Toyota troubles force rebuild

Toyota troubles force rebuild

Toyota troubles force rebuild
Sat, Apr 21, 2007
By Associated Press

Toyota officials knew the company's first season in Nextel Cup would be tough, but never dreamed it would be this difficult.

''We certainly didn't expect all seven cars to make every race, but we didn't really think it would be this bad,'' said Jim Aust, president of Toyota Racing Development. ''Here at Phoenix, we figured we wouldn't get seven in, but we thought it would be five, not three.''

With two all new teams plus holdover Bill Davis Racing running the new Camrys, the cars haven't been very competitive - in qualifying or in the races they have made. A 10th-place finish at California by Brian Vickers of Team Red Bull is the only top 10 for Toyota in the first seven races.

Before Saturday's race, Aust said Toyota was working on a project with one of its new teams, Michael Waltrip Racing, to rebuild a car from scratch and try to improve the overall performance.

''We've been working on this project for about three weeks,'' Aust said. ''We took apart the car and weighed every part then put it back together. We're looking at every bolt. We'll take the car to the wind tunnel and, once we see we've got something better, we'll get it to all of our teams.''

Aust said Toyota Racing Development in California also is working hard on improving the Cup engine.

''I think we'll see some real improvement by Charlotte (in May),'' he said.

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