Filed under: Motorsports , Truck , Toyota , Racing Arguably more than any other driver, Kimi Raikkonen has a penchant for breaking with convention and forging his own path. The Finnish driver started out in F1 amid protests over his relative lack of experience – having contested fewer than a dozen professional lower-level races in his career – and finished 10th in his debut championship. The next season, he was driving for McLaren , the season after that he won his first grand prix, and within just a few years was crowned world champion for Ferrari . And when that got boring, he made an unprecedented moved to the World Rally Championship . But that’s apparently wearing thin on a driver not known for sitting still, so off he goes to NASCAR . We first broke the news of Kimi’s plans back in March, and a few days later already had confirmation of his contract with Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) to debut in the Camping World Truck Series – the entry point into NASCAR racing. Now he’s set to make his oval-track debut this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and this is the truck he’ll be driving. The No. 15 Toyota Tundra is being fielded by KBM for Kimi’s ICE1RACING team, and features sponsorship from – wait for it – Perky Jerky. The dried meat snack packs guarana (a plant with twice the caffeine of coffee) and was apparently invented when some guys spilled energy drink on their beef jerky while trapped on a ski lift.
WORSHAM PUTS TOYOTA IN TOP FUEL WINNER’S CIRCLE FOR SECOND STRAIGHT RACE AT GATORNATIONALS GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 13, 2011) – Del Worsham edged Tony Schumacher by .004 seconds on Sunday to win the prestigious NHRA Gatornationals in just his second race since returning to the Top Fuel ranks after campaigning Funny Cars for the past 16 years. The win comes in Worsham’s first-ever Top Fuel final and catapults him into the Top Fuel points lead after registering a runner-up finish at the season opener at Pomona in February. He defeated Brandon Bernstein, Antron Brown and Spencer Massey before defeating Schumacher in the first-ever on-track meeting between the two veteran racers. Cruz Pedgregon’s Snap-On Tools Toyota Camry Solara fell just short of making it a Toyota sweep for the weekend after he advanced to the finals in Funny Car for the third time in the last seven races. The finals appearance pushed Pedregon into fourth-place overall in the championship hunt, just 14 points out of second. It continues a resurgence that has seen him earn the top qualifier position at the season-opening Winternationals, as well as win two of the final five Countdown races to close out last season. In addition to Worsham’s victory, Al-Anabi Racing teammate Larry Dixon also had a strong weekend advancing to the semi-finals where he eventually fell to Schumacher. Antron Brown and Shawn Langdon each won their opening rounds before being eliminated in the second round, while Morgan Lucas – winner at Pomona – fell in the first round. Toyota-sponsored Top Fuel drivers will occupy five of the top-six positions in the point standings entering the third round of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas, April 1-3.
DTR Industries, MAHLE, OTICS and U.S. Engine Valve, earned top recognition from Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. (TEMA) at its annual supplier business meeting today. The awards recognize suppliers who exceeded the company’s expectations in several categories. Visit @Toyota ACCESS to receive your news via e-mail. Update your RSS feed preferences.
The Toyota USA Foundation, a charitable endowment supporting K-12 math and science education, today announced over $5.2 million in new grants. The latest round of grants is going to 8 organizations from across the country. Visit @Toyota ACCESS to receive your news via e-mail. Update your RSS feed preferences.
Toyota NASCAR Notes & Quotes Bristol March 2011 KAHNE TAMED DARLINGTON: In Saturday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) at Darlington Raceway, Kasey Kahne earned his first NCWTS win in a Tundra. Kahne drove the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) Tundra at the historic South Carolina track because the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) and NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) had the weekend off. The 30-year-old started second in the KBM No. 18 entry and led 95 (of 147) laps at the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval to earn his third career NCWTS win in four career starts. In addition to Kahne, three other Tundra drivers earned top-10s in Saturday night’s race — Todd Bodine (third), Timothy Peters (sixth) and David Starr (10th). BREAK OUT THE BROOM: Camry driver Kyle Busch made NASCAR history last August at Bristol Motor Speedway when he became the first driver to sweep all three races — NCWTS, NNS and NSCS — at one race track in a single weekend. Busch has more NSCS victories at Bristol (four) than at any other track, as well as two NNS wins and three NCWTS victories at the half-mile Tennessee oval. SHORT TRACK SUCCESS: The races at Bristol Motor Speedway mark the first short track event of the 2011 season for NSCS and NNS teams. Last year, Camry drivers earned three (of four) wins at half-mile short tracks with Denny Hamlin visiting victory lane in both races at Virginia’s Martinsville Speedway and his Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) teammate Busch earning the win at Bristol Motor Speedway in the summer. TENNESSEE TIES: Two Toyota team members call Tennessee home.