October 21, 2007 - Martinsville, VA - When Mike Skinner's Tundra crossed the finish line first in Saturday afternoon's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race at Virginia's Martinsville Speedway, it enabled Toyota to clinch its second consecutive NCTS manufacturer's championship.
The performance of six teams fielding nine full-time Tundras -- Bill Davis Racing, Darrell Waltrip Motorsports, Germain Racing, HT Motorsports, Red Horse Racing and Wyler Racing – all contributed to the second straight Craftsman Truck Series manufacturer's title. Tundra drivers have combined to produce 11 victories, 51 top-five finishes and 81 top-10 results in the first 21 events of 2007.
"Winning a second manufacturer's championship is a testament to the outstanding race teams that Toyota has been associated with in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, as well as the extremely talented Tundra drivers," said Jim Aust, vice president - motorsports, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. "Although we've expanded our NASCAR involvement to include the Nextel Cup Series and Busch Series this season, we recognize the popularity and value of the Craftsman Truck Series and our commitment to the series has never wavered. Winning this manufacturer's title during the same month as Toyota's 50th anniversary in the United States makes it even more special."
Skinner, driver of the No. 5 Bill Davis Racing Tundra, has been Toyota's top performer in the series this season. The Daytona Beach, Fla.-driver has recorded five wins -- California, Atlanta, Martinsville-1, Kentucky and Martinsville-2 -- and currently sits first in the championship point standings. Skinner, the inaugural Craftsman Truck Series champion in 1995, is the only Tundra driver to have competed in all 96 races that Toyota has entered since 2004.
"It's an honor to race a Toyota and to be part of the Tundra family," said Skinner. "I've driven a Tundra since Toyota joined the Craftsman Truck Series in 2004, and I know the tremendous amount of hard work and effort that has gone into winning these championships. Now, that we've helped Toyota win one championship, our focus is on the driver's title -- and driving these Tundras undoubtedly gives us a great shot at that."
Along with Skinner's five wins this year, several other Tundra pilots have visited victory lane. Skinner's Bill Davis Racing teammate, Johnny Benson, has three wins this season in his No. 23 Tundra (Milwaukee, Bristol and Gateway), while defending series champion Todd Bodine has a pair of victories (Texas and Talladega) in his No. 30 Germain Racing entry. In the series season-opener at Daytona, Jack Sprague crossed the finish line first in the No. 60 Wyler Racing Tundra.
In addition to the 11 wins this year, Tundra drivers have combined to capture 15 pole positions. Skinner has a series-leading eight poles (Atlanta, Martinsville-1, Kansas, Charlotte, Dover, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Nashville and St. Louis), and Bodine has started ahead of the field twice (Texas and Talladega). In addition, Sprague (Martinsville-2 and Daytona), Brad Keselowski (Memphis) and Ryan Mathews (Kentucky) have started on the pole.
Skinner, Benson, Bodine, Sprague and Terry Cook have participated in every race this season. Other drivers to sit in Tundras this year include AJ Allmendinger (nine races), Ken Butler (two races), Aaron Fike (12 races), David Green (seven races), Justin Labonte (two races), Jason Leffler (two races), Michael McDowell (one race), Ted Musgrave (19 races), Jacques Villeneuve (three races), Tyler Walker (six races), Mike Wallace (one race) and Josh Wise (eight races).
Since joining the Craftsman Truck Series in 2004, Tundras have won 36 races and captured 47 pole positions.
Toyota in North America
Toyota (NYSE:TM) established operations in North America in 1957 and will operate 15 manufacturing plants in North America by 2010. There are more than 1,700 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in North America which sold more than 2.8 million vehicles in 2006. Toyota directly employs over 41,000 in North America and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18.6 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota's annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from North American suppliers totals more than $28.5 billion. According to a 2005 Center for Automotive Research study, Toyota, along with its dealers and suppliers, has generated nearly 400,000 U.S. jobs, including jobs created through spending by direct, dealer and suppliers employees. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyota.com.
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