Toyota Racing Inks Massive Deal with Daytona

Conceptual illustration of the new Toyota Injector at Daytona International Speedway includes a car store where racing fans can see latest Toyota models.
Conceptual illustration of the new Toyota Injector at Daytona International Speedway includes a car store where racing fans can see latest Toyota models.

On Feb. 6 International Speedway Corp. (ISC) announced a first-of-its-kind, multi-year partnership with Toyota Motor Sales that will make Toyota the first Founding Partner at Daytona International Speedway. Announced simultaneously in Florida and at the Chicago Automobile Show, the agreement is connected to a $400 million “DAYTONA Rising” redevelopment project.

ISC used the term “reimagining” on posters promoting the new “Toyota Injector” at Daytona International Speedway. The deal will convert the historic track’s almost-mile-long front stretch into a showcase of automotive enthusiasm with an appearance combining aspects of a racetrack, a shopping mall and a theme park. Scheduled to be in operation by January 2016, the modernistic facility depicted in sketches will offer racing fans and event sponsors shopping and entertainment possibilities that are unmatched in the motor sports world.

“When we started drafting the designs of DAYTONA Rising, we envisioned partnering with equally forward-thinking organizations like Toyota to bring forth the very best experience for our fans and guests,” said ISC chief executive officer Lesa France Kennedy. “Toyota has been a great partner for many years and we will continue to work together to enhance the fan experience at many of our facilities across the country.”

Daytona International Speedway president Joie Chitwood III told the press in Chicago that, “DAYTONA Rising represents our commitment to delivering engaging and innovative ways for our partners to showcase their brand; we’re proud to integrate Toyota into this historic project. Our fans and guests will now enjoy more exciting, innovative and engaging experiences from the moment they enter the new facility to the time they reach their seats and beyond.”

The 11-year agreement will kick off in 2015 and provides Toyota with naming rights for one of five entrances that fans will use to make their way into Daytona International. The entrances are being called “racing fan injectors” and the Toyota Injector will encompass over 20,000 sq. ft. of floor space where the automaker will showcase cars, offer hospitality suites and sell tickets and offer goods and services to racing fans on four different concourse levels.

The Toyota brand will also have a presence in the new “World Center of Racing” zone, which will be the central “neighborhood” overlooking Daytona’s famed start/finish line inside the new facility. This zone will be about the size of two football fields and will be used to showcase the history and legacy of racing at the iconic motor sports venue. Fans will be able to socialize and enjoy themselves in this area prior to, during and after races held at Daytona.

Ten additional football-field-size areas will be located throughout the front stretch and house bars, stores, dining areas and multiple video screens broadcasting on-track action. Toyota also gets branding rights to a neighborhood near the Toyota injector and will serve as an official partner of “The Great American Race” (DAYTONA 500®). It will receive official pace car rights in 2015.

About John Gunnell 89 Articles
John “Gunner” Gunnell has been writing about cars since ‘72. As a kid in Staten Island, N.Y., he played with a tin Marx “Service Garage” loaded with toy vehicles, his favorite being a Hubley hot rod. In 2010, he opened Gunner’s Great Garage, in Manawa, Wis., a shop that helps enthusiasts restore cars. To no one’s surprise, he decorated 3G’s with tin gas stations and car toys. Gunner started writing for two car club magazines. In 1978, publisher Chet Krause hired him at Old Cars Weekly, where he worked from 1978-2008. Hot rodding legend LeRoi “Tex” Smith was his boss for a while. Gunner had no formal journalism training, but working at a weekly quickly taught him the trade. Over three decades, he’s met famous collectors, penned thousands of articles and written over 85 books. He lives in Iola, Wis., with his nine old cars, three trucks and seven motorcycles.
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