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.