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In 2006, Toyota announced it would enter the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) beginning in 2007 using the Camry. Sprint Cup teams Bill Davis Racing (BDR), Red Bull Racing Team (RBRT) and Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) debuted the Camry in its first NSCS race at Daytona International Speedway in February 2007. Later that season, BDR’s Dave Blaney won Toyota’s first Sprint Cup Series pole position at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The biggest news that year came off the track, though, as Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., and Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced in September that the three-time championship-winning team would campaign Camrys beginning the following season (2008).
In 2008, Denny Hamlin earned Toyota’s first Sprint Cup Series victory in the non-points paying qualifying race in February and less than a month later Kyle Busch registered the first regular season NSCS victory at Atlanta. Including Busch’s inaugural triumph, Camry drivers have registered 49 wins in Sprint Cup Series competition over the past five years, with three separate teams and seven different drivers winning races.
In 2010, Hamlin and in 2012, Cling Boyer (MWR) placed second in the final NSCS standings -- the best overall finish for a Toyota driver since the manufacturer entered the NSCS in 2007.
In 2011, Camry drivers won six races, and Busch and Hamlin were among the 12 drivers that participated in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Series championship playoff.
In 2012, the sixth season of NSCS competition for Toyota, Camry drivers won 10 races. Clint Bowyer, Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. qualified for the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup championship playoff with Boyer finishing second in the final NSCS point standings -- equaling Hamlin’s runner-up result in 2010. Hamlin recorded a series-best five wins, and Bowyer earned three wins in his first season behind the wheel of a Camry for MWR.
In 2013, Camry drivers recorded 14 wins -- a single-season high for Toyota in the NSCS -- and started from the front of the field 12 times. Matt Kenseth placed second overall, matching the second-place showings from Bowyer in 2012 and Hamlin in 2010.