By admin | August 18, 2008
By Richard Allen
With the Dark Knight movie having done so well this summer I thought a Batman reference would be appropriate. So, here goes. Holy Manufacturer, Batman! Toyota has been foiled again in the Motor City.
Wins at the Michigan International Speedway are coveted by NASCAR teams because they take place just a short distance from the headquarters of the â€œBig 3â€ of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. Each manufacturerâ€™s employees get plenty of mileage out of wins on the home track.
However, over the past two season a new competitor has come to play on the playground once reserved only for the American brands. In 2007, Toyota joined the NASCAR Sprint Cup fray.
Particularly this season, Toyota has become a major force in NASCARâ€™s top division. The Japanese auto giant has amassed nine victories in 2008. Since no race is held in Tokyo, yet, the next best place for Toyota to show up their rivals would be on the track so close to their rivalsâ€™ corporate offices.
In June, Brian Vickers in his Red Bull Toyota looked like a possible winner on the 2 mile track but Dale Earnhardt, Jr. coasted to the finish line first and gave Chevrolet the win. Vickers managed only a 4th place while fellow Toyota driver Tony Stewart came home 5th.
In this past Sundayâ€™s race it again appeared as though Toyota might spoil the American party. Kyle Busch led numerous laps and even pulled away to a commanding lead during the raceâ€™s middle stages. But, late race cautions and a fast pit stop by Carl Edwardsâ€™ Roush Fenway Racing team allowed Ford to back flip into Michiganâ€™s victory lane.
Toyota has made a vast improvement over the season they had last year. However, the Japanese auto maker has been unable to win in the races the manufacturers no doubt covet the most, the Daytona 500, the Brickyard 400 and the two races held in the shadow of the Motor City.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
Topics: Articles |
Comments are closed.