Toyota Racing Launches Celebrity Dream Build Competition

Nick Dasko
by Nick Dasko

Toyota’s racing division (TRD) is hosting a custom vehicle build-off to raise money for charity.

NASCAR drivers Clint Bowyer and Kyle Busch, along with NHRA dragstrip devils, Antron Brown and Alexis DeJoria have each selected a shop and a Toyota vehicle to build for the competition. Each team will have equal resources to complete their projects in time for SEMA on October 30. Fans vote for their favorite vehicles ultimately awarding the winning team $50,000 for a charity of their choice.

Alexis DeJoria competes in NHRA Nitro Funny Car racing and is one of only two women to win an NHRA Alcohol Funny Car event. DeJoria is working with Racer Engineering of San Jacinto, Calif. The Southern California shop has tremendous experience in off-roading which is why she is using a Tundra Pre-Runner as the basis for her customized off road desert basher.

Kyle Busch is creating a NASCAR-inspired “rowdy” Toyota Camry. Busch is competing for the Kyle Busch Foundation. His organization supports programs for people who are terminally ill, safe-driving programs and recreation activities for children and teens. The charity also provides support for other programs that ease people’s challenges in life.

Clint Bowyer is adding technology to the already advanced Toyota Prius in partnership with RKM Performance in Charlotte. Bowyer is raising money for The Emporia Community Foundation which is based Bowyer’s native Emporia County, Kan. The charity builds improvements in the area and supports local organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters, various schools, programs for seniors and arts groups.

Antron Brown is the only driver to ever win NHRA Top Fuel racing and in Pro Stock Motorcycles. He is teaming up with Motorsports Technical Center in Long Beach, Calif. This seems like a bit of an advantage since they are Toyota’s in-house customizing shop who build concepts as well the Pro-Celebrity cars for the Toyota Grand Prix every year.

Brown and the crew are turning a Sequoia SUV into a dragster that can go to the grocery store. They plant to raid the TRD catalogue for Toyota-developed goodies like a supercharger kit and TRD brakes. Brown is competing for an organization that sends chaplains to races, called Racers for Christ.

Voting opens on October 20 and goes until October 30 when the vehicles are unveiled at SEMA in Las Vegas. Fans who vote can win prizes like a Toyota Racing vacation.

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Nick Dasko
Nick Dasko

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