News & Media


Joe Gibbs Racing, TRD forge engine partnership

August 11, 2011, Sporting News Wire Service, NASCAR.com

Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota Racing Development will partner to produce engines that can be used by the Gibbs teams as well as other Toyota NASCAR teams, the organizations announced Thursday.

JGR currently produces its own engines while TRD, based in California, provides engines for Red Bull Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and MWR affiliate JTG Daugherty Racing.

""We will take all of our attributes, maximize that, and all of TRD's and maximize that and combine them going forward.""

--J.D. GIBBS

JGR and MWR will have the same engines starting next year. Red Bull could have those engines as well if whoever purchases the team from the energy drink company opts to race Toyotas.

The move is similar to other affiliations between NASCAR teams and engine companies in the sport, but not a complete merger like the Roush and Yates engine shops (Roush-Yates Engines) and the Richard Childress Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. engine shops (Earnhardt Childress Racing) in the past several years.

"We felt it was much easier to combine our resources and go down one path instead of trying to do two paths together," said JGR president J.D. Gibbs, whose team aligned with Toyota in 2008. "It's already become a closer and closer package over these past years anyway. We hope that will just evolve and take the best parts of what we do and the best parts of what they do for a really good package."

The engines likely will be built primarily in California and then updated and fitted for a specific team's use at the Gibbs shop in North Carolina. JGR will provide more at-track service for clients, which could include additional Nationwide and Truck teams.

"Most will come from Costa Mesa [Calif.] and then we'll be adding on parts and pieces here and doing [research and development] from a JGR standpoint," Gibbs said. "When we go to the track, our guys will be right in the middle of the communication back and forth. That will be valuable for our teams and valuable for the Michael Waltrip group, as well."

Mark Cronquist will continue to run the JGR engine shop.

"We are more engineering-driven company at TRD where Mark is more of a traditional team builder," TRD president Lee White said. "He's able to react very, very quickly and move forward quickly with developments.

"That's something that TRD needs to enhance that capability and do that better. A lot of our engineering-driven processes are things that a smaller organization like the Gibbs shop, relative to durability in the past, is something we can add to the program."

Durability issues have plagued the Gibbs teams this year. JGR could use TRD engines this year as the organization has been sending pieces to TRD to evaluate their durability and help diagnose the team's engine issues.

"We have not ruled it out," Gibbs said. "We're going through the process now to see what fits. If we want to do it this year, we can do that this year."

Gibbs said the move would not lead to the closing of JGR's engine shop.

"We are still going to have our motor shop," Gibbs said. "There are still projects that we are going to do here, and we're going to combine that with projects done in Costa Mesa. ... The good news for our guys is not one person has to worry about being displaced from this partnership.

"We will take all of our attributes, maximize that, and all of TRD's and maximize that and combine them going forward."

White said the partnership also ensures that TRD employees don't lose their jobs if Red Bull doesn't return. TRD likely will take the lead on long-term projects, such as the development of the fuel injection engine that will be used starting in 2012.

Teams that field Toyota engines still will have other options such as Triad, Pro Motors and Arrington engines.