2012 Toyota Camry chosen as Daytona 500 pace car

Courtesy of Toyota Motorsports
While Toyota competes with Ford, Chevy, and Dodge on the NASCAR circuit, the pace car leading the field at Daytona International Speedway has remained defiantly American. In the 50 years NASCAR has been running the Daytona 500, only one has the pace car been an import; the Porsche 914 that paced the race on Valentine’s Day 1971.

Toyota Motor Sales and Daytona International Speedway announced on Tuesday that the 2012 Toyota Camry will serve as the official pace car for next year’s Daytona 500, which is February 26th.

Toyota has been the pace car at several NASCAR tracks, including Auto Club Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Dover International Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Kansas Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway, Richmond International Raceway, Road America, Watkins Glen, and the recently closed Nashville Superspeedway.

“We’re thrilled to be able to feature the new Camry in Daytona at the season’s biggest race,” said Ed Laukes TMS corporate manager of Motorsports marketing. Laukes went on to say that it was a unique way to highlight the new style of the Camry and to “reinforce Toyota’s commitment to NASCAR and its fans.”

The 2012 Toyota Camry will be the fourth different manufacturer to pace a race at Daytona International Speedway since 2010.

"Toyota has a successful track record of manufacturing in the United States and they have built upon that success in NASCAR’s top three national series," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "The 2012 Camry is a sharp, sleek vehicle and it will look great at the head of the field in the 54th running of the Daytona 500. We’re proud to have the 2012 Camry, built by great American workers, pace the Great American Race."

Fun Facts about Toyota:

  1. Toyota started manufacturing the Camry in 1983.
  2. More than nine million Camry's have been sold in the United States since manufacturing started in Georgetown, KY in 1986.
  3. Other than Kentucky, Camry's are now manufactured in Indiana.
  4. The 2012 Camry features fuel economy, multi-media technology, and even a quieter ride than previous models.
2012 Toyota Camry chosen as Daytona 500 pace car 2012 Toyota Camry chosen as Daytona 500 pace car Reviewed by Kristin Weaver on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 Rating: 5