Toyota - 2003 championship report

Huffman Wins Fifth NASCAR Goody's Dash Series Title TORRANCE, Calif. (Oct. 28, 2003) ­ As the green flag waved to start the final race in the 29-year history of the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series, four-time champion Robert Huffman claimed...

Huffman Wins Fifth NASCAR Goody's Dash Series Title

TORRANCE, Calif. (Oct. 28, 2003) ­ As the green flag waved to start the final race in the 29-year history of the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series, four-time champion Robert Huffman claimed his record-tying fifth title and put his No. 37 White House Apple Juice Toyota Celica in the record books by giving Toyota its first NASCAR championship. The Claremont, N.C., native finished the race in fifth position but had enough points coming into the season finale to secure the title by just taking the green flag.

In addition to Huffman's championship, Toyota also collected the most Goody's Dash Series wins in 2003 with four, and finished the season with three drivers in the top-five in the points standings.

"We are very excited and proud to have helped Robert win his fifth Goody's Dash Series championship," said Les Unger, National Motorsports Manager for Toyota. "He brought Toyota our first NASCAR victory in 2001 and it is fitting that a driver with such an outstanding career should win the championship in its final year as a NASCAR-sanctioned series. Toyota's involvement in this series has been a success, and it was Robert, along with our other drivers, that made it possible."

Huffman finished third in the season standings his first year driving a Toyota, he was second in 2002 and he won the championship this year with three race wins. A sixth-place finish was his only race outside the top five. Huffman's 2003 season is indicative of his entire Goody's Dash Series career. His five championships tie him for the record with Dean Combs' and he is second behind Combs with 41 race wins. He was also voted this year's Most Popular Driver, an honor he also won in 2000 ­ his last championship season.

2002 Goody's Dash Series Champion Jake Hobgood was the highest Toyota finisher in the season-ending race with a fourth-place performance. The Winnsboro, S.C., native drove the No. 64 Germain Toyota Celica to the Bud Pole at Oglethorpe in its first outing and raced to a victory at South Boston to finish the season in third position. Fellow Toyota racer Brandon Ward, from Winston-Salem, N.C., finished sixth in Atlanta and he and his No. 11 Rayco Safety/TRD Toyota Celica round out the top-five in the final season standings, moving up from 10th last year.

Reece Milton (No. 75 Hand Crafted Homes/Ferguson/Food Country Toyota Celica) had his best result at Greenville-Pickens with an eighth and finished the season in 26th position overall and fourth in the Rookie of the Year competition. Wade Day (No. 52 Refrigerator Services Toyota Celica) won the Bud Pole Award in Atlanta but finished in 20th position and ends the season 33rd in the points.

<pre> 2003 NASCAR Goody's Dash Series Final Standings:

                  Driver                  Points    Wins    Top 5    Top 10
            1.    Robert Huffman          1,335      3       7         8
            2.    Justin Hobgood          1,206      1       4         6
            3.    Jake Hobgood            1,194      1       4         6
            4.    Randy Humphrey          1,058      0       1         6
            5.    Brandon Ward            1,048      0       3         5
            6.    Danny Bagwell           1,029      1       1         4
            7.    Eric Wilson (rookie)    1,008      0       1         3
            8.    Kelly Sutton              965      0       0         3
            9.    TJ Majors (rookie)        947      0       0         3
            10.   Scott Weaver              927      0       1         4
            26.   Reece Milton (rookie)     446      0       0         1
            33.   Wade Day                  291      0       0         0

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Kelly Sutton , Robert Huffman , Justin Hobgood