Goodbye Chevy SS, Hello Camaro ZL1 – Chevy’s New NASCAR Cup Race Car Announced!
NASCAR and the Camaro ZL1 are a match hotter than your Daytona summer flingby Mark McNabb, on
Chevrolet has announced the Camaro ZL1 as its top-tier race car for the 2018 NASCAR season. The news comes as no surprise following the discontinuation of the Chevy SS sedan in May of 2017, the basis for Chevy’s previous stock car. This marks the first time Chevy’s pony car will battle with the big boys (and Danica Patrick) in NASCAR’s tile event, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
As with any modern NASCAR racer, the cars are only look-alikes to their production counterparts. They car merely sheet metal shells bolted to a tube-chassis and powered by custom-built racing V-8s. Not a single bolt or switch comes from the production car’s assembly line. The Camaro ZL1 Monster Energy car is no different, though Chevy’s design team has done a great job preserving the Camaro ZL1’s massive lower grille, brake ducts, menacing headlights and curvy rear haunches. The announcement was made at GM’s Detroit headquarters with driver Jimmie Johnson and executive VP of GM Global Product Development Mark Reuss on hand. Reuss said in a statement, “We are thrilled to run Camaro in NASCAR next year, with the time-honored and track-tested ZL1 badge, and we’re just as excited for our drivers, teams, fans and customers.” The 2018 NASCAR season will begin in February at the Daytona Speedweeks.
Continue reading for more information.
A Short Life For The Chevy SS
It was February of 2013 when I found myself in the infield at the Daytona International Speedway just up the road from my home in central Florida. I came for the debut of the 2014 Chevrolet SS sedan and its NASCAR Sprint Cup counterpart. Mark Reuss led the event, while Jeff Gordon stole the spotlight and drove the SS onto the stage. Even the then-new 2014 Chevy Silverado was present, making it a two-for-one event I’ll never forget. Heck, I still wear the black SS T-shirt Chevy was handing out in the media room.
Now with the SS gone, the Camaro ZL1 moves up to take its place. Of course, this isn’t the first time the Camaro has seen action in NASCAR. The Camaro SS has raced in the Xfinity series since 2013. In the opposing corner, Ford competes in the Xfinity series with the Mustang, the Camaro’s real-life rival. This leads me to wonder if Ford will bring the Mustang to the Monster Energy Cup series as a replacement for its Taurus race car. After all, rumors suggest Ford may soon axe the Taurus after 2018. And since the Mustang GT races against the Camaro SS in the Xfinity series, it’s a good possibility the Camaro ZL1 will be challenged by the Shelby Mustang GT350 or the upcoming GT500. Now that would inject some fun back into NASCAR.
Read our full review on the 2017 Camaro ZL1.
Read our full review on the 2017 Camaro ZL1 First Impressions Drive.
Read our full review on the 2016 Camaro SS.
Read our full review on the 2013-2017 Chevy SS.