After finishing 1st in Sunday’s 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season-opener at Daytona, Camry driver Denny Hamlin earned not only his first career Daytona 500 victory, but also the first for Toyota.
Hamlin drove his Joe Gibbs Racing No.11 FedEX Camry past the finish line, 0.010-seconds ahead of fellow Camry driver Martin Truex Jr, thus marking the closest finish in the 58-year history of the prestigious Daytona 500 event.
Furthermore, Toyota drivers also combined to lead 158 laps (of 200) to kick off the 2016 season. Since he started racing for Toyota back in 2008, Hamlin has won 24 of his 27 career NSCS events, which is somethat that Toyota’s VP of marketing & performance Ed Laukes certainly recognizes.
“Winning the Daytona 500 is a tremendous accomplishment by Denny Hamlin and Joe Gibbs Racing,” said Laukes. “We are incredibly honored to win NASCAR’s biggest race and to not only win, but to see how strong our Toyota drivers ran all race – especially in the closing laps where it almost came down to any one of five of our guys could have won. That speaks volumes.”
The 2016 season marks Toyota’s 10th season competing in the NSCS – where Camry drivers have won 80 events since joining the series in 2007. In 2015, Toyota drivers won 14 races in total, tying the most by Camry racers in a single-season.