Joe Gibbs shares a story of NASCAR impacting the President of Toyota
Toyota joined NASCAR in 2000. By year two, they were championship contenders. They won their first championship in the Goody’s Dash Series back in 2003.
They then moved on to the NASCAR Truck Series were they picked up their first win as a manufacture with Kyle Busch in 2004. The first NASCAR Xfinity Series win came in 2007.
That same year, Toyota made their debut in the NASCAR Cup Series. It was a struggle at the beginning as the manufacture only grabbed one top-5 finish.
For 2008, the game changed. Toyota signed with Joe Gibbs Racing and Kyle Busch presented them with their first cup series win in 2008. In their second year of NASCAR Cup Series racing, they claimed 10 race victories.
From there, they continued to tally up the win list. But, they didn’t claim a championship until 2015. Again, with Kyle Busch.
Joe Gibbs on Toyota
“I have a picture on my wall, it’s one of the prized possessions I have. It’s Mr. Toyoda with his championship ring,” Joe Gibbs explains.
I make a lot of spelling errors on this website just from being overworked in combination with simple moving too fast. The spelling of Toyoda above and below, is not one of those. Even though my computer is saying otherwise with several aggressive grammatical warning signs via a red underline.
Akio Toyoda is the president of the Toyota Motor Company in Japan. Akio is the grandson of the Kiichiro Toyoda, the original founder of the automaker.
“Supposedly, he was having a bad day, that day. Everybody was giving him bad information. All the sudden, Bob Carter presented him with that championship ring.
Bob Carter is the President of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
“They said he freaked out. He ran all over the building. So, I think he’s a race fan,” Joe
He is indeed a race fan. Akio Toyoda is known to jump behind the wheel of race cars. He’s also known to make appearances at auto shows when it comes to showing off the latest performance based vehicles.
“You know what’s great about Toyota? It’s everybody, all the way through. As you go up the ranks, everybody cares about racing. They care about NASCAR. It’s great to be a part of that team. They’ve got a great team.”
“Yeah, I think it goes all the way to Japan.”
Does Joe Gibbs Racing get technical support for the Toyota headquarters in Japan?
“Well, mostly our engineering is pretty much set here in Charlotte,” Joe Gibbs says.
“I will say this, Toyota is a technical company. At times, they do assist us with engineering.”
“But, most of our engineers are all situated right here in Charlotte. This is where they live.”
Joe Gibbs on Kyle Busch
Joe Gibbs has collected 157 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race wins after 2,304 races. Of those, Kyle Busch has collected 47 of them.
In the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Joe Gibbs has 152 after twenty-two years and 1,538 races. In the last 10-years, Kyle Busch has collected 80 of those.
Toyota will have another shot at a championship this weekend. They have two cars in the battle with Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr.
“The thing that I’ve noticed with the two sports I’ve been in, football and racing. There’s great athletes. A lot of guys want to be a part of the teams. For some guys, just being on the team is good enough,” Joe Gibbs explains.
“Then, you have some people, when they put the helmet on, on game day — I’ve had it in football and also this. — Kyle Busch, when he puts the helmet on, I’ve never seen him once where it wasn’t totally intent.”
“Every week, he’s after it. Something’s in front of him and he’s going for it. You can have a lot of great athletes in the sport and a few of them can stand out. I think Kyle’s one of those.”