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There’s much to be said about an automaker’s CEO that is seen more often in a race suit than a business suit.
The all-new 2012 Toyota Camry is here and the Japanese automaker is shifting gears with its mid-size sedan. While an excellent vehicle the Camry has always been criticized as the “safe choice.” Now, thanks to some shenanigans provided by NASCAR points leader Kyle Busch, the big “T” is looking to rebrand the Camry, while touting its technology and incredible fuel economy.
To do so Toyota has launched three new ads for the car. Watch then after the jump and read AutoGuide’s 2012 Toyota Camry review here:
Kyle Busch might be firmly behind the wheel of the NASCAR points race, but off the race track he’s riding shotgun. That’s because an Indiana judge has just suspended the racer driver’s license, after he was busted back in May, at 128-mph in a 45 zone.
Busch had his license revoked for 45 days, in addition to a $1,000 fine, as well as a sentence that included a one year unsupervised probation. The NASCAR star had pleaded guilty to the speeding charged and “no contest” to reckless driving charges.
A contrite Busch apologized to the judge and to the media gathered outside the Iredell County Courtroom, while thanking those who have stood by him.
A driver for Toyota, the car Busch was caught speeding in was the first ever exotic, built by the Japanese automaker’s Lexus luxury division. Priced at $375,000 the bright yellow Lexus LFA makes 560-hp and is capable of a top speed of 202-mph!
Kimi Raikkonen struggled to a 27th place on his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Raikkonen, driving the #87 NEMCO Motorsports Toyota prepared by Kyle Busch Motorsports, suffered a pit road penalty and damage to the front of his car, dropping from 15th to 27th place.
The iceman enjoyed a great run in practice on Thursday and set some competitive lap times. He felt much more comfortable ahead of the race than a week ago when he made his NASCAR debut in the Truck Series.
Raikkonen qualified 22nd despite skimming the wall on his first flying lap, he made early progress despite not being happy with his car’s balance.
“It was nice in the beginning and I could overtake on the restart and it felt really good when [the car] turned,” said Raikkonen. “Then it really it turned out to be really bad, the handling. Just because I couldn’t even get the car in, even I felt I had to stop in the corner and it was just pushing all the time.
Raikkinen also faced heat issues early in the race. He complained that his feet were getting very hot. NASCAR drivers wear heat-isolating heel protectors over their racing shoes, but Raikkinen said he did not wear them because he did not have any issues last week in the Truck race.
Raikkonen is planning to return to Europe to compete in the Rally Acropolis in Greece next month. He is unsure if he will be travelling back to the US for a possible NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut next month.
NASCAR racer Kyle Busch is used to going stupid fast. Normally it’s behind the wheel of his M&Ms sponsored No. 18 Toyota race car, but in what Busch describes as a “lack of judgement” the pro driver was recently clocked test driving a yellow Lexus LFA at a speed that is plenty fast, and even more stupid.
In a statement released today, Busch apologized after being busted driving 128-mph in a 45 mph zone near his house in Mooresville, N.C. The vehicle he was piloting is none other than the LFA supercar, one of just 500 to be built by Toyota’s Lexus luxury division, with a 552-hp V10 engine and a $375,00 price tag.
“I apologize to the public, my fans, sponsors, and race teams for my lack of judgment,” said Busch in a statement. “I take responsibility for my actions and I can assure you that something like this will never happen again. I thank the Iredell County Sheriff’s Department and all law enforcement for the hard work they do every day to protect the public and to enforce the laws in a fair and equitable manner.”
Busch is currently ranked third in the Sprint Cup standings and the incident is not expected to affect his status as a NASCAR driver. It could, however, have a less than positive impact on his sponsorship agreement.
Kyle Busch isn’t without controversy both on and off the track. And while his fellow NASCAR drivers might have an unflattering thing or two to say about him, there’s no denying Busch is a force to be reckoned with on the race track. In an unprecedented set of events at Bristol, Tennessee, Busch drove two Toyota Camrys and a Toyota Tundra (no… not at the same time) to sweep the NASCAR weekend, becoming the first driver ever to do so.
The three events Busch swept were the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. It was definitely a historic achievement for Toyota’s presence in NASCAR, and for Kyle Busch and his team. Now if only he could play nice with the other drivers.
Official press release available after the break.