Earlier today, Toyota made a few announcements live on Toyota.com and one of those announcements is that the 2012 Toyota Camry will serve as the Official Pace Car of the 54th annual Daytona 500 coming up next February at Daytona International Speedway.
Now before I get into why I’m disappointed about this announcement, let me state my opinion of Toyota first.
I’m not a fan of Toyota at all and that’s putting it loosely. Simply put while they normally have good products including there cars, its there customer service that is terrible and that especially goes for the way they handled recalls.
Of course that would include one of the more recent recalls or issues dealing with the gas petal. I mean it even told the Federal Government to tell Toyota to stop selling these vehicles in the United States.
Now I realize that the Feds have cleared Toyota, but I have NO faith in those tests at all. I truly believe that when an issue comes up, Toyota has shown that they would rather cover it up and not deal with it.
Or just blame it on the driver, no matter the issue. Sorry those are my personal feelings.
But with that said, it isn’t my personal fellings that is fueling this disappointment in NASCAR and/or Daytona International Speedway for allowing the Toyota Camry to serve as the pace car next February.
But rather as a NASCAR fan that has been watching for the last two decades, I believe that the fact that this is the Daytona 500, The Great American Race, and the official pace car of the Great American Race should be an American car period.
Now of course that will touch off a big discussion of what exactly is an american made car including the argument that the Toyota Camry is build here in America (Lafayette, Indiana), but in this case, the pace car should come from Detroit, namely the Big 3. Ford, Chevrolet (General Motors) and Dodge (Chrysler).
But did you know in the history of the Daytona 500, only once has an import paced the race and that was a Porsche 914 in 1971. Other than that, the pace car has been a Pontiac, Buick, Chevrolet, Dodge, Plymouth, of course Fords including most recently a Ford Mustang Gt in 2010 and the Chevrolet Camaro in 2011. (Full list of Daytona 500 pace cars)
Basically I’m disappointed, nobody could have gone and gotten a 2012 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 to serve as the Official Pace Car??? Disappointed, I wonder what’s next, Lexus LFA made famous by Kyle Busch speeding in it, a VW Beetle, or how about a Lambo. Oh Brother.