DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Toyota finally reached the tip of a protracted road Sunday, winning what a high company official referred to as “the single biggest race in our company’s history” as Denny Hamlin edged fellow Camry driver Martin Truex Jr. at the end of the Daytona five hundred.
Hamlin’s thrilling finish served as a kind of support to Kyle Busch’s run to the Sprint Cup championship in Toyotas last season. Busch’s title was Toyota’s initial in Cup.
This was our tenth strive at the Daytona five hundred. once we came into the game (in Sprint Cup in 2007), we tend to struggled. we tend to weren't prepared. we tend to did not understand. therefore it’s taken time for U.S. to conjointly build a company with our team partners that's capable of winning races and competitory for championships.”Although Toyota jumped into Sprint Cup athletics in 2007, the automotive builder place tentative feelers into stock automotive circles in 2000 within the now-defunct NASCAR Goody’s Dash Series for smaller cars. The Celicas competitory therein comparatively obscure circuit were much disregarded.
In 2004, Travis Kvapil gave Toyota its initial NASCAR national-series finish within the Truck series, and Todd Bodine created the primary Toyota series title in trucks in 2006.
Toyota thought it absolutely was able to create the massive accelerate to Cup in 2007, however that season was crammed with toil and bother for the newcomers. Michael Waltrip, Red Bull athletics and veteran NASCAR team owner Bill Davis fielded the Toyota groups that initial season.
The storm began throughout the gap weeks at Daytona. Toyota had granted veteran driver Waltrip possession of 1 of its new Cup groups, Associate in Nursingd Waltrip embarrassed the automotive builder before its initial race once NASCAR officers aforesaid his team used an extrajudicial fuel additive in its automotive. Suspensions and big fines followed, and Toyota’s massive moment on stock automotive racing’s biggest stage took an unsightly flip. Toyota dominated Speedweeks. Hamlin won the Daytona five hundred on Sunday, eight days once winning the exhibition Sprint Unlimited. And Joe chemist athletics mate Kyle Busch, the regnant Cup champion, won one in all the 2 qualifying races.
Toyota additionally claimed four of the highest 5 spots within the five hundred, with Martin Truex Jr. finishing second, Busch third and Carl Edwards fifth.
It was the type of end several, as well as Wilson, thought would happen years earlier.
''We knew it absolutely was attending to be a protracted, tough slog,'' Wilson aforesaid. ''I'll admit that i believed at intervals the primary 5 years we would have a trial at a championship. i believe the primary time I cried during this sport was 2010 once Denny came to Homestead with a 15-point lead and that we lost. Had he won, we might have created that five-year target.