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Waltrip signs extension with Toyota
Toyota Racing Development and Michael Waltrip Racing announced on Saturday that they have signed a multiyear contract extension through 2012.

MWR was one of the first Toyota teams when it started Sprint Cup racing in 2007. It was a rough first year for Waltrip with a fuel scandal the opening weekend at Daytona and several missed races. With the help of investor Rob Kauffman, who bought half the team in October 2007, Waltrip was able to stabilize the finances of his organization.

The last two years have shown improvement on the track. Driver David Reutimann is 16th in points and won earlier this year at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in the first win for a Toyota Racing Development engine – the previous Toyota wins were all by Joe Gibbs Racing, which builds its own Toyota engines. MWR affiliate driver Marcos Ambrose is 18th in his first full year of Cup competition under the JTG Daugherty Racing banner.

“[This extension] is something I’m really proud of,” team co-owner Michael Waltrip said. “It gives us a chance to know that inside this garage area, our manufacturer is behind us and supportive of us and is going to be with us for many years to come.”

Next year, Martin Truex Jr. will replace Waltrip, while Waltrip will run select races.

“We’re excited to be extending,” TRD President Lee White said. “We still consider them valuable partners. … We have a lot to look forward to and we couldn’t be more pleased with our relationship.”

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