Not much time for Toyota teams to try 2015 Camry before testing ban starts

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Toyota will become the first of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ three manufacturers to update its Generation-6 machine next year with the 2015 Camry.

But something else is coming even sooner: A NASCAR ban on private team testing that begins following next month’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

During today’s unveiling of the new Camry at Charlotte Motor Speedway, TRD vice president of chassis development Andy Graves said that the car would hit the track at some point before the teams come to Daytona in February 2015 for Speedweeks.

Thanks to the ban, that leaves a little more than one month for Toyota teams Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing to sample the new car.

But with JGR still having all three of its drivers – Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Matt Kenseth – in this year’s Chase, it would seem that they’ll want to devote their energy toward the championship for as long as they’re in it.

“Our whole focus is on right now with where we are with the Chase and everything,” team owner Joe Gibbs said today according to Bob Pockrass of the Sporting News. “I can’t see us being able to do much.”

Depending on how long Busch, Hamlin, and Kenseth can last in the post-season, MWR may wind up handling a good portion of the 2015 Camry’s testing in the weeks ahead.

Neither of MWR’s drivers, Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers, are involved in the Chase.

“We’ll be at Nashville and things like that,” Bowyer said to Pockrass. “We have [Goodyear test at] Auto Club Speedway, we have a Phoenix test coming up. We’ve got opportunities to get in this race car.”