Toyota may not have been part of the original muscle-car fabric of the sport of drag racing, but the world’s top-selling automaker (and to be fair, one that has frequently earned “most American-made” honors) is investing in the sport during the 21st century in unparalleled ways. The most recent evidence of that is the release of a cinematic style television commercial spot featuring NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series drivers Antron Brown, Shawn Langdon, J.R. Todd, and Alexis DeJoria.
Entitled “Horsepower Hangover,” the three-and-a-half minute commercial was filmed over multiple days at the MGM Grand Hotel and The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The story centers on Brown seemingly becoming “hypnotized” as he struggles to comprehend the horsepower of the new 389-horsepower twin-turbo Tundra pickup. The commercial impressively highlights all four drivers’ personalities in ways that arguably no drag racing-themed television commercial ever has before. And while there are certainly other contenders throughout history, it may in fact be the largest commercial in scale, scope, and cost ever.
The ad is set to run on the in-venue jumbotron and on the manufacturers midway at NHRA national events this season, and Toyota already has plans to release a second NHRA-themed commercial that will air on a national scale later this season.
Like its cars or not, Toyota investing in the sport and vying to make its drivers stars is a “W” across the board for drag racing.