Toyota wins USAC Midget racing debut

Midget racing superstar Dave Steele won the pole and the feature race for his 9 Racing team at the Copper World Classic at Phoenix International Raceway last weekend, scoring a victory for Toyota's new USAC Midget engine in its competition debut.
Toyota Racing Development (TRD), with the support of Ed Pink Racing Engines, have developed a new, four-cylinder 166-cubic-inch pushrod race engine for the 2006 USAC Midget race season. The new engine uses the V-8 cylinder head developed by Toyota for its NASCAR Craftsman Truck engine. In recent years, Midget racing has been dominated by Ford powerplants. Why does this matter? Details after the jump.. Why on earth would Toyota invest in this low profile, arcane, grass roots form of American motorsports? Well, it's all part of Toyota's master plan for winning the hearts and minds of American racing fans at all levels, from the superspeedways of NASCAR's Nextel Cup to the dirt bullrings of the Midwest.

At the introduction of Toyota's USAC Midget program, Gary Reed, vice president special projects for TRD USA said, "This is our first step into grass roots oval racing. I would like to see us in sprint cars, in Silver Crown and in regional NASCAR programs."

Toyota - coming soon to a short track near you...

[Source: Toyota]

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