Joe Gibbs Racing has finally confirmed one of the worst kept secrets in NASCAR, after revealing that it will campaign Toyota Camrys in next year's renamed Sprint Cup Series.

The team, winners of three Nextel Cup titles and more than 70 NASCAR races, will also run the Japanese cars in NASCAR's Grand National Series from 2008. The move, taking JGR away from Chevrolet, is a surprise, but the impact has been lessened by ongoing rumours and a slip of the tongue from new recruit Kyle Busch last week.

"We look forward to partnering with Toyota in 2008," team president JD Gibbs said, "Toyota will be hands-on with us as we become an integral part of their long-term development in NASCAR

"We have 420-plus families that are our number one priority, and taking care of them for the future is very important to us. Our people have made us as successful as we are today, and it's those same people who will ensure our success in the future. When our teams win, those families win. We're thrilled for everyone at JGR who will benefit from this."

JGR has been associated with General Motors since its debut in the 1992 Daytona 500. The team fielded Chevrolets from 1992-96, switched to Pontiac in 1997 and then switched back to Chevrolet in 2003. Two of its championships came with Pontiac, courtesy of Bobby Labonte in 2000 and Tony Stewart in 2002, while the team's most recent success came with Chevrolet in 2005, again at the hands of Stewart. Two of this year's drivers - Stewart and Denny Hamlin - are in position to challenge for the 2007 crown, underlining the severity of the decision to switch to Toyota.

"The decision was made by all of the key leadership at JGR," said senior VP Jimmy Makar, "It was a decision made by the people in our competition department, who live by the one question whenever a decision is made regarding Joe Gibbs Racing: 'Will this make us more competitive on the race track?' The consensus answer was 'yes'."

"General Motors has been a great partner to Joe Gibbs Racing, and we've been able to celebrate many victories together," added team owner Joe Gibbs, "GM has many great teams and, moving forward, we know they will continue to be very successful. It's our hope that we can deliver GM their 38th Cup Series championship this season as a way to cap our 16-year relationship with them."

Toyota has made a disappointing start to life in the Cup Series, with three teams - Dill Davis Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and the all new Red Bull operation - struggling to match the Ford, GM and Dodge outfits on a regular basis.

"Joe Gibbs Racing is one of the most respected teams in NASCAR, a championship-calibre race team and a first-class organisation," note Toyota Motorsport VP Jim Aust, clearly hoping that the new addition will raise the marque's game, "We are confident that partnering with the Gibbs team will raise the level of our entire Toyota NASCAR programme, and will be beneficial to all of our current teams racing the Toyota Camry."