Japan are the exception and far, far from the rule. Period, end of story no matter how many times you care to twist the truth.

“I guess I must have been dreaming when a traction control system operated via remote and hidden within a Delco Remy alternator was demonstrated to me.”

And that proves what exactly?

Nothing except you missed what was there. It does not prove the scam exists as Larry Bruton had suggested with his far out conspiracy theory.

BTW, do you know how signals are passed from transmitter (one that needs to be in the hands of some scam artist) to receiver in a remotely operated system?

Clue: UHF radio frequencies. Guess what, they operate on line of sight basis. Meaning anything, and I mean anything that blocks the signals path stops the signal dead in it’s tracks.

For those not understanding the principle, that means the nut case that wants to stand outside the NASCAR R&D center, with transmitter in hand, can’t remotely operate a damn thing that is behind a brick/concrete or any other solid structured wall that stands between him and any attempts to control the timing on any and all engines on a dyno.

You and Larry are both factless and clueless and and a result I’m buying a few more shares of Alcoa Aluminum, ‘cause I think the price of foil is going sky high with all the hats you two are wearing.

BTW, how are those Sprint Cup TV ratings? Still in the dumps because of Toyota “domination?”

marc
03/04/2008 10:25 PM
permalink

And BTW Matt, before you go off on some, idiotic, “there’s Marc using Google again” rant…”

Here’s my bonifides as per radio signals and remotely operated systems.

20 years U.S. Navy as an Operations Specialist. Among the specialties trained in was any and all ship-to-ship communications including propagation of UHF/HF/VLF signals and the operation and setup of satellite communication systems.

RC systems… spent 4 years as a sponsored racer in California on a top Remote control car racing circuit in off-road, sports and oval categories.

You’ll find no Google here guy, just years of experience and knowledge.

marc
03/05/2008 01:39 PM
permalink

BTW Matt, I knew something was strange about the following passage you wrote: “ It’s not like they threw Bill Simpson under the bus in the wake of the Dale Earnhardt tragedy then went ahead and required SAFER barriers and HANS devices within a year of the tragedy after having labeled them”

And I was right. While Simpson certainly felt he didn’t get a fair shake from NASCAR your mischaracterization of his problems at the time are another example of why you were shown the door at Racing One and now “write” here.

Crash Inspection Finds Torn Seat Belt

“ The seat belt in Jeremy Mayfield’s car was partially torn during an accident that injured the driver at Dover Downs International Speedway on Sunday.”

“Nascar officials found a tear in the left lap belt while inspecting Mayfield’s car following his accident. The belt was made by Simpson Performance Products, the same company that manufactured the torn belt found in Dale Earnhardt’s car following his fatal accident.”

“Bill Simpson, who resigned this summer as president of the company, citing stress from Earnhardt’s death, did not immediately return a telephone call for comment.”

“Nascar officials attributed Mayfield’s torn belt to the phenomenon known as ‘‘dumping,’‘which was first revealed in the investigation into Earnhardt’s Feb. 18 crash at Daytona.”

You can call it getting thrown under the bus, your choice, but the reality is he quit under pressure because his products came under intense scrutiny after several failures that never should have happened.