TRDs History at a Glance

By: Jasonlancaster
Following his victory over the Pharnaces in 47 BC, the legend is that Julius Caesar addressed the Roman Senate and announced, "Veni, vidi, vici" - "I came, I saw, I conquered." A couple of millennia later, Toyota Racing Development (TRD) USA could easily make the same boast in every racing venue it has entered.

TRD landed in Costa Mesa, California in 1979 as a Toyota Motor Sales USA subsidiary with the official task of distributing and designing after market performance parts for TRD Japan. Over the next 30 years, the company developed into a complete engine development through assembly operation. TRD's cutting-edge racing technology entered every high-speed arena from dirt to stock and Indy cars, chocking up victories and establishing the company as a fearsome competitor. The journey began slowly, and then gained speed in the early 2000s. Today, TRD engineers design and build the V-8 Tundra and the V-8 Camry engine for their respective NASCAR series, as well as engines for factory-backed entries in Championship Off-Road Racing (CORR), National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), the U.S. Auto Club Sprint Car and National Midget Car Racing Series, and the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series.

TRD brought out a Celica in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) road racing competition of 1983, a product of collaboration with All American Racers (AAR). TRD-powered cars moved up within six years into the GTP class, the crme de la crme of American road racing. TRD also joined forces with Precision Preparation, Inc. in 1983 to build trucks for real-world and stadium off-road. Toyota trucks took to the dirt, winning multiple premier Baja 500 and 1000 events, and a manufacturer's championship in the Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group SCORE and CORR events.

In 1996, TRD began its climb up the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) ladder, recording its first win in Indy-car competition at the Milwaukee Mile in June 2000 with Juan Montoya behind the wheel. In 2003, a TRD-powered Indy car driven by Gil DeFerran won the mother of all American races-the Indianapolis 500.

Once that American milestone was reached, the next logical step was entry in NASCAR with the V-6 Celica Goody's Dash Program. By 2007, the V-8 Camry made its debut at the NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series. The same year, Jason Leffler recorded the first TRD NASCAR win in the Busch Series at O'Reilly Raceway Park ending the series with a third place in points. David Reutimann's win at the Sam's Town 250 in Memphis helped land him in second place point finish in the series. Dave Blaney scored the Nextel Cup season best with a third place finish at Talladega.

TRD's NASCAR success extended beyond stock cars: the company took the manufacturer's championship in the Craftsman Truck Series twice in a row for 2006-07, after debuting in 2004; and Todd Bodine won the driver's championship in 2006.

TRD USA's repertoire of victories include the NHRA's Funny Car seriers with Jerry Toliver at the Pomona Winternationals; wins in 11 out of 16 races at the 2003 Indy car series; four Daytona Prototype Driver's Championships since 2004, when the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series debuted; USAC Sprint Car and Midget Car Racing Series wins; and a clean sweep of the 67th Annual Turkey Night Grand Prix at Irwindale Speeday, where Dave Darland won the Midget event, and Bobby Santos took the Sprint Car title.

Officially, TRD means Toyota Racing Development. But it stands for "Top Results and Design.
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