"Toyota and I have done a lot of stuff together," Busch said after the event at the Toyota Racing Development facility just north of Charlotte. "I've done a lot of commercials for them. I've even gotten to show off my singing for them, which they optimize every chance they get. So to be able to come here and drive the car and be the one who got to unveil the 2013 Toyota Camry first was really neat.
“I think it's a cool-looking race car, and I can't wait to get out and drive it in an actual race.”-- KYLE BUSCH"I think it's a cool-looking race car, and I can't wait to get out and drive it in an actual race."
Busch will drive the car in competition for the first time in the Sprint Cup Series during Speedweeks prior to the Daytona 500 in February 2013.
The Camry was the third new Cup car revealed by manufacturers for the 2013 season, following the Ford Fusion and the Dodge Charger. It leaves Chevrolet as the only manufacturer involved in NASCAR yet to publicly unveil its 2013 model. All of the manufacturers had expressed a desire to work with NASCAR to have their on-track race cars more closely resemble the street models they sell to customers.
Toyota officials said they think they accomplished that in the redesign of the Camry, which has been America's best-selling car for 10 consecutive years and for 14 of the past 15. The race-car design has a new front-grille area that matches the production model, distinct character lines down the side of the vehicle and an updated rear bumper.
"We all wanted race cars that look more like our stock production models," said Lee White, president and general manager of Toyota Racing Development, U.S.A. "Our new Camry for 2013 is a great-looking race car. Everyone at Toyota is eager to have our drivers in a race car that more resembles the street Camry."
Among those in attendance at the announcement were NASCAR President Mike Helton and Vice President of Competition and Racing Development Robin Pemberton, who praised all the manufacturers for working together to come up with their new 2013 models. Helton likened it to a new era of cooperation and said one day it will be looked back on as a pivotal period in NASCAR's history.
"Over the last 18 months, the manufacturers have all met either at the race track or via conference calls to try to work with NASCAR's direction where we could put our production car elements into these race cars while maintaining parity," said Andy Graves, TRD's vice president of chassis engineering. "We all had some give-and-take, and it's been a long process. But we're very pleased with the results."