2014 Chevrolet SS Pace Car

When the checkered flag finally fell at the 2014 Daytona 500 late Sunday night, it was over Dale Earnhardt Jr .’s Chevrolet SS -inspired Sprint Cup race car . Earnhardt’s win came after a long day of racing and waiting with several multi-car pile-ups and an excruciating six hour rain delay.

While Earnhardt’s Chevy SS took much of the spotlight, it wasn’t the only SS circling the steep banks at the Great American Race; not considering the other tube-frame SS-look-a-likes trailing behind Jr.’s number 88 car. Pacing the race was the real deal, a 2014 Chevrolet SS modified only with safety strobe lights and Daytona 500 decals.

The SS is powered by GM ’s 6.2-liter LS3 V-8 making 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of rear-wheel-spinning torque. A six-speed automatic with paddle shifters sends power to the rear differential sporting a 3.27:1 final drive ratio. Unfortunately, this four-door Camaro isn’t offered with a clutch pedal, but the automatic does allow for fairly quick shifts.

Inside the SS is a cabin showcasing GM’s new-found efforts in interior quality with materials and fit and finish on par with offerings from Cadillac and Buick . Heavily bolstered leather seats, a leather-covered steering wheel, and suede-like material give the car an upscale feel while buttons and controls have a weighted, rich feel to them.

For pacing duties, the SS is fitted with an aerodynamic light bar up top and strobes in the head and taillights. Daytona 500 decals and stripes are stuck to the SS’ Red Hot 2 paint color. Lower profile tires and optional chrome wheels further separate the car from regular production units.

Updated 07/18/2014: Chevrolet announced today that actor Chris Pratt will serve as pace car driver on July 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He will drive a 2014 red and silver Chevrolet SS pace car and apparently its a dream come true for him. Of course, the announcement comes with a new set of images of the SS Pace Car, so check them in the "Images" tab.

Click past the jump to watch the video of the burning SS and read more about the standard Chevrolet SS.

Chevy SS Pace Car Catches Fire

The red example pacing the Daytona 500 wasn’t the only SS in Daytona last week. This blue SS pacing the Sprint Unlimited exhibition race made quite a scene when wiring rigged for its external safety lights caught fire as it rounded turn 4 while setting the pace for the race pack. Fire crews were able to extinguish the flames without losing the entire car. Fortunately, no one was injured in the debacle, except for maybe Chevrolet’s pride.

Chevrolet SS

Chevrolet SS Performance

Coincidentally making its debut at the 2013 Daytona Speed Week, the Chevrolet SS is still in its first year of production – at least as a Chevy SS. The car itself, save for the reworked grille and bowtie badging, is a Holden Commodore. The four-door, rear-drive, V-8-powered sedan has been around for quite some time. In fact, it first invaded the U.S. as the Pontiac G8 GXP .

In current form, the SS produces a respectable 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque from its 6.2-liter LS3 V-8. Power is routed through an old-school six-speed transmission that does feature paddle shifters. Unfortunately, no manual is offered.

Starting price for an SS begins at $43,475 and rises to roughly $47,110 with options – although only two exist: a $900 moonroof and $500 full-size spare tire. GM is only importing a limited number, so if the SS is your idea of an American sedan with real muscle, you’d better act fast.

Press Release

Actor Chris Pratt – star of the soon-to-be-released movie “Guardians of the Galaxy” – will serve as honorary pace car driver in a 2014 red and silver Chevrolet SS pace car for the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com on Sunday, July 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Chevrolet SS Pace Car

“It’s a dream come true to drive the pace car for the John Wayne Walding 400,” said Pratt, who has also appeared in ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ and ‘Moneyball.’ “I am really excited to be part of NASCAR for the day.”

Chevrolet has a long history of pacing races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and has served as the pace car for every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race held at the track since 1994.

“Races don’t start on the famed 2.5 mile oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway until the Chevrolet pace car has brought the starting field to the green flag, and we are pleased to have the Chevrolet SS do the honors for the 20th anniversary edition of the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com,” said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. “We are also pleased to have television and movie star Chris Pratt behind the wheel as the honorary pace car driver and as part of our pre-race activities – and look forward to seeing him on the silver screen in his newest movie on August 1st.”

The SS is Chevrolet’s first V-8 rear-wheel-drive performance sedan since 1996. It is powered by the LS3 Chevrolet V-8, delivering an SAE-certified 415 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque, and is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted manually using TAPshift paddles mounted on the steering wheel.

“This year marks the 20th anniversary of NASCAR racing at the Brickyard, and it is truly special that Chevrolet has been there from the beginning racing and pacing,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports. “It will be great to have Chris Pratt lead the field of 43 competitors to the green flag in the Chevrolet SS pace car.”

Chevrolet SS Pace Car

In addition to pacing, Chevrolet has campaigned the SS as its race car in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition since 2013, making its debut with a victory in the season-opening Daytona 500. Jimmie Johnson drove a Chevrolet SS in ‘13 to his sixth series driver’s championship. The Chevrolet SS also won 16 of 36 races last season as Chevrolet won its 11th consecutive manufacturer’s championship. Chevrolet has won nine of the first 10 races this year with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. kicking off the 2014 season with a Daytona 500 win. Chevrolet has also won 11 consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at the Brickyard (2003-2013) and 15 of 20 overall in the history of the Brickyard 400, including the inaugural race in 1994 with Jeff Gordon’s win.

Chevrolet will pace every race during the Kroger Super Weekend July 25-27, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In addition to leading the field with the Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Chevrolets will pace with: Camaro ZL1 in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge; Corvette convertible in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship; and Camaro 1LE in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

Kroger Super Weekend at IMS will include the Lilly Diabetes 250 Nationwide Series race and NASCAR Sprint Cup practice and qualifying on Saturday, July 26. Thursday will feature TUDOR United SportsCar Championship practice and qualifying; and NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series practice and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship racing will take place on Friday. The weekend will conclude on Sunday, July 27 with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 21st annual Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com.

Chevrolet SS Pace Car

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race – The Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com – will be broadcast live at 1 p.m. EDT on ESPN.


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