The Toyota Racing Way

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Racing Junky – How Toyota will shape the NASCAR of tomorrow

I'm not a racing fan, but here is an interesting column about the impact that Toyota will have on racing, written from the perspective of a racing guy.

It sounds like quite a bit of engineering went into their engine design. Toyota had to start from scratch (or at least started by analyzing GM, Ford, and Chrysler designs) since they had never built a “push-rod, cam-in-iron-block, carbureted engine.”

“At the same time, Toyota engineers dug through the NASCAR rule book and established the engineering limits for every engine variable. The engineers at Toyota Racing Development (TRD) have the best talent and computing equipment money can buy. They had no traditional database of engine information, gathered from years of racing experience. So they created it. Using its engineering computers, TRD sifted through literally thousands, if not millions of combinations of intake variables, port designs, valve angles, flow patterns, bore & stoke combinations. TRD looked for and found the weak links in a traditional NASCAR engine, then looked for the best way to engineer around those weaknesses.”

The writer starts to extrapolate how The Toyota Way will translate into managing a racing team:

Look for Toyota to have lots of stakeholder meetings, performance reviews, and engineers visiting the shops. Listen to Michael Waltrip and note how many times he mentions “quality”, “teamwork”, and “Toyota System”.”

I guess they'll visit the racing “gemba“?

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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