Daytona Toyota

TRD Finds Happy Home in NASCAR Town
by Dan Nied
July/August 2017
Daytona Toyota
A Day at the Races
From left, Daytona Toyota’s Aaron Garcia, Kurt Menschel, Manny Cacoilo, Rick Barber and Jim Kowalak soak up the atmosphere at the Daytona International Speedway.
About 10 years ago, Manny Cacoilo got an email from out of the blue.

It was an inquiry from Toyota Racing Development (TRD), seeking help from Daytona Toyota in Florida — where Cacoilo has been part of the service department for 24 years, and now works as the service manager. TRD wanted to ship engines to the dealer for that year’s Daytona 500.

It’s been a simpatico relationship ever since.

“We let TRD use our facility, let them use our forklift, our engine hoist, whatever we can do to help them, we do,” Cacoilo says. “I’ve gone down to the track to pick up engines, and they ship them from our store after the races.”

About 2.5 miles separate the dealership from the Daytona International Speedway. That makes Daytona Toyota the ideal spot for TRD to call home during the two races — the famed Daytona 500 and the Coke Zero 400 — held there each year.

A few days before each race, TRD ships NASCAR engines from Costa Mesa, California, to Daytona Toyota. Cacoilo stores them in two service bays. Once the race is over, the engines go back to the dealership and are shipped to TRD.

Safe Keeping
Daytona stores Toyota Racing Development’s NASCAR engines before and after the races.

“They give us a place to keep the crates secure and dry,” says David Pyle, senior manager, Engine Build, for TRD. “They have a forklift for loading the crates and give us a place to work to get engines ready for shipping. They have been true team members and a great help to Toyota Racing and TRD. It is almost like having a TRD East.”

While shipping may not be the most exciting part of racing, it’s a critical component of an intricate race preparation process. And it shows how important teamwork is between Toyota and its dealer network.

And though the engines and their crates take up a lot of space, the service department has no problem adjusting. Plus, the perks are worth it.

“It’s great for our techs to see these engines,” Cacoilo says. “The guys love it.”

A few years ago, Joe Gibbs — owner of Joe Gibbs Racing and home to Toyota driving stars such as Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth — visited the dealership to show his appreciation.

For Cacoilo and his staff, being Toyota’s home base in Daytona is a source of pride.

“We breathe Toyota,” he says. “It’s awesome because we’re in a huge NASCAR town, and you should see these guys when they see an engine that was in Kyle Busch’s car or Denny Hamlin’s car. It’s a great thing to be part of.”
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