Sales, U.S.A. announced today at the Chicago Auto Show its historic plans
to begin participation in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2004. Toyota
Tundra Trucks will make their racing debut at Daytona International Speedway
in February 2004.
is pleased to be making this exciting step into the professional ranks
of NASCAR," said Dave Illingworth, senior vice president at Toyota
Motor Sales, U.S.A. "We look forward to the Tundra's first race at
Daytona. It will be a great opportunity to showcase our American-assembled
full-size truck to the stock-car racing world."
assembled the full-size Toyota Tundra exclusively at its Princeton, Ind.,
plant since its debut in 1999.
"Everyone at NASCAR is looking forward to Toyota's participation
in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series," said Mike Helton, president
of NASCAR. "We feel their integrated approach to this Series is going
to provide our drivers, teams, tracks and fans many benefits. There are
many NASCAR fans working in Toyota facilities, manufacturing plants and
dealerships throughout America. We know they're thrilled at the prospect
of a Toyota Tundra showing up in NASCAR Victory Lane in 2004."
Beginning with the 2004 season-opening NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
race at Daytona, as many as six Toyota Tundra race trucks may be entered
for competition. Team affiliations will not be determined until a later
date. Toyota Racing Development (TRD), U.S.A. will design, develop, and
build the Craftsman Truck Tundra V8 to NASCAR specifications in its Costa
Mesa, Calif., facility.
entry into the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series further extends the manufacturer's
rich auto-racing history. Toyota will be making its debut in the Indy
Racing League this year on March 2 in the Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami
Speedway. Over the last 20 years, Toyota has won championships in a variety
of high-level racing series including CART, IMSA, MTEG, SCORE, CORR, Pikes
Peak, as well as NHRA import drag racing and various SCCA classes. Since
2000, Toyota has competed in the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series. The V6-powered
Toyota Celica's victory at Kentucky in 2001 was the first by an overhead-cam,
multi-valve engine in NASCAR history.