TRG/Kevin Buckler Assume Controlling Interest in Darrell Waltrip Motorsports Andy Lally to Drive No. 00 TRG Toyota Tundra at Texas Motor Speedway DENVER, N.C., October 31, 2007 -- Darrell Waltrip Motorsports (DWM) announced today that Kevin ...
TRG/Kevin Buckler Assume Controlling Interest in Darrell Waltrip
Andy Lally to Drive No. 00 TRG Toyota Tundra at Texas Motor Speedway
DENVER, N.C., October 31, 2007 -- Darrell Waltrip Motorsports (DWM) announced today that Kevin Buckler and The Racer's Group (TRG) has assumed immediate controlling interest of its truck racing operations. DWM has fielded Toyota Tundras in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (CTS) since 2004. David Reutimann drove DWM's truck to a third place finish in the 2006 CTS points and won the 2005 Nashville event. TRG will continue an alliance with DWM through 2007 and 2008.
The newly formed partnership will take its No 00 TRG Toyota Tundra to this weekend's Silverado 350K at Texas Motor Speedway. Andy Lally will take on the driving duties as he acquaints himself with the team and the truck for the first time in preparation for a full CTS in 2008.
"We will be running the last three races in our new Tundra and are looking forward to getting our feet wet and really learning the ropes in this type of racing," Buckler said. "In our 13 year sports car history, we have had the benefit of working with some top level people and brands. Many of the conversations regarding motorsports, marketing, sponsorships and long term business goals, always seem to lead to NASCAR. We decided that it was time to take our racing partnerships to the next level. We have a strong association with Porsche and the Grand-Am Series, and this endeavor will only benefit our multiple Porsche programs and our presence in the Rolex Series. The Rolex Series has been good to us and has served as the entr0x00e9e to NASCAR."
Buckler and the TRG group have been planning this step for the last two years. After multiple trips to Charlotte to visit with top teams, as well as taking advice from fellow team owners, friends, and partners, the group felt the time was right to enter into the CTS.
"After meeting with numerous teams and discussing many possible scenarios, I was most impressed with this opportunity to begin a long term relationship with one of the world's most respected companies-Toyota. We are a brand new team running in the Craftsman Truck Series and will have to earn our stripes with both the manufacturer and the other competitors and we are willing to do that. The team of people at DWM and Toyota has been absolutely fantastic to deal with and that really helped make our decision to be here."
"Assembling a top team in anything we do has always been one of our secrets and we are bringing along a group of partners and friends from the racing and business world to be a part of our journey into NASCAR. These guys are at the top or their game in everything they do and will be valuable resources and partners in the long term building of our NASCAR program. These are hallowed grounds we are about to enter and we are heading into NASCAR with our heads down with the utmost respect for the series and everyone involved. We are going at it with our usual work ethic and professional approach. It will be a big learning process. We will be on an aggressive testing schedule and will be looking to compete in the entire 2008 season."
Kevin Buckler and his driver, Lally, have been a fixture in sports car racing since 2004. The Lally/ Buckler combination has resulted in two championships and 15 race wins to date. Lally is entrenched in the TRG racing business as lead driver and driver coach and mentor to TRG's list of loyal customers and upcoming young professional drivers."Of all the drivers that I have seen, driven against and worked with Andy is the most complete package," Buckler said. b^0x001cHe is steadfast with his goals and he has always had his sights set on NASCAR.JSince joining us three-years ago, it has been a magical relationship. He is a team player and knows how to drive and how to win. In addition, he has a strong understanding of the value of marketing and sponsor relationships. I have a lot of confidence in Andy and his ability to learn and adapt to the NASCAR philosophies - we are betting on him."
"I am as excited for this opportunity as I have ever been in my racing career," Lally said. "Growing up, the first kind of racing I was exposed to was NASCAR and those guys were my early role models and heroes. To be in a truck that has been managed by the legend Darrel Waltrip is awe inspiring. I'm looking at this as an opportunity to make a dream come true. We have set reasonable goals for these last three races and want to run from green to checker with as few errors as possible. I know I have a lot to learn and will be trying to absorb every bit of information that I can and completely immerse myself into all aspects of this program. I can't thank Kevin and all of our friends at TRG enough for allowing me this chance, I know that the work ethic within this organization is second to none and so is the determination. I was very happy with the mindset of the guys at Darrel Waltrip Racing when we met and I think that the combination of the two organizations will just elevate them both to increased success."
Lally made his NASCAR debut this year in Montreal where he ran as high as sixth. The following weekend at Watkins Glen, the Georgia resident, posted a top-10 finish in only his second start. Lally's main focus in past seasons has been the Grand-Am Rolex Series where he has set records for the most championships in series history as well as most top three finishes, he has also won more races in the last three years than any other driver in the Rolex Series. On the weekends that the Rolex Series was not racing this year Lally found himself in no less then seven other racing series including ARCA, Busch, ALMS and KONI Challenge as well as occasional Late Model and Legends races.
TRG was founded by Kevin and Debra Buckler in 1993 and has been competing at the top level of sports car racing ever since. TRG has the most wins of any team in the Grand-Am Rolex Series with 23, including the 2005 and 2006 Rolex Series GT championship trophy to go along with wins at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 24 Hours or Le Mans.
TRG is a manufacturer and distributor of high-performance racing parts.JThe group specializes in engine and chassis building as well as full service professional race car preparation. The company also provides electrical and mechanical engineering services, driver development and arrive-and-drive services. TRG is based in Petaluma, Calif., near its home track of Infineon Raceway in Sonoma.