Toyota is set to celebrate its 1,500th race competing in NASCAR with special throwback schemes at Darlington Raceway to commemorate the milestone. With the race being a part of NASCAR’s Official Throwback Weekend, Toyota will collaborate with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) and Hattori Racing Enterprises (HRE) to highlight milestone moments in Toyota’s NASCAR tenure.
“As someone who has been a part of these historic NASCAR milestones in Toyota Racing history, it is extremely rewarding to look back and celebrate how much we have achieved in our nearly two-decade run in NASCAR,” said David Wilson, president, TRD (Toyota Racing Development). “We look forward to honoring these moments as we continue to work hard to have many more reasons to celebrate in the future.”
Denny Hamlin will lead this campaign as his FedEx Express Toyota Camry TRD will showcase the livery that he ran when he drove to his – and Toyota’s – first Daytona 500 victory in 2016. Hamlin claimed his win on a day where Toyota’s teamwork efforts were highlighted when Camry drivers earned four of the top-five finishing positions and led 158 of 200 laps.
“Winning my first Daytona 500 in 2016 was a special day for Joe Gibbs Racing, FedEx and Toyota and me,” said Hamlin. “We showed how effectively teamwork could work. I was proud to deliver a first for Toyota and am excited to celebrate that moment at Darlington Raceway as Toyota Racing hits a milestone start.”
His teammate, Christopher Bell, will also showcase a big moment in his early career as he looks back on his 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship aboard his SiriusXM Toyota Camry TRD. Bell showcased SiriusXM colors on his Toyota Tundra in two of his six victories that season on his way to the title.
“I’ve been a proud member of Team Toyota for several seasons and I’m excited to be a part of this milestone race in the NASCAR Cup Series,” said Bell. “SiriusXM has been such a big part of so many big moments in my NASCAR career thus far, and I’m thrilled that they are on my Camry this weekend as we look to deliver a victory.”
In Toyota’s 1,498th race on Friday evening, both of HRE’s Toyota Tundra TRD Pros will highlight founding members of Team Toyota in the Truck Series event.
California’s Tyler Ankrum will honor fellow California native Mike Skinner, who was a big part of Toyota’s early success in the Truck Series. Skinner was a part of Toyota’s first season in NASCAR (2004) and earned 12 wins aboard a Tundra.
“It’s very cool to be a part of a landmark weekend for Toyota and I’m happy to be honoring fellow Toyota and California driver Mike Skinner,” said Ankrum. “My LiUNA! Tundra TRD Pro looks great, and we hope to do what Mike did quite a few times in this scheme, drive it to Victory Lane.”
Chase Purdy has chosen to honor a NASCAR icon – Darrell Waltrip. Waltrip was a part of the first Truck Series ownership group for Toyota in 2004. His team delivered Toyota’s first NASCAR Rookie of the Year title with David Reutimann the same year. Additionally, Waltrip made several starts aboard his Tundras during his ownership run. Purdy is campaigning the scheme that Waltrip drove to his final Truck Series start at Martinsville in October 2005.
“Darrell Waltrip is a legendary name in NASCAR for his work on and off the track,” said Purdy. “His team was part of Toyota’s foundation in the Truck Series, and I’m excited to honor him and his team’s legacy. This Tundra TRD Pro looks fast, and it will look great running for the win at Darlington.”
Since debuting in the NASCAR Truck Series at Daytona in 2004, Toyota has won 566 total races – 164 in the Cup Series, 186 in the Xfinity Series and 216 in the Truck Series. Toyota has won three Cup Series driver titles, three Xfinity Series driver titles and nine Truck Series driver titles since 2004.
Toyota Racing PR