CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Lee White is stepping down immediately as president of Toyota Racing Development and Toyota Motor Sales.
White will officially retire at the end of the year, but remain with Toyota as a special advisor until then. TRD said he is stepping down immediately to tend to family health care needs.
White joined Toyota in 1997 and took over the top job following Jim Aust's retirement in July, 2008. He was responsible for all TRD motorsports activities in NASCAR, USAC, NHRA, Grand-Am and Off-Road competition.
The announcement comes as TRD is struggling with durability in its engines, and White took the blame for a quality control issue that led to an overly heavy part in Matt Kenseth's winning engine at Kansas.