Waltrip to Toyota

Michael Waltrip is headed eventually to the Toyota camp – along with Eury Jr., according to one Detroit source very close to the situation – in what is reported to be a top-dollar project. "Toyota has offered Michael and Tony Jr. so much money they can't turn it down," the source said. Waltrip has been eyed for a Toyota ride for more than a year, in part because older brother Darrell runs a Toyota team on the Craftsman Truck Series. NASCAR has been pushing Toyota to step up its presence in the sport, for the added marketing punch that would provide. And Waltrip could give Toyota quick credibility. Toyota isn't expected to field a Cup team until 2007, although a Busch team is a possibility in 2006. Toyota does have a formidable presence in the truck series. The Toyota option? "I don't even know when that's a possibility, and I need a job for next year," Waltrip replied. Roush said that Waltrip has talked with him about a ride: "And Michael is on the list, along with Sterling Marlin, Ricky Craven, Jamie – and Mark." Waltrip has also inquired about openings at Chip Ganassi's, according to sources. Waltrip declined to be specific. "We've just had talks," he said. "We've talked to a lot of people about next year. There are no real offers, just people interested. I've got a lot of options. There are some things in the works. Making this announcement will probably complicate that, before it comes clear. I'm just looking forward to getting into the best situation possible." Winston Salem Journal

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