The Daytona 500 has been about as ’Americana’ as any sporting event in the US today. The only others that are on that level are the Indy 500 and the SuperBowl. So it’s no surprise that in the 50 years that the event has been held, only one of the pace cars involved doesn’t have an American lineage to it.

That is until now.

Joining the Porsche 914 that was used as a pace car in 1971 is the all-new Toyota Camry, which has been tapped to lead-off the Daytona 500 and open the NASCAR Sprint Cup season next February. But that’s only after it makes an appearance at the 2011 SEMA Auto Show.

In an event that has fielded a steady number of Pontiacs, Buicks, Chevrolets, Fords, and so many other US-born automakers, the decision to choose the 2012 Camry as the official pace car of the 2012 Daytona 500 is a testament to the Japanese automaker’s growing influence in the US stock car world.

The Camry Daytona 500 Pace Car is powered by a 3.5-liter six-cylinder, twin-cam engine that produces 268 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 248 lb/ft of torque at 4,700 rpm that’s aided by a TRD custom stainless exhaust system.

As a pace car, the Camry comes with its share of "pace car features", including a Tein adjustable suspension system, a Whelen LFL Liberty LED lightbar, an on-board fire extinguisher, four-point Simpson racing seat belts, a full roll cage, and a set of 19" BBS RS wheels wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1 tires with a StopTech Big Brake Kit.


Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments


  (447) posted on 12.5.2011

It looks more like a police car on its graphic design for the exception of the words that they also include. Anyway, the fact that it is a sports car, I don’t think that 268 hp is good enough on it.

  (428) posted on 11.29.2011

I love the graphic design of this vehicle. It looks more impressive on that. However, it is only too sad to know that they didn’t justify the sporty appearance of it because it had a weak engine output.

  (306) posted on 10.27.2011

This Camry is absolutely looks so classy and aggressive on its design but well, I just hope that it had also a strike engine and horsepower as well as its exterior.

  (372) posted on 10.24.2011

It is quite impressive on its platform and abstract appearance, but I’m quite wondering on what will be the interior of this one will look like and even on what will be the figure performance that this car will have?

  (428) posted on 10.18.2011

I love the interior touch of this Camry Daytona. It looks so comfortable and cozy on that, but I wonder if what’s really the figure performance of this one, and I love the abstract art of it.

  (242) posted on 09.22.2011

Aside from the speedy type of this Toyota Camry Daytona 500 Pace Car, for me this car has no difference on the other racing car out there. However, because these are Toyota products, I have no doubt that it has strong engines and kind of durable moves. 

  (458) posted on 09.16.2011

The high brand of Toyota and design of Toyota Camry daytona was impressive. I hope the performance of this car is the same the true Camry.

  (328) posted on 09.5.2011

Well, I have to say that the styling of the car is kind of impressive. I wonder if it will perform the same with the original version of the Camry.

  (342) posted on 09.5.2011

The luxurious and high end brand of Toyota, the Camry has turn into a racing car. And I would say that it look so ragged. However, I was thinking on what was the figure performance of the car.

Car Finder: