According to Racing-Live, Toyota will leave the IRL before the 2006 season begins, leaving Honda to supply race engines for all teams in the series.
The article cites sources as saying that the lack of competitive Toyota-sponsored IRL teams since Penske Racing converted to Honda, coupled with the investment needed to support Toyota's planned entry into NASCAR Busch Series and Nextel Cup competition in 2007, make it worthwhile for Toyota to buy its way out of any remaining commitments, rather than stay in the IRL until its originally planned exit at the end of the 2006 season.

If Toyota does leave early, Honda will have to supply the eighteen or so full-time cars, plus a potential thirty-three car field for the Indy 500.

Given that Honda will no longer need to subsidize teams in its quest to beat Toyota, the cost of IRL racing is about to go up, making life more difficult for the smaller teams, many of whom are already struggling. There are suggestions that Honda may detune the engines to reduce maintenance costs for the teams, so expect slower speeds in 2006.


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