Motordrome: Toyota preview

Huffman looks to stay in championship hunt at Motordrome Hicks becomes the first female Goody'S Dash Celica pilot. SMITHTON, Pa. (Sept. 10, 2002) - Four-time series champion Robert Huffman is looking to stay in the hunt for his fifth title when...

Huffman looks to stay in championship hunt at Motordrome Hicks becomes the first female Goody'S Dash Celica pilot.

SMITHTON, Pa. (Sept. 10, 2002) - Four-time series champion Robert Huffman is looking to stay in the hunt for his fifth title when the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series visits the Motordrome Speedway in the Pittsburgh suburb of Smithton, Pa., for the first time at the Travel Club International 150, Friday, Sept. 13. In addition, Wendy Hicks will be making her debut in the No. 73 Clabber Girl Toyota Celica, the first female to race a Toyota in the Goody's Dash Series.

Huffman has driven the No. 37 White House Apple Juice Toyota Celica into second place overall in the championship. He is also tied for the series lead in victories with three and pole positions with four, and he is second in the Gatorade Front Runner Award with 280 laps lead.

"I'm looking forward to taking the White House Apple Juice Celica out to this new track," said Huffman, of Claremont, N.C. "We definitely have a car that can win, and with a little luck we can be right there for the championship going into the last race in Atlanta."

Hicks, from Huntsville, Ala., will be racing in the first of two Goody's Dash races this year with an eye towards a full rookie season in 2003. Prior to climbing into her Celica, Hicks was a regular in the Legends Series at Huntsville Speedway. Her racing career began at the Quarter Midget level at the age of five.

"This is definitely the easiest race car I've ever driven," said Hicks after testing her new Clabber Girl Celica at Myrtle Beach, S.C. last week. "I'm used the the midgets that just wear you out after 30 laps. I got really excited after hearing the Toyota engine rev. I'm ready to start this race."

Mag-Clip Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Brandon Ward is coming off his best finish of the year at Bristol (third) going into this weekend's race at the Motordrome. Ward, from Winston-Salem, N.C., has now raced his No. 11 Ram Fabrication Toyota Celica into third in the rookie standings, just one point out of second and 10 from the top. Ward, who won the Bristol race last season while running a limited schedule, is now 11th overall in the championship race.

Another rookie-of-the-year contender, Nick Pistone of Charlotte, N.C., will be looking to improve on a disappointing Bristol race, which was plagued early by mechanical woes. Pistone, racing the No. 77 BI LO/Big Daddy's BBQ Sauce Toyota Celica, is currently in sixth place in the rookie standings and 16th overall while having only raced in 9 of the 12 events this season.

Qualifying for the Travel Club International 150 will be at 6:45 p.m. ET, and the green flag will drop at 9 p.m.

Toyota made its debut in the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series at the Daytona International Speedway in 2000. Robert Huffman's victory at Kentucky Speedway last season in the Toyota Celica was the first for an overhead-cam, multi-valve engine in NASCAR history. The 27-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 stock 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-

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