Japanese driver Hideo Fukuyama will attempt to make his seasonal NASCAR Winston Cup Series debut this weekend at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway with Travis Carter's #66 Ford team and the ambitious Hideo Fukuyama Racing Project.

With Japan's growing interest in NASCAR buoyed even further by the news that Toyota will officially enter the Craftsman Truck Series in 2004, veteran driver Hideo Fukuyama has entered this weekend's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 in Las Vegas.

Fukuyama, who turns 48 this year, will once again pilot the #66 Travis Carter owned Ford Taurus as part of an ambitious plan to run more than 20 Winston Cup races as well as more than a dozen Busch and ARCA events.

The news, which broke on renowned NASCAR news source www.jayski.com, comes as a welcome boost for Carter who waited patiently throughout the off-season for Fukuyama and his Japanese business colleagues to work through the deal.

The program has been christened the 'Hideo Fukuyama Racing Project' and should the full 22 race Winston Cup plan come to fruition Fukuyama, who started two races for Carter's #66 team last year, would be eligible for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year Championship.

Sponsorship for the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 comes from Kikkoman Soy Sauce.