"diversity" - read: anyone but a white male....

Toyota Motor Sales, Inc. (TMS) and Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) have joined forces to offer a one-year apprenticeship to a deserving diversity graduate of Toyota's Technician Training and Education Network (T-TEN) program.

The selected diversity candidate will be relocated to North Carolina and placed in a technical position within the MWR organization, directly involved with the teams' NASCAR participation. The candidate will have a strong technical background and will be assigned to a specific department within the MWR race shop, depending on the winner's skill set. The application process, including pre-screening and final candidate selections will be administered by Educational Testing Service's Scholarship & Recognition Programs (SRP) beginning immediately.

"This unique program is another way Toyota has made NASCAR a better place since entering the sport," said Michael Waltrip, NASCAR team owner and driver. "Diversity is an important initiative for everyone involved in NASCAR and I am honored that Toyota wanted to partner with Michael Waltrip Racing. So many talented technicians want to be involved with a NASCAR team and this is an unprecedented way to open the door. I can't wait to meet the winner and put his or her skills to work on my race cars."

"Toyota is committed to diversity and creating positive life-changing opportunities at all levels of our business," comments Rick Lester, Toyota technician development manager. "This new initiative with Michael Waltrip Racing is a dream job and presents an exciting opening for a T-TEN graduate."

SRP will design and develop an application that will be distributed to all Technician Training and Education Network schools nationwide, along with a letter of instruction and promotional materials to assist with promoting the apprenticeship. Each school will be invited to nominate students to participate in this unique opportunity with Toyota NASCAR Scholarship competition. Nominees and applicants will be selected from T-TEN graduating classes from September 2006 to the present.

After selecting candidates that meet all of the requisite requirements, each school will distribute the applications to these candidates. The application will instruct the candidates on when and how to submit all the materials necessary for the selection process. Applicants will also be advised to provide a minimum of four letters of recommendation to support their scholarship application, one from an Automotive Instructor (T-TEN and/or Automotive Youth Educational System Program), mentor, and two personal letters of reference.

SRP will assemble a selection committee that will review the application materials and identify the top three candidates. The finalists are scheduled to be interviewed by Michael Waltrip Racing and one candidate will be afforded the chance to participate in this unique opportunity. The fortunate candidate is scheduled to be announced by September 1, with a tentative start date of October 1.