Toyota Challenge annunced

THIRD ANNUAL TOYOTA CHALLENGE TO SHOWCASE USAC MIDGET SERIES IN CONJUNCTION WITH RACING'S BIGGEST WEEKENDS TORRANCE, Calif. (March 18, 2008) - The third annual USAC Toyota Challenge will be run in conjunction with three of auto racing's ...

THIRD ANNUAL TOYOTA CHALLENGE TO SHOWCASE USAC MIDGET SERIES IN CONJUNCTION WITH RACING'S BIGGEST WEEKENDS

TORRANCE, Calif. (March 18, 2008) - The third annual USAC Toyota Challenge will be run in conjunction with three of auto racing's biggest events as all three 2008 rounds will move to O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, it was announced Tuesday.

This year's "Challenge" events will be comprised of the Toyota Challenge Night Before the 500 on May 24, the Toyota Challenge Racing Classic on July 24, and the Toyota Challenge Showdown on Sept. 12. The three-event "championship within a championship" will award a $25,000 prize fund. Included in the prize fund will be a $15,000 award to the Toyota Challenge champion. Keith Kunz Motorsports has won the Toyota Challenge in each of the event's first two seasons.

"To be able run in on the same weekends as the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400, the two highest-attended racing events in the world, along with the inaugural MotoGP at Indianapolis, is a huge coup for the Toyota Challenge," said Les Unger, Toyota national motorsports manager. "Not only will it allow the Challenge to grow in stature, it should provide the USAC National Midget Series and its competitors with a great deal of exposure, both from race fans and the huge media contingent that covers these events."

Last year's Toyota Challenge was determined by a last-lap crash and more intense racing is expected again in 2008.

"The 2007 Toyota Challenge produced some spectacular competition," said USAC President/CEO Kevin Miller. "O'Reilly Raceway Park is an ideal venue for these events and this year's events should attract a broader fan base with Indianapolis hosting Indy cars, NASCAR and the Moto GP on those weekends. We look forward to another sensational battle for supremacy."

This year will mark the first time that any one track has played host to all three Toyota Challenge events.

"We are thrilled that all the Toyota Challenge races will be held at ORP during the course of the 2008 racing season, said Ron Anderson, O'Reilly Raceway Park General Manager. "Many racing legends got their start by racing in USAC, particularly in the midget series, and with this year's Toyota Challenge schedule, the competitors know the eyes of the racing world are upon them and they will be on the top of their game."

The Toyota Challenge event is one of three major USAC initiatives implemented by Toyota. The manufacturer also offers a unique year-end owner's bonus fund that can total up to $25,000 to recognize and support entrant participation. At the end of the season, the top-10 point standings USAC National Midget Series team owners will receive $100 for every event entered in the 2007 schedule.

In addition, the USAC National Midget Racing Series, Western States Midgets, the USAC Silver Crown Series, National Sprints and Western States Sprints are also a part of Toyota Motorsports/TRD, U.S.A Contingency Awards Program that is designed to reward exemplary performance. TRD, USA, is now also an engine supplier to both the USAC Silver Crown Series, as well as sprint cars, for the first time in 2008.

-credit: usac/toyota

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