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Suzuki Announces Stock Car of Tomorrow: Kizashi Sport - Richard Petty Coming Out of Retirement for One-Time Ride

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Spy photo of Suzuki stock car in practice run

BREA, CA - April 1, 2010: To further gain familiarity with car buyers across the U.S., American Suzuki Motor Corp. (ASMC) today announced its intent to establish and run a stock car racing team in North America. Suzuki’s first contender in the 2011 season will be a modified version of its 2011 Kizashi Sport, which debuted (making a left turn) at the New York International Auto Show earlier this week.

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Richard Petty being interviewed by Parker Johnstone for The Auto Channel's series on greatest stock car finishes

TheKing, Richard Petty, is reportedly set to drive in Suzuki's first race. Although Petty has been retired from active racing for many years, he felt that this is a great once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, particularly since he doesn't have to honor any emotional commitment to the now defunct Pontiac brand.

“Suzuki has a long and distinguished racing heritage in the U.S. with its motorcycle and ATV teams and now we can bring that expertise to the heart of America’s top racing circuit,” said Cole Trickle, ASMC’s new stock car team crew chief. “The Kizashi Sport platform translates perfectly to U.S. racing and we hope to bring the expertise gained from our existing Swift Jr. WRC teams to the stock car world.”

The Kizashi car-of-tomorrow prototype vehicle could be piloted by Suzuki Sport owner and Pikes Peak Hill Climb record holder Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima. This also could mark the debut of the rumored Suzuki V8 “IntimiGixxer” engine. Comprised of two Hayabusa blocks, the V8 powertrain would be a first for Suzuki and could spearhead efforts to introduce the Suzuki brand to the U.S. luxury market.