David Wilson: Toyota's eight Cup wins in 2020 "unacceptable"

Even with Denny Hamlin’s stellar season and changes forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, Toyota’s NASCAR boss offered a harsh assessment of the manufacturer’s 2020 season in the Cup Series.

David Wilson: Toyota's eight Cup wins in 2020 "unacceptable"
Race winner Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry FedEx Freight
Race Winner Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry pit stop after crash
Race Winner Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Daniel Suarez, Gaunt Brothers Racing, Toyota Camry Genuine Parts & Service
Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Auto-Owners Insurance
Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Toyota TrueStart
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and David Wilson
Listen to this article

“I’m more focused on the losses than the wins and I hate to say it but we’re sitting on eight wins in 31 starts this year and that’s unacceptable; that’s ridiculous,” said David Wilson, President of Toyota Racing Development USA.

“We’re better than that. We should be sitting on somewhere between 13 and 15 right now. But it’s a tough sport and we’ve got some incredible teams that we’re competing with and we can never think that we’re that much better than anybody else out there, because we’re not.

“That’s what so fun about it.”

Setting a high bar

Wilson's grim assessment may seem surprising considering Toyota provides support to only six fulltime teams each week in the Cup series with races that feature anywhere between 36 and 40 entries.

But Wilson said the manufacturer sets a high bar for itself every year.

While Hamlin has had his second straight impressive season – he picked up win No. 7 last weekend at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway – only one other driver Toyota driver has won in the Cup series this season. Martin Truex Jr. scored a victory at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in June.

Reigning series champion and Toyota driver Kyle Busch remains winless this season and in danger of being eliminated from this season’s playoffs in Sunday’s cutoff race at the Charlotte Roval.

Toyota drivers Christopher Bell, Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez all failed to advance to the playoffs this season and have not won a race.

Asked to further explain why he considers this season’s performance “unacceptable” and “ridiculous,” Wilson said: “I think we’ve by and large not executed like we are capable of executing. I can count easily five losses on one hand that should have been wins, just this year and I’m sure there are more than that.

“Some of them are like Las Vegas – where it’s the last stage, all the cars up front typically pick one strategy and there’s always a couple that aren’t capable of winning that just hang on to see what happens. So, we’ve lost a couple that way.

“We’ve lost too many because of a loose wheel on the last pit stop of the third stage, missteps or mistakes on our part. This isn’t directed at any single team or driver. Those are the things that are unacceptable because we hold ourselves to the highest of standard – and it’s every part of the organization, every part on that car.”

Wilson said every team this season has had to face the same change in operating conditions with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a manufacturer, we haven’t done as good a job as the Ford guys in particular, and that’s on me,” he said. “This (weekend format changes) isn’t going away anytime soon.

“We are on it and we’re going to the next five races expecting to win out. And that’s not arrogance. We should win every one of these next five races. The next round – Kansas, Texas, Martinsville – I think we were two out of three in the earlier races this year.

“That’s just me speaking plainly.”

shares
comments

Related video

Daniel Suarez lands 2021 ride with new NASCAR Cup Series team
Previous article

Daniel Suarez lands 2021 ride with new NASCAR Cup Series team

Next article

DiBenedetto gets extension at Wood Bros, Cindric to join in 2022

DiBenedetto gets extension at Wood Bros, Cindric to join in 2022
The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team Prime

The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team

Saddled with uncompetitive Minardi machinery, Tarso Marques didn't manage to score points in his three partial seasons of Formula 1. But now the Brazilian has the chance to show what he can do in NASCAR, and explains the story of his comeback with new Cup Series entrant Team Stange

NASCAR Cup
Apr 13, 2022
The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car Prime

The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car

NASCAR’s new stock car generation is encouraging an influx of fresh blood into its top tier. But there are concerns that parts are in short supply as the entire paddock tries to build up stocks at the same time

NASCAR Cup
Feb 22, 2022
How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style Prime

How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style

After holding his nerve and hip-checking his teammate on the run to the line, Austin Cindric made a perfect start to life as a full-timer in the NASCAR Cup Series by winning the Daytona 500. Here's how the Penske Ford man emerged first across the line in the first points-scoring race for the much-anticipated Next Generation cars

NASCAR Cup
Feb 21, 2022
Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season Prime

Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

There are plenty of uncertainties ahead of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season as an all-new fleet of cars take to the track for the first time. Ahead of this weekend's Daytona 500, our experts explain what you need to know

NASCAR Cup
Feb 17, 2022
How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival Prime

How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival

The NASCAR Cup kicks off with the Daytona 500 this weekend, but a major engine overhaul and a subsequent mountain of work has been required to be ready for the arrival of the Next Gen cars.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2022
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021