MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING AND TOYOTA ENTER NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES COMPETITION TOGETHER IN 2007
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (January 24, 2006) - Michael Waltrip announced today that Michael Waltrip Racing will field multiple Toyota Camry entries in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series when the green flag waves for the 2007 Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.
"Toyota is a leader in the automotive industry and has quickly become a consistent winner in the NASCAR Truck Series," Waltrip said. "The logical step is for them to come into the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and I am honored to be a part of their entrance into the sport."
Driving the No. 55 NAPA Toyota Camry, Waltrip has support from all of his sponsors and he has the resources in place to chase the coveted NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series championship. In addition to NAPA supporting Waltrip's efforts, Best Western, Klaussner (Sofa Express and More) and Coca-Cola will be heavily involved in his racing endeavors during Toyota's inaugural year in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.
"Toyota's standards are high and their approach into the sport is well thought out," said Waltrip. "Michael Waltrip Racing's sponsors have also taken their own methodical steps into the NASCAR industry and I am grateful that they are making this march with me and that they share my eagerness in today's announcement. As my new NASCAR NEXTEL CUP organization is formally born today, it's interesting to note that there is already a strong connection with my new partner. Both Toyota and I have Kentucky roots -- I was born in Owensboro, Kentucky and the Camry is assembled in Toyota's plant in Georgetown, Kentucky."
"We are pleased about being a part of Toyota's entry into the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series," said NAPA President Bob Susor. "NAPA shares Toyota's enthusiasm for motor sports and through our sponsorship we want to be one of the first to welcome them into the top level of the sport. This partnership is an excellent match for NAPA. We are equally excited about our new partnership with Michael Waltrip Racing. Michael has been synonymous with the NAPA brand since 2001 and we could not be more pleased to have a person of Michael's qualities representing our brand."
"We are an established leader in providing quality aftermarket automotive parts and service," continued Susor. "NAPA AUTO PARTS has coverage and availability of over 300,000 part numbers to service the North American market needs of both domestic and imported name plate vehicles."
To prepare for the future of Michael Waltrip Racing, Waltrip devised a plan to achieve his goal of becoming a successful owner in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Setting the stage in August of 2005, Waltrip announced his plans to design and create Waltrip Racing World, an interactive high-tech race shop designed for the ultimate fan experience.
"Since 1996, we have operated Michael Waltrip Racing out of our backyard," Michael Waltrip explained. "I have always dreamed of constructing the perfect building for a race team. Waltrip Racing World will be just that. NASCAR is a family sport and this, in our opinion, is the definitive family destination. We see the fans packing up their cars and motorhomes and setting out to experience Waltrip Racing World and the area that surrounds it. The value of letting the fans touch, hear and smell the workings of our NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Toyota teams seven days a week not only benefits the fans, but gives our sponsors and manufacturer more exposure. We believe the fans will come during the week to watch our Toyota teams prepare for the races and on the weekends to watch NASCAR action on one of the giant movie screens as part of the experience."