Kyle Busch—whose 104 career wins across all three of its top series make him one of NASCAR’s top drivers in terms of diversity—is now hoping to head to the winner’s circle in a different kind of race: the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge (www.ToyotaRacingDreamBuild.com). Busch—one of four racing stand-outs pitted against each other in the vehicle-modification build competition—is diving into a 2012 Toyota Camry SE and remaking it into the “Rowdy Edition” Camry, named for Busch’s nickname on the racing circuit, “Rowdy.”
Fans will determine by online voting which of the four modified Toyota vehicles will win the challenge—along with $50,000 to the winning driver’s charity of choice.
The Rowdy Edition Camry is all about style and substance. “Our approach to the build is to make a car with the stance, attitude and handling of a road-race car while retaining the functionality of a production Camry,” said Busch.
The modifications are being carried out at Detroit Speed & Engineering in Mooresville, N.C., under Busch’s supervision. “They make all of the body lines perfect and are really precise about looks,” Busch said, “so for me it was a no-brainer to come here” for the transformation.
Among the body modifications that the Camry will undergo to achieve the proper “Rowdy” image are a hand-formed custom wide-body kit; custom front and rear belly pans; DSE-designed and –fabricated front air splitter and rear air diffuser; and a custom dual exhaust system.
Since the official “Rowdy” colors are black, red, and white, those colors predominate on the exterior and inside, where black and red leather Lexus IS-F bucket seats are being installed to complete the look.
The Rowdy Edition Camry will premiere publicly—along with its competitors in the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge—on Oct. 30 in the Toyota display at the Special Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas.
Although the vehicle is not yet finished and the deadline for completion is looming, Busch is already pleased with what he sees. “This looks like something we should run at Daytona and Talladega,” he said. “The finished piece is going to look pretty good.”
It needs to look good to compete with the other contestants in the challenge: fellow NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer and his ultra-high-tech “Tekked-Out” Prius; NHRA Funny Car driver Alexis DeJoria and her “Tundra Prerunner” desert racer; and NHRA Top Fuel points leader Antron Brown, who is modifying a Sequoia for maximum speed.
All are competing for the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge title and a $50,000 check from Toyota to the driver’s chosen charity. A win by Busch will benefit the Kyle Busch Foundation, whose mission is to empower young men and women by fostering life experiences and helping them achieve their goals.
A 28-episode online reality series has been developed around the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge. Fans can catch up with Busch and his team in Episode 5 at http://www.youtube.com/v/hL_hJ9qG_9k&feature=relmfu. New episodes are uploaded regularly at www.ToyotaRacingDreamBuild.com.
Voting will open on October 20 and will continue through October 29. Fans will be able to vote once per day on Facebook, where they can also enter to win prizes, including a Toyota Racing “Dream Trip,” which will be given away to one lucky fan.
The final vehicle builds will be unveiled during Toyota’s press conference at the SEMA show in Las Vegas on Oct. 30. Fans will be able to tune in live to watch the entire press conference and see the winner announced in real time.