Wallace team switches to Toyotas
Officials from Rusty Wallace Racing and Toyota Racing Development announced Thursday that the organization will switch from Chevrolets to Toyotas for the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series season.
RWR plans to once again compete full time in NASCAR’s No. 2 series with drivers Steve Wallace and Brendan Gaughan.
In a separate agreement, team owner Rusty Wallace, the former NASCAR Cup champion and current NASCAR analyst for ESPN, will represent the Toyota brand on a national basis.
"I'm very proud to have the opportunity for the team and I to represent the Toyota brand,” Wallace said. “Our team's decision on manufacturers involved input from a lot of people within the organization. We decided that at the end of the day, our goal as a race team is simple: To win races and championships. Thus, we all had to take a long look at which manufacturer partner could best help us reach that goal.”
Steve Wallace and Gaughan are seventh and ninth, respectively, in the Nationwide standings, but neither has won this season.
"I'm a Toyota dealer already, so I knew the high levels of support and dedication they provide to their partners,” Rusty Wallace said. “After touring the TRD [Toyota Racing Development] facility in North Carolina, I was completely convinced. Toyota is the manufacturer to beat in the Nationwide Series right now, and after seeing the level of engineering support they provide their teams, I understand why - their level of support is second to none.
“We're really excited about the opportunity to partner with Toyota for 2010 and beyond."
RWR's move to Toyota follows a two-year stint with manufacturer support from Chevrolet. Toyota will enter the 2010 season looking for its new affiliation with RWR to aid in securing the automaker’s third consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series manufacturers' championship.
“We are looking forward to our partnership and working together with Rusty Wallace Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series," said Lee White, president and general manager, Toyota Racing Development. "As a former Cup Series champion who is now a team owner, Rusty knows what is required - in terms of equipment and people - to win races and compete for championships. The team is a first-class organization, and we are proud that they will be a part of the Toyota Camry roster.”
Financial terms of the manufacturer agreement with RWR were not disclosed.