After 10 years of NASCAR competition, Toyota has finally won its first Sprint Cup Series Manufacturer’s Title. It ended the Sprint Cup Series with 1477 points, narrowly beating out Chevrolet (1452 points) and ending it’s 13-year dominance over the series.
Camry drivers won 16 of the 36 races in the 2016 season, with the wins split between five different drivers. Overall, the Cup was won by Chevy driver Jimmie Johnson (5040 points), followed closely by Ford’s Joey Logano (5037 points). But third to sixth place all went to Toyota, giving them just enough points to beat out their American counterparts.
Kyle Busch (5035 points) and Carl Edwards (5007 points), both of Team Joe Gibbs Racing, were the key players in Toyota’s success. Busch ended the cup in third place, just five points below Johnson, followed by Edwards in fourth. Together, they collected over two-thirds of Toyota’s total points.
But Toyota’s win is just a spec in the history of NASCAR. And its 10 years of competition is nothing compared to Chevrolet and Ford’s history in the sport. Before Toyota ended its streak this year, Chevrolet had won every Sprint Cup Manufacturer’s title since 2003. Chevy has been dominant throughout the entire history of the cup, winning an extraordinary 39 manufacturer’s’ title.
Ford comes in at a very distant second with 15 titles. And after that, it’s two great American relics, Hudson and Oldsmobile, with three titles each. Toyota has finally made its mark on the all-American sport of NASCAR.
There are three teams that run Toyotas at the Sprint Cup, but only Joe Gibbs Racing has consistently come through for the maker. Likewise, Ford has five teams which run their Fusions, but only Team Penske have delivered reliable results.
Compare that to Chevrolet’s nine teams; all draw points for the automaker, especially Stewart-Haas Racing and Hendrick Motorsports.
Toyota has managed to make a splash this year, disrupting the American makers and beating them at their own game. But the company has its focus spread pretty thin throughout motorsports, whereas Ford and Chevrolet have their eyes fixed on NASCAR.
They’ll be back in 2017 to reclaim their race at the Sprint Cup.
Odds To Win 2017 Sprint Cup Series Manufacturers’ Title:
Photo credit: “Nascar” by anthony_goto, CC BY-SA 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0], via Flickr.