Waltrip, Toyota sign multiyear deal

Updated: November 14, 2009, 1:04 PM ET
By Terry Blount | ESPN.com

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Toyota has signed a multiyear extension to continue as the manufacturer for Michael Waltrip Racing through the 2012 season, Waltrip and Toyota officials announced Saturday.

"I never would have been a team owner if not for Toyota," Waltrip said. "There were times when I was proud of that and times when I wondered what I got myself into. But it's been worthwhile and very rewarding for me."

Waltrip formed his own team when Toyota entered the Sprint Cup Series three years ago. The team earned its first victory this season in late May with David Reutimann's win in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

"Michael Waltrip Racing was a part of Toyota's freshman class and they have shown tremendous progress," said Lee White, president of Toyota Racing Development. "Michael has always been a tremendous spokesperson for Toyota and continues to impress all of us with the moves he is making to elevate MWR to a championship-caliber organization."

Waltrip, who has raced as an owner/driver the past three years, is moving to a part-time driving role next year. Martin Truex Jr. is leaving Earnhardt Ganassi racing to join MWR in 2010.

Terry Blount covers motorsports for ESPN.com.

Terry Blount

ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter