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Team Toyo Drivers Win in Drag Racing and Autocross

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During this past weekend, Team Toyo drivers scored back-to-back wins in two different forms of competition… drag racing and autocross.  Thomas Bayer raced on Toyo Proxes Drag Slicks to win the 2009 bluemedia NHRA Opener at the Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Ariz.  In El Toro, Calif., Ken Motonishi relied on Proxes R1R extreme performance tires to win the Street Touring (ST) category of SCCA Solo regional competition.

Bayer, of Thomas Bayer Racing in Fontana, Calif.; took his Lucas Oil/Toyo Tires Super Comp dragster to the final (Round 7) of competition at the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Pacific Division race to defeat a field of 110 competitors running an 8.890-Elapsed Time at 165.70-mph.  Even more remarkable the car in the lane next to him during the final was teammate, Rich Camou… both drivers competing on Toyo Proxes Drag Slicks.  This is a consecutive win for Bayer, dominating the 25th Annual Lucas Slick Mist NHRA Nationals also at Firebird the weekend prior.

Also making it to the finals on Toyo Proxes Drag Slicks this past weekend at Firebird was Gary Forkner driving his Toyo Tires/Lucas Oil Pontiac GTO in the Top Sportsman class.  Forkner ran a 7.341-second ET at 186.15-mph in the final, but “broke-out” to be defeated by Ray Martin in his Corvette.  Russell Suyenaga qualified fifth out of 52 racers with a 6.691-second ET at 205.13-mph, only to drop out due to mechanical issues later in the event.

While Team Toyo drag racers were dominating in Ariz., Ken Motonishi of Orange, Calif., piloted his 1989 Honda Civic Si to a solid win in at the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station in Calif.  He beat the second place competitor, also on Toyo tires, by 1.827 seconds.  This is a back-to-back win for Motonishi with his Toyo Proxes R1R equipped Honda, having won the previous SCCA Solo regional event in San Diego.  Motonishi is a multiple SCCA Solo past champion, switching to Toyo Proxes R1R tires at the beginning of 2009.

“I borrowed a friend’s set of Proxes R1R tires before switching to Toyo Tires and was pretty amazed,” said Motonishi.  “It is an awesome tire and I think it will do very well this year.”

“We congratulate both Thomas Bayer and Ken Motonishi for their back-to-back wins on Toyo tires,” said Stan Chen, manager of motorsports and events, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.  “This demonstrates how you can dominate with Toyo Tires in racing, whether on our competition-only Proxes Drag Slick, or driving on our extreme performance Proxes R1R.”

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