Atlanta: Toyota Motorsports preview

History will be made Friday night when Toyota racer Robert Huffman crosses the Start/Finish line of the Atlanta Motor Speedway Legends Track to start the final race of 2003, which will also be the final race in the 29-year history of the NASCAR ...

History will be made Friday night when Toyota racer Robert Huffman crosses the Start/Finish line of the Atlanta Motor Speedway Legends Track to start the final race of 2003, which will also be the final race in the 29-year history of the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series. With three wins, six top-five finishes, and no finishes outside the top-10, the driver of the No. 47 White House Apple Juice Toyota Celica has built an insurmountable lead in the championship point standings and will capture his fifth Goody's Dash Series title by simply starting the race. This will not only tie Huffman for the most Goody's Dash Series championships, it will also mark Toyota's first championship in a NASCAR-sanctioned series, and will give both parties the distinction of being the series' final champions. The Claremont, N.C., native finished second in the last race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

2002 Goody's Dash Series Champion Jake Hobgood has had a strong season behind the wheel of the No. 64 Germain Toyota Celica. The Winnsboro, S.C., native followed his Bud Pole Award at Oglethorpe's dirt track with a win in South Boston and four other top-10 finishes to put him in second position in the season standings. Hobgood's victory, combined with Robert Huffman's three wins, gives Toyota a series-leading four first-place finishes and the chance to be the top manufacturer in the final season of NASCAR Goody's Dash Series competition. Hobgood finished ninth at the last race in Bristol, Tenn.

No. 11 Rayco Safety/TRD Toyota Celica driver Brandon Ward finished third in last season's Atlanta race and returns this year in fifth place in the championship points. Ward, from Winston-Salem, N.C., has finished third two times this season and also won the Bud Pole Award in South Boston. As the highest placing Toyota driver last year, Ward could jump up in the standings if he repeats his excellent result at Atlanta's ¼-mile flat oval. Another Toyota racer to watch for is rookie of the year contender Reece Milton, who is currently the fifth-placed rookie and in 26th position overall.

"QUOTES"

Robert Huffman, No. 37 White House Apple Juice Toyota Celica "It's been a great year for the White House Apple Juice Celica and the entire team. Winning a fifth championship is fantastic, and I'm really proud that we've been able to give Toyota its first championship in NASCAR. It's been great to work with them and the people at TRD over the last three years. I also have to thank the guys on my team and my family for all the great help and support they have given me this year."

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Robert Huffman