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Nascar Camrys to debut at Daytona


Toyota, already involved in Formula 1 and in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck series, is expanding its American motorsport involvement dramatically in 2007.

Several teams will field Camry Stock Cars in NASCSR’s premier league, the Nextel Cup, and drag racer Scott Kalitta will run a Solara (based on the Camry Solara coupe) in the Funny Car division.
The NASCAR Camrys will also run in the Busch Series.

The expansion follows three years of Toyota competing in the Craftsman Truck Series, and will result in all three of NASCAR’s national series having four manufacturers competing, as Toyota will join Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford.

“NASCAR welcomes Toyota to the greatest auto racing in the world,” says NASCAR boss Brian France.

“Toyota’s entry into the Nextel Cup Series and the Busch Series is good for drivers, teams and the fans. This move provides for even more intense competition on the track between drivers and
manufacturers, which will provide more excitement and fan interest.

Toyota USA executive Dave Illingworth says 2007 will be a special year for Toyota
in more ways than one.

“Toyota will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in the United States, and we’ll be joining the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, America’s premier racing series. Toyota has been an important part of the US motorsports community for almost 25 years. We’ve competed and won in different series and on tracks across America. But, if you want to compete against the best, in America that means NASCAR.”

The Camrys will make their racing debut at the 2007 speedweek in Daytona, Florida, where they’ll try to qualify for the Daytona 500.

During 1996, Toyota is celebrating its 24th year of participation in American professional motor racing. Toyota drivers and teams have won championships in IMSA, CART, IRL and off-road racing.

They have won such historic events as the Rolex 24 sports car race at Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Baja 1000 and the Indianapolis 500.

Toyota moved into NASCAR in 2000, fielding the Celica model in the NASCAR Goody’s Dash Series.

The following season, Robert Huffman gave Toyota its first NASCAR victory, at Kentucky Speedway.

In 2003, Huffman gave Toyota its first NASCAR championship by capturing the NASCAR Goody’s Dash title.

In 2004, Toyota entered the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with the Tundra and in the process became the first new manufacturer in one of NASCAR’s top series in more than 50 years. 

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