Since 2013, the Chevrolet SS has been tasked with flying the Chevrolet flag at the NASCAR Cup series and has gone on to win three titles in 4 years. But, on Tuesday, that changed. Driver Chase Elliot had the honor of taking Chevy's new NASCAR Cup series representative, the Camaro ZL1, to the track at the Texas Motor Speedway for the first time.
While the car was not part of a race, it was part of a group of cars that was taking part in a pre-season tire test. Other than the Camaro, other participants were a Toyota Camry and a Ford Fusion. The Toyota was in the hands of Martin Truex Jr. who is the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion.
After the test, Elliot had a couple of things to say about the Camaro. "I have a hard time feeling much of anything; I'm going too fast." He said. "But the car looks great from the public eye standpoint. I don't know how you could not identify this Camaro with the Camaro on the street. It looks the same. I think it is something to be proud of from Chevrolet … job well done from that standpoint."
Under the skin, the Camaro ZL1 and the Camaro SS are mainly the same thanks to NASCAR's strict equality rules, and even Elliot did admit that the two cars felt quite similar. During the event, the drivers went out for solo laps so the cars were not tested for the drag and aerodynamic effects that would be caused by driving in traffic.
The new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is expected to make its debut at the Daytona International Speedway on February 11, 2018 at the advanced Auto Parts Clash. However, this is not going to be the first time the Camaro will appear in a top-level NASCAR competition.
In 1971, the Camaro under the stewardship of Tiny Lund ran and won twice, so it is safe to say that its success has been tested in the past.