Representatives from NASCAR’s three car manufacturers – Jim Campbell (Chevy), Dave Pericak (Ford) and Ed Laukes (Toyota) – recently talked about this season and how teams from their respective companies have fared.
Some have had a more successful campaign than others – all four Chevrolet organizations are in the Chase, Toyota’s Joe Gibbs Racing is having a dominant season, but Team Penske is the only Ford organization in the postseason.
Here’s a sampling of what Campbell (Chevy’s U.S. vice president, performance vehicles and motorsports), Pericak (director of Ford Performance) and Laukes (Toyota Motor Sales USA’s vice president of marketing, performance and guest experience) had to say:
On the 2015 season
Laukes (Toyota): “Toyota has come a long way since 2007. I can remember when we would be really struggling even to get into the show, much less have five Camrys in contention for the championship.”
Campbell (Chevy): “We don’t have all our eggs in one basket. They’re spread all across those teams. We’ve been working for months to prepare for these last 10 races.”
Pericak (Ford): “The Penske team has performed very well. Overall we’ve struggled across all of our teams this year. We’re going to be making necessary changes to strengthen everybody’s performance.”
What kind of aerodymanic package would you like to see in 2016?
Laukes: “We had success with all the different packages (in 2015), obviously. The relationship between (NASCAR), drivers and (manufacturers) has never been better as the discussion goes, trying to make racing better. Ultimately, it’s not our decision; it’s (NASCAR’s). We really want to lean to where the drivers are leaning to, where (NASCAR) is, also what the fans want. We want better racing so we’ll adapt to whatever package they come out with.”
Campbell: “We’re (all) hand-in-hand with NASCAR. The testing this year has been in actual races, because there’s been limited testing off of it. I think there’s been some really good learnings. I think the commitment by the series to adjust the rules in kind of categories of tracks is something that’s obviously under consideration. I think there’s more to come.”
Pericak: “We all want the same thing. We want better racing and we want to be as competitive as possible. All the right things are happening to end up in the right place in 2016.”
Any hints on any potential lineup changes in your teams in 2016?
Pericak: “We’ve been working very close with the Roush Fenway team, making sure we make the right changes there. We’ve got a lot of capable drivers in that organization. We just need to get some things straightened out.”
Laukes: “Stay tuned.”