Tundra driver Kyle Busch’s victory in Friday night’s race at Texas Motor Speedway enabled Toyota to clinch its seventh NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) manufacturer’s championship in 11 years participating in the series.
Toyota remains the series’ top manufacturer after previously winning last year’s title (2013) and prior to that a record five straight NCWTS manufacturer’s championships from 2006 to 2010. Overall, this is the 10th time Toyota has earned a NASCAR manufacturer’s trophy since the start of the 2004 season. Toyota also earned three consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) manufacturer’s crowns from 2008 to 2010.
In addition, Tundra racers have collected four driver’s championships. Todd Bodine claimed a pair of titles in 2006 and 2010, and Johnny Benson collected the 2008 championship trophy. Last year, Matt Crafton earned his first career NCWTS championship. This season, Crafton is seeking to become the first-ever back-to-back NCWTS champion, although he’s facing stiff competition from fellow Tundra racers Darrell Wallace Jr. and Johnny Sauter for the driver’s title.
Highlights from the season include Tundra drivers establishing a new series record by winning the first 10 races of the year — from Daytona in February to Eldora in July — and a 12-race winning streak dating back to the final two races of 2013.
Three teams fielding Tundras — Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM), Red Horse Racing and ThorSport Racing — all contributed to the NCWTS manufacturer’s title. This season, Tundra drivers have combined for 16 wins, seven pole positions, 60 top-five results and 108 top-10 finishes — with two races still remaining on the 2014 schedule. In addition, Toyota drivers have led 2,197 laps (of 2,830) in NCWTS competition this season — more than three-quarters of the total laps.
“When we began the year with a victory in the debut of the 2014 Tundra in Daytona, we hoped it would be a successful year for our teams and drivers in the series,” said Ed Laukes, TMS vice president of marketing, performance and guest experience. “So far, it’s been a great season — 10 straight wins to start the year, most wins in a season, several Tundra racers battling for the driver’s title and now another manufacturer’s championship. We’re fortunate to partner with championship-caliber race teams and talented drivers that enable our Tundras to prove their excellence on the race track.”
Busch has made the most trips to victory lane this season with seven first-place trophies (Daytona, Kansas, Charlotte, Dover, Kentucky, Chicago and Texas) while Wallace has earned three wins this year (St. Louis, Eldora and Martinsville) in a KBM Tundra. Two Tundra drivers have each recorded a pair of wins this season — Crafton (Martinsville and Texas) and Erik Jones (Iowa and Las Vegas). Sauter (Michigan) and Timothy Peters (Talladega) each have one victory in their Tundras this season.
Of this year’s 16 Tundra wins, 12 have been by KBM drivers — Busch, Jones and Wallace — which matches the most by a team in a single season. This year, KBM is also looking to earn a third owner’s championship in its fifth year competing in the series.
“It has obviously been a great year for Toyota in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series — not only does the new 2014 Tundra look great on the track, it’s proven to be really fast and has won a lot of races this season,” said Busch. “All of the success is a testament to the hard work that everyone at Toyota and Toyota Racing Development has put into the new truck model since the changes were announced last season and the continued support they have provided throughout the 2014 season.”
A total of 23 different drivers have participated in the Camping World Truck Series in Tundras this year, including six — Jeb Burton, Crafton, Peters, German Quiroga, Sauter and Wallace — who have competed in all 20 events driving Toyotas.
The 16 Tundra wins this season is the most victories by Tundra drivers in a single year, surpassing the 15 set in 2010.
Since joining NCWTS competition in 2004, Toyota has won 128 races and captured 98 poles in 264 races. Busch (36) has the most victories driving a Tundra.
There are two more races remaining on this year’s NCWTS schedule, including Phoenix International Raceway (Nov. 7) and the season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 14).