2004 Toyota Tundra NASCAR Craftsman Series Truck
When Toyota Motor Corp. decided to tackle the American full-size truck market, they faced a dilemma. Long known for manufacturing small, reliable, fuel-efficient vehicles, Toyota knew it would have to do something significant to convince U.S. truck buyers they had something to offer. "We are a latecomer in the full-size truck market. Obviously, Ford and Dodge have been building them for decades," says Les Unger, Toyota's National Motorsports Manager. "We wanted to increase the awareness of our full-size truck, the Toyota Tundra, and increase buyer consideration and, by extension, sales." Part of Toyota's solution was to turn to the racetrack: In 2004, the company became title sponsor of a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, the Toyota Tundra 200, in Nashville. To hear Unger describe it, the sponsorship was an ideal chance to accomplish the myriad goals Toyota had set. First, Toyota promoted the event heavily through regional advertising in order to tell local consumers about the Tundra, a vital objective for the region's dealers. Those same dealers used the event as an easy platform for reaching potential customers, both at the race - where they displayed a fleet of Tundras - and away from the track through event-related incentives and sweepstakes. Just as important for the company, says Unger, was its ability to use the Toyota Tundra 200 to thank employees at five nearby factories and to wine and dine important customers and other VIPs. "We had what we think was the largest NASCAR hospitality venue of any event," says Unger. "There were between 8,000 and 9,000 people in our 10 acres of hospitality tents. It was a huge success." The Tundra's Specifications: Engine Displacement: 358in³ (5.8L) Pushrod V8 Transmission: 4 Speed Manual Weight: 3400 pounds. Minimum without driver, with fuel Power Output: 650-700hp (485-522kw) Fuel: 98 octane unleaded gasoline standarded by Sunoco Fuel Capacity: 18 U.S. Gallons Fuel Delivery: Carburetion Compression Ratio: 12:1 Aspiration: Naturally aspirated Carburetor size: 390 Cubic Feet per Minute (184 Liters per Second) 4 Barrel Wheelbase: 112in (2.8m) Steering: Power, recirculating ball Tires: Goodyear slick tires Length: 5286 mm Height: 51 inches Width: 73 inches Safety equipment: HANS device, Seat belt 6-point supplied by Willans These Specifications relate to Not only the Tundra but all the Craftsman Series Trucks in the Event as of 2009
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