2016 Toyota Mirai paces the race
Looking for novel ways to leverage its corporate presence during the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, the automaker unveiled a specially outfitted version of its 2016 Mirai fuel-cell-powered sedan as the official pace car. Prior to leading the 43-car field to the green flag on Richmond's 0.75-mile low-banked tri-oval, this one-off Mirai had successfully undergone testing on the slightly longer 1-mile equivalent at Phoenix International Raceway.
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This marked the second time that Toyota has created an alternative-fuel pace car for NASCAR's top rung series. Back in 2009, a Camry Hybrid was on hand at Charlotte Motor Speedway to lead the pack to the starting line at the Coca Cola 600. The Mirai's historic pacing activities were delayed by a day when rain washed out the originally scheduled Saturday night start. But Sunday dawned dry and the Mirai managed to roll into the record books without a hitch to establish itself as history's cleanest and greenest pace car.
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