September 06, 2007

I Need Japanese Steel: After a 16-year association with GM that saw his teams win three Winston Cup/Nextel Cup Championships, Joe Gibbs Racing is making the switch from Chevrolet to Toyota for the 2008 Cup Season. Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, and Kyle Busch will all be driving Camrys next year for JGR, which made the change for its Busch teams as well.

posted by The_Black_Hand to auto racing at 04:50 AM - 17 comments

I will be interested to see next year if JGR continues to be as dominant a force. If the cars are primarily identical to start with and the real difference is obviously the drivers and the work that the crew puts into modification does it really matter what brand you start with? If all of the best basketball players wear Converse All-Stars (which at one point they did) does that mean that Converse All-Stars make you a better player or does that just mean that all of the best players want to be associated with the most popular brand (i.e. Chevy)?

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 06:05 AM on September 06, 2007

I am far from an expert on NASCAR,Winston Cup Nextel Cup Championships, but my friends here in North Texas that are assure me that Toyota will need plenty of time and dinero to compete with GM,let alone Ford and Dodge.The cars are essentially alike but assembling a competitve team isn't easy,no matter how much money is thrown.Of all the Jap cars I despise Toyota the most because throwing money at a market is their solution to eveything(of course lets not pay our workers competitively).And I know, we're in the post industrial age, but the guys and gals building BIG GM trucks in Arlington Texas are pulling down UAW wages. I don't see the General going away anytime soon. I also think Toyota's fantasy of being numero uno in the world is just that.GM has many decades of experience as a World player.

posted by sickleguy at 06:49 AM on September 06, 2007

Good story. I like the title you picked. Good "Kill Bill " reference

posted by Debo270 at 07:05 AM on September 06, 2007

From winston cup to nextel cup. From redneck only to a national crowd. From american cars to Foreign. Is nothing sacred??? Whats next hybrid car races, no pit stops.

posted by Debo270 at 08:45 AM on September 06, 2007

Is nothing sacred??? NASCAR has been going to H#** ever since the danged gummint made Winston go away. Now we get a cell 'phone company sponsoring the races. All it does is promote the use of cell 'phones while you are driving. Maybe each race ought to be run with half-a-dozen people driving around the track with a 'phone growing out of their ear. They would be oblivious to anything else around them, so the wrecks would come fast and furious. At least then it might be fun to watch.

posted by Howard_T at 11:26 AM on September 06, 2007

I concur, Howard_T. It has been downhill ever since R.J.Reynolds pulled their support. Call me old, a dinosaur, hard to accept change (yes, in this instance) but NASCAR just isn't the same anymore. Quit watching it on TV, buying tickets, or T-shirts, and what-not. I guess I am ready for retirement. As for Toyota, it is just another make of car in the race to me. But I think they are willing to throw the cash at NASCAR to get a Champion.

posted by steelergirl at 12:08 PM on September 06, 2007

I like it when Toyota do well in NASCAR. It pisses the sort of people I despise off. Like Jimmie Spencer it was I think who said they shouldn't be allowed into NASCAR because of Pearl Harbor.

posted by Drood at 12:31 PM on September 06, 2007

Goll danged Armani suit wearin', cell phone with a blue tooth talkin', power lunch munchin', New Yorkers is ruinin' the sport. Dale Sr. is prolly a rollin' bout these here dee-velopmints. What's next, the Top Ramen 500? Hells Bells, it's gettin' to where ya' caint hardly drive with a Coors between yer legs cuz a alla them cup holders they put in them Jap-a-neeze cars. Takin' over the world, they is. Again, I add nothing to the conversation.

posted by THX-1138 at 12:48 PM on September 06, 2007

THX, Is it hard to type like that???

posted by Debo270 at 01:00 PM on September 06, 2007

Type like whut?

posted by THX-1138 at 01:03 PM on September 06, 2007

dat thar was the perfect answer

posted by Debo270 at 01:15 PM on September 06, 2007

THX-1138 That was hilarious! You hit it right on the head! But there really are fans in NASCAR who REALLY feel that way. Drood, for someone who hates NASCAR, you sure know a lot about it. (i kid, i kid)

posted by steelergirl at 01:55 PM on September 06, 2007

A popular bumper sticker down here: "Would you drive any better if I shoved that mobile phone up your arse?"

posted by owlhouse at 04:43 PM on September 06, 2007

Steeler: I'm a racing nut so even though I don't like NASCAR, I feel compelled to sort of keep up, plus it's hard to keep up on other racing news without picking stuff up by osmosis. Plus I DID follow it closely until last year.

posted by Drood at 05:49 PM on September 06, 2007

I think Toyota will eventually be successful in the Cup Series; they've got too much technology and too much cash on their side not to be. They definitely needed to land some marquee drivers and teams, though. They obviously thought they were getting Michael Waltrip, Daytona 500 Champion, when what they really got was goofy ass Mikey Waltrip, who still makes the occasional amusing commercial, but hasn't seen much success at all in recent years. Hell, it's gotten so bad, he had to buy his way into a race. Then there's Dale Jarrett, a classy guy and fine former champion, but a guy who hasn't been able to win much at all lately, and Brian Vickers, who has a ton of potential, but who's window is rapidly closing. Stewart, Kyle Busch, and Hamlin will give Toyota instant credibility.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 06:17 PM on September 06, 2007

I agree with Black Hand. As with everything else in the world, money talks! Toyota had the right idea in getting into Nextel Cup, but definately pick the wrong driver in Michael Waltrip. They have shown that they can be successful in Craftsman Truck, so the next obvious move would be to Cup, but they needed to do a little more R/D on who would drive for them. I have been a diehard Tony Stewart fan since he joined The Home Depot(sorry...former employee)and I have to say I had mixed feelings when I first heard the rumor of Gibbs going with Toyota. But after some thought, I said what the heck, it's the driver, his skills, the pit crew and there skills, and when you got a coach like Joe Gibbs on your side, lifes not so bad. What do I care what brand of car he drives. In partnering with JGR it will be great to watch what a great racing orginization can do with a manufacturer like Toyota who has struggled. I do understand that the founders of Nascar (the good ole boys) feel what right does this Japanese company have invading OUR sport. Guys! and Gals! We other Nascar fans appreciate what you started! But as with all good things, change can happen, and since most of us don't have billions of dollars to do something about it, we will have to except it for what it is. I will still enjoy the side by side, bumping and banging! Nothing better than a good rivalry! Just don't take it to another level and bring cultural hate into the sport. We have enough of that in the world today....And one last thing. If Jimmy Spencer did in fact make the comment that Toyota should not be in Nascar because of Pearl Harbor..... he's an idiot.... and should get fined or fired for that statement. It's comments like those that make this world full of hate. My father died giving his life for this great country fighting the Japanese in WW II. BTW...... I'm Japanese.

posted by myselfand3 at 10:40 PM on September 06, 2007

Any chance they'll enter a souped-up Datsun in this thing? Oooh, I'd love to see that win. It'd also be great to see one a' dem pocket rockets (rice rockets, I've heard 'em called) wid dem reeeeediculous giant spoilers and neon underlights blowing some smoke down the tracks. I also wonder how much racing performance you'd get out of a hybrid. YEEEEHAW!

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:42 PM on September 06, 2007

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