How A Toyota Engineer’s Love For Horses Powers The Goal Of Always Making Better Vehicles

As a young girl living on a farm in southern Indiana, Samantha Stone helped train and show performance horses at local and regional competitions, often with great success. This success and passion led Stone to one day dream of showcasing the beauty and power of horses throughout the country.
However, now an engineer in Toyota’s Vehicle Planning/Production Engineer division, it’s a different kind of horsepower that gets Stone’s heart pounding.
She will serve as co-driver and riding mechanic in the 47th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 race, along with Toyota Tundra Chief Engineer Mike Sweers and fellow Toyota colleagues in a lightly modified 2015 Tundra Toyota Racing Development (TRD) Pro Series truck (Full Size Stock Class), November 12 – 16. 
“I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I’d have this tremendous opportunity to represent my fellow team members and test the Tundra TRD Pro in the desert’s treacherous terrain,” says Stone, who recently served as project support for the redesigned 2015 Toyota Camry.  “The team’s ultimate goal is to complete this grueling race and to demonstrate how quality, durability, reliability and safety are built into each Tundra.”
The Tundra is exclusively assembled by 2,900 team members at Toyota’s San Antonio, Texas, facility.
Stone began her career with Toyota in spring 2012 upon graduating with a dual Bachelor’s degree in Motorsports Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. 
“I’ve always enjoyed putting things together, and growing up on a farm taught me to think outside of the box and improvise,” Stone says.  “There will be a lot of quick thinking and improvising during the Baja 1000 with my team to ensure the Tundra exceeds expectations as we seek ways to always make better vehicles for our loyal customers.”
The Baja 1000, which actually covers approximately 1,200 miles, will begin in Ensenada, Mexico and ends five days later in La Paz.

About Toyota 
Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands.  Over the past 50 years, we have built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 40,000 people (more than 32,000 in the U.S.).  Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.5 million cars and trucks (more than 2.2 million in the U.S.) in 2013 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today.   
Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment.  As part of this commitment, we share the company’s extensive know-how garnered from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good.  For more information about Toyota, visit

Victor Vanov


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