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2016 Toyota Mirai to Set Pace at Richmond

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2016 Mirai Pace Car

This Saturday at the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, there will be a somewhat unexpected car on the track—the 2016 Toyota Mirai. Before you go wondering what Toyota did to its four-door, hydrogen fuel cell electric sedan to get it competition ready, it should be noted that the Mirai will merely serve as the pace car for the event.

The 2016 Mirai will lead the field of 43 at Richmond after it passed NASCAR’s approval process in a test session on Thursday. This will mark the second time that a historic Toyota production vehicle has paced a NASCAR event; back in 2009, the Camry Hybrid became the first hybrid vehicle to pace a NASCAR race when it led the way during the May 2009 running of the Coca Cola 600.

“Having a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle pace the Toyota Owners 400 is a historic moment for both Toyota and NASCAR and we’re proud it’s the Toyota Mirai,” said Ed Laukes, vice president of marketing, performance and guest experience, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. “Bringing the Mirai to Richmond to pace this important race is another way for Toyota to showcase our innovation and environmental leadership.”

2016 Mirai Pace Car

The Toyota Mirai, which was unveiled in late 2014 at the Los Angeles Auto Show, is capable of driving 300 miles on a single tank and requires only five minutes to fully recharge. It is expected to begin hitting the streets of California later in 2015.