Auto Service World
News   January 25, 2006   by Auto Service World

Michael Waltrip Racing and Toyota to Contest NASCAR Nextel Cup in 2007


Michael Waltrip will be driving a Camry in the 2007 Nextel Cup championship with NAPA sponsorship.
Toyota, which has been competing in NASCAR’s truck series, has said all along that its goal was the top rung of NASCAR competition.
Waltrip will be driving the No. 55 NAPA Toyota Camry. 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 endeavours during Toyota’s inaugural year in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.
Waltrip has driven for the Dale Earnhardt Inc. team for several years, but left the team at the end of the 2005 season. He will become an owner-driver for the new effort.
“Toyota’s standards are high and their approach into the sport is well thought out,” says 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 pesident 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.”


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