2018 Toyota Camry gets prepped for NASCAR duty

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2018 Toyota Camry NASCAR race car

2018 Toyota Camry NASCAR race car

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Toyota unveiled its all-new 2018 Camry at this year's Detroit auto show. It rides on a new platform, offers up a trio of powertrains, and wears some much sharper bodywork than versions that have come before it. It's also already set to go racing. That's because Toyota has a NASCAR Camry that rips around the ovals (and occasional road course), and now the 2018 version is ready for duty.

If the new road-going Camry looks more aggressive than you expected, then you' should really be floored by the racing machine. It's nearly Lexus-like spindle grille looks like it's ready to chew the bumpers off the competition. This thing could easily be a snake-tongued villain in the next "Cars" film.

The car is going to the Joe Gibbs Racing, Furniture Row Racing, and BK Racing teams in the top NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Autoblog reports that Kyle Busch and Denny Hamilin will be two of the drivers set to pilot the NASCAR Camry. Carl Edwards won't be driving it. Toyota also offers the Camry up for service in the lower level NASCAR Xfinity Series.

2018 Toyota Camry NASCAR race car

2018 Toyota Camry NASCAR race car

Enlarge Photo

The last version, or Gen-6 series NASCAR racer, was powered by a 5.8-liter V-8 running old-school pushrod technology. It was also backed up by a good old 4-speed manual transmission. Expect those to carry over for racing, but neither will find their way to the street, and neither will the rear-wheel-drive configuration. Our minds can't make sense of this, and our hearts weep for the possibilities.

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