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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Toyota has made big mark in Cup series in first 200 races, despite its haters

It seems top me like Toyota have been in NASCAR's Cup series for a long time, but really it’s only been about six years. This weekend marks the 200th race since they came into the sport at its top level.

Of course, a lot of folks in NASCAR land don’t like Toyota still, view them as a sort of foreign invader. To me, that’s not the case. Toyota builds plenty of cars in America, and employs a lot of Americans (and at the same time many ‘American’ cars are built elsewhere, such as Mexico).

So the bottom line is that there is not really anything that really be called an ‘American car’ anymore, not in NASCAR, not anywhere. Cars have parts build all over the world, even if they are assembled here.

So if you still have a grudge against Toyota, I’d say get over it. They’re not going anywhere.
Here’s a list of their biggest accomplishments since arriving in NASCAR’s Cup series in 2007.

— Since entering the NSCS in 2007, Camry drivers have combined to capture 44 wins, 196 top-five results, 370 top-10 finishes and 38 pole positions in six seasons at NASCAR's highest level.

— FEBRUARY 18, 2007
The Toyota Camry makes its NSCS debut at Daytona. Four Camry drivers -- Dave Blaney, Dale Jarrett, David Reutimann and Michael Waltrip -- take the green flag in the Daytona 500.

— JUNE 29, 2007
Toyota earns its first NSCS pole position with Dave Blaney at New Hampshire.

— SEPTEMBER 3, 2007
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., and Joe Gibbs Racing announce the three-time championship-winning team will campaign Camrys for drivers Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch in the 2008 NSCS season.

— FEBRUARY 14, 2008
Toyota registers its first NSCS victory when Denny Hamlin wins a non-points, qualifying race for the Daytona 500.

— MARCH 9, 2008
Toyota earns its inaugural NSCS victory in a points race when Kyle Busch captures the checkered flag at Atlanta. Toyota's inaugural NSCS win came in the manufacturer's 40th race.

— SEPTEMBER 7, 2008
Three Toyota drivers -- Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart -- qualify for the 'Chase to the Sprint Cup' 10-race championship playoff. This marks the first time Camry drivers compete for the series title since Toyota joined the NSCS.

— OCTOBER 5, 2008
Toyota earns its first NSCS victory in the Chase playoff when Tony Stewart wins at Talladega.

— MAY 25, 2009
Camry driver David Reutimann records his first career NSCS victory at Charlotte. The win marks the inaugural NSCS victory for Michael Waltrip Racing and for a TRD-built engine.

— JUNE 28, 2009
Joey Logano becomes the youngest race-winner -- at 19 years, one month and four days -- in NSCS history when he is victorious in a rain-shortened race at New Hampshire. Logano earned his first win in just his 20th series start in a Camry.

— AUGUST 21, 2010
Kyle Busch becomes the first driver in NASCAR history to sweep all three races in a single weekend after he wins the NSCS, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at Bristol.

— APRIL 30, 2011
Toyota Camry drivers sweep the top-three finishing positions in the NSCS race at Richmond -- the first time Toyota drivers have ever swept the top-three finishing positions. At Richmond, Kyle Busch wins the race, Denny Hamlin records a runner-up result and former Toyota driver Kasey Kahne takes third-place.

— AUGUST 21, 2011
The Toyota Camry claims its 100th NASCAR victory in NSCS and NASCAR Nationwide Series competition when Kyle
Busch claims the first-place trophy in the Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan.

— MARCH 4, 2012
Toyota Camry driver Denny Hamlin wins the second NSCS race of the 2012 season at Phoenix. The victory is the first for a Joe Gibbs Racing Camry with a TRD-built engine.

— MAY 22, 2012
Toyota unveils its new Camry race car for the 2013 NSCS season.

JULY 29, 2012
— The Toyota Camry makes its 200th start in the NSCS race at Indianapolis.

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