TRD president to step down
June 04, 2013, Kenny Bruce, NASCAR.com
Lee White, president and general manager of Toyota Racing Development, USA, has stepped down from his position overseeing the racing arm of the auto manufacturer.
According to a news release from TRD, White will retire at the end of the 2013 season. His immediate departure from all daily duties is due to “family health care needs.”
"I have been planning and working toward retirement at the end of this race season in December," White said. "I have been offered and accepted an opportunity to perform a reduced amount of duties from my home office. This generous arrangement afforded to us by the company will allow me to attend to personal family priorities."
White has been with TRD for more than 15 years, and during that time has been responsible for all the company’s U.S-based racing activities.
Bill Fay, Toyota group vice president and general manager, said White has “contributed enormously to Toyota Motorsports. … His leadership has resulted in victories and championships in a broad spectrum of racing series.
“He’s had an impressive career and his day-to-day leadership will be missed.”
Among White’s duties with TRD: engine development, manufacturing, chassis design and development and engineering support for teams that compete in NASCAR, USAC, NHRA and GRAND-AM and Off-Road series.
TRD currently works with Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series.
Toyota entered the Cup series in 2007 and its teams have won 54 races at that level, including five this year.
However, the TRD group, which supplies engines to JGR and MWR, has been in the spotlight this season. Drivers Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch have suffered engine failures twice -- each in the Daytona 500 and at Charlotte (Busch) and most recently at Dover (Kenseth).
Also, NASCAR penalized Kenseth and his No. 20 team when one of the eight connecting rods in his team’s winning engine at Kansas measured too light, an incident for which White said TRD took full responsibility.
White will remain in an advisory role for TRD and Toyota Motorsports until the end of the season.
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