Sonoma Infineon Raceway news 2009-06-04

Toyota Camry Hybrid Ready to Pace /Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway SONOMA, Calif. (June 4, 2009) -- For the first time in history at a NASCAR road course, a Camry hybrid will lead the 43-car Sprint Cup Series starting field to the green flag...

Toyota Camry Hybrid Ready to Pace /Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway

SONOMA, Calif. (June 4, 2009) -- For the first time in history at a NASCAR road course, a Camry hybrid will lead the 43-car Sprint Cup Series starting field to the green flag for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, June 19-21 (Father's Day weekend).

The Toyota Camry Hybrid pace car made its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at Lowe's Motor Speedway last month when it became the first hybrid vehicle to serve as the 'official' pace car for an entire race.

"Toyota is the leading seller of hybrids in the U.S. with more than a million on the road, so it's appropriate the Camry Hybrid was the first to pace a NASCAR race from start to finish," said Ed Laukes, corporate motorsports marketing manager, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. (TMS). "It was a tribute to the torque and other performance characteristics of the Camry Hybrid that allowed it to meet NASCAR's requirements for pacing the longest race of the season."

Now, the Camry Hybrid will take to the twists and turns of the 1.99-mile road course at the Sonoma circuit, which complements Infineon Raceway's ongoing efforts to be environmentally conscious. The raceway has a comprehensive, year-round recycling program, as well as nearly 3,000 sheep that help mow and maintain the facility's 1,600 acres, among other initiatives.

Built at the Toyota manufacturing facility in Georgetown, Ky., the Toyota Camry Hybrid is a 187-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder vehicle that gets an EPA estimated combined average of 33 miles per gallon.

Before being approved to serve as the pace car, the Camry Hybrid had to pass a NASCAR-mandated performance test at Lowe's Motor Speedway, a one-and-a-half-mile oval located in Charlotte, N.C. In order to qualify as a pace car, the vehicle was required to reach speeds close to 100 miles per hour from a stand-by position near the exit of pit road to the time it reaches the exit of turn two, a distance of approximately one-quarter-mile.

The Camry Hybrid will serve as the 'official' pace car at a total of six race weekends this year. In addition to pacing the field at Infineon Raceway this weekend, it will also pace at both races at Lowe's Motor Speedway (May and October), Chicagoland Speedway (July 11), Watkins Glen International (August 9) and Martinsville Speedway (Oct. 25).

For more information on the Toyota/Save Mart 350 or to purchase tickets, call 800-870-RACE or visit www.infineonraceway.com.

-credit: ir

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup