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CARS Late Model Stock Tour

Toyota partners with Lee Pulliam Peformance with Isabella Robusto

Lee Pulliam Performance is now a Toyota Racing Development affiliate.

As part of that agreement, Pulliam will also now field a full-time CARS Late Model Stock Tour entry for Isabella Robusto in a No. 55 alongside teammate Brenden Butterbean Queen in the No. 08.

Pulliam, himself, is a four-time NASCAR Weekly Series national champion and has spearheaded one of the top driver development programs in the country since scaling back his own driving career over the past six years.

“If a company like Toyota calls you, you’re going to sit down and listen,” said Pulliam in a NASCAR Roots filing. “This is an opportunity I’ve worked hard for during my whole career. To be associated with a manufacturer like that is a tremendous deal that will be a great asset for our company.

“Everybody at TRD are racers at heart, so they want to be successful and do this deal at 110 percent, which is the same thing I want.”

Brandon Pierce joins Carroll Speedshop for 2024 CARS Tour season

Robusto has missed the second half of the year with concussion symptoms following a crash from the lead in a CARS Pro Late Model Tour race at Hickory. She led 48 laps that night. She intends to recapture that momentum with one of the top race teams in the discipline.

“I’m feeling good and ready to get back into a race car,” Robusto said. “It’s been a long, nine-and-a-half months of sitting on the sidelines, but I think 2024 is going to go really well running with Lee. They ran so well this past year, so I think everything is going to turn out well.”

Pulliam is convinced his organization will have the tools needed to get Robusto in Victory Lane but concedes that expectations may need to be tempered with any new relationship.

“With any driver, you always want to get that first race under their belt to see what areas we need to improve on,” Pulliam said. “We’d love to compete for wins right out the gate, but we need to see where we land and get better week-by-week. I think we have a talented enough group for us to go to Victory Lane next year.

“We just want to do the best job we can and represent TRD the best we can so we can have a long-term relationship.”

Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He also has extensive experience covering NASCAR, IndyCar and Dirt Sprint Cars.

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