Greenville-Pickens: Toyota preivew

GREENVILLE, S.C. (June 25, 2003) ­ Defending NASCAR Goody's Dash Series champion and recent South Boston race winner Jake Hobgood looks to start a winning-streak and successfully defend his title at the Goody's Dash 100 this Saturday, June...

GREENVILLE, S.C. (June 25, 2003) ­ Defending NASCAR Goody's Dash Series champion and recent South Boston race winner Jake Hobgood looks to start a winning-streak and successfully defend his title at the Goody's Dash 100 this Saturday, June 28 at historic Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Greenville, S.C. Hobgood's win at South Boston was his first in the new No. 64 Germain Toyota Celica and has him in third place in the series standings, 84 points behind fellow Toyota Celica racer Robert Huffman.

       "We've enjoyed going to Greenville.  Being only 80 miles from home, it's the
closest thing to a home track for us," said Hobgood, a native of Winnsboro, S.C.  "It's a
really nice track; a driver's track.  The Toyota Celica was awesome at South Boston for
the win.  Toyota and TRD have really created a great program."

Hobgood's past Greenville-Pickens results suggest that he has a good chance to become the season's first back-to-back race winner. He has won here two out of the last three years (2000 and 2002) and placed second in 2001. A win would move Hobgood closer in the points to fellow series leader Huffman.

A four-time Goody's Dash Series champion, Huffman is currently the only driver with two wins this season. He drove the No. 37 White House Apple Juice Celica to victories in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway and the third race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Huffman has been 2003's most consistent driver, finishing in the top five in every race. His two wins and two fourth place finishes give him 680 points, 48 points ahead of his closest competitor.

"We've always run well at Greenville but have never won," said Huffman, who finished fourth last year after starting on the pole. "Greenville has flat, sweeping turns and you don't have to drop the rev's too much. You do have to have a good handling car to run up front."

Brandon Ward earned his first career Bud Pole in South Boston, qualifying the No. 11 Rayco Safety/Ram Fabrication Toyota Celica at the head of the field. It was his third top-10 finishes this season including Daytona (fifth) and Savannah (seventh). Ward was fifth in championship points going into the race, but a strong third-place finish moved him up to fourth. He currently sits 45 points behind Hobgood and 129 points behind Huffman.

Reese Milton continues to improve his results this season with a 12-place finish at South Boston. Greenville-Pickens is Milton's fourth Toyota start as he looks to move his No. 75 Food Country/Refrigeration Systems Toyota Celica into the top-20 in points.

       Michael Guerity will be making his third start this season in the No. 77 Travel
Club Toyota Celica with Weaver Racing.  He recently finished 27th at South Boston.

Qualifying for the Goody's Dash race at Greenville-Pickens Speedway will take place in the afternoon on Saturday, June 28, and the race will be run at approximately 8:30 p.m. EST.

Toyota made its debut in the NASCAR Goody's Dash series at Daytona in 2000. The 28-year-old series is part of the NASCAR ladder system, designed to help promote and develop driver's skills at tracks as varied as Daytona, Charlotte and Bristol. Originally called "Baby Grands," Goody's Dash cars resemble a scaled-down version of a Winston Cup car, and each is equipped with a V6 powerplant. Series alumni include Michael Waltrip, Davey Allison, Robert Pressley, Hut Stricklin, Andy Houston and Shawna Robinson.

TOYOTA GOODY'S DASH BY THE NUMBERS...

1 First career pole position for Brandon Ward at the last race in South Boston, Va.

2 Front-row qualifying sweeps by Toyota in 2003: Jake Hobgood (pole)/ t Rober Huffman (2nd) at Savanna, Ga., and Brandon Ward (pole)/Jake Hobgood at South Boston.

3 Race wins in 2003 for Toyota power: Huffman at Daytona and Charlotte, Hobgood at South Boston

4 Career NASCAR Goody's Dash Series Championships for Robert Huffman (1990, 1998-2000).

5 Toyota-powered Goody's Dash teams (No. 37 ­ Huffman, No. 64 ­ Jake Hobgood, No. 11 ­ Brandon Ward, No. 75 ­ Reece Milton and No. 77 ­ Michael Guerity)

40 Career NASCAR Goody's Dash Series victories for Robert Huffman (2nd all time behind Dean Combs)

300 Horsepower of the Toyota V6 Goody's Dash engine, the first overhead-cam, multi-valve engine to win a race in NASCAR history.

2000 Year Toyota made its debut in the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series at Daytona International Speedway.

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Shawna Robinson , Andy Houston , Hut Stricklin , Robert Pressley , Robert Huffman , Davey Allison