Toyota to Reduce NASCAR Budget
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“There is probably not anything on this earth here that Toyota is involved with now that is not under some level of review regarding budget expenditure,” said president of the Toyota Racing Development Lee White in a national conference call.
“That includes everything that we do, everything that TRD does and everything we do around motorsports. There is a review of everything. Certainly if contracts have expired, it's very likely that contracts have not been renewed, or if they are being renewed, they are certainly being renegotiated,” added White.
Toyota ended the 2008 season on a high note, winning both the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series manufacturer titles with a total of 33 race wins (20 in the N'Wide Series and 13 in the Truck Series). Also, in only its 3rd year in the Sprint Cup Series, the Japanese carmaker ended the season with 10 race wins, ranking 3rd overall in the manufacturer classification.
The team who will be most affected by the news is Joe Gibbs Racing, the organization that clinched all 10 wins for Toyota last season. Most fans were expecting a stronger campaign in 2009, considering that Toyota is, by far, the least affected-by-crisis carmaker in the North American market. However, White revealed that Toyota will not be taking advantage of this situation in 2009, at least in terms of racing programmes.
“Toyota isn't spending more money than others. And if they had more money, they would not spend more money than others. That is absolutely the culture of our company to not take advantage and be predatory of other people's difficulties. We are under very strict orders and instructions from our company to watch every penny. The idea that we're going to come in and suddenly take advantage of all the other things that are going on in the world are absolutely false,” concluded White.
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