Toyota signs Huffman

TORRANCE, Calif. (January 9, 2001) -- Following its inaugural season in the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series, Toyota has signed Huffman Racing with three-time defending series champion Robert Huffman to compete in a Toyota Celica for 2001. Toyota will...

TORRANCE, Calif. (January 9, 2001) -- Following its inaugural season in the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series, Toyota has signed Huffman Racing with three-time defending series champion Robert Huffman to compete in a Toyota Celica for 2001.

Toyota will continue to support Van Cleef Racing, with driver Eric Van Cleef of Huntsville, Ala., and Watson/Weaver Racing, with Wayne Edwards of Sheperdsville, Ky., in their Toyota Celicas.

"We are thrilled to expand our NASCAR presence and have the No. 1 team in the Goody's Dash Series driving with Toyota power for 2001," explained Les Unger, Toyota national motorsports manager. "Our goal is to be competitive against the Pontiac and Ford teams. It has been tricky developing an overhead-cam, multi-valve engine with a carburetor attached to it. With NASCAR, Huffman Racing and our existing teams providing feedback, we are confident that we will make significant strides with our engine program."

Huffman, a Claremont, N.C., resident, began his illustrious career in the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series with a single Dash race in 1988. In 1990, he raced under the John Page Racing banner. That year he earned Rookie of the Year honors and the series championship -- becoming the first NASCAR touring series driver to accomplish such a feat.

Taking a few years off of the Goody's Dash Series to race limited schedules in the NASCAR Busch and Craftsman Truck Series, he returned to the Dash Series in 1995 -- and has been dominating ever since. With 143 career starts through 2000, Huffman has won 30 races and four Goody's Dash Series championships (1990, 1998-2000). He is third overall in career Dash wins behind Dean Combs (60) and Larry Caudill (34). His #37 Toyota Celica is sponsored by White House Apple Juice.

"I'm very excited to take on a new challenge in my career and to help develop Toyota's program," explained the 32-year-old stock car driver. "My philosophy has been 'It is better to race in a series where you have the resources to win than enter a situation where you are constantly struggling to make the field.' I have been fortunate to have White House Apple Juice support me for the past five years, and I have gained quite a bit of experience in the series. I'm confident that our team will produce similar results in the coming year."

NASCAR Goody's Dash is a touring series with the majority of the 17 events taking place on historic short tracks from Virginia to Florida and as far west as Louisville, Ky. To help develop driving skill and promote drivers to climb the NASCAR ladder, Goody's Dash Series competitors are also given the opportunity to compete on premier speedways including Daytona International Speedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, Darlington Raceway, and the "world's fastest short track," Bristol Motor Speedway. Goody's Pharmaceuticals, maker of Goody's Headache Powder, is the title sponsor of the series.

--Lynne Arciero

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Wayne Edwards , Robert Huffman