Winners of just two of the season’s first 12 races, the Toyota camp has largely struggled in 2022. But that may be changing. This past weekend at Kansas, Toyota drivers accounted for five of the top six finishers and all six Toyotas in the field came home in the top 10. Leading the Toyota onslaught was race winner Kurt Busch, who is part of a two-car team at 23XI Racing that has a technical alliance with the four-car Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) organization that fields the entries of Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr.
“It’s been a process,” said Kurt Busch, whose No. 45 Toyota led a whopping 116 of 267 laps at Kansas. “We’re building a team up with the 45 car, and then our team meetings with JGR, it’s great that Coach (JGR team owner Joe Gibbs) is there. He has those coaching moments where he listens to everybody ramble on and then he brings everybody back together at the end, like he would as a Super Bowl champion that he is, as a NASCAR champion that he is, and there’s so much to learn from the JGR group.”
Heading into NASCAR All-Star weekend, all signs suggest Toyota may be finally turning the proverbial corner and catching up to the Fords and Chevrolets that have combined to account for 10 of the season’s 13 race wins. “Toyota has helped us bridge that, and now we just continue to get better and better,” Kurt Busch said. “That’s what we have to keep doing. The Toyota family has got six strong cars every week.”