Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Fl.
Toyota is out to prove just how “American” their cars are to NASCAR fans by celebrating the fact that Kyle Busch drove his No. 18 Camry to capture the 2015 Sprint Cup Championship for Joe Gibbs Racing this past Sunday. In fact, Busch has become Toyota’s greatest racing asset, beginning in 2008, when he won Toyota’s first cup-series race, then drove his Camry to a second-tier Nascar title the following year. Busch is reposnsible for 30 of Toyota’s 79 top-level victories. That’s more than any other driver. Off-track he reportedly drives a Lexus.
“While Nascar fans may still be more likely to buy a Chevrolet or Ford just based on the domestic, Americana nature of things,” stated Peter Laatz, executive vice president of the Americas for research firm Repucom, ” Two out of three now say they’d consider buying a Toyota. That’s double the number who said they would when the carmaker joined the cup series in 2007″.
Meanwhile a study released by Repucom this year showed that 70% of NASCAR fans said they buy cars (and other products) from companies that support the sport. That’s “20% higher than the average sports fan,” they noted In turn, Toyota plans to keep building its NASCAR connections. Not only did the company supply car and engines for 6 cup-series drivers, including the entire Joe Gibbs Racing team, Toyota announced that it would begin a (strategic) partnership with Nascar’s Furniture Row Racing, which features driver Martin Truex Jr. The company’s logo will also be a big presence at the new $400 million Daytona speedway when it opens in January.
In the meantime, Repucom also reported that Toyota earned “more than $50 million in media value and 30 hours of time-on-screen during this past season’s Sprint Cup races, ranking them 3rd among all sponsors. Sprint, reportedly, was first earning $120 million (100 hours of airtime, while Chevy was 2nd with $60 million (35 hours). Ford was next with $32 million (15 hours).