Japan Comes To The Track

USA TODAY: Toyota Motor said Monday it will join NASCAR’s Nextel Series racing circuit, marking another market long dominated by U.S. automakers where the Japanese manufacturer plans to compete.
Toyota, which has raced in the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing’s Craftsman Truck Series since 2004, will join the Nextel and Busch Series beginning in 2007, the automaker and racing association said. Toyota’s drivers will race with its Camry model.
“If you want to compete against the best, in America that means NASCAR,” Dave Illingworth, Toyota senior vice president, said in a statement. “We look forward to February 2007, when the green flag waves to start the Daytona 500 and the starting lineup features the Toyota Camry.”
The Nextel Series, which includes such well-known drivers as Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon, now consists of cars from General Motors’ Chevrolet brand, Ford Motor and DaimlerChrysler’s Dodge brand.
NASCAR runs more than 100 races each year across the United States through three racing circuits — its signature Nextel Cup Series, Busch and Craftsman Truck.
Toyota, which has been doing business in the United States since 1957, will become the first foreign brand to compete on NASCAR’s top circuit since the 1950s, when Jaguar, Porsche, Volkswagen and other European brands competed.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.