The Mirai FCV Paces NASCAR at Richmond
It was a typical NASCAR Sunday afternoon at Richmond International Raceway. The rescheduled Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup race was about to get under way, after being moved from the night before due to storms in the area. Among the racers, several Toyota Camrys started taking their place at the grid. Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, David Ragan, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Jeb Burton, Matt DeBenedetto and Brett Moffitt were behind the wheel getting ready for the pace car to get onto the track.
No one anticipated that the pace car would be a hydrogen fuel cell car.
A Toyota Mirai led the pace of the NASCAR race – the first time a hydrogen FCV led a major American motorsports event. It was sent to the front of the pack to showcase Toyota’s lead in environmental and technological advances in the automobile. The Mirai can be fully fueled in five minutes and has a range of 300 miles – not exactly competitive in NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing.
However, it showed what Toyota can do to prove the worthiness of its technology and engineering. It also took a national stage showing the Mirai’s pace on FOX.
It appeared that the Mirai did well in setting the pace for the Toyota Owners 400. While the Mirai led the race for an unofficial lap, the Camrys placed as high as seventh in the actual race. In all, it was a victory for Toyota at Richmond!